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Cable tips

From: Digital Audio Principles

Video: Cable tips

Okay finally, I'd like to just give you a few tips on things with cables, things to keep in mind, and some best practices. One, buy good cables, it's always a benefit, hard to adjust with the cost sometimes, but the payoff is good. If you have a smaller studio, and you don't need tons and tons of cable, it's definitely worth it. So, I encourage you to try and get good cables anytime you can. Also, mark your cables, you can put things on the different ends, tape, labels, numbers, and some people use ponytail holders, or tie wraps, things like that, color-code them. Just do things so that when you have kind of this snarl of cables behind your computer and your interface and stuff, and you have to go back and kind of find the right one, it's easier to track down both ends of that cable and troubleshoot.

Cable tips

Okay finally, I'd like to just give you a few tips on things with cables, things to keep in mind, and some best practices. One, buy good cables, it's always a benefit, hard to adjust with the cost sometimes, but the payoff is good. If you have a smaller studio, and you don't need tons and tons of cable, it's definitely worth it. So, I encourage you to try and get good cables anytime you can. Also, mark your cables, you can put things on the different ends, tape, labels, numbers, and some people use ponytail holders, or tie wraps, things like that, color-code them. Just do things so that when you have kind of this snarl of cables behind your computer and your interface and stuff, and you have to go back and kind of find the right one, it's easier to track down both ends of that cable and troubleshoot.

It's also good with longer mike cables, if you put little things like number stickers around the end, or a piece of colored electrical tape on both ends so you know that the red cables going into this mike. Then when you trace it back into the other room into your mixing board or interface, you know that also here's the red cable that's going into channel 1. So, that's a good thing to do, it makes kind of routing and setting up systems a lot easier. Most cables have markings on them, if they are click stereo pairs like speaker wire. You'll notice speaker wire sometimes it's just black, and you don't see anything, but there will be little ridges in the vinyl or in the plastic coatings.

So just actually touch it with your hand, feel it with your finger, one side will have ridges and will be smooth. When you run those wires from your amplifier to your speaker, just make sure that the red goes to the red and stays on the marked side, and the smooth side goes to the black. It doesn't matter which side you use just make sure that it's even, and use red to red, black to black, positive to negative et cetera. There might also be printed markings, I'll see little strips of white ink on one side so that you know that that side, when you get to the other end of the other cable, wherever it is, you can know which side you're looking at.

Use shorter cables whenever you can. As the signal travels through a cable, it degrades and the longer it travels, the more it degrades. So, it's good to make your cable runs as short as possible so that the quality of your signal stays as pure as possible. It's always good to have an array of short and long cables on hand for different task that come up, but when you are setting up your system, really try and use the shortest cables you can. It will help you maintain the purity or quality of your sound, and it will also make things a little bit neater and easier to work with. So if you can buy a couple of short cables, and a couple of long cables, that's a good idea. Especially when setting up a desktop or small project studio.

You don't need 15 foot cables to run out of the box and then right to the input right next to it. You've got a three or 4 foot cable, and that will help you out. It will keep things cleaner, and it also improves your signal quality. Finally, it's good to cross your audio and AC cables at 90 degree angles to reduce interference. Basically, you know when you're setting up, and you have a bunch of studio stuff, a bunch of bands, and a bunch of microphones out, cables are going to cross each other, it's going to happen. If you find that point where they do cross just kind of bunch up the microphone cables, or the audio cables, and then lay that extension cord or power cord to an amplifier so that it crosses those cables at a 90 degree angle.

This will greatly reduce the possibility of interference. It works, it's pretty simple, and tidies up the cables in certain spots too. So, those are my tips on cables, hopefully they'll help you have a kind of a tidier workspace, better signal flow, stronger signals, and less interference.

