As an audio person what do you carry from gig to gig? What little device has been your life saver at an unfamiliar venue or with an unfamiliar system. It strikes me as a good idea to carry a whole range of little bits and pieces to get you through the gig, and does not mean a good bottle of scotch.
The gear that would be good to cart around religiously from gig to gig includes:
Sharpies – These markers are great for labelling everything in site, writing up set lists. You can get them in many colours. Labelling your water bottle or coffee cup is optional.
Electrical Tape – This stuff has multiple uses and again comes in many colours. White tape is great for labelling your desk etc. The tape is also useful for making temporary cable joins. You can also use it as mark up tape on stage for equipment placement or colour mics so you know where each handheld is.
Gaffa Tape – Useful for a myriad of purposes. Tape your loams down, making temporary cup holders, repairing clothing and shoes, tape set lists down. Basicly holds the industry together.
Cable Tester – a great device to check out those faulty cables worth their weight in gold. The best type are those that can test a variety of different cables such as speakers, mic cables, jack to jack. Even better if the they can indicate what sort of fault there is.
A Multimeter – Another useful tool for checking continuity, polarity.
Batteries – always good to carry some AA, 9 volt batteries. Useful for test speaker phase. Or powering the guitarist effects pedal because the forgot to bring a battery. Also useful in radio mics and and Active DI’s boxes
SPL Meter – very useful tool to make sure you are not overexposing people to excessive volume or to prove to the landlord you are within your legal rights. There are also similar sort of apps available for your smart-phone
Smartphone – these often have useful apps for the audio guy. Things RTA, tone generators, pink and white noise apps.
The Multi-tool(Gerber/Leatherman) – always useful for stripping cables, getting in to equipment, opening cans and bottles, cutting cable ties etc
Torch – get yourself a decent LED torch or maybe to. Much more useful than the torch apps on smart-phones. A headlamp torch is also very handy as it allows you to go hands free into the back of the rack.
So what else should you cart around with you? Well below is a basic list of other bits and pieces that might help get you out of a sticky situation and make the show happen, as there is nothing worse than a show grinding to a halt due to a simple fault.
- Adapters and Adapter Cables- RCA to XLR, JACK to XLR, Mini Jack to XLR. Basic anything you can think of that may need to be connected to the desk etc
- Phase reverse cable
- Speakon joiners
- Contact cleaner Spray – useful for cleaning dodgy connections and pots on gear
- Soldering Iron – gas potable type might be really useful as you do not need to worry about finding power or moving the item to be repaired nearer power.
- Hearing Protection
- Clamps to hold connectors that might need repairing. Easier if you can use both hands to solder and repair connectors,
- spare XLR, Speakon etc connectors plus some reasonable cable to make up leads for those moments when you need another lead.
- Your own DI
- Sticking plaster, bobby pins – mainly for those does musicals with a load of headset radios.
- Note pad to makes notes of settings etc
- Camera to photograph settings
- USB to save settings from Digital consoles
I am sure you can also think of bits and pieces to include in your audio kit. So feel free to share with us.
EDIT: Thanks to some readers for these things that I managed to forget about
- Microphone and cable
- Lecia D5 Laser – anglometer for array angle, setting rough delay times, checking array heights when flown