Colored cables!

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Do you use colored cables and how?

Just black for me
For different signal types
For different voices
Total votes: 114

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Colored cables!

Post by mateo » Mon Dec 07, 2009 4:59 pm

I'm curious to know, who here uses colored cables, and how?

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Post by Robba » Mon Dec 07, 2009 5:04 pm

I use them randomly, but I only have three colors. Would like to have more though, it makes troubleshooting easiers I think.

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Post by theinnerpalm » Mon Dec 07, 2009 5:06 pm

dot com cables are colored by length


Post by Babaluma » Mon Dec 07, 2009 5:08 pm

pretty randomly. i have about 4 different lengths, and each length in numerous colours. i occasionally try and stick to black for the audio path and red for gates/envs/triggers, but that invariably changes!

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Post by tragedybysyntax » Mon Dec 07, 2009 5:13 pm

When I just had the euro and frac going... All I used was random black cables, alot of times if you wanted to trace a cable on the fly, took for ever. So one of the things that got me excited about converting over to banana, was taking advantage of different colored cables. Even if it meant CV is one color and Audio is another... Visually quicker to judge where that cable is going to.

But either way... I think putting some kind of visual separation on black cables is a must. Colored duct tape, heatshrink, ring, glow in the dark unused condoms... whatever it takes. :)
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Post by rezzn8r » Mon Dec 07, 2009 5:15 pm

Coloured cables are great. I have them for both my 1/4 and 1/8 systems. Sometimes used for different signal types, sometimes used for different voices. Either way I find it easier to to understand a patch at a glace with colour-coding than looking at a sea of black, especially if I'm returning to a patch after some time away. Also good for troubleshooting, as already mentioned.
Another (purely psychological, and probably even silly) reason I like coloured cables is the fun factor. They make modular patching feel even more like playing with lego.
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Post by electrik noize » Mon Dec 07, 2009 5:15 pm

my first foray into modular synthesis was on a nord modular. it was setup to default to red for audio, blue for cv and yellow for gates.

I got so use to that color scheme, when I got my modcan I got red, blue and yellow banana cables. Though now I have expanded to orange (red) and purple (blue) if their are multiple voices occurring on the rig.

keeps me sane if there is a dense patch i'm working on

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Post by johnnymad » Mon Dec 07, 2009 5:15 pm

i only use black because that's all i've got. colored ones would come in handy though. way less cable spaghetti, or at least multicolored spaghetti.

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Post by darenager » Mon Dec 07, 2009 6:08 pm

Randomly, 10 coloured ends, primarily to see what is going where. Not worried about using certain colours for signal types though.

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Post by Adam-V » Mon Dec 07, 2009 6:19 pm

I make my own cables so there all grey (since grey is the only colour I can get shielded cable in here). I colour code each end with heatshrink which not only helps with strain relief but tracing patches.


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Post by BananaPlug » Mon Dec 07, 2009 6:23 pm

Colorful Pomona banana cables. The first ones I got were a kit from Serge and the colors (their choice) indicated the different lengths. I got more like that over the years and added gray 12" cables.
4" 8" 12" 24" 36" 48"
In it's own way this is kind of useful, especially when tearing down a patch. Last year I got just a few in white and black of various lengths for when I want something to not get lost in the tangle.

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Post by Adam-V » Mon Dec 07, 2009 6:27 pm

I found the colouring of cables by length to be somewhat infuriating. One of the reasons I stopped using doepfer's cables. The other being that they changed their spec and the cables ended up be really stiff and springy.

I don't have any sort of standard (one colour for CV etc) but I do try to keep the colours for each path in the patches consistent.


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Post by BugBrand » Mon Dec 07, 2009 7:01 pm

On bananas:
Blue/Red for CV (roughly speaking)
Yellow/Green for Audio (...)

I find these colours, in various lengths, do a great intuitive job to build paths up and for me its also good for a quick sorting out of cables when ripping patches appart - I start over regularly. I don't think I would like a system coloured by length.

