Review: RiP-RAC Lead Racks – Mixdown Magazine

Lyrics by Rowena Wise

RiP-RAC | RRP $24.95 per unit

When you think about how much time you’ve spent on audio engineering, there’s a fundamental question to ask yourself. A question that arises through every creative effort. A great perplexity without answer. An existential dilemma, a constant undercurrent. The big question is, how much time have you spent untangling audio cables?

Think about it – even the most organized sound engineers have regularly had to deal with shoddy or confusing cable management. Whether you’re working on a festival, collaborating in an unfamiliar studio, or just going wild and expansive in your own space, the cables get tangled. XLR, TRS, MIDI, power cords, etc. It’s a thing. Since it’s all part of the job description, the bane of your existence may not necessarily be untangling the cable or both. However, once you’ve found the cable management solution that’s right for you, there’s no going back.

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Presentation of RiP-RAC; an extremely simple and effective velcro cable storage solution. They are lightweight, portable and versatile for any studio or live environment. They’re suitable and easy on the eyes for the studio, and are designed for rugged handling for the sound engineer on the go. Each “rack” unit can secure and support multiple coiled cables, with a lightweight and durable plastic velcro composition. They are priced friendly at $24.95 per unit and are 100% Australian made with refreshing, no-frills functionality and branding. The label text begins with “AMAZING” in slanted all-caps text, which may seem like some kind of gimmick. However, they mean business – the RiP-RAC lead racks are pretty amazing.

There are many cable management solutions out there, but what makes the RiP-RAC noise-reducing is their sheer efficiency, flexibility, portability, and brand philosophy. Less hype, less flash, but more innovation. When you first get your hands on them, they don’t take up much space, physically or psychologically. They are simple and unassuming, sitting rolled up in the palm of your hand weighing just under 30g.

The velcro is firm and flexible, and feels oddly light, but when in use, the reassuring “rrrriiiiip” indicates just how strong it is. From a tactile standpoint, this kind of stiff, semi-industrial Velcro might have a bit of a quirky reputation. It might not be the first thing you think of using repeatedly in any home or professional audio environment. Although after a few uses you will find that it is the humble mediator of chaos and order in your workspace.

There are three types of RiP-RAC cable racks which contain a range of cable lengths: yellow can hold up to 6 x 10m cables, green can hold 5 x 20m cables and red holds cables 3 x 30m. Their lengths are respective to the types, ranging from around 55cm to 95cm long, so again – doesn’t take up much space. On the upper end of each lead holder there is a small light metal loop for hanging on the studio wall. Each pack comes with screw hooks to create a dedicated place for them on the walls – so nifty if you’re not a fan of annoying little errands for add-ons.

The metal loop is also a key ring design, which means you have the option of securely hanging them from each other to expand your ultra-organized wire bundles. In total, each type of lead holder can hold up to 10 kg of weight, which is impressive considering their basic design. All three types are similar in weight and size, just with slightly different lengths, tab distances, and amount of tabs. This means that they are all the same price. Pleasant.

RiP-RAC lead racks are super simple and easy to use. All you need to do is lay out your newly acquired wire carrier, wrap your cables around, and secure them to each velcro tab on the rack from bottom to top. Once you’ve filled in the tabs, you have a neat and organized row of cables that you can bend and bundle however you like without anything coming loose. This makes them perfect for duffel bags that might get tossed and searched. The bonus is that each type of color-coded wire holder makes it easy to find the right length of cable. IIf all this doesn’t tickle the imagination of a self-proclaimed OCD audiophile, nothing does.

The company is the brainchild of Paul Anderson, who was involved in the music industry for many years as a DJ and rock n’ roll roadie. His regular experiments with untangling cables before and after shows led to the creative innovation of a more compact, efficient and durable cable storage system: velcro and large key hooks. What started as a hobby shared with friends and family 20 years ago has turned into an awesome product that could become a household name before too long.

What RiP-RAC set out to do is provide simple, efficient and reliable storage solutions for your messy cable piles. A useful little thing to have in your life, yes, but it seems so functional and intuitive that it’s a bit of a big deal. When you use these velcro lead holders, you don’t even have to think about cable organization anymore. Simply roll up each cable when you’re done, secure them on the velcro tabs, then throw it all in your bag or hang it on your walls. Then you get down to the real stuff without having wasted too much brain space on the tedious and mundane. Most of the time, cable organization and responsibility is boring when you’d rather just dive into the creative workflow.

Time is precious and it’s a good idea to take all the preventive measures you can take to save it. In that sense, RiP-RAC lead racks are small and nifty, yes, but they’re a healthier workflow and a huge extra time saver. Potentially invaluable, these items are a valuable addition to any artillery of audio gear.

Visit RiP-RAC for more information or to enquire.

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