Dragging mics around

Discussion in 'Live Sound' started by John Stafford, Apr 9, 2005.

  1. John Stafford

    John Stafford Well-Known Member

    Oct 1, 2004
    Given that most people on this forum do a lot of location recording, I was wondering about mobile mic storage.

    Of course the cases supplied with mics are not always the most suitable. I really hate the Audio Technica cases for the 40 series LDCs. Maybe I've been unlucky, but none of mine are big enough for the mic. so there's a bulge where the lid presses down on the mic. On the other hand, the Rode NT5 case is briefcase sized so it's way over the top. The best case I have is a Behringer -yes I did say Behringer.

    I'd like a case that has insides I can change to suit my needs.

    Any ideas?

  2. Randyman...

    Randyman... Well-Known Member

    Jun 1, 2003
    Houston, TX
    I have a rather large plastic tool chest with wheels that I picked up from Sears Hardware. It is probably larger than you want (Mine holds like 12 mics, 2 Power Supplies, Cables, and Mic Clips/Shock Mounts), but something like that can be a cool mic case. I believe they sell a standard sized "portable" tool box for like $20 (like 24" long x 8" tall x 8" deep). Get some closed-cell foam from a Fabric store, and create your own custom-fit mic slots. If you get something like a toolbox w/ a top compartment, you can use the top compartmet for your mic clips, Shock Mounts, etc...

  3. John Stafford

    John Stafford Well-Known Member

    Oct 1, 2004
    Thanks for that. I have a toolbox that's sort of like a metal suitcase.
    I suppose I could hack away at it until I find a good way to hold my mics without taking them out of their shockmounts. I really like the foam in the Behringer box as it's very sturdy.

    I'd also like a roller case, but after I killed a laptop from humping it around in one of those, it would be cool if I could make some sort of suspension. Maybe those air filled bags you get in some packaging might do the trick.

    Thanks for the idea :cool:

  4. DavidSpearritt

    DavidSpearritt Well-Known Member

    Jan 9, 2005
    Brisbane, Australia
    Home Page:
    John, I am finding and using soft cases more and more. The sort of things that are made by http://www.lowepro.com/

    A soft case offers much more shock protection to its contents, than a hard case. Shock is a more common "load case" for precious contents, ie more so than squashing or scratching, which are the only forces protected by a hard case. I find that bumping, or dropping is more worthwhile to protect against, and a soft case does this well.

    Hard cases tend to transmit the full force magnitude of any bumps, straight into the contents bolted to or hard pressed up against the insides.

    I tried using some harder cases on wheels to save my back, but those hard little wheels transmit nearly all the shock and vibration from rolling across stones, bitumen, and stairs, ledges, guttering, straight through to the contents also.

    My mics are in a little soft lowepro digital camera case, one in each compartment so they don't bump together, and my beloved NagraV is in a bigger LowePro camera bag with velcro partitions that were removed to make room.

    I can throw these over my shoulder (the larger bags have great shoulder straps) and bump into doors without fear of any damage. I wouldn't put them in the hold of an aircraft like that though. They would be inside a hard Samsonite, but within a softcase sarcophagus of course. :)
  5. Midlandmorgan

    Midlandmorgan Active Member

    Jul 21, 2002
    I use a compartmentalized US Army issue footlocker for the "carry it everywhere" routines...the entire thing is stuffed with very soft foam.

    I took a thin piece of plywood and some brackets to make compartments...on the left is the space for cables, strips, clips, etc...on the right is more foam, carrying the mics in their original cases when feasible...then another layer of foam, on which I set the hodge-podger stuff (zipper bags with a couple of 57s, that sort of thing)...

    I do use a handtruck with airfilled tires - that does help soften the ride for the stuff inside...
  6. Angus

    Angus Active Member

    Apr 8, 2005
    I find Pelican cases work great for a good assortment of (mostly SD) mics. True, they're heavy, but the combination of bomb-proof (not to mentioin essentially moisture -proof) exteriors and thick, soft foam interiors that can be easily shaped to exactly the desired mic size means the mics should survive just about anything. IMO Pelican cases aren't such a good choice for LD mics, especially those with dedicated power supplies. They certainly make cases large enough to hold many such mics but I wouldn't want to have to carry one.
  7. Sonarerec

    Sonarerec Guest

    I use an ancient hardcase made originally for a Graphlex Speed Graphic 4x5 camera outfit. It is a box with a hinged top. The inside has a compartment on each end. On the left I can put all my Schoeps and 4003/6 and on the right a pair of TLM193 with shock mounts sitting on top and Atlas stereo bars. Lots of foam rubber for all this. I keep my mics in ziplock bags with the zipper cut off, rolled up, capsule down. This completely surrounds the delicate bits with foam and prevents any condensation. In the center is room for power supplies for the M222 and 4003s, various special cables, toolbag, SF12 in bubble wrap and bag of Shure schockmounts.

