A neat and simple stage not only looks good but more importantly makes for an easier pack up at the end of the show and a safe workplace for performers and road crew. And of course, if you have any issues during the show or performance, it makes it much easier to track down and rectify the problem.
There's no right or wrong way, but here’s my 5 tips on how I tackle it:
Firstly locate the power source and run the power cables safely. If you can run them under the stage, all the better.
Where possible use dropboxes for connecting mic cables. These are a mini version of a front of house multicore that don't usually have return channels. I find having one left and right of the stage running to your main mix cuts down on having mic cables running across the stage in long runs. Also, all mic cables can then be accessed at central points on the stage.
Always coil up excess mic leads at the microphone end to keep the dropbox or mixer end tidy.
Of course leads should always be taped down but this is best left until after the sound check - nothing worse than having everything taped down neat and tidy and the drummer then wants his fold back wedge on the opposite side!
I make up and use looms wherever possible where I have to run multiple leads to the same location such as micing up a drum kit, or using lighting trees. Much easier to have multiple leads permanently set up in a neat loom.
Remember that if you have multiple power points available, use them. One 10amp power point is usually not enough to run a PA, backline and lighting. For example, if you've got a 2400W PA system, which is not huge, dividing this by 240V main power equals 10amps and you've now used up one power outlet - and you've still got backline and lights!
Just remember if you've got all your leads run properly and you have a problem, you can easily find it! Call or email if you are staging an event and we will be happy to help with advice or provide an obligation free quote for providing your live sound production.