Review: RiP-RAC Lead Racks

Subscribe to Mixdown Magazine


Review: RiP-RAC Lead Racks

lead organiser
Words by Rowena Wise

RiP-RAC | RRP $24.95 per unit

When you think about the time you have spent audio engineering, there’s one fundamental question to ask yourself. One question that threads itself through every creative endeavour. One great unanswerable puzzlement. One existential quandary, one constant undercurrent. The big question is this: how much of your time have you spent detangling audio cables

Think about it – even the most organised of audio engineers have regularly had to deal with shoddy or confusing cable management. Whether you’re working a festival, collaborating in an unfamiliar studio or just getting nutty and expansive in your own space, cables get tangled. XLR’s, TRS’s, MIDI, power leads, you name it. It’s a thing. Seeing as it’s all part of the job description, the bane of your existence may not necessarily be detangling the odd cable or two. However, once you find the right cable management solution for you, you cannot go back. 

Read more product reviews here.

Introducing RiP-RAC; an extremely simple and effective velcro cable storage solution. They are lightweight, portable, and multi-purpose for any studio or live setting. They’re suitable and easy on the eye for the studio, and are designed for rugged handling for the audio engineer on the move. Each ‘rack’ unit can fasten and support multiple coiled cables, with a composition of lightweight, durable plastic velcro. They’ve got a friendly price tag of $24.95 per unit and are 100% Australian made with a refreshing no-nonsense functionality and branding. The label text starts with ‘AMAZING’ in slanted all-capitals text, which may seem like a kind of gimmick. However, they are not kidding around – RiP-RAC lead racks are kind of amazing.

There are a bunch of cable management solutions out there, but what makes RiP-RAC cut through the noise is their simple effectiveness, flexibility, portability, and brand ethos. Less hype, less flash, yet more innovation. When you first get your hands on one, they don’t take up much real estate, physically or psychologically. They’re simple and unassuming, sitting coiled up in the palm of your hand with a weight of just under 30g.

The velcro is firm and flexible, and is suspiciously lightweight, but during use the reassuring ‘rrrriiiiip’ indicates how sturdy it is. In a tactile sense, this type of rigid, semi-industrial velcro might have a bit of a quirky rep. It may not be the first thing you’d think of to use repetitively in any domestic or pro audio environment. Although after a few uses you’ll find that it’s the humble mediator of chaos and order in your workspace. 

There are three RiP-RAC lead rack types that hold a range of cable lengths – yellow holds up to 6x10m cables, green holds 5x20m cables, and red holds 3x30m cables. Their lengths are respective to the types, ranging from around 55cm to 95cm long, so once again – doesn’t take up much real estate. On the top end of each lead rack there’s a little light weight metal loop for hanging up on the studio wall. Each pack comes with screw hooks for making a dedicated spot for them on the walls – so nifty if you aren’t a fan of going on annoying little errands to acquire add-ons. 

The metal loop is also a key-chain design, which means you have the option of securely hooking them to each other to make your ultra-organised cable bunches bigger. All up, each lead rack type holds up to 10kg in weight, which is impressive considering how basic they are in design. All three types are similar in weight and size, just with slightly different lengths, distances between tabs, and amount of tabs. This means that they’re all the same price. Nice. 

The RiP-RAC lead racks are super straightforward and easy to use. You just lay out your newly-acquired lead rack, coil up your cables and fasten them to each velcro tab on the rack from the bottom up. Once you’ve filled up the tabs you’ve got a neat, organised line of cables that you can bend and bunch up in whatever way you like without anything becoming loose. This makes them great for duffel bags that might get tossed around and rummaged through. The bonus is that each colour-coded lead rack type makes the hunt for the right cable length easier. If all of this doesn’t tickle the fancy of any self-professed OCD audiophile then nothing does. 

The business is the brainchild of Paul Anderson, who has been involved in the music industry for many years as a DJ and a rock n’ roll roadie. His regular experiences with cable de-tangling before and after shows led to the creative innovation of a more compact, efficient, and durable cable storage system: velcro and large keychain hooks. What started out as a hobby shared with friends and family 20 years ago has bloomed into an awesome product that may become a household name before too long. 

What RiP-RAC has set out to do is provide simple, effective, and reliable storage solutions for your piles of messy cables. A useful little thing to have in your life, yes, but it feels so functional and intuitive that it’s a bit of a big deal. When you use these velcro lead racks you don’t even have to think about cable organisation anymore. Just coil up each cable when you’re done, fasten them onto the velcro tabs, then toss it all in your bag or hang it up on your walls. Then you get on with the real stuff without having wasted too much brain space on the fiddly and mundane. Most of the time cable organisation and accountability is annoying when you’d rather just dive into the creative workflow.

Time is precious, and it’s good to take whatever preventative measures you can take to save it. In this sense the RiP-RAC lead racks are small and nifty, yes, but they represent a healthier workflow and a massive incremental time saver. Potentially invaluable, these things are a worthy addition to any artillery of audio gear.

Head to RiP-RAC for more information or to enquire.