Untangling the Facts About Cords and Cables


While understanding the differences between mic, instrument and speaker cables isn’t quite as seductive as checking out the features of a new effects pedal or electronic keyboard, these are essential links in the audio chain. Getting a grip on the basics and learning a couple of tried-and-true techniques from the pros will make sure you’re wired for sound.

First of all, let’s look at the basic set-up of a typical PA system. It will help you understand the various types of cables and how they differ. Just click on the cable type – microphone, instrument or speaker – for a quick overview.

Cords and Cables

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The Over-Under Cable Wrap

Just about everyone agrees that the old-school “elbow-wrap” method spells death to cords and cables. Not only does it put stress on the metal strands inside, twisted cables are harder to set up and rewrap later on.

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When everyone on your tech team uses this method, you’ll experience fewer cord and cable hassles – plus you’ll be extending the life of your gear.

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Davida Rochman

Davida Rochman

A Shure associate since 1979, Davida Rochman graduated with a degree in Speech Communications and never imagined that her first post-college job would result in a life-long career that had her marketing microphones rather than speaking into them. Today, Davida is a Communications Manager, lending her skills to a wide spectrum of activities – from public relations and social media to content development and sponsorships.

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