Cable Management

Here’s an odd question:
What do you guys do in terms of cable-management? I’m rewiring my studio at the moment.
Audio and MIDI cables are looking nice and neat, but I’m stumped for a neat way to tidy up the power leads. I’ve got some of my synths on a shelf, so stuff hanging down is going to be really obvious, but the power leads are, of course, much longer than they need to be, but much less easy to cut to length than audio leads- which I’m custom-making myself.

Any tips, anyone?


Terrible iPhone photo below.
I’ve only done the bottom shelf so far. Not sure yet how I’m going to do the top one.

I don’t know but I’m digging the setup you have there!

How do you like your MachineDrum? Or is that a Mono? I’ve always like Elektron stuff but have been scared off by the pricetags… :-\\

I would loop the ends and spool them underneath those shelves to a long powerstrip. Then youd only have one lead to route along the baseboard cleanly to that outlet

Using shelves to hide ugly cables is the best

maybe mount your powerstrips under the shelf and fix the spools of cable with velcro strips? Dont trim the leads to fit because there is nothing worse than moving something and finding the cord is now too short (personal experience).

Thanks herrprof and qp- good tips!

I’ve attached a 6-way power-strip under the shelf at the left. It’s quite nicely hidden by the sloped shelf, but the cables still hang down. I think I might rig up some kind of cable tray type thing under the power-strip, and just bunch up the excess cable in that. The only problem then is that the cable spaghetti will be visible, because it’ll be a bit lower down on the wall. I think you’re right about not shortening the cables qp. I’m really tempted, but I will resist… :wink:

@Titus Raindrops- yep, it’s a 1st-generation Monomachine. I’d never have bought one new, but I got this on eBay for a not-too-eyewatering price. I’ve not had it long. I’m in two minds about it, to be honest. I love the fact you can change almost every parameter on a per-step basis. On the other hand, the actual synth engines are pretty limited, in a lot of ways. I’m not 100% sure I like the dual filter setup, either. I bought it partly for the vocal synthesis engine, which is also a bit disappointing. It’s great for robo-scat type random vocal-esque noises, but actually getting the thing to sing anything intelligible is an exercise in frustration. I’m looking forward to digging into it a bit more deeply when I get a chance.


If you don’t plan on moving the power cables, maybe use some zip tie mounts. Loop everything so its nice and flat then zip tie em down. Then, photos please! :slight_smile:

Ill also recommend this:

To hide the cables.

Heavy Duty Lock is velcro on steroid btw… get some!

btw, is that one dem pre-built MIDIpals? Recognize that bag it’s sitting on :wink:

@qp that’s not a bad idea. I’ve done something similar with the audio and MIDI cables. They’re velcroed to the underside of the shelf, then velcroed to the shelving rail. I might just bunch the power leads up too, as you suggest, and velcro them to the underside of the shelf, too. I’ve been sticking a screw through the middle of some Ikea cable tidying velcro strips into the plywood shelf. Seems fairy secure.

I’ve bought some braided cable sheathing and I’m going to stuff the audio and MIDI cables inside that to keep them nicely together. That should look nice and neat- which is why it’s so annoying there isn’t as neat a solution for the power :frowning:

I’ll definitely post a photo when it’s all back together again.


There’s plenty of cable management stuff at B&Q, it’s for running cables around skirting boards etc. It’s all modular. You can find it in the electrical section next to the mains trunking.

The cheap option is to run all the cables down some drainpipe or 40mm waste pipe lol.

@6581punk I’ve looked at stuff in B&Q, but nothing really appeals. Also, it’s made for smaller numbers of cables, generally. The bunch of cables from that one shelf is quite fat- there are 8x audio outputs from the synths, a number of audio inputs to them (not sure how many yet- I’m short of sockets on my patchbay), plus MIDI I/O cables for each of the four boxes. The audio cables are relatively heavy-duty mic cable.

Not sure about the drainpipe idea :wink:
I think the braided sheathing will look nicer, as long as I can do something neat with the ends.


Well you can hang cables on hooks.

I thought about using a wine rack to separate cables once, I never did try it though :slight_smile:

@toneburst - Actually that sound nuts! Can you post some sound clips of your robot voice experiments?

@Titus Raindrops I will try and record my attempts tonight. They’re really not all that impressive, though :frowning:

Incidentally, talking of robot voices, I’ve been messing around with old speech chips and the MIDIbox platform.

This one is a SpeakJet chip, being controlled by AudioCommander’s MIDIbox SpeakJet software (but converted by Thorsten to run on the LPC17 processor).
It’s receiving MIDI from Ableton Live

This one is the later SoundGin chip being controlled from the PC SoundGin Console application.

My plan is to code a MIDIbox application to control the SoundGin so that I can make it sing, and based on this library

It’s quite an ambitious project for me though, given I have no experience of coding in C or C++ :frowning:


I love it! They both sound a little different and it would be cool to get them together as an ensemble, like the Mills Brothers in 2/3-part harmony!

Very creative stuff man. Impressive.

Nice Soundcloud page too! I’ve got some listening to do…

@Titus Raindrops Cheers! Bear in mind that a lot of the stuff on my Soundcloud page was done a long time ago, with very little equipment, so it’s pretty lo-fi (and not always in a good way) :wink:


@toneburst. Nice clip man! I like it, very creative and impressive.

I grew up listening to Kraftwerk, so I have a penchant for those singing robots, and vocoders :wink:


Studio wiring so far:

Power cables still messy, and I need to tidy up the ends of the braided sleeving to stop it fraying. Need some heatshrink of the right diameter.