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This video is part of

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Digital Audio Principles

110 video lessons · 28319 viewers

Dave Schroeder
Author

 
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  1. 50s
    1. Welcome
      50s
  2. 39m 10s
    1. What is sound?
      4m 15s
    2. Hertz and frequency response
      5m 34s
    3. Phase
      2m 39s
    4. Capturing audio
      3m 39s
    5. Sample rate
      6m 16s
    6. Bit depth
      9m 47s
    7. The waveform
      5m 3s
    8. Audio file formats
      1m 57s
  3. 7m 25s
    1. What is a digital audio workstation?
      2m 59s
    2. Typical DAW signal flow
      4m 26s
  4. 50m 33s
    1. What microphones do
      1m 57s
    2. Element types
      5m 0s
    3. Pickup patterns
      6m 51s
    4. Axis
      2m 52s
    5. Frequency response and the proximity effect
      5m 10s
    6. Phase issues
      1m 41s
    7. Microphone types
      8m 44s
    8. Miking vocals
      5m 39s
    9. Miking amplifiers
      2m 17s
    10. Miking drums
      10m 22s
  5. 16m 39s
    1. Cables and connectors overview
      2m 42s
    2. Balanced and unbalanced cables
      3m 19s
    3. Common cable types
      7m 13s
    4. Cable tips
      3m 25s
  6. 12m 16s
    1. What is an I/O device?
      1m 41s
    2. Analog to digital conversion
      3m 10s
    3. Tour of an audio interface
      4m 49s
    4. Interface considerations
      2m 36s
  7. 21m 5s
    1. What is a preamp?
      3m 21s
    2. Input levels
      5m 29s
    3. Padding
      2m 18s
    4. Phantom power
      2m 37s
    5. Phase reverse
      3m 4s
    6. Preamp demo
      4m 16s
  8. 12m 56s
    1. What is a mixer?
      5m 55s
    2. Input section
      1m 17s
    3. Channel strips
      3m 16s
    4. Master section
      2m 28s
  9. 18m 21s
    1. What is monitoring?
      2m 11s
    2. Speakers
      4m 47s
    3. Room considerations
      5m 43s
    4. Headphone types
      3m 50s
    5. Monitoring levels
      1m 50s
  10. 15m 23s
    1. What role do computers play?
      1m 36s
    2. Performance issues
      4m 11s
    3. Hard drives
      4m 38s
    4. Mechanical noise
      2m 10s
    5. Authorization
      2m 48s
  11. 6m 54s
    1. Planning for recording
      54s
    2. Doing a system check
      1m 26s
    3. Planning your inputs
      1m 42s
    4. The recording environment
      2m 52s
  12. 25m 52s
    1. Types of digital audio software
      38s
    2. Multi-track recorders/sequencers
      4m 56s
    3. Two-track recorders/waveform editors
      4m 55s
    4. Loop-based music production software
      5m 44s
    5. Plug-ins
      6m 56s
    6. Other varieties
      2m 43s
  13. 18m 59s
    1. Common components
      46s
    2. The transport
      2m 4s
    3. The toolbar
      3m 19s
    4. The Edit/Arrange window
      4m 42s
    5. The mixer
      5m 8s
    6. The file list
      3m 0s
  14. 19m 17s
    1. Setting up a session
      3m 30s
    2. Assigning inputs and getting signals
      3m 19s
    3. Input modes
      3m 28s
    4. Overdubbing and punching
      5m 14s
    5. Bouncing down
      3m 46s
  15. 19m 42s
    1. What is editing?
      1m 21s
    2. Waveforms
      2m 53s
    3. Making silent cuts and trims
      7m 1s
    4. Fades and automation
      8m 27s
  16. 1h 23m
    1. What are plug-ins?
      3m 0s
    2. Using plug-ins
      6m 11s
    3. EQs
      7m 4s
    4. Dynamics pt. 1: Compressors, limiters, expanders, and gates
      5m 40s
    5. Dynamics pt 2: Applying dynamic effects
      7m 2s
    6. Pitch shifting
      6m 14s
    7. Reverb
      9m 28s
    8. Echo and delay
      6m 23s
    9. Modulation effects: Phaser, flanger, and chorus
      9m 39s
    10. Sound tools pt. 1: About, gain, normalize
      7m 39s
    11. Sound tools pt. 2: Reverse and time compression/expansion
      6m 29s
    12. Sound tools pt. 3: Noise reducers, dither
      8m 11s
  17. 23m 43s
    1. What is MIDI?
      3m 6s
    2. Keyboard controllers
      1m 23s
    3. Computer-based virtual instruments
      1m 6s
    4. Control surfaces
      1m 6s
    5. Recording and editing MIDI
      12m 4s
    6. Virtual instruments
      4m 58s
  18. 27m 29s
    1. What is mixing?
      1m 54s
    2. Some common objectives
      3m 4s
    3. Some useful techniques
      5m 59s
    4. A quick mixing demo
      16m 32s
  19. 18m 48s
    1. What is mastering?
      2m 24s
    2. Sonic maximization
      9m 43s
    3. Final preparations and exporting
      6m 41s
  20. 13m 34s
    1. What is audio compression?
      2m 16s
    2. Popular formats
      2m 9s
    3. Bit rate, sample rate, and channels
      5m 42s
    4. Other adjustments and considerations
      3m 27s
  21. 15m 6s
    1. Essential gear
      7m 36s
    2. Voice recording setups
      1m 43s
    3. The voice production process
      5m 47s
  22. 10m 4s
    1. Analog vs. digital
      2m 48s
    2. Tube vs. solid state
      5m 6s
    3. The continual upgrade
      2m 10s
  23. 18s
    1. Goodbye
      18s

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