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Transporting equipment
Old 1st February 2003
BevvyB's Avatar
🎧 15 years
Transporting equipment

How do you get your gear around?

Does anyone have much experience in transporting their gear around the world i.e. on planes. It seems that there are many solutions out there, but I need some reccomendations.

There are sprung racks out there, foamed and all kinds inbetween.

I dunno.

Old 1st February 2003
BevvyB's Avatar
🎧 15 years
And how do you spell reccomendations.?
Old 1st February 2003
Lives for gear
e-cue's Avatar
🎧 15 years
I have a local guy that is fully insured.

When I ship outside the local region he picks up locally and ships with "Sound Moves". I could go directly to SoundMoves, but he get's a high volume rate so I kinda get free local delivery on it anyway.

I've heard a few too many horror stories from Rock It Cargo. One engineer told me his gear got stabbed with a forklift and possibly dropped. When he got in touch with the company, they gave him an attitude about the insurance and said something like "Chill out, our insurance will cover it", but would not cover the rental costs of the gear (totally screwed his DAW up).

PM me if you wanna try my dude.
Old 1st February 2003
Lives for gear
Mike Tholen's Avatar
🎧 15 years
Rock-It Cargo has always been fine for me.
Old 1st February 2003
Gear Maniac
🎧 15 years
I'm sure Steve Remote and Kooster can give you a lot of insight into moving pro gear, you'll find them in Remote Possibilities here on GS.

I travel with gear a lot myself and use everything from Pelican cases, to SKB shock mount racks and Anvil type road cases. They each have their individual advantages. Done right your cases can be transformed into a temporary work surface with the gear on top of hard cases etc.. I haven't used any of the major cartage companies, I have used Fedex without a problem for long distance travel.
Old 1st February 2003
Gear Addict
Curious G's Avatar
🎧 15 years
And how do you spell reccomendations.?

but you were close...
Old 1st February 2003
Lives for gear
Steve Smith's Avatar
🎧 15 years
I have had good luck with Rock-it as well, but I have also had really ****ty luck with Fed-ex. I got a very mangled DA-78 back from a 2 day shipment.. it looked as if it had fallen off a truck high loading dock.. oh well, that oly took 10 months and counting to get the insurance claim setteled..
Old 1st February 2003
Lives for gear
doug_hti's Avatar
🎧 15 years
What sort of travel are you talking about?
Transporting stuff that you are traveling with on airlines?
Or stuff you want to ship somewhere and meet up with it?

If you're talking about taking stuff with you on airlines....then...i'd be happy to help you out.
In 2002, I did over 60 round trip flights, so about 150 flight segments, traveling with a live vocal rack, live InEar Rack, Efx units, and a HD3 system...and it flat out sucks!!! They will kill your gear...
So IME, carry on what you can legally and if your stuff can fit in a pelican case (www.pelican.com), than use them. They will save you tons of weight, they will protect your gear (you can build rackmounts that will fit inside the padded pelican). I travel with two of them a lot, and I have had one for over 3 years that is still not destroyed. Every other rack I have used only last anywhere from 5 round trips to maybe 30.
I've used the cheap SKBs quite a bit, I've used 2 inch shock mounts, 1 inch shock mounts, etc. The problem with typical shock cases, is that they weigh too much!! There are some companies, that sell some cases that are built out of composite materials. However, a 6 space rack may be about $1600 or more... kinda pricey.

I've also found that out of experience, that it's better off to use a very light SKB case (say 6 space) weighing at 7-12 pounds, with 40 pounds of gear in it, then it is to use a one inch shock mount rack weighing 30 pounds with 40 pounds of gear (the 70 pound limit). I didn't think this would be the case, but it is. Because a heavier case weighing in this range will be treated far more rough than a 35-40 total rack. They will consistently drop the 70lb rack the last foot to the ground, which does a lot of the damage, even over the vibration on a flight
However, if you use a light SKB, I still wouldn't put anything of extreme importance in it such as AD/DA converters or hard disk systems. I have also found out that all of my semipro gear, such as focusrite platinum series channel strips, presonus vxp, dbx 166, ahsley 15 band graphic, TC M-One, will break one way or another (and did)...beyond sounds, this is what seperates some gear...TC's m2000 won't break, the spx900's won't break, avalon gear won't break, shure's (flagship) wireless systems are the MOST amazing as far as durability...etc. I will not buy the cheaper stuff unless it has a purpose not traveling...but you get what you pay for.

As far as sensitive gear, I carry my titanium, magma 4 slot and digi 192i/o all on the plane with me. The titanium is in a briefcase with some other firewire drives, the magma 4 slot is in a kenneth cole roller carry on bag with 1" foam on the ends of it and bottom, and then the digi 192 is in a 2 space skb case. If traveling alone, I would be legal with the titanium and magma, but the digi is legal, because i'm traveling with someone else...but I have also put the skb (without the 2 ends) inside a padded pelican, and it was fine.
www.cases-cases.com has some interesting cases to look at.

I custom ordered some stuff from www.cabbagecases.com
They were good, because they were cheap, they did custom jobs very precisely and they had ways of cutting down on weight as much as possible without compromising protection.

So again, I don't know what situation you are speaking of, but hopefully it was of some help.
Old 2nd February 2003
BevvyB's Avatar
🎧 15 years
Doug -

Thanks for such a great reply!

Basically, it's the 'going to the place to work with all your gear in tow' angle that I'm looking at.

