Audio cables can be a very deep subject, but for the live sound technician, it doesn’t have to be. In this article, I’ll cover the basics of audio cables, the different types of cables, connector types, and when and where to use a certain cable type. I’ll also mention a few no-no’s when it comes to using audio cables. I generally won’t be referring to other types of cables in this article, such as power cables or digital cables, but some of the information here would apply to those cables, too. I may discuss those cables in a future article.
I’m sure you’ve seen all types of audio cables, from microphone cables, to patch cables interconnecting outboard equipment, to speaker cables. While the popularity of wireless microphones and other wireless devices has reduced the number of cables typically needed on the typical stage, cables are still a necessity for most systems and knowing their makeup and proper use is essential. I’ll forewarn you: This article is quite lengthy, but a treasure trove of good information. So, let’s get right to it!