The tour with Bobby Flynn is hotting up now. Over the weekend we had two shows: In Brisbane and the Gold Coast, which meant that I spent about 8 hours of my weekend setting up and tearing down my rig, aligning projectors and screens, running cables, and running around. The tour map currently displays 16 gigs down Australia’s east coast, and we will have another 35 or so joining them over the next week or so as dates are finalized. The cardboard box protecting my V4 during transport has already torn, and I’m sick of plugging and unplugging cables. So I need to get this stuff cased up, for the protection of my hardware and my sainity.

Jaymis' VJ Rig for Bobby Flynn Australian Tour

The current list (left to right, top to bottom):

  • Wii – for pre-show warmups and after hours fun. Need to organize a wireless sensor bar.
  • Behringer BCD2000 – Ghetto, but functional.
  • Behringer BCR2000 – less ghetto than the BCD2000, and more functional.
  • Numark AVM02 – Reviewed here.
  • Samsung 940n 19″ LCD Monitor
  • Lacie 200GB External Drive – Several years old, so should probably be replaced
  • Macbook – Main Laptop. Running VDMX, Max/MSP/Jitter, Ableton Live etc.
  • Thinkpad – Backup laptop. Running Ableton Live, Max/MSP/Jitter, Processing etc.
  • Korg Kaoss Pad Entrancer – Video/Audio effects unit.
  • Edirol V4
  • Small Form Factor PC
  • Voxson portable DVD player/monitor

Of course everyone has a different idea of what a roadcase should be. Peter’s super-urban New Yorker lifestyle and transport situation makes the words “roadcase” and “backpack” basically interchangeable for him. In Brisbane the living space and transport isn’t quite so cramped, so I’ve traditionally used a big suitcase packed with stuff, and accompanied it with various gear in cardboard boxes. This is cheap, but requires a full setup and teardown for each gig. Fine when you’re playing a couple of times per month, but right now I have 19 shows scheduled for May alone, which means I’d lose approximately 2 days of my life to packing and unpacking my VJCase. I can’t lose those days though, as I have them days earmarked for learning Max/MSP/Jitter and groupie-related activities.

So, something which lets me keep most things plugged in would be ideal. I also need to keep my kit at around 20Kg or less per “item”, as some shows will require air travel.

As luck would have it, while I was writing the band’s bass player and tour organization guru Mickey visited and brought with him the lid from the front of a disused rack case. We tried it out and discovered that it fit my MIDI controllers, V4 and Entrancer perfectly. So here’s the current situation:

Testing Jaymis' VJ Rig for Bobby Flynn Australian Tour

The plan right now is to split everything into 2 cases. The first – rack-style – holding my PC, Monitor, AVM02 and other miscellaneous gear, while the second (above) gets a lid, so it can house midi controllers, laptops, effects etc. and act as 2 tables for the actual performances.

I have some ideas on how to proceed, but I’d love to hear feedback from CDMo readers. How do you transport your gear to shows? How can I organize things so there’s the minimum setup time for each gig? Why would I bother casing Behringer controllers anyway?