Location recording rig

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by larsfarm, Mar 14, 2007.

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  1. larsfarm

    larsfarm Active Member

    Aug 6, 2005
    Home Page:

    How do you organize your rigs when doing location recordings?

    I'm toying with the idea of using my laptop for location recordings. So far I've recorded to a Mackie SDR 24/96 and then transfered to my computer when I'm back home.

    I have a 6RU SKB case with preamps, my SDR, a line mixer for monitoring, a 1RU patchbay in the back (to complement the mixer). Another XLR patchbay to make it possible to connect the mics in the dark on location (the preamp connectors would be far too deep into the dark case). A power strip and a boat load of wall warts. It's allways connected and ready to go. There is still about one cubic inch of unused space left for future growth. It now weighs close to 30kg... If I want to bring my laptop that would be three, no five, more packages, the computer and its wallwart, the audio interface and its wallwart and an external disc.

    Then there are microphones in several cases. Some as bought in their (rather large) cases and a bunch collected in a small tool case.

    Then there are cables, and cables, and cables… and a snake. I usually stick the mics and the smaller cables in a large bag.

    Then there are all the stands… I put them in a bag made for stands that I found at Thomanns.

    There are far too many packages. I'd like all the electronics semipermanently connected and on wheels so I can use it back home or on location without having to reassemble every time. It should have room for a laptop with external disc. I'd also like this setup to be the storage place for all or most microphones and perhaps some of the cables… It should fit in the back of a car.

    How do you package things for location recording?

    best regards
  2. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Apr 19, 2006
    Home Page:
    Lots of flight cases and cable bags, plus a trolley. I used to have most of my gear in a wheeled rack of the sort you describe, and could usually get help to heave it up the stairs when arriving at a venue, but where was everybody at midnight when I'd finished breaking down and needed help with getting the rig out? In the pub, long since.

    So I've gone back to units I can handle on my own, if necessary. It makes for more boxes and more interconnects, but it does give me flexibility of what I use for what sort of gig. Plus, I usually take a spare of the critical items, or at least a way of working round a failure.

    And it does all fit in the back of an estate car.
  3. Costy

    Costy Guest

    Hey there,

    My location recording gear is Apple PowerBook G4 + extrernal
    LaCie 250 Gb drive (in a backpack). I take with me 6-space rack
    with Furman power strip, headphone amp, Makie's Onyx 800R,
    Digi-002R. All is connected. The mics, cables, headphones, guitar
    pedals (if need them) I bring in a big bag. I don't package the
    mic stands. Sometimes I'll bring additional pre's, they also go in
    the bag. I think, that's it.
  4. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Mar 8, 2004
    Tacoma, WA
    Here's how mine is organized...

    Rack 1 - 4U
    Alesis HD24
    Mackie 800R
    Power cables connected, lightpipe connected.

    Rack 2 - 6U
    Millennia HV3D
    Lynx Aurora 8
    Benchmark DAC1
    Other pres if needed but not permanently mounted internally)

    Pelican 1610 Case #1 -
    External Plextor CD-R

    Pelican 1610 Case #2 -
    100' 8x8XLR Snake
    Multiple Mic Cables
    System interconnects
    Flashlight (small)
    Belkin UPS system (Added in 'edit')

    Pelican 1510 Case -
    Microphones (the majority of them at least)
    Custom case foam should be coming in today!!!! woohoo. For now, it's pick and pluck.

    Metal briefcase 1 -
    Computer monitor

    Metal briefcase 2 -
    Mic clips

    Metal briefcase 3 -
    Any accessories needed that won't fit in all of the above (rarely needed)

    Metal briefcase 4 -
    Credit Card processing machine (for those events where we are selling CDs on location - HS events, etc.)

    Mic stand bag -
    Holds about 4 standard boom stands and my 2 AEA 15B tall stands

    Large mic stands -
    Either QuikLok or JTL - neither fit in the bag

    All is strapped to a QuikLok 350lb capacity hand truck and wheeled into location.


  5. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Mar 8, 2004
    Tacoma, WA
    I should also mention that...
    On smaller gigs, I'll only take the Alesis and the Mackie, a few mics, cables and stands.

    For "big" recordings, I'll take the whole thing and use the Alesis as the redundant rig.
  6. d_fu

    d_fu Guest


    I've got things in several smaller racks, in order to be flexible, according to the recording situation. Couple of cases for cables etc, 6 to 8 items all in all, although I sometimes don't use all.

    - A small wooden flightcase for the laptop (old Toshiba Tecra 9000) and RME Multiface plus the required PSUs, external hard drives, data cables, dongles, etc. Mini-studio in one case, so to say. I keep it ready as it is, only take it out here to copy data, or to update the PC or so.
    - A case for mics and some patch cables, plus my trusty old Mackie 1202, as backup or for some additional preamps or whatever. Good to have it with me, in case I need it. Still looking for a better way to keep my mics, though. Like to have them inside a heavy box, though. A small separate case would be too easy to run away with...
    - Two Thomann cases 107220-80.jpg for cables and other assorted stuff from stereo bars to PSUs to multiplugs etc. etc. A Digiface in one, for extra ADAT inputs to the notebook. Also a wireless mic. It just so fits, including all the cables, but I might need to expand sooner or later.
    - A small aluminum case with a Sony DTC-P7 DAT (backup stereo mixdown) and headphones etc.
    - A recently purchased Tascam DA-88 for 8-track backups, even if it's only in 16 bit...
    - An older, now rarely used, PC with an old Sonorus card (in a 4U SKB rack), in case I want to do fully redundant separate recordings with two PCs

    Several varieties of preamp/AD setups:
    - A 4U rack with a Soundcraft Spirit Protracker (8 nice preamps w/ mixer) and an ADI-8 AE converter, which can feed the Multiface and the DA-88 digitally
    - A 2U rack with an Octamic D and a Behringer line mixer (just for monitoring and a stereo mixdown - don't laugh, it was the only affordable device I could find that would do exactly what I wanted, and it works ok).
    Both these setups can split ADAT signals (up to 48 k) to allow a redundant second recording.

    - A new setup with a long MADI snake. A Micstasy and an ADI-642 on stage, running a 50m cable directly into a PC with MADI (which I won't use for live, only for pure recording sessions), or into a MADI-ADAT converter that feeds the Digiface...

    The amount of cabling I have to do is reasonable, I keep as much as possible peramently connected (preamp to mixer or ADC etc.). Quite a number of boxes, but as Boswell said, I can handle it all on my own. Even if the elevator fails after the show, I can carry things down to the car. I'll be cursing and complaining, but I can do it if everyone else is already gone... :lol:

    I keep most of my mic stands and wide stereo bars in my Toyota van permanently... They suffer a bit lookswise, but I don't have to think about them when I go. I take along some additional stands as required.


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