Get your Stage Under Control

There are 3 cable mishaps that I run into most on stage:

1. Using mic cables for lighting.
2. Using speaker cable as an instrument cable.
3. Using multiple adapters when you could use a cable instead.

These mistakes are usually made when we’re in a hurry and have to fix something quickly, then forget to go back and solve the problem correctly later. Save time by using the right cable for the right job.

Using Mic Cables for DMX Lighting

elation-satura-profile-1-1024x1024This is wrong. We all know it. We’ve all done it anyway. You just needed “one more cable” or “if this cable was only six feet longer…” A mic cable might work for a while, but eventually it’s going to fail, and when it does, it’s probably going to be right in the middle of the huge opening song. After service, and a stern talking to from your pastor, you’re going to end up on a ladder or a scissor lift chasing down the gremlin until you find the problem is a mic cable or a missing DMX terminator. Save yourself time and embarrassment by labeling your cables and being strict with using the right cable for the job. Take some time and go through your cables to make sure they’re all labeled correctly.


Using a Speaker Cable as an Instrument Cable

yamaha-active-speaker_dxr_036lgI see this most often in portable Churches or events that have to set-up and tear-down quickly. Things get packed and unpacked every week and things get thrown into the wrong bin or tossed on a random shelf. Then a volunteer sees a huge thick cable and grabs it for their bass. You’re at the console trying to figure out why you’re maxing out all your EQs and they still sound like they’re in a tin can. Save yourself time by clearly labeling your cables. And keep an eye on those bass players.

You could try to use a 1/4in. instrument cable as a speaker cable, but I wouldn’t recommend it unless you like sparks and the smell of melting rubber. Again, clearly labeling your cables and doing your best to keep things neat will help you steer clear of any problems.

Feeding The Adapter Monster

gxr-134_rgb_856Take all those adapters and put them where they belong… In the trash… Wait… You’ll probably need them again. You better toss ’em back in the drawer.

We’ve all been there. A guest speaker comes to the booth and asks, “Can you play this tape?” or that one cable that keeps going missing mysteriously, “I don’t have any more cables like that, let me see what I can come up with…”

Then we forget about it because now it works. Until it doesn’t. Couplers, adapters, and gender changers are great in a pinch, but we’re better than that. Take some time and clean up your stage and booth by replacing all those adapters with a custom cable or snake from AGI. It’s not as expensive as you think, and your stage and tech booth will thank you. But don’t get rid of those adapters, you’ll need ’em next week.

AGI is here to help you with all your Audio, Video, and Lighting needs. We want to help you use technology to share the gospel in a way that is relevant to your culture. If you want to learn more contact us or sign up for our weekly email newsletter below. Together, let’s craft an irresistible environment that clearly communicates the gospel to a hurting world.

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Sean Walker

Sean has worked as a Technical Director at Saddleback Church and Mariners Church in Orange County, CA. He currently works as the Studio Manager for Beyond Creative LLC and as the Client Relations Manager for AGI.
Sean Walker
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