A vehicle can be a valuable asset for any sound mixer. It is usually the simplest way for you to get to and from work. It can however, be a saving grace when you use it to store odds and ends for your job. I am not talking about production equipment; you should never store your equipment in a car that you aren’t in. What I am talking about are accessories and items that will get you out of a pinch. Here are a few things that I keep in my car.
AUX cords are the basic stereo mini cables that you use to connect your phone to your car radio. They come in handy sometimes when working with lock-it boxes or ERX receivers that have stereo mini outputs. As a Zaxcom user, I would recommend having a few of these in the car at all times.
Sony MDR 7506 Headphones are a must. These headphones are considered somewhat of an industry standard headphone because it is cheap, it is comfortable, and it has a very flat frequency response. It also comes with a threaded headphone adapter and a storage pouch which makes it perfect for the car. It is also recommended to pick up a couple for headphone adapters in order to have backups.
XLR Cables are important for connecting your boom pole to your mixer as well as running cables to and from C Stands and Cameras during interviews. It is a good idea to have a couple of coiled XLR cables, three footers, ten footers, 25 footers, and 50 footers. Sometimes they get cut, connectors ripped off, and even lost. It is a good idea to have a few backups.
A C Stand and Boom Pole Holder are great ideas to have for the quick interview days that pop up. You never want to get caught on a job where they want to do an interview and forgot to tell you. I generally leave mine in the car.
An Extra Wiring Kit is perfect for when you get forgetful when putting together your equipment.The extra kit needs to be a complete duplicate of whatever you are using in your main kit. It can be used as a backup or as a 2nd unit kit if they forget theirs. Make sure to purchase a good case that won’t break easily.
An Emergency kit is simply a cheap backpack with toiletries, (toothbrush, etc..) and a new wardrobe. I’ve worked on jobs where I’ve been 2+ hours away from home and have worked a 16 hour day only to have to drive home to sleep and then drive back 9 hours later. In these instances, staying in a hotel close to set is a better option, and having an emergency bag on you means you won’t have to drive home when you probably shouldn’t, and you can get fresh before the next day starts.
Having emergency food, like energy bars, nuts, or whatever keeps you fueled is a great way to say money in the long run. I am guilty of eating fast food when I am too exhausted driving form from a gig. Having something that will help tide you till you get home is much better.
As a sound utility technician, I wore a utility belt a lot. While day playing, I would keep it in the car to ensure I don’t forget it every day. It easily fits behind the drivers’ seat on the floor. This utility belt would have tweakers, tape, Over covers and under covers, and anything else I might need in a moments notice on set.