Music Maker’s Guide To Travel
The New Year calls for new adventures.
Before you head out on the road, check out Output’s guide of travel essentials to create music on the go.
We asked a composer, laptop DJ, and sound designer at Output —
What’s in your travel bag?
PHIL // COMPOSER
“The key to my travel gear is creating a set up that conforms to the same workflow as my home studio. I fit everything into one backpack for easy mobility and power it all from my laptop to run from a single outlet. All this gear (except for the computer) is cheap and replaceable in case anything gets damaged on the road.”
Timbuk2 Spire Backpack: This pack contains a protective sleeve to carry a laptop with lots of pockets for other gear.
Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Interface: Though small in size, this interface has some of the better Mic Pres on a budget.
Touro 1TB 7200RPM Portable Drive: A cheap, high-speed portable hard drive for running large sample libraries like Output, Cinesamples, Spitfire, etc.
M-Audio Oxygen 25 MIDI Keyboard: A great feeling portable keyboard with a fader and mod wheel that is essential for mocking up orchestral film scores.
J5create – USB3 4 Port Hub: This hub is travel-friendly in size and does not require its own power adapter, which makes it easy to connect a MIDI keyboard, hard drive, interface, and potentially i-Loks to a single computer.
Gauge-ECM87: A cheap condenser microphone with very little coloring of the sound, making it a decent choice to record anything from vocals to acoustic.
Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Headphones: You can’t go wrong with my favorite headphones for mixing when your speakers aren’t handy.
JAKE // LAPTOP DJ
“Playing shows on the road demands a light-weight set up — to sort quickly, check out, and get through the door in time to catch that red eye flight. All portable set ups run from laptop power, but spice up your live set with controlling new plugins and FX with an iPad.”
Incase Icon Pack: I got this pack from my best friend who knows me better than I know myself. It is slim with great pockets on pockets for different gear and sweet chest straps for those moments when the seconds are counting down to your set and you got to make a run for it!
Akai Pro APC40-MKII: A Swiss army knife of MIDI controllers that is perfect for launching clips in Ableton Live & processing to manipulating sends and effects & effect stripes.
Native Instruments TRAKTOR Audio 2:The most portable, lightweight sound card with decent loud audio in the market, not necessarily for studio use but on fleek for the modern DJ.
Apple Ipad: New applications are always on the rise. An iPad is useful for housing new software and keeping you entertained during layovers. Good apps to check out are Konkrete Performer (manipulating parameters in natural sounding way) or Lemur (OSC controller).
Earasers: Your ears are your money makers and plugs are key. Keep them on for openers and take them off for your set 😉
Aleve: Nothing is worse than a migraine during set.
Bag Locks: Make sure to secure your goods when traveling abroad.
Velcro Straps: Dopest of the dope.
Sony MDRV6 Studio Monitor Headphones: These IEMs are good to have during your set and on the road.
JOSH // SOUND DESIGNER
“The goal of my travel set up is to keep my gear safe, stay organized, and allow for recording and music making at a moment’s notice. With the Mono bag, all of my equipment is safe and neat. With my laptop, Zoom H6, and MKP Mini – I’m ready to record sounds and create music on a plane or wherever sounds take me.”
FlyBy by Mono: I love this bag. This modular bag can fit everything I own (not really).. but can fit a whole lot of music gear. It also features a modular breakaway laptop pack.
Power Supply: Power is everything. Cables are an obvious must-have when traveling with a laptop. Also, an overlooked tip is to bring an extension cord for airport terminals to share the wealth and not have to wait for an open socket.
Apple Macbook Pro 15”: This is where the magic happens. My laptop runs my DAWs in Live 9, Pro Tools 11, Logic X and favorite sample libraries like Output, Spitfire, etc.
Zoom H6: Two words – FOUND SOUND…with X/Y, MS, Shotgun, Dual XLR Capsules and windbusters. This is a solid kit to have on hand for any number of sound design and engineering purposes with different mic capsules to make this a very versatile little travel case.
Akai MPK mini MKII: The size makes it a no – brainer MIDI when on the move. As a bonus you get pads, knobs, and a small joystick (if you’re into that kind of stuff).
Universal Audio UAD2 Thunderbolt Satellite: I never leave the house without my UAD plugs. The satellite lets me harness the power of UAD DSP without having to lug around my rackmount Apollo 8.
REI 48oz Water Bottle: Stay hydrated, folks.
Misc: 1tb Lacie Thunderbolt drive, iLok, ATH-M50x Headphones, 1/4” – 1/8” adapters, power strip, passport, change of socks, Manuscript journal to lay out ideas or melodies
– MIDI Controller: Portable, durable, and connectible (i.e. Keith McMillen QuNexus or K-Board and more)
– Your favorite DAW… pick your poison.
– In-Ear Monitors: Noise-isolation or cancellation
– Storage: High speed for large sample libraries like Output, Spitfire, etc.
– Field Recording: Zoom H6, mobile device/ipad
– Mixing: Onboard audio if USB port not available
– Power: Car/international adapters and extension cord are a must.
Safe & Sound Travels from Output!
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