Best Way To Carry Your Audio Gear – Orca Wins!

How are you doing out there?
In NYC, we are starting to get back out into the world of production!
and not just with Zoom! Physically.
2 weeks ago, I was live on set for the first time in months. Whew!
Before the whole shut down happened, I discovered the best way to carry my audio gear. Simple, and a quality set-up.

In the set-up: I’m talking about a MixPre 3ii, with 2 Sanken lavalier mics, my trusty Sony 7506 headphones, batteries, and cables, and some extra goodies.
Sometimes I would switch out the lavs for 2 Shure SM58 mics, when I’m doing a one-on-one interview for a podcast, so throw some cables and small mic stands in the bag. Cloudlifter, as well. Just to boost the gain if needed. Yes, that is the double Cloudlifter, but a single may be more versatile for your needs.

This was all jammed into an Orca-28, and the bag is built just right.

I build it all before leaving the house, so i can use a working build of the kit when I hit location.
Here is a video that someone made which breaks it all down: It lives on the BH site, and he breaks it down a bit more.

The bag itself has all of the right zippers and flaps, with access to anything I need to change out: whether it’s the battery, SD card, ability to mount the wireless receivers, and stash headphones in a front pouch. Protecting the gear with padded material, with stiff honeycomb interior sides, bottom, covered with a durable but soft material. And all of the perfect entry points to get at the gear.

Infinite configurations for your gear with movable dividers, and little platforms (risers?)  to set it up exactly how you will use it.

Not the lightest case, but the best.

Being in NYC, I would often leap into a cab, subway, or Uber, and one thing I had an issue with, was something that most audio bags feature: and open top, with a clear vinyl rain cover giving you access, but not a good closure.
Back to the city vibe, really don’t need all of that expensive gear hanging out while getting to location. Having the kit all laid out to get going fast is great, so I needed another way to be more stealth.
Thankfully, Orca makes a fully enclosed environmental cover that covers the whole bag discreetly,, and lets the normal should straps be used. Well designed, it does the trick. As you can see below, you still have easy access to the bottom so you can swap out batteries or put a fresh SD car in, on your way to location, and nothing will spill out.
Wish it was included, but worth the money for peace of mind.

Now with Covid, you really can’t use lavs, so a boom pole is the call. Even for interviews, you may have seen reporters using a boom pole to maintain a distance from their subject.
So now you’ll change out your mic set-up, add a boom. perhaps a boom pole holder, and light stand.
You’ll want to add the blimp and dead cat, or course, for best sound.
You can strap a boom pole onto the outside of this bag, and that works well on set, but tougher on transport.

So how do you carry all of this?

Orca has this covered as well.


With hidden backpack straps, you can get all that you need in one package, making your to and from location travel, easy and covered. Notice the rolled up cover at the bottom. That is secured with velcro straps so you won’t be flopping around.


However the duffle design came about, this bag has the right compartments and pouches to carry it all.
Here I put some cables, connectors, tabletop mic stands.

 

My boom pool fits pretty well inside one of the side pouches, or in an inside pouch, and depending on the light stand I bring, even if it sticks out, it’s secure. Plenty of room in this duffle!

 

Let’s talk about quality build. It is the same on the duffle, as with the mixer bags. Durable construction will last you a very long time.

Here it is with the OR-28 set on the bottom

It may be simple but the zippers are all very high quality and for the mains, very easy to grab!

The backpack straps can be hidden away, and the zipper for this is super clean and hidden:

 

I know there must be an Orca bag that would fit on top of the main OR-28 kit, but I use one of my other mic bags to carry an array. Extra lavs, shotgun, handhelds, cables, etc.
You can add your lunch, but honestly, the only place I would put any food is in a side pocket, but mostly my moisture paranoia usually requires only that power bars be used.

Did you make it down this far?

So you know what the pros are.

How about cons?

Well, the Orca-28 is pretty great so, I’m good all around.

The duffle bag has sooo much room, that you may want to fill it. If you did, it would be too heavy, and perhaps, unwieldy as a backpack

I just fill it with a hoodie and call it a day.

 Each item is about $180. USD, and I highly recommend.

 

One note on all of this: I am a one man production band. On the last project, I captured location sounds, and some wild lines for coverage. Audio is not my full time position, although when i do it, it must be done right, with the highest quality. All gear I mentioned above with deliver.

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