The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
Truck or Case ?
Old 20th February 2017
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Truck or Case ?

Hopefuly this hasn't been covered elsewhere.

I would like to build a small remote/mobile recording facility in a truck or van.

The questions are;

1) Is it worth it these days as there are so many solutions for P.A./ FOH engineers to do this job?

2) Are there any people out there running a small mobile/remote truck/van that are still getting work?

3) Are clients willing to pay the extra that a truck/van costs ,compared to say a JOECO box running off the out front PA mixing board ?

Last edited by carlos cabellero; 20th February 2017 at 08:58 PM.. Reason: spelling
Old 20th February 2017
  #2
Gear Maniac
 

Only real market for trucks nowadays is for Live Broadcast jobs or similar where you need a good mixing environment straight away, and space for specifically hired staff to work - or with complex Sync requirements. Just tracking for mixing later can easily be done with gear in a small case backstage, and most medium-large PA rigs have this capability anyway. There's lots of smaller trucks now - delivery van size - with pretty amazing track counts as the gear has gotten smaller, but even the cost of parking permits outside venues can strain the budgets promoters allow for recording. If you're more interested in recording sessions with bands in non-studio spaces, rather than live events, a cased-up system lets you be in the room with them, rather than out in the carpark communicating over a speaker.
Old 21st February 2017
  #3
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by carlos cabellero View Post
Hopefuly this hasn't been covered elsewhere.

I would like to build a small remote/mobile recording facility in a truck or van.

The questions are;

1) Is it worth it these days as there are so many solutions for P.A./ FOH engineers to do this job?

2) Are there any people out there running a small mobile/remote truck/van that are still getting work?

3) Are clients willing to pay the extra that a truck/van costs ,compared to say a JOECO box running off the out front PA mixing board ?
It's worth it if you love recording so much that you HAVE to do it. You need to have the tools together even if you only get to work once in awhile. In for a nickel, in for a dollar. There are some people getting work with recording rigs of all sizes, still. A lot of the work available is little or no $. The gigs that pay real money require real gear, real credits and some little hustle. It's very tough to get there from a standing start, but a few talented, driven and lucky people do. Yes, all the digital FOH boards can now make a track-per-input recording with not much more than the click of a mouse. That's what you are up against. So what can you bring to the party?
Old 21st February 2017
  #4
Parking issue, Power issue... (rent a generator? or bring one that is capable to supply air conditioner as well...)
Electronics industry making everything smaller and smaller with much more functionalities... I have no doubt, the smaller and less cases the better.
Old 21st February 2017
  #5
There were a couple of fireman that had an amazing remote truck in this area. I have not talked to them in a while but the last time I talked to them they were hurting for business and only able to keep things going by using their own money to subsidize the endeavor.

I think today the idea of equipping a large truck and using it to do recording of live shows is best left to the professionals who have the money and contacts to keep themselves in business.

I use to work for a local sound company and they had a very nice remote van and we did a lot of remote work for radio stations, record companies and artist. We were busy almost every weekend in Ohio and Michigan. Not sure if that sound company even has that van today.

I do know that today with most large digital FOH consoles they can do multi-track recordings at the push of a button (or mouse) and that in most cases suffices. If it is a live broadcast (rare these days) for a radio station then I guess you would need a separate audio truck.

My advice would be to do some very careful financial and potential work analysis before starting to build your truck.

Best of luck!
Old 21st February 2017
  #6
Lives for gear
New soundcraft ui24r apparently allows direct recording of all channels to either USB stick or computer. Vehicle costs keep going up. It just looks like the technological and economic trends are not favoring a remote truck especially one getting started compared to one with established clients.
Old 21st February 2017
  #7
Lives for gear
The OP mentions PA system interfacing and JoeCo etc, which conveys an idea that it's live shows which are the target ? In that case I'd venture that the cautions listed above are all valid...the USB thumb drive plugged into the typical digital mixing desk is conspiring against you.

However, all is not lost...if you're going to specialize in rock or jazz then there could be a tiny, funky niche waiting out there to be squeezed into....for both live and studio scenarios.

There's a misty eyed romance (evident if you look at many of the plug-in emulations in particular) for the days of analog...and none more so than for the 'classic rock' market. You might be able to inhabit this niche if you outfit your van with an 8 or 16 track tape machine, analog console and go all ferric !!

Needless to add that you need to outfit your brain also with the expertise to line up and maintain said tape machines.....but the rock boys who repeat the mantra that "nothing sounds like bass and drums coming off of tape" will be slobbering at your equipment racks, which will need to sport some vintage effects mojo as well.

To outfit yourself properly for the job could cost more or less than a similar outfitting of all digital gear, dpending on how canny or lucky you are with equipment purchases. The cost of tape would have to be factored into the billing equations.

It's a rare and heady niche to occupy, but if you live within striking distance of several urban areas where populations of musicians exist who worship at the Altar of Analog Antiquity you just might strike an emerging clientele.

Or fail spectacularly....it all depends on how assiduously you do your market research homework ?
Old 21st February 2017
  #8
Just as an aside: We had a lot of problems with our 16 tack MCI machine in the van I mentioned above. Tape machines do not take kindly to shocks and bumps and dirt and temperature variation that are part of the whole "analog in a van" on the road approach.

I guess with a good anti-vibration platform and keeping the recorder under wraps you may not have the same problems we had. We had to align the machine on site every time we moved it which takes time and skills that a lot of audio engineers today don't have. It also takes test tapes and test equipment.

FWIW.

FWIW.
Old 21st February 2017
  #9
Here for the gear
 

Thanks to everyone who has replied.There is a lot to mull over in your excellent posts .
I'll probably do it anyway . I don't have space in my house for a studio so a mobile control room in a van would be one way of solving that .
I have a Yamaha O2r96k desk that I was thinking of using .I would like to use adat extenders to send the mics from the stage box to the truck . I was thinking of the Yamaha ADH8 remote mic amps . Not sure if they'll dovetail with the desk 'tho .
I think a truck is better because you can monitor what's going on and even eq /compress stuff to media. You don't have to use the unusual mics and mic positioning of the PA guys !!
It may be of course that I'm just old fashioned !
Old 21st February 2017
  #10
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas W. Bethe View Post
Just as an aside: We had a lot of problems with our 16 tack MCI machine in the van I mentioned above. Tape machines do not take kindly to shocks and bumps and dirt and temperature variation that are part of the whole "analog in a van" on the road approach.

I guess with a good anti-vibration platform and keeping the recorder under wraps you may not have the same problems we had. We had to align the machine on site every time we moved it which takes time and skills that a lot of audio engineers today don't have. It also takes test tapes and test equipment.

FWIW.

FWIW.
Thomas ,
Many moons ago I used to work on a mobile facility that had 2x MCI 24 tracks. It was my job to line up the machines and yes we had to do it every single time we had a gig . The electronics would drift a lot from day to day .Maintenance was ongoing all the time... those were the days ! I'm hoping the Yamaha stuff is a little more reliable .
Old 1st March 2017
  #11
Lives for gear
 
tourtelot's Avatar
Yep, every day for the Ampex MM1000 decks that we had on the truck when I was a wee lad.

D.
Attached Thumbnails
Truck or Case ?-mm1000.jpeg  
Old 1st March 2017
  #12
Run it past folks like Guy at Le Mobile. They will probably tell you "the boat's full". Biz is down from the heyday of live albums. Unless you want to go big league, keep the overhead down.
Topic:
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump