You are here

Live Audio Hacks?

For performing musicians and engineers: stagecraft, engineering and gear.

Live Audio Hacks?

Postby channelaudio » Thu Jul 25, 2019 3:10 am

Hey guys,

Curious if any of you guys have found any unexpected "household" items that can be repurposed somehow for live sound applications (ie. on the road, in the shop, load-in, etc).

Examples: golf club bag for mic stands, ball bungees for cables

Always on the look for useful hacks!

User avatar
New here
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2017 8:55 am
Channel Audio - AV Equipment Rental & Event Production

Re: Live Audio Hacks?

Postby AlecSp » Thu Jul 25, 2019 9:48 am

Not "hacks" (shudder at that term), but tips!

Soil pipe for mic stand storage. Cheapest option is ToolStation's 110mm underground pipe, £15 for 2x3m delivered. Cut to roughly 1m lengths for a full-size mic stand, and fix together in a basic wooden frame.

Pencil cases for cheap storage of smaller items, or as replacement mic pouches if you're feeling cheap.

Fenix E05 torch. I'm not a headtorch person. This torch runs forever off a single AAA battery, and can be easily held in the mouth. Superbright. £12 if you look around. Be bold and buy the purple one rather than black - easier to spot when you've put it down, and less likely to walk.
Posts: 462
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2004 1:00 am

Re: Live Audio Hacks?

Postby MarkPAman » Thu Jul 25, 2019 4:52 pm

On the pencil cases - look for the transparent type
- makes finding what you’re looking for much easier. Small “tupperware” type boxes are also useful for storing small bits and pieces.
User avatar
Frequent Poster
Posts: 953
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2006 12:00 am
Location: Somewhere between Portsmouth & Chichester

Re: Live Audio Hacks?

Postby blinddrew » Thu Jul 25, 2019 8:09 pm

I have a few sets of wrist/ankle weights* that are pretty good for adding to the bottom of a boom mic stand to give a bit more stability.
Cheap tool boxes can be good for storing and transporting non-fragile kit (cables etc) - way cheaper than flight cases and frequently come with built in wheels.

* from back when I used to exercise ;)
User avatar
Jedi Poster
Posts: 11271
Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2015 12:00 am
Location: York
Ignore the post count, I have no idea what I'm doing...

Re: Live Audio Hacks?

Postby shufflebeat » Thu Jul 25, 2019 11:18 pm

blinddrew wrote:Cheap tool boxes can be good for storing and transporting non-fragile kit (cables etc) - way cheaper than flight cases and frequently come with built in wheels.

Every so often I suggest this as a mic box, mics in the bottom - clips and accessories in the upper levels. The FatMax ones are built like Peli cases but cost peanuts (lots of peanuts but still peanuts). To my knowledge noone has ever taken my suggestion.

There was a thread some years ago about heavy duty mic stands for hanging super-heavy mics overhead, production models cost £100s. I didn't take much notice at the time but since then I've come across a £20 bike repair stand at Aldi that, with a boom arm in place of the bike, would do the job admirably. Never got round to resurrecting that thread.
Jedi Poster
Posts: 5039
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2007 1:00 am
Location: Manchester, UK
"Dance, dance. wherever you may be, for I am the Lord of the damp settee..."

Do yourself a favour, wear earplugs at gigs.

Re: Live Audio Hacks?

Postby James Perrett » Fri Jul 26, 2019 1:14 am

I use padded drum bags for cables (I bought a set with too many bags for my drum kit so the spare one is the cable bag) and I've also found that drummers stand bags make good mike stand carriers.
User avatar
James Perrett
Posts: 9679
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2001 12:00 am
Location: The wilds of Hampshire
JRP Music - Audio Mastering and Restoration. JRP Music Facebook Page

Re: Live Audio Hacks?

Postby The Korff » Fri Jul 26, 2019 12:17 pm

Large (A4-ish size) clear sandwich bags for cables. They stay coiled in the bags, don't get tangled, and you can instantly find the type you're looking for.
The Korff
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 2207
Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 12:28 pm
Location: The Wrong Precinct

Re: Live Audio Hacks?

Postby ManFromGlass » Fri Jul 26, 2019 12:52 pm

Using the clear freezer bags here too for smaller cables, adapters and such. The freezer bags seem to be a slightly thicker plastic with a better seal than the sandwich bags I started with.

Also filled some of the larger ones with sand and then put them in a sock. A very good mic stand weight that won’t roll away. I have 3 for use with 3 legged stands.

If I can’t find the velcro wraps I repurpose twist ties for power supply cables, chargers etc that have thin wire to keep them neat. I try not to use too much plastic these days for storage as I’m a part time save the planet tree hugger.
User avatar
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 3331
Joined: Sun Jul 24, 2011 12:00 am
Location: In the woods in Canada