You just spent a lot of money on your guitar. Now it’s time to buy some cables. You walk into the music store and see a whole bunch of different cables. There’s instrument, microphone, speaker and quite a few other types. So, how to organize guitar cables?
First thing to consider is the durability of the cable. Is your instrument going to be in harm’s way? Are you using it at home or on stage? If you’re using it at home, use an instrument cable to keep it as simple as possible. If you want more protection for your cable, get an instrument cable with a metal shielding jacket. For more demanding environments, like stage performances where things are getting bumped around regularly, purchase an instrument cable with a reinforced jacket–they’re tougher and more durable than regular ones.
Once you know what type of cable to get, how do you organize them? Cable storage can take up valuable real estate in small homes or apartments.
Related Article: How to organize guitar gear
can be stored in a guitar case, but microphone cables are more difficult to deal with. If you just have a few cables and want to keep them as small as possible, you can coil them up like a snake and put them in a zip lock bag. That way they’ll stay organized and won’t take up any space.
Most people use a special cable storage box from the music store that’s intended for this purpose. These boxes are easy to stack on top of each other when not in use and have individual compartments for each cable type–instrument, microphone, speaker, etc.–so you don’t have to worry about tangling your cables together. You can organize these by size or color–whatever makes sense to you!
If you’re really ambitious (and if your cables are long) make sure your stack is against a wall so that they don’t droop over time.
Instrument cable types
Instrument cables are used to connect musical instruments (guitars, keyboards, etc) to amplifiers or speakers. Instrument cables usually consist of a two-conductor cable with an XLR connector or ¼” plug.
Cable durability is an important consideration when purchasing cables. The type of environment the cable will be used in can dictate which type of cable to purchase. In an environment where there are a lot of people bumping into things on a regular basis, a heavier duty and more durable cable is needed. An instrument cable with a reinforced jacket should do the trick.
For those who put their cables through the ringer, you might want to consider buying two or three of the same kind of instrument cables–that way, if one breaks, you have a replacement without having to buy another whole set of cables. You never know when that perfect song idea might hit you!
Cables for stage performances
If you’re using it at home, use an instrument cable to keep it as easy as possible. If you want more protection for your cable, get an instrument cable with a metal shielding jacket. For more demanding environments, like stage performances where things are getting bumped around regularly, purchase an instrument cable with a reinforced jacket–they’re tougher and more durable than regular ones.
Once you know what type of cable to get, how do you organize them? Cable storage can take up valuable real estate in small homes or apartments. To avoid the hassle of storing your cables, invest in a few Velcro ties. Tie them onto your cables and then wrap them around any item that can safely store them–like a bookcase or entertainment center. A lot of guitarists use this method because they’re easily accessible when they need them again.
are always plugged into something and are generally required for recording
Microphone cables are always plugged into something and are generally required for recording. There’s a lot of different microphone types, so it will be hard to say what to do with them. In general, you’ll want to store them in a spot that is easy to get to. For instance, if you’re a DJ and have lots of mics lying around your booth, you might have a mic stand that conveniently stores your cables. If not, then find someplace where they can be stored comfortably and quickly accessed when needed.
Speaker cables work similarly–you’ll need those close by while they are being used (likely when playing the guitar). They should be kept in an area where they won’t get tangled or damaged. Speaker cables often come with options like clips or stakes that can help keep them from getting too tangled up or from becoming unplugged unexpectedly.
Instrument cables should also be stored where they won’t get tangled or damaged as well. Many people keep their instrument cable with the instrument itself so it’s easily accessible during practice sessions or performances. You could also store it somewhere else in your house so you don’t forget about it–just make sure it’s not getting crushed in the closet or anything!
Cable types for microphones
There are a lot of different types of microphones. You can purchase microphone cables for any type of mic, even the more unusual ones. For example, if you have a condenser microphone that requires phantom power to operate, you’ll need an XLR cable with phantom power capabilities built in.
The best way to store microphone cables is to make sure they’re organized by length. All XLRs should be stored on one side and all instrument cables on another so they’re not tangled together.
How to store microphone cables
The first thing to consider is how many mic cables you’ll need at your disposal. For a live performance–in which the cables are likely under heavy use and therefore more prone to wear and tear–you should get around 3-4 extras. If you’re using them for recording, you can probably get by with 2-3.
The next step is getting some kind of case or container to store them in. If you have a lot of different types of mic cables, it’s best to keep each type in different compartments so that they stay organized and make things easier when you need them. To find a case or container that will fit all your cables, try looking for something that has compartments of varying sizes–one for microphone cables, one for speaker cables, one for instrument cables and so on. You should also be able to hang the case from a hook or hanger if you want it out of the way in your studio space.
Speaker cables are the most common type of cable, and they’re also relatively inexpensive. When you buy a new speaker cable, it’s best to coil up and store it somewhere. They’re not going to tangle nearly as easily if they’re coiled up in a ball, but if you have the room go ahead and lay them out flat.
To avoid tangling your cables when you put them away, try this technique:
-Take one end of the cable, hold it close to your mouth with the other hand on top of it
-Say “lay down” and let go of the hand holding the cable
-Speak “up” as you pull gently on the other end of the cable (still touching your mouth), letting gravity take care of keeping it off the floor
-Repeat these steps for all cables
Speaker cable types
The types of speaker cables you’ll want to choose from depend on the type of speakers you have installed in your home or car.
If you’re looking for durability, go with a more durable speaker cable like one made out of kevlar. If you’re in need of a more affordable speaker cable, consider some nylon-coated ones.
However, if you’re not too concerned about durability and price is a big factor, then go with some 18-gauge speaker cables. They have a low-cost and are simple to install.
How to store speaker cables
You can store your speaker cables in a few different ways. The first is by running them under the carpet and taping them to the floor. This is a cheap way to do it but not a good idea for high traffic areas. Speaker cords have been known to get wrapped around people’s feet, which could lead to some embarrassing–not to mention painful–moments. Another option is organizing your cables on shelves or in cubbies. If you’re using storage cubes, make sure they are at least 10 inches deep so that you can fit all of your cords inside without any issues. Lastly, you can use Velcro straps to wrap up your cables and hang them from the ceiling or on a wall near an outlet. Velcro straps come in various lengths and widths, so check out your options before purchasing.
How to organize guitar cables FAQS
If you’re using your guitar at home and it’s not going to be in harm’s way, use an instrument cable. If it is in a more demanding environment, get a cable with a reinforced jacket if you want to protect the cable from getting damaged.
Speaker cables are thicker than regular cables and have more insulation to keep sound from leaking out. Make sure your speaker has a plug on each end of the wire and purchase the appropriate speaker wire for that purpose.
You can organize them by length–short ones go together and long ones go together–or by type, which would mean all of your instrument cables would be together while all of your microphone cables are together.
Guitar cables are a musician’s lifeline. Proper care and storage of these cables is essential in order to make sure that they are always ready to go when you are.
Cables are usually color coded by instrument type, which can be helpful when you’re trying to find the right cable for your setup.
This article will walk you through how to organize guitar cables, how to store microphone cables, how to take care of speaker cables and how to take care of your microphone cable.
If you want to avoid that tangled mess of cables and make sure your gear is always good to go, read this article for some helpful tips!