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Coiling Wires

Member for

21 years
Hello and good day to all and sundry,

I once had the art of coiling a mic lead up so that it doesn't twist the wires explained to me by a pink haired roady at a house party. Unfortunately whatever he was on kicked in half way through and it never really made sense.
Is this something that can be explained or only learned by mimicking?

Cheers and other pleasantries to all.


Member for

15 years 10 months

hueseph Tue, 06/24/2008 - 15:06
Really? Anyway, cables have a natural tendency to coil. Just follow their nature. If you find that the coil wants to go in the opposite direction just follow it and flip the coil to the other side. There really is no "art" per se. Just don't force the cable against it's own tendency.

Member for

13 years 9 months

Codemonkey Tue, 06/24/2008 - 17:01
This is interesting. The last few times I've had to coil stuff, I've been trying something. You may have seen the dance move where you spin your hands round and round above and under each other (unclear description, I know).

Put left over right. Move left forward and down, right backward and upward so they end up in each other's place (circular motion). Repeat.

That motion, I'm trying to work out how to get a cable coiled using that technique but failing miserably. I think it might end up too straight though.

Also, I saw a few people coiling cables between their elbows and wrists. I make a circle hanging from my hand, any thoughts on either method?
To me, the first seems to cause too many kinks.

Recording.Org: Your one stop resource for cable coiling needs. :lol:

Member for

14 years 11 months

taxman Tue, 06/24/2008 - 17:33
I am sorry, none of you are correct.
See the animation attached. A search for "coiled rope" found the following methed of over and under, which is easiest to do and undo without adding twist

The alternate is to twist each kink out as you coil it, but this will rekink if not unwound as from a revolving spool. Otherwise, if you just grab one end, it will add twist as it uncoils.

Member for

21 years

Member Tue, 06/24/2008 - 18:02
"Coiling The Unattached Rope" made my head hurt Taxman. I will look back again later and see if I can grasp it.

CodeMonkey, wtf? :P

Space and Hueseph, I think I'm getting it. Natural tendency to twist one way, just be gentle and let it twist, then untwist when you put it out again.

Member for

13 years 10 months

bent Tue, 06/24/2008 - 20:21
The industry standard for xlr is the over-under wrap.
You've gotta know how to properly wrap and unwrap it or it'll make a knot every foot or so. The result is a flat, straight cable across your floor or stage.

Here's a decent set of pix:

With practice you'll end up doing it to everything (even your garden hose) without thinking about it...

What Taxman posted I've always called the PARC Studios wrap (over-under with the noose windings on it - if you throw it across a stage or studio it will not come apart).

I do the so-called PARC wrap when the cable doesn't have a velcro or tie-line on it.

Member for

14 years 2 months

Space Tue, 06/24/2008 - 20:38
There is not enough time in my day to do this over under stuff...remember I'm a carpenter. But my cables at home get the same treatment as we suggested it works, I'm not wrong and if ya stand still long enough I can lasso ya with a cord ;).

As too wrangling a cable up around the flatted palm and elbow, bad idea for several reasons. The cable gets stretched which leads to breakage and,with the proper amount of time and twisting, the ends will come off as the wire shifts inside the sheathing.

Member for

13 years 10 months

bent Tue, 06/24/2008 - 21:21
PARC Studios was a large SSL / Studer based studio in Winter Park, Florida.

Owned by Pat Armstrong who, I believe, either managed / engineered / or produced Molly Hatchet.

It's also the place I used to work with Otis Redding's son Dexter (as well as make coffee and fetch lunch)...

Now it's called Big Time Studios, or something like that.

Member for

13 years 10 months

bent Tue, 06/24/2008 - 21:27
Here's the new, hip (ehhh...) website of the place:

I have no idea where the "25 Years" claim comes from - it was still owned and operated by Pat as PARC studios in 1995 when I was there.

Many times I used to go to his office and beg for some coin for gas to get back home to Cocoa Beach...

(Not even sure if Limp Bizkit was on anyones radar back then)

Oh, now I see it's home to "The Mixing Workshop" - whatever that means...

Member for

21 years

Member Tue, 06/24/2008 - 21:47
Cheers guys!
Much food for thought. It seems coiling with the natural twist would be beneficial when a band mate goes to uncoil something. Having boat loads of knots would be fun for only the briefest of times.
However, the over-under style seems to have it when you need to throw the cable out.
The faster I can pitch/strike the more time I can spend in the alley.

Edit: When I say "to throw the cable out" I don't mean into a bin. :)

Member for

15 years 11 months

RemyRAD Wed, 06/25/2008 - 03:35
People that can't coil or over/under cables & snakes drive me crazy! That was one thing you had to learn how to do correctly & quickly at NBC. Anything less wasn't tolerated. And what really blows my mind about most folks that go to recording schools. The inability to do that. Coiling cables is recording 101.

Knots to you!
Ms. Remy Ann David

Member for

15 years 10 months

hueseph Wed, 06/25/2008 - 20:47
Greener wrote: [quote=bent]
Don't hand me your resume if you can't coil a cable!

I see you're rather passionate about this.

Now I have to practice.
You know. It sounds extreme but I heard a lot of that working the Jazz fest and Music festivals out here. It's not just the cable coiling. It's about standards. If the basic standards aren't met, chances are you're going to fail again and again on down the road. When you can trust someone to maintain a simple standard, work just flows that much easier. You don't want to be checking somebody's work every ten minutes to make sure he's not screwing something up.

The alley can wait till the show is over and the gear is packed.