When I’m here, I stay at the Idaho Heritage Inn. It’s a classy Bed & Breakfast with a real history.
Wherever I go, I take a mobile recording set-up. Over the years, it’s gotten simpler and lighter.
Lots of people like the MicPortPro, and I must concur…it’s a lovely little unit for making any XLR mic a USB mic. I have the MXL Mic Mate, a virtual clone. Sadly, they don’t make it any more, but there are other alternatives if you want to check ’em out.
Simple is the key. A mic, mic stand, mic cable, interface and a laptop. If you have room to pack ’em, you might add a pop filter or a sock. Some are using an iPad, now, to read their copy. I still use my iPhone or a Kindle. Headphones are nice if you don’t want to wake the guy next door while you’re editing.
Harlan Hogan’s Porta-Booth Pro is a mighty fine accessory…very nice for keeping your sound from being hollow. Personally, I really enjoy the challenge of making-do with what’s available. Pillows, a chair, some blankets or towels. Somebody should take a picture!
But it’s the little things that can make or break you. Inconsequential, overlooked, taken-for-granted items that can absolutely ruin your session if you need them and don’t have ’em. They’re little in a literal sense, so it’s not a matter of having room. It’s a matter of having them.
Here’s my top 5 in order of importance:
1) 3-prong adapter. You know, the thingy you need when the room where you’re staying doesn’t have an electrical receptor with 3 holes? You’d think they’re everywhere, now, but they’re not (Idaho Heritage Inn a perfect example), and a laptop’s gotta have power.
2) Converter plugs. The kind that make your headphone plug bigger (1/4′ phone plug) or vice-versa. I carry one of each…to make it bigger or smaller.
3) AA and AAA batteries. Sure, you can go down to the 7/11 if you REALLY need ’em….but do you wanna pay $7.39 for two AA batteries?… and if you’re already in your pajamas…it’s a hassle.
4) Swiss Army knife. You should carry one all day 24 hours-a-day anyway. I admit, I’m partial. My dad taught me well. He actually served in the Swiss Army. Really. Not kidding.
5) Redundant cords. One extra mic cord, one extra USB cable with a rounded end, and one with a standard end. Also an extension cord…oh!…and an extra set of those earplug headsets. All the things in #5 together could fit in a coat pocket.
So that’s it! Keep it simple. Use available materials. Take little essentials. An extra USB “thumb” storage drive is nice too.