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Is a Grumman or Vespa or a Fit -- a valid remote location vehicle?
Old 27th November 2013
  #1
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Is a Grumman or Vespa or a Fit -- a valid remote location vehicle?

As a musician with an interest in recording techniques, I found myself drawn to the remote possibilities forum. It fit in with my own identity aesthetic principles yada yada.

But I was told today that an aluminum canoe is not a valid article of gear -- in terms of what should be put into a valid list of gear.

From my perspective, a high-end AD converter, such as a BURL B2 Bomber ADC, is equally questionable as a gear item -- but I put it in anyway, for those occasions where one seeks the "absolute" sound, and you simply don't want to worry about the quality of audio conversion.

But related to all that is the idea that sometimes we wish to maximize portability. I've read of Norwegians carting their gear in panniers and bicycle trailers, of our famous Plush selecting a laptop, and Babyface and some KSM137 and riding to a concert in a Vespa. My West Coast correspondent Boojum trucks his gear around in a Honda Fit -- since it is better for hauling stuff than some of the other available cars.

So I picked a Grumman as a favoured conveyance. Normally in the remote recording world a Grumman is a delivery vehicle -- such as a Muffin Truck. But my kind of Grumman is a Grumman 17.5 -- a standard model aluminum canoe.

I think Grummans are as relevant as BURLs to remote recording kits? In NYC a used postal delivery van, but in remote areas of Quebec and Ontario -- it has got to be a Grumman canoe -- or a birch bark or fibreglass or cedar strip! It's an essential bit of kit. Isn't it?

By the way, more and more recording will be done live and folks will need to truck (or take) their gear out of studio environments -- it depends on the genre and artist -- but there is a definite correlation between vehicle or messenger bag capacity and what gear you bring with you.
Old 29th November 2013
  #2
Here for the gear
 

Honda Fits are outrageous. My wife works for a church and we fit TWO (2) full-sized bass timpanii in our Fit. No monkey business, either, like putting one in upside down to make two fit easier. Just slid them in the back and shut the lid.

My wife wanted to send pics to Honda to show them what we did!

The seats fold down completely flat to the floor. That essentially gives you near-minivan space in a sub-compact. Great mileage and solidly built. Pound for pound, dollar for dollar it might be one of the most useful vehicles ever.
Old 29th November 2013
  #3
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Over a period of model years the Honda Civic seems to have become bloated but, I must admit, the Fit has that original DNA and usefulness. With my 1989 Civic I managed a "household move" to Austin Texas from Toronto. The only disadvantage of packing a car like that to the brim -- or the point where the suspension nearly bottoms out -- is that the car runs quite a bit hotter, which can stress the car if the radiator isn't perfect. Over a thirteen year life I had two head gasket jobs -- but the car was certainly brilliant for my nomadic lifestyle.

I think that vehicular choice has a fairly big connection the "remote possibilities" concept. I think it is fantastic to be able to transport the "guts of a studio" in a minimalist package, even down to the point that a Fiat 500 or pannier-equipped motorcycle could well be the perfect mobile rig.

I think that desk-sized mixing boards, which need to be crated when moved, would not fit into Fits and Minis, but I like the idea of those 500 series channels by Awesome Transistor Company that combine -- they have a mix bus running side by side each mic pre. That's definitely compatible with an easily transportable studio.
Old 30th November 2013
  #4
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Setup for Xuan Du all TUBE-TECH recording - YouTube

I've revised my idea of the portable studio -- I think this Tube Tech summing amp and their new Tube Tech MP2 mic amp -- looks like the ticket. The video also identifies the big lantern Josephson C700A microphone for the soloist and a pair of Pearl CC22 on the piano. Who would have thunk. There appears to be no mixing console used. Basically a compressor and the summing amp, as well as several mics and mic amps. The violin just blasts out of my MacBook Pro tinny loudspeakers -- so I think it is a good recording. With the right kind of racking you could probably fit all of this stuff in an aluminum canoe -- or a Honda Fit!
Old 2nd December 2013
  #5
Lives for gear
 
boojum's Avatar
Different horses for different courses. In the vast underpopulated strip that is far northern Canada the canoe is the best answer. The coureur des bois and voyageur knew this well. No roads, no firm surface rules all but those who float. Except in the winter; ask Farley Mowat. Steve Remote and "Hamburg" are two who have geat, wonderful remote trucks. But they have never worked NW of Hudson Bay, eh. That is a different world up there. Fait froide aussi, bien froide. That's "fay fwat" to you, maudit bloke.
Old 2nd December 2013
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boojum View Post
Different horses for different courses. In the vast underpopulated strip that is far northern Canada the canoe is the best answer. The coureur des bois and voyageur knew this well. No roads, no firm surface rules all but those who float. Except in the winter; ask Farley Mowat. Steve Remote and "Hamburg" are two who have geat, wonderful remote trucks. But they have never worked NW of Hudson Bay, eh. That is a different world up there. Fait froide aussi, bien froide. That's "fay fwat" to you, maudit bloke.
Thanks Boojum -- Your recording rig definitely needs a battery-operated option. My most northernly jam was in Inukjuak (AKA Port Harrison, also the location of the film Nanook of the North), on Hudson's Bay, with the late George Livingston. For a couple of times we played electric guitar in a former CBC radio shack (studio) built in the 1950s, about as well appointed as the dressing rooms at an outdoor hockey rink, mostly in plywood and two by fours.
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