Coiling cables is an everyday part of live shows. When done incorrectly, however, it can be heartbreaking to watch a loved one, or often time a bandmate, make the same mistakes over and over again. Know that you are not alone and help is available.
FACT: Studies show that over 7,500 sound guys a night suffer through an over-eager drummer or vocalist looking to help.
Approaching a person you care about with gear issues can seem an overwhelming task so the resident Band Psychologists at The Hard Times have provided a 4 step program to provide a starting point for the process.
Identify – Suggest – Intervene – Support
The ISIS process, detailed below, is daunting but effective. It can be difficult to deal with the raw emotions involved with these conversations, but it is better than tolerating the status quo. Remember…coiling cables incorrectly is worse than ISIS.
Identify the problem. Before confrontation, it is important to have your facts straight. Is this impromptu roadie packaging your XLRs wrong or is he just using a different, but equally effective, method than the one you prefer? Either way, this person is wrong. Have they been improperly trained or do they just not care? Firmly identifying the problem will affect how you continue the intervention.
FACT: Incorrect cable coiling is the leading cause of that weird humming noise
Suggest ways to improve. It takes about three minutes to teach someone how to properly wrap up a 1/4″, but you are certainly not going to do it; you’ve got to spend 20 minutes later unknotting and correcting this person’s work. Instead, refer them to youtube where there are a plethora of instructional videos with more being added every 5 seconds.
Intervene if necessary. “No! Ugh, c’mon! Gimme that, just go take some more drums out to the van.”
FACT: 75% of people who coil cables incorrectly will pass the behavior on to their children
Support the learning process. Your colleague had the simplest intentions: help pack the gear quickly to maybe make it home before 3AM. Now they’re part of a whole goddam four-step process. Such is the life of a set up/tear down crew. Let them know that you care and you are there for them…unless they screw it up again.
That’s a wrap, good luck!