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5 Must Haves for the Traveling VO

Traveling is one of my favorite things to do. Whether it’s hitting the road for a conference, taking off for a weekend or enjoying a weeks vacation somewhere. Few things get me as excited as airports, GPS destinations and hotel suites.

This year, between conferences and vacations, I’ve already got about an estimated 6 weeks out of the office. It’ll likely end up more. In fact, it’s only the end of February and I’ve already traveled with my gear three times for a total of about two weeks.

When you’re on the go that much, you want to make packing easier. I’ve tried various solutions, especially for my gear.

As many prepare to head to VO Atlanta, I thought I’d put together a list of some of my must-haves for traveling.

5 Must Haves for the Traveling VO

BUBM Universal Travel Gear Organizer: This is one of my favorite finds. It’s a handy little travel organizer that’s perfect for keeping all your charging cables and adapters sorted and tidy. For me, I’ve got an Apple Watch, iPad and iPhone. That’s three lightning cables right there. Throw in the AC plugs, 12V adapters and then other various USB’s… it doesn’t take long to make a mess. Not with this handy organizer.

Buy it on Amazon

Cocoon GRID-IT!: For larger cables – like my XLR – and some of the other adapters I travel with, nothing beats my Grid-It. I have the 8″ x 12″ model. Though, somedays I think I could probably use a bigger one. This things makes packing cords a breeze. Everything stays organized and all in one easy-to-find place!

Buy it on Amazon 

Belkin 3-Outlet Mini Travel Swivel Charger: Start plugging in all your various devices, including chargers, laptops, and whatever other recording gear you may travel with, and it doesn’t take long to run out of outlets. Especially in hotel rooms where you can’t find plugs have the time, or they’re all used up with lamps!! This little unit is GOLD! Turn one plug into 3 + 2 USB’s. Fits perfectly in your carry-on even. I stick mine in my Grid-It.

Buy it on Amazon

X-DRAGON Solar Power Bank: When you’re at a voice over conference there are certain universal truths. You won’t get enough sleep. You’ll learn lot. He who has comfortable shoes wins. And… your phone will be dead. A lot! Unless you have one of these. I never go anywhere without my power bank. What I love about this one is the solar panel. That always gets me extra charge time. A good power bank should give you at least two complete charges. Almost enough to get through one day at a conference! 🙂

Buy it on Amazon

Flexible Spider Tripod: When you’re on the road, you never know where you might have to record. It could be in a hotel. It could be in a rental car. It could be in somebody’s bedroom closet. A lot of VO’s travel with a portable desk stand for their mic. But (from experience) you can’t hang a desk stand from a rearview mirror or an ironing board. This little beauty has held my microphone in all kinds of places and works great every time!

Buy it on Amazon

Bonus Pro Tip

One of the things I’ve finally learned to do is keep a Master Packing List in Evernote.

As often as I travel, I’m still not good enough to remember everything! I also got really tired of making a list every single time I went somewhere.

When it comes to traveling with gear, especially, you’re always going to need the same stuff.

Now I keep a Master Packing List in Evernote that I can copy and paste before every trip. That way I know I’ll have all my essentials, and can just add any other trip specific items to the list.

Happy Trails!

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Should You Take A “Working” Voice Over Vacation?

After a recent road trip, where I recorded an audition in the back seat of a Ford Fusion (and booked the job) and recorded a couple gigs in hotel rooms in West Virginia and Tennessee, it left some people asking… “why are you taking road gear to work on your vacation?”

Great question! Fair question! This week, I share a few thoughts on the subject.

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Build A Travel Case For Your Sennheiser MKH-416 For Under $10

One of the reasons I wanted to buy a Sennheiser MKK-416 (other than the awesome sound quality) was it’s size. It’s portable. Very easy to stick in a suitcase and take on the road. This way, I’ve got the same mic whether I’m recording at home or in a hotel room.

Consistent, quality sound was my goal.

That said, the case the 416 comes in isn’t exactly travel friendly. At 13.5″ x 3.5″ x 2.5″, it’s going to take up an awful lot of space in a carry-on or backpack.

I wanted something smaller. I built it for under $10.

Shopping List

Visit your local hardware store. Here’s what you’ll need.

1 x 1.5″ piece of ABS pipe 10″ long. (Most stores sell it by the foot) Cost: $1.45 / ft

2 x 1.5″ ABS caps. Cost: $6

1 x 1/2″ Foam pipe insulation. Cost $0.59

Total: $8.04 CAD (you American’s will pay even less!)

Build A Travel Case For Your Sennheiser MKH-416 For Under $10

Cut the pipe and insulation to 10″ in length.

The end. (This is WAY easier than building IKEA furniture!)

The 416 fits perfectly inside a 1/2″ piece of pipe insulation. The pipe insulation fits perfectly inside the 1.5″ ABS. Your mic is now doubly protected with a foam layer and a hard outer shell… just like the original case it came in. Only, it’ll take up a fraction of the space in your suitcase!

Happy (and safe) travels with your 416!


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What’s Your Travel Setup Of Choice?

A couple days ago I wrote a post about taking a vacation vacation vs taking a working vacation.

Now that technology has changed the world of voice over it’s really easy to take gear with you on the road to record. iPads, USB microphones, and porta-booths, to name a few, are very compact, lightweight, and easy to pack!

Now you never have to worry about missing an opportunity because you weren’t in your home studio. Continue reading What’s Your Travel Setup Of Choice?

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Passport – I Can Do Voiceover From Anywhere!

Passport - Marc Scott - Male Voice TalentI’ve talked about getting my passport for a couple of years now. I don’t really know why. I’m not a world traveler by any account. Then again, perhaps that’s because I don’t have my passport? Hmm…

Last September (2011) I finally decided it was time to stop talking, thinking and dreaming about it, and actually get it done. So I started the process. Filled out the applications. Gathered my references. Convinced a friend to be my Guarantor. Continue reading Passport – I Can Do Voiceover From Anywhere!