The Octopus – Cable Management for the DJ on the Go, Cheaply

There comes a time when you start bringing a lot of equipment with you. Each piece of equipment will have at least 1 wire you need to attach to it. Multiple power plugs may need to be plugged in. USB cords in and out of the computer. USB Hubs.. power plugs, hard drives. The list can go on.

I normally bring a NI Kontrol S2, a NI Maschine Mikro (mk1), a NI Kontrol F1, and my favorite toy of all, the Midi Fighter 3D. I’m using a Belkin 4 port powered USB hub and of course my Apple MacBook.

I need 4 USB cables for my equipment, plus 1 USB for the Hub to connect to the computer. I now need 3 spots on a power strip. 1 for the MacBook, 1 for the S2 and 1 more for the USB Hub. When you travel from gig to gig 3 spots is a lot to ask for on a busy power strip. I needed a solution to make the set up and take down quick and painless. Something that would help with organizing and storing all at once. I needed a cheap solution, because.. why not.

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Sterilite 6 Quart Storage Box

So I headed down to Walmart to see what I could pick up. I found a Sterilite 6 Quart Storage Box that seemed to be exactly the size that I needed. It came out to a very great price, less then 3 bucks with tax. Probably cheaper online but I have no patience.

Took the box home and pulled out a drill. *IMPORTANT* Kids before you go drilling or cutting anything make sure you have a parent or guardian near by to supervise you. Things can get really ugly and fast.

Step 1. I made 2 holes on each side of the box around an inch in diameter for one and about 2 inches for the other, just big enough to get a 3 prong plug through it. The smaller hole will be where the other USB and power plugs go through which are normally thinner cable tips.

Step 1. I made 2 holes on each side of the box around an inch in diameter for one and about 2 inches for the other, just big enough to get a 3 prong plug through it. The smaller hole will be where the other USB and power plugs go through which are normally thinner cable tips.

I then used a razor to create a notches on either side of the box. This is so we can bring the wires back into the box without  having to rethread all the wires. I put the notch on the opposite side of the bigger hole. We are going to be dropping a power strip in the box, so the cable will also double as a handle in the end.

Step 2. I then used a razor to create notches on either side of the box. This is so we can bring the wires back into the box without having to rethread all the wires.

Step 3. I dropped in the power strip and added the other plugs for the laptop, the Kontrol S2 and the Belkin 4 port USB hub.

Step 3. I dropped in the power strip and added the other plugs for the laptop, the Kontrol S2 and the Belkin 4 port USB hub.

Step 4. I threaded all the wires through the smaller holes. Added all the wires needed for my USB devices to the USB hub.

Step 4. I threaded all the wires through the smaller holes. Added all the wires needed for my USB devices to the USB hub. Tried to keep things as neat as possible with the wire tying.

That is it! This is what she looks like when in use. Up to 7 cables come out of one end alone. (only 6 were used in this setup)

That is it! This is what she looks like when in use. Up to 7 cables come out of one end alone. (only 6 were used in this setup) Plus the 1 cable for the power strip. Making it a total of 8 wires.

Once I am done, I wrap up all the cables and use a velcro wire tie to hold them together. I then bring all of the wires back into the box using the notch I created earlier.

Once I’m done, I wrap up all the cables and use a velcro wire tie to hold them together. I then bring all of the wires back into the box using the notches I created earlier.

Since there is a lot of space left over, I decided to store a couple of extension cords and my S2 USB cable.

Since there is a lot of space left over, I decided to store a couple of extension cords and my S2 USB cable.

All packed up and closed (USB cables side)

All packed up and closed (USB cables side)

All packed up and closed (Power Cable side) *Cable doubles as a handle*

All packed up and closed (power strip cable side) *Cable doubles as a handle*

That’s it! This little system has reduced the clutter and has helped with setup and take down times. I hope this helps! Let me know in the comments what you do to reduce the clutter on your rig.

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