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Post by mateo » Mon Dec 07, 2009 10:22 pm

Yeah, quite a few companies color their cables by length, which never struck me as particularly useful. I only have black cables at the moment, as that was all that is locally available to me, but I plan on ordering some colored ones soon!

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Post by wetterberg » Mon Dec 07, 2009 11:29 pm

I voted "other" because I change my scheme depending on the mood I'm in or the patch itself; if there is only one voice it makes no sense to do colour coding by voice, but if there are several then it's great!
Sometimes if I have a sprawling and elaborate patch I'll colourcode in terms of placement in the patch; starts one colour by the sound generator, then switches to another by the filters/waveshapers, then a third colour by the vca and effects, you get the idea.

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Post by cbm » Tue Dec 08, 2009 4:22 am

I use the standard colors/lengths that come with a Buchla system, but have customized mine with a variety of flair & bling, via Shrinkwrap and Sharpies.
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Post by SubG » Tue Dec 08, 2009 7:13 am

'collors are easyer',i have to admid now i use some reds because i did buy those per 'accident',but anyhow am used to use black only.

I encourage every patcher to use only one collor because it will help you to understand and/or memorize your patch more easyer over the years.

I u want to re-patch then, u will not pay attention to wich cable goes where,but listen what is been modulated/controled/routed by what,in the end u will re-patch faster.

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Post by wetterberg » Tue Dec 08, 2009 7:19 am

eh? How will not knowing where a given cable goes help with repatching? I can't use my ears to find out where a single black cable in a sea of black cables is going :hmm:
A typical patch on my modular is built over, say, an hour, and contains 20-50 patch cables. It also only gets used for three sessions tops.

If I had to memorize the cabling I would spend all my time doing that. No thanks. :sadbanana:

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Post by bf » Tue Dec 08, 2009 7:25 am

My patch cords with the amphenol plugs I had made have multiple colors that have nothing to do with length. The rest are black cable. I use the one of the appropriate length that I happen to grab from hanging around my neck. That being said, I'm only dealing with 16 modules atm.
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Post by confusional » Tue Dec 08, 2009 10:03 am

Last edited by confusional on Fri Apr 22, 2011 11:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.


Post by SubG » Tue Dec 08, 2009 10:23 am

wetterberg wrote:
If I had to memorize the cabling I would spend all my time doing that. No thanks. :sadbanana:
If u have a sound in your mind,do u actualy know how to patch to get it?

yes?, well then u have the patch in your memory.

if u cannot memorize the cabling = you don't know what u are doing,or you are not able to analyze synthezised sounds,its logic!

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Post by itijik » Tue Dec 08, 2009 10:55 am

lol, you can't memorize complicated/spaghetti patches. You can have basic ideas about how a patch is constructed, but I wouldn't call that memorizing.

If you have a big patch and come back to it another day, do you know exactly what each cable is doing? I doubt it, unless it is a very basic patch.

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Post by prscrptn » Tue Dec 08, 2009 12:21 pm

I use Pomona banana cables in various colors according to length...

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Post by rlainhart » Tue Dec 08, 2009 12:52 pm

I use colored cables in a couple of different ways: for the CV connections from the Continuum Voltage Convertor to the 200e, each set of voice CVs is a unique color. For CV connections in the 200e itself, I use the standard Pomona length color-coding that shipped with the 200e. For audio connections, I color-code groups of voices moving from one set of modules to the next.

For me, color-coding helps me set up my master performance patch faster when I'm patching up for a performance. And I like the different colors just for fun, too.


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Post by seth » Tue Dec 08, 2009 4:29 pm

When I started with MOTM I got a pile of multicolored patch cables in all sorts of lengths during one of the wiseguysynth cable buys. I've always just taken multicolored cables for granted. Years later when I got my Mattson Mini Modular, it came with maybe 30 or 40 1/8-inch patch cables, all of them black. In some ways it looks cool because it's all sleek and black, but in many other ways it's a little hard to work with because it's hard to see where all the different cables go. I definitely vote for color patch cables.

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