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Suggestions on hiding cables in shared sanctuary

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  • Suggestions on hiding cables in shared sanctuary

    Our sanctuary hosts both the contemporary and traditional services. We get along pretty well at sharing the space and gear. They have to put up with things like a drumset, bass amp, and extra cables everywhere. I'm wondering what kinds of suggestions any of you might have for cleaning up or hiding, for example, a mess of cables under the piano. Its fairly shameful. I will post a picture when I get home, but right now I'm thinking big picture, what do you all do to hide stuff on stage?

  • #2
    Organizing cables a good thing to do. Not only can spaghetti bowl cables look bad, they are a trip hazard. Also, constantly stepping on and tripping/yanking on cables will cause them to go bad.

    We currently run a stage rig with the keys on a low profile wheeled platform with a monitor and stereo DI boxes. We can wheel it away for skits, weddings, etc. quick and easy. We are planning on doing something similar for the drum kit. We have the cables all grouped and routed so there's minimal work to do.

    Here are a few things we do-

    Group cabling together whenever possible.You can get little Velcro strips or gaff tape that work well for this. A big part of that is making sure your cables aren't twisted. The natural reactive force of a twisted cable is to try to loop back up. Getting as many twists out of it as you can will help it lay neater.

    Run your cables so the excess can be gathered and secured as far away from foot traffic or visible areas, like near the back of the stage or wall, etc.

    If your setup is permanent (or at least semi-permanent), you can get runners and gaff tape to put over the cabling to secure it in one spot. I like runners to help the trip hazard issues and keeping feet off them in high traffic areas.

    So if you have something specific, pictures always help- feel free to share

    Mike
    If we want to go places we haven't been, we will have to do things we haven't done.

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    • #3
      Group cables that are running to the same part of the stage together. To me, one bundle of cables (even if it's fairly large) is far cleaner looking than stuff going everywhere. We use TechFlex F6 cut to the appropriate length to clean up the look of those bundles, as well. Here is an example:

      BmvAHn5CEAAljtk.jpg

      Use cables that aren't too long to do what you need, and be strategic about where the excess is when you do have it. Obviously if you're running a line to a vocal mic, you need to leave some slack there, but for Mics and DIs that never move, I try to hide the excess out of sight (most of our excess cabling ends up under our drum riser).
      Eric Frisch
      www.ericfrisch.com

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      • #4
        ocumc sanctuary platform piano side.jpg

        So this picture is old, but imagine there are a dozen cables running into the snakehole (what I call the hole in the stage where you plug into the snake) underneath the piano. I am going to try to do a much better job of organizing. The rub is where people will still be able to see the cables (most are too long and there can be several coils of excess) no matter how much I organize them. I started this thread to see if anyone has come up with something to prevent people from seeing them. Its small- but I'd like to do something if I could.

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        • #5
          Could you do something like a fabric screen along the side of the piano that faces out? I guess I'm imagining something that might be like an old-fashioned modesty screen.

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          • #6
            That's what I'm thinking about, but can't figure a way to find something that blends and becomes part of our setup. Drawing a big old blank. Did you mean find a way to hang a curtain underneath the piano? I think I'll experiment with that look.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by McNelton View Post
              That's what I'm thinking about, but can't figure a way to find something that blends and becomes part of our setup. Drawing a big old blank. Did you mean find a way to hang a curtain underneath the piano? I think I'll experiment with that look.
              Actually, I was thinking of something that would just sit in front of the piano. A piece of fabric, maybe, stretched over a portable frame. But you could do something that was smaller and just sat under the piano legs. Think of two picture frames hinged together. Then make it bigger (and cheaper). You might could even do it with plywood painted in a color that would not stick out.

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              • #8
                I'd probably try the piano skirt idea first. You could use Velcro to hold it in place, easy off & on for when you don't need it.

                We do that with one of our guitar amps on a stand. It faces back like a monitor but we fastened a black drop cloth to it (using those big metal springy office clips) to hide the open back and the cables.

                If you could get a good color match for a piano skirt, you can hide a lot of cabling under it...
                If we want to go places we haven't been, we will have to do things we haven't done.

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                • #9
                  Wireless?

                  Seriously though, when folks say things about "messy wires" my natural comeback is somethings like "would you rather not hear us?" In other words, they are a necessary evil. BUT - we had an Eagle Scout candidate a few years ago that came up with a creative solution. We moved the "snake box" to the back of the stage (against the wall), then he built a trough along the back wall so that all wires could be hidden and magically "pop" out where needed.

                  If I had it to do over, I would put the trough along the front instead of the back. That said, what we have wouldn't work on your carpeted steps. What about something like in the attached picture? It could go the whole way across the top step and come out wherever needed?

                  hide-cables-wall-cable-organizers-picket-fence-1.jpg

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