One of the things Sweetwater prides itself on is the way we help our customers build complete systems, and one of the key components that often gets overlooked as your live-sound rig grows is finding the perfect portable rack cases and accessories. Whether you're stacking amplifiers, adding outboard compressors and effects, or putting together a complete drive rack, you need the right number of rack spaces (U), the right depth, and the right protection to get the job done.
Whether you go with a portable rack case or a portable rack bag, the first thing you're going to look for is the total mounting space or "rack units" (referred to as U). Each rack space is 1.75", which gives you a good idea of the size of the case you're considering. A pro tip from the seasoned sound-reinforcement engineers at Sweetwater: you may want to consider two modest-size rack cases instead of one large one, especially if you need to move your gear regularly. Different rackmount devices require greater rack depth too, so you'll want to keep an eye on that when you're shopping for a portable racks and cases.
The next thing you'll need to consider about your live-sound rack case or bag is its material. The composition of your case or bag plays a major role in how much protection it provides for your gear. The general rule is that there's a tradeoff between weight and protection: the lighter the material, the more portable; the heavier the material, the better the protection.
For regular gigs that don't demand tossing your rack in the back of a truck with heavy PA speakers and other bulky gear, a cloth-covered rack bag may be the best option. These enclosures still include some rigid materials, but they're as light and portable as they come. Coated wood equipment racks, on the other hand, make up for their bulk and weight by being tough enough to withstand the rigors of flight. A great compromise for everyday gigs that require serious protection and but excellent portability is to go with a polypropylene, ABS, or other durable plastic. They're light, easy to manage, and tough enough for regular touring use.
Once you've found the perfect rack, you'll need rack drawers, shelves, and screws to mount your gear. In addition to the best portable racks and cases on the market from top manufacturers such as Gator, SKB, and LM, you'll find all the essential rack accessories you need right here at Sweetwater, in stock and ready to ship! Take a look in our award-winning online store, and if you can't find what you're looking for, give your personal Sales Engineer a call.
Sweetwater's Sales Engineers are regarded as the most experienced and knowledgeable professionals in the music industry, with extensive music backgrounds and intense training on the latest products and technologies. They are available to offer you personalized product advice any time you need it.