Pro Audio Secret Handshake

You may not know it – pro audio has a secret handshake.  The fact that you may not know it is what makes it a secret.

Quite simply, the ability to properly reverse-wrap (or over-under wrap – whatever you want to call it) functions as our pro audio industry’s secret handshake.  The next time you find yourself at a large worship concert or church conference hop up on stage after the conference, pick up a cable, start wrapping it, and volunteer to help clean up the audio gear.  In most cases, whether or not you properly wrap the cable will determine whether you are welcomed as an insider (and as useful help) or whether you will be seen as an outsider (and your help will be politely declined).

Aside from being an “insider”, the ability to properly wrap a cable is a very helpful little skill.  Cables will unwrap easier without kinks or tangles, they lay nice an flat on a stage, and when properly placed at the base of a microphone stand will uncoil beautifully as you pick up a microphone and walk away.

If you attend one of our training workshops, this is one of my favourite things to teach.  It’s easier to teach in person – it’s a very tactile, hands-on, type of thing.  However, here are a few notes extracted from the handouts we use in our training workshops.

Give it a shot – It’s a pretty rewarding feeling when you get the knack of it and it finally falls into place.

#1 – Grasp the cable loosely in both hands about shoulder width apart with palms down

#2 – Hold left hand still and gently twist the cable in the right hand, pushing your thumb away from your body with thumb, pulling your forefinger toward your body, and bringing hands together in front of you. You have made the ‘over loop’, with your right hand over the cable.

#3 – Grasp the loop in your left hand, and take another shoulder width length of cable with your right hand.

#4 – This time, slide your thumb towards your body, pushing your forefinger away as you bring your hands together. The loop will form and fall back across your wrist (your hand will end up ‘under the cable’ for the under loop). Grasp the loop with your left hand. You have made an ‘under’ loopreverse-wrap

Need some help? Practice with very small loops of cable! If your loops have a diameter of 2-3 inches they will be easier to control, making the under loop a lot easier.

Download and share the PDF version to share with other volunteers in your church and work through this together.

Pro Audio Secret Handshake