The Process

One of my first pre-production questions is: "Will reliable AC power be available where we need it?" Obviously, power at the site greatly increases your equipment options. In many cases, power can't be guaranteed, so plan accordingly-there's plenty of portable battery-powered gear available.

Consider the logistics to and from the site. Just because you can bring something doesn't mean you should, as I have been reminded when humping 75 pound road cases through customs. Still, it's hard to leave gear at home, especially when facing an unfamiliar recording task. As far as I'm concerned, you can't have too many mics and cables, spare batteries and chargers, blank tape, and hopefully, an extra DAT recorder. Finally, it's obvious but bears repeating: make a list and check it twice! If you leave something behind, be prepared to improvise.

For this story, I tried to put together a practical, portable, and reasonably-priced recording kit. The cargo manifest includes:

· Portable DAT deck (with optional outboard A/D converter)
· Headphones
· Several single-point stereo microphones
· Wind screens
· External battery pack for recorder
· Portable phantom power for condenser mics
· Cables and adapters (with spares!)
· A waist-pack to hold all the gear and keep your hands free
· And of course, blank DATs!

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