Thursday, 11 September 2014

AUDIO BAGS: so, you have your recorder, your mics, your cables etc etc. now, what to put them in !
The choice depends on what your field recording interest is. There are 'sound industry' audio bags for example and these are useful for location work because they have various flaps and drop-down sections to allow the rapid connection and change over of mics. They're really good for that & they're very well made & last for years. However they're not ideal for the recordist who wants to go unnoticed in the urban environment or who wants to hike (or even take a short walk) in the countryside. For that you need an unobtrusive bag that also protects your kit and is easy to carry and access.

Personally, I carry my gear most of the time in a decent Camera rucksack - a Crumpler one that's waterproof and has moveable sections inside. Yes, its sometimes less convenient than a dedicated audio bag, but it has lots of advantages - including that its also how I carry my expensive bits of kit in hand luggage when flying. I take an audio bag with me when travelling also and if I know i'll be out recording for long periods of time I often transfer my kit into that. For this reason less rigid cases are my choice.
Of the professional audio bags on the market there are a few 'market leaders' with strong reputations built over years. They're available in various sizes from some manufacturers, to fit specific recorders / mixers etc. and they range in cost from £130 to several hundred pounds.
Kata (though I haven't tried their audio bags myself)
KT systems

One downside of these specific audio bags is, especially in urban spaces, you do stick out like a sore thumb and you do end up looking like someone carrying lots of valuable equipment ! Some of the other options help you blend in more easily.
There is a bag that i've written about elsewhere that is a very good low cost alternative to a proper audio bag and that's the Shakespeare Royalty fishing bag (the old design, not the new one). At least any potential thieves will just think its a bag full of fishing tackle and worms !
As I said earlier I actually use a camera backpack - comfy to carry for longer durations, waterproof, fairly easy to access and won't get you noticed if you pick the right one.

Of the dedicated audio bags Kortwich stand out for several reasons: firstly their design is compact but has all the features needed for most folks. Their bags can be customised and they're also very reasonably priced. Do take a look at their website.

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