Computer, flat monitors, outboard, drives, speakers, keyboards, mics, guitars even. I'm trying to get a small-ISH set up...and work out what could be hired in depending on where I am...I think hiring stuff in Hong Kong would be easy, but in Beijing...um, not sure.

The plan is I show up, set up in a hotel room, work like a beast for 2 weeks, then leave.

And to do this often - well, good luck equipment.

It looks like I need someone to come with me to help me on the hand luggage front! BUT, I don't think I can take a g4 tower...

What would be ideal is the gear is already there waiting for me at the hotel when I arrive the day after...

But I have no experience on travelling like this so thanks for the help!
Old 2nd February 2003
Lives for gear
Meriphew's Avatar
🎧 15 years
I have all of my gear (keyboard modules/drum machines/fx/etc) for live use in a 27 space Anvil shock rack. It's great for playing shows. If you go that route, I would stick to a high quality brand (read:Anvil), as the cheaper ones seem to fall apart quickly. Best of luck to you in your search.
Old 2nd February 2003
member no 666
Fletcher's Avatar
🎧 15 years
Sound Moves, like Rock-It Cargo, are "freight forwarders". They will arrange transit for the cargo, but it won't be treated any differently than if you just have the stuff dropped off with an airline by any other 'freight forwarder'.

FWIW, Sound Moves was started by some folks that used to work for Rock-It cargo... when they left Rock-It, they just took their Rolodex with them and called their clients at Rock-It.

The best way to protect your equipment is good road cases. Cases that are designed to transfer / absorb shock. FWIW, we've worked many years with the Future Case company [I have their number at the office]... over this time they've developed some excellent methods to transfer shock so it protects the equipment.

R&R cases out of IL are the other cases I'd recommend... but frankly, I haven't tried every case out there... so there very well may be some other cases that are as good as R&R and Future Cases [all my **** is in Future Cases... I've lost a 'latch' here and there, but my **** always works when it gets to the destination!!].

Best of luck with your search.
Old 2nd February 2003
Jules's Avatar
G4 tower anyone?

or Laptop "carry on"

Old 2nd February 2003
Gear Nut
verbular's Avatar
🎧 15 years
Hi, I've seen some f**k up cases (no pun inteded) both by Sound Moves and Rock It, though Sound Moves' rates seem to be lower. With Fedex, I've seen some major f**k ups.

I carry mics with me, mostyl tube mics. I use a Pelican with "cut to your size" foam for the actual mics and a Zero Haliburton for the power supplies and cables and clothes and foam as cushioning. The Pelican is carry on, and the Zero is checked.

I've been thinking about the mobile studio concept also and was thinking about gear weight etc, so this thread is very useful, thank you.

It's probably wise to check on freight costs in advance actually, since some places (like Japan) actually charge a lot more (Fedex/DHL definitely do). You also have the carnet issue to deal with.
Old 3rd February 2003
7rojo7's Avatar
🎧 15 years
Oh yeah, the old Carnet ATA, they do it for you on a freight forwarder with their account, otherwise you have to submit to an audit of your tax returns for the last 3 years and do a lot of red tape with an insurance company who covers your ass if you decide to sell your gear in Shanghai and become a Shaolin monk, somehow it seems to me that I had to do talk to the local Chamber of Commerce and the ATA to get my own account and it cost a ****load.
Whatever cases you get they should be case in case, a lot like floating the floor. They're big and heavy but they work and you can find any kind of tabletops on sight to make a studio out of them, kitchen counter height. I have Calzone Cases but I'm currently designing some new stuff as my needs have gotten completely out of hand. I'm wondering why nobody has mentioned cabling. Snakes weigh a ton and you'll probably have to rent them where you go ( it's cheaper than flying them)
Anyway you work it, you still have to reseat any cards that you have installed. Basically it's better to do this as a matter of fact when you're putting your system back together instead of trying to restart a hundred times before you finally end up doing this.
Otherwise, travelling is great as long as you don't have a family waiting for you somewhere. Food, Art and Architecture. Wet the old whistle etc...
Old 3rd February 2003
Gear Head
dstagl's Avatar
🎧 15 years
Once or twice a year I have to haul gear across the country. I've got a big Pelican that I put the bulk of it in now. I would carry-on as many mics as I could fit in my carry-on, and would get my bag searched 99% of the time as a result.

For several years I was just checking it like normal luggage, but after 9/11, it got to be too much of a PITA here. Plus now they're searching luggage so no more locks. If I need anything on location out of town, I ship it now via FedEx. No problems, yet.

For this year's trip, I think I'm going to rent the majority of the gear when I get there because it's going to cost about the same amount.

Old 4th February 2003
7rojo7's Avatar
🎧 15 years
Oh yeah. Rack mount your computer, Marathon for Mac, there are lots for PCs, but the only one I remember is Carillon. Stuff every thing with foam anyway. What flavor of electricity do they have in China? Maybe you should try posting on the remote forum also, even if you really hate multi-posting
Old 21st December 2004
Old 17th September 2009 | Show parent
Gear Maniac
I LOVE YOU's Avatar
🎧 10 years
For you awesome gentlemen I will be posting a pic of the gear that needs to go in the rack...
It is:
Gordon M5 mic preamp + Gordon Gain Controller OR Gordon M4 mic preamp
Prism Orpheus
2 3.5" Hard drives w/ case and psu
BONUS: sturdy, compact, collapsable table
Other bonus: Wesco folding hand cart:
Wesco Folding Hand Cart - The Best Things
πŸ“ Reply

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