  8. Exsultavit

    Exsultavit Active Member

    Jan 5, 2005
    For the gigs I do I have a vintage suitcase that once held an accordian! In it, I have Neumann LD mics, DPA 4003s, KM84s, 86s, etc. Shokmounts and clips and cables for about 12 mics. All the mics are in their own manufacturer's boxes- plastic or wood lined with foam*. When the case is loaded, the mics do not jostle around loosely. This may seem not-cushy-enough to some folks, but I have never had any problem.

    Obviously, this is not for airlines or rough handling. This case goes on my handtruck with pneumatic wheels. Loaded, it probably weighs 30 lbs, and I heave it into my car and stuff- but I 'heave' it gently myself- no roadies.

    I love the idea of having the mics already on the shok mounts, but this seemed impractical to me as it would not save me much time at setup and would greatly increase the volume needed in the case.

    *BTW, I often re-foam the manufacturer's box to hold more stuff. For instance, my DPA pair now fits into ONE DPA box, not two. Same with KM84, etc. This saves space.

    more methods?


  9. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Well-Known Member

    Dec 12, 2001
    Oberlin, OH
    Home Page:
    We use the suitcase method with the microphones in their original cases and we have been doing this for years with no problems.

    There are a couple of good places to look for microphone cases sometimes you can find some very interesting stuff at the GoodWill stores (or stores like them) and I once got a beautiful case with internal baffling/compartments at Big Lots. Sears also has some very interesting cases once in a while and I just saw a very nice aluminum case at http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumber=36871 which looks good for dropping in microphones in their original cases.

    Hope this helps.
  10. ghellquist

    ghellquist Guest

    I use a plywood hardcase, about the size of 3 unit rack case. Inside is foam. The mics goes into smaller containers, sometimes the original packing, sometimes similar to Tupperware boxes (of course, I would be ashamed to really use Tupperware, beeing a boy, but you get the idea). Inside the T* boxes goes foam, cut to shape to holde the mics.

  11. John Stafford

    John Stafford Well-Known Member

    Oct 1, 2004
    Thanks for all the great info!

    At the moment I have a golf bag for stands and cables, and I can usually carry the rest of the stuff. Now I have two mics with power supplies, and will soon have a third. Gone are the days of portability! My usual venue is in the city centre, so I have to use public transport and then walk :cry:

    David, you have just reminded me that I wanted to put up a post about Nagra Gear!

  12. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Mar 8, 2004
    Fredericksburg, VA
    I second the thought on the Pelican cases. They are originally designed for cameras but are now being used for rifles, tools, and military optics. I personally have a fleet of model 1610 cases that I use to carry everything that doesn't mount in a rack. They are rather large, but quite managable. Plus, the soft foam is designed to disperse energy from impacts so it doesn't transmit near as much to the contents.

    (Horror story - one of my interns was loading my Pelican 1610 that contains my cube PC, LCD and Plextor external drive into my truck when he dropped it from about 3 feet. It then tumbled head over bottom down a nice little hill. Everything still works just fine and no scratches.)

    They do, of course, make smaller models. I've found though that these are about the size of a suitcase and can fit almost everything in them - small recorder (such as Nagra) portable pre's, a few mics and a few cables still with plenty of room. What's really cool is, if you're good with CAD, you can send Pelican a CAD drawing of your contents and they'll design pre-cut/die-cut inserts for the case.

    If you need more info on Pelicans, check out http://www.bhphotovideo.com - they have great details and all the options - of course, int'l shipping kinda sucks, but I'm sure someone in the UK carries them. (Like, any pro camera store.)

    BTW... They're water proof/submersible up to 30 feet deep! Not that you would, but hey, it's pretty cool!


Share This Page