Wrapping Cables

wrapping cables

By David A. Barber
Author of Gigging, Everything You Need to Know About Playing Gigs (Except How to Play Your Axe)

The way cables, microphone cords and other electrical wires are wrapped can have a huge impact on how long they last as well as how easily they will unwrap or straighten out. Every professional musician will at some time or other have a bad experience with a cable going bad.  The microphone will cut out or a crackling popping sound will erupt in the middle of a song. The sound guy, if you’re lucky enough to have one, will rush over, change the cable out and fix the problem.

In order to avoid this problem, you want to take good care of your cables.
Wrapping them properly between uses is the best way to keep them in good shape.

There are many different methods for wrapping cables, but they are all variations on one basic theme. First, you loop the cable once in the direction it naturally wants to go. Next, you wrap a loop with a half twist in the cable. Then you go back to a normal loop and then follow with the half twist and keep this variation going until you have the cable all wrapped up.
You can tell a properly wrapped cable when it comes time to unwrap it because it will straighten out with no knots or kinks.  This is key because those knots and kinks can be real cable killers.

We’ve posted links below to various instructional videos to show you how to do it.  practice a few times and you will get it down pat.

Techniques are known as Over-under, Figure 8 and other names.  Don’t worry about what it’s called, as long as it’s done right, it doesn’t matter what you call it.

Here’s a pretty good video:

Here’s one that’s got a different wrapping technique but with the same result:

On this one the volume is really low, but you can see what’s going on: