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Author Topic: For those that carry gear around...  (Read 5319 times)

meverylame

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For those that carry gear around...
« on: April 28, 2011, 11:12:09 am »

So I've been a freelance guy for the last couple of years and have my own private little mix room which is great but unfortunately the nature of my work isn't really lending it to that anymore. So I've been thinking about selling my console and taking this show on the road. Anyway I've been snagging up quality ATA shockmount cases everytime I see one though I'm starting to see ALL the potential downfalls of this setup. For those that travel LONG distances with gear.. How do you move it around and any tips on keeping my gear safe?
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Jim Williams

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Re: For those that carry gear around...
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2011, 11:37:00 am »

1. Spares

2. Treat every screw with temp locktite.

3. Insurance

4. Spares

5. Full toolkit and the ability to fix your broken stuff on location
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Podgorny

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Re: For those that carry gear around...
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2011, 11:53:17 am »

Laptop.
Custom Road case for speakers.
Lots of packing blankets.
Molded plastic (Gator or SKB) cases for rackmounted gear.  In my experience, wooden cases can be prohibitively heavy when moving lots of gear around (and gear is heavy enough by itself).  Plus they interlock, so stacks of gear are not easily knocked over.
And most importantly, some sort of floater policy to cover your gear no matter where it is.
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JohnTravis

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Re: For those that carry gear around...
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2011, 02:27:10 pm »

Having seen what a long trip and a bad fall can do to a Studer 800, I would highly recommend getting your stuff insured and also putting those 'tip and tell' things on it if it's going to be shipped by air. If it's going on a truck within your city, just be careful to know what's in each rack and let whoever's handling it know which ones they can stack and which ones they absolutely have to handle with kid gloves. Also make sure you have a way of stopping things from rolling and make sure if you aren't moving it yourself that everything has a case preferably with "this end up" written on it.
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meverylame

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Re: For those that carry gear around...
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2011, 08:41:35 pm »

All super helpful tips guys! I would've never know about a lot of that. Here's one caveat I'm trying to figure out is really this... I'm based in Atlanta but I'm starting to work in California half the year and even a couple of days of rentals would probably be equal to my freight bill. How are you guys dealing with moving gear when its cross country? I just fed ex'ed myself a couple units this last run but when its a lot of stuff I'm sure there are more intelligent ways of doing it.
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JohnTravis

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Re: For those that carry gear around...
« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2011, 09:41:06 pm »

I've had nothing but great service from these guys http://www.rockitcargo.com/. Though to be honest I've never used them without a record company paying the bill, so I have no idea what they charge.

If it's something small it may just be easier to throw it in a sturdy road case, pack it up well and ship it. USPS and Fed-Ex have been surprisingly good and I would say I've yet to open a shipped package and find broken stuff inside, but I don't want to jinx myself.
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Tim Boyce

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Re: For those that carry gear around...
« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2011, 02:34:51 pm »

you can get a logistics guy to arrange all that for you.


FedEx/UPS wanted $3k to ship my 4x4 500lb Pallet of gear cross county (CA->NY)

Got a logistics firm to do it, cost $500 delivered to my door, and actually came on a regular UPS truck.

Good if you have the foresight to arrange it, not too good when you need to leave town that week, and need to ship stuff immediately.

Bubba--Kron

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Re: For those that carry gear around...
« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2011, 04:29:50 pm »

+1 on that.

I had a emt plate delivered from Boston to San diego on a pallat for $575, but was quoted $3grand plus from many companies first. It pays to research that stuff

you can get a logistics guy to arrange all that for you.


FedEx/UPS wanted $3k to ship my 4x4 500lb Pallet of gear cross county (CA->NY)

Got a logistics firm to do it, cost $500 delivered to my door, and actually came on a regular UPS truck.

Good if you have the foresight to arrange it, not too good when you need to leave town that week, and need to ship stuff immediately.
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Fletcher

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Re: For those that carry gear around...
« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2011, 11:04:54 am »

Rock-It Cargo and Sound Moves are both freight forwarders that targeted the music industry - they're not the actual shipping company they're contractors.  That said, they do an excellent job of getting your logistics in order if you don't feel like doing it yourself [like if "self-trucking" isn't an option].  For shipping stuff by air I usually just booked the cargo with the airline directly [usually saves about 25-30%] then truck it to the airport -- you can often book the cargo on the same flight you're on... but again, its a bit of a logistic pain in the ass and if the client is paying for cartage then its usually worth it to go with Rock-It or Sound Moves.

On cases - there are only two companies whose cases I would trust with my stuff.  R&R Cases [out of the Chicago area] and Future Case [out of the Boston area].  With cases you definitely get what you pay for... so stuff like Calzone, Pelican, SKB are pretty much crap.  Anvil can make good cases but you have to make sure you specify they use quality materials... very often Anvil will use similar materials to Calzone [and other "budget" case companies] in order to be "price competitive".

I hope this is of some assistance.

Peace.
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CN Fletcher

mwagener wrote on Sat, 11 September 2004 14:33
We are selling emotions, there are no emotions in a grid


"Recording engineers are an arrogant bunch
If you've spent most of your life with a few thousand dollars worth of musicians in the studio, making a decision every second and a half... and you and  they are going to have to live with it for the rest of your lives, you'll get pretty arrogant too.  It takes a certain amount of balls to do that... something around three"
Malcolm Chisholm

ExcuseMe

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Re: For those that carry gear around...
« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2011, 04:03:38 pm »

My biggest suggestion on all this would be to save yourself the money and get good packaging.  I cannot tell you any many guys (musicians and sound guys) have broken 200 dollar headphones because they didn't bother to get a good packaging for them.  All the cases cost tons, but they're worth it in the long run.  I also agree with having a good repair kit. 
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Fletcher

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Re: For those that carry gear around...
« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2011, 09:48:42 pm »

Yeah - packing fragile things carefully is usually a good idea... like you should plan on having some kind of padding between things like headphones and cable bundles and stuff like that [heavy and can shift].  This is more for ancillary equipment than things like rack gear... which is racked and should be in a condition where you remove the rack cover and voila - its all good.

I was on one of the gigs John Travis mentioned... the one where the Studer A-800 took a header... ultimately the road case it was in [made by Future Case] saved the machine from major damage.  Also in that debacle was another rack that housed several Neve modules.  In fact this gig led to being the major "R&D" factor behind some other frames my old company made... the final version of which featured a 14 ga. welded steel chassis with an 11 ga. steel face panel that was fastened to the chassis at 12 points... the slide rails were built from 5/8" extruded aluminum blocks that were tapped for custom knurled knobs [which replaced the stock Neve knurled knobs] and ran 1/4" deeper into the slide bar for added safety.  These were hellaciously heavy, and pretty far from inexpensive... but they kept the fragile gear safe for sure.

Peace.
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CN Fletcher

mwagener wrote on Sat, 11 September 2004 14:33
We are selling emotions, there are no emotions in a grid


"Recording engineers are an arrogant bunch
If you've spent most of your life with a few thousand dollars worth of musicians in the studio, making a decision every second and a half... and you and  they are going to have to live with it for the rest of your lives, you'll get pretty arrogant too.  It takes a certain amount of balls to do that... something around three"
Malcolm Chisholm

ExcuseMe

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Re: For those that carry gear around...
« Reply #11 on: May 12, 2011, 03:56:50 pm »

I haven't seen much in the way of steel use, other than in your serious racks.  I guess that sort of brings me to my own question: heft vs. protection?  Most guys I know put their best headphones in serious cases, but they normally use those plastic cases.  They're great for the pocket-book and they weigh relatively little.  But are they really better than a good steel or aluminum box? 
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Schimpf

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Re: For those that carry gear around...
« Reply #12 on: May 20, 2011, 07:33:23 pm »

I haven't seen much in the way of steel use, other than in your serious racks.  I guess that sort of brings me to my own question: heft vs. protection?  Most guys I know put their best headphones in serious cases, but they normally use those plastic cases.  They're great for the pocket-book and they weigh relatively little.  But are they really better than a good steel or aluminum box?

I actually like the Pelican products. I drag the 1510 cases all over the world and they last at least a few years of very hard abuse. The big thing for me is the weight of the actual case. When I travel on a plane, it usually has to be under 50 lbs. (even internationally now), so if the case weighs 20 lbs on its own a fully loaded case will be very expensive to move however you choose. I have used Southwest Air to ship a lot of recording equipment with no problems (so far) and it is always much less $$ than any other shipping service I have checked into. You do have to set some things up with the airline beforehand which is a minor pita, but once it's done the gear arrives in a matter of hours which is pretty sweet.

I also like the suggestion about loctite for the screws. I actually use clear nail polish on every screw and bolt. It's shocking how fast those bits will work loose!

Also make sure to zip tie your cases, and include a few extra ties taped to the case by the latches. Inspectors will usually put them back on if they have to cut them to open the cases.

Good luck!
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iCombs

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Re: For those that carry gear around...
« Reply #13 on: July 18, 2011, 12:31:07 pm »

On cases - there are only two companies whose cases I would trust with my stuff.  R&R Cases [out of the Chicago area] and Future Case [out of the Boston area].  With cases you definitely get what you pay for... so stuff like Calzone, Pelican, SKB are pretty much crap.  Anvil can make good cases but you have to make sure you specify they use quality materials... very often Anvil will use similar materials to Calzone [and other "budget" case companies] in order to be "price competitive".

I gotta jump in and say that MY experience with Calzone has been nothing short of stellar.  I had them make the cases for my bass cabs...and they've spent a good 3 years getting bounced around in trailers all over the country and the only issue I've had with them (other than cosmetic scuffing) is that I ordered them without lined foam...so when things get dry in the winter, they're hard to lift off my carpeted cabs (static is a BITCH).  And as far as "price competitive" is concerned...the cases I had made were far from cheap, especially when compared against the REAL budget crap from places like Extreme Cases and New York Case Company (a company I will never buy a case from again).

Compared to a lot of other cases I've bought and seen over the last few years of touring, I wouldn't hesitate to order more cases from Calzone.
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