I am back again to write about my Gig Bag. If you know me pretty well it is rare to see me anywhere without my gig bag. Especially when I am working a show. My bag is practically my life.
First off I carry around a small tool box. It is slim enough to fit in my backpack. Please notice the plurals when I list my items below. I try to bring nearly 2 of everything (especially the small stuff). It contains the following:
- Flash Drives. Console backups and transferring files.
- Extra Multitools and Pocket Knives. I always buy the cheapest one I can find because there is a good chance that I will leave it somewhere.
- Extra Flashlight. Depending on the show I may have one already in my pocket or strapped to my waist.
- E-Tape All Colors. Buy a decent brand or it will leave residue. I recommend 3M.
- Medical Tape. Great for theater or for securing a loose Countryman.
- Headlamp Flashlight. Great for darker shows.
- Sharpies. Labeling and doodling.
- Tie Line and Velcro. Cable Management 101
- Disposable Ear Plugs. Perfect for snoozing under deck.
- My Custom Fitted Earplugs. I use these for mixing louder shows (i.e: Brass, Metal, Rap, etc..). Pretty much anything over 95db/a.
- Extra Pair of Universal In Ear Monitors (I’m due for a pair of Westone Customs). These are a spare in case I forget my normal Sony cans.
- Charging Cables (iPhone, GoPro, Micro USB and Power Bricks. “You don’t know what you had until it’s gone.” Extras are always appreciated even by your fellow crewmen.
- Adapters. USB to Ethernet, Thunderbolt to VGA, Etc..
Holy cow. I didn’t realize how much I packed in there until I opened it up.
Main Gig Bag
Electronics is as good of place as any to begin.
- MacBook Pro
- Focusrite 6i6. This one is optional depending on the gig. It is nice for RTA stuff but not necessary for outdoor.
- USB Battery Pack.
- Sony 7506.
- Assortment of Microphones. If I am indoors for the show I have a separate briefcase filled with Microphones otherwise I will pack a talkback mic (E835) and use whatever the event provides.
- Assorted Cabling and Adapters. 1/8th to 1/4th, gender swappers and more.
Other Odds and Ends:
- Gaff Tape. Black and white. Usually I bringing 1″ and a larger roll.
- Board Tape. Sharpies come in hand right about now… Especially if you are rocking an analog console for the show.
- Screwdriver Set
- Extra shirt
- Extra Pair of Socks
- Rain Gear
- Another Layer of Clothing
- Hammock. Rig it up below deck and snooze during down time.
Safety and Security Notes
- Never leave your backpack unattended. For obvious reasons this is a bad idea.
- Allow your backpack to be searched by security. They have a job to do and so do you.
- Never bring anything that you can’t live without. I risk it way too much anyways by bringing all the tech that I do.
- Know your where you will be. If you are going to be outside you should minimize the amount of tech you bring.
There is a lot of information here and honestly my backpack is pretty heavy but I would rather have everything I need than to be scrambling around searching for a screwdriver or extra board tape.
Post your gig bag must-haves below!
Author: Cody Sweeny
Cody Sweeny is a freelance sound engineer based in Des Moines, Iowa. He writes about life experiences, new gear and anything else. He enjoys tinkering with technology, drinking coffee, and reading books.