How to Make Your Own Audio Visual Tech Kit
If you are in the audiovisual business and deal with live events, having a diverse tech kit can help you in a pinch. I have been in the AV and live events business for over 20 years. Knowledge and experience can get you out of many technical problems, but having a good audiovisual tech kit can be a lifesaver. I am often on a job site like a hotel or office space and having a basic tech kit to help you out of a technical situation is a great comfort. Your tech kit can consist of several different items that cover all aspects of the audiovisual spectrum. A good tech kit should consist of adapters, cables, headphones, multi-tools, and testing equipment. Let’s take a look at how to build to good tech kit.
Making Your Own Audio Visual Tech Kit
Basic Tech Kit
A basic audiovisual tech kit should have a little of everything involved in your technical field. You should consider what are the go-to items that you use the most. Many times it is as simple as an audio or video adapter that will help you convert a signal. Having a selection of video and audio cables can also help. A good pair of headphones is also a must.
Sony MDR7506 Professional Large Diaphragm Headphone
A good pair of headphones is a must in troubleshooting any audio issues like buzzing or monitoring recordings. The Sony MDR7506 is a high-quality headphone. I have had mine for many years. They can take a beating and still work and sound great. Professional headphones are essential for chasing down audio issues. Cheap earbuds just don’t do the job.
The Leatherman Multi-Tool has helped me out in many situations. This tool folds up nicely and is compact. It has a great wrench and knife for wire stripping and cutting tape off cables. It also has an assortment of screwdrivers. This tool is always in my kit and if someone borrows it I always make sure I get it back!
Your audiovisual tech kit should have many different types of audio adapters to convert your signal. You may show up on a job and need to convert 1/4″ to XLR or pad down a feed or ground lift a buzz in the line. You should consider having multiple sets of audio adapters to convert to different types of styles.
Audio Hum Eliminator
Having a buzz in your audio feed can be a real pain and ruin your recordings. Using a hum eliminator can help to clean up the line and in most cases get rid of the buzz.
You should have a switchable attenuator in your kit. This will help in padding down a hot audio signal. This will keep your audio levels consistent.
Audio Ground Lifter
A ground lifter is an awesome adapter to remove ground noise due to power interference.
Having a set of different types of audio cables can help when you need more cable length to get to a mixer. It also helps when an adapter just won’t work. You may want to include cables like stereo mini to RCA, mini to mini, 1/4″ to XLR, XLR Y cable, and a good insert cable for adding effects.
Video adapters and cabling is also a must in any audiovisual tech kit. There are many different formats to consider. HDMI, DVI, SDI, VGA, RCA, and Component are several of the most common signals you will be presented with. Having a well-rounded tech kit to handle all these video signals can make or break a meeting.
There are several types of video adapters that you should have in your tech kit. You may have to convert your video signal to accommodate your needs.
Various video cables in your tech kit are helpful for quick fixes and adding devices to and from a switcher or recording feed. HDMI, DVI, SDI, and VGA are cables that should be in your kit.
Computer networking has become an integral part of audiovisual. Many devices like recording equipment, projectors, switchers, and digital soundboards are all networked together. This allows for control and communication from a laptop, smartphone or tablet. Many devices also allow you to send video through Cat 6 cable. Your tech kit should have some Ethernet troubleshooting equipment to fix cable issue or routing needs.
Ethernet Cable Tester
Network Lan Cable Tester Test Tool
A Network Lan Cable Tester will allow you to test any RJ45, RJ11, RJ12, CAT5, and CAT6 cable. It will test all strands. It is very helpful to detect a faulty Ethernet cable.
Many presenters forget to pack laser pointers. Having one in your tech kit can make you look like a hero.
USB and Ethernet Cables
Various types of USB and Ethernet cables can come in handy, like standard USB and micro USB.
USB Jump Drive
Lexar JumpDrive S75 64GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive
A good USB jump drive is great for file transfer of audio files or powerpoint presentations.
UltraFire 7w 300lm Mini Cree Led Flashlight
A small lightweight flashlight comes in handy for those dark ballrooms.
Several types of batteries can be good for different power requirements like wireless mikes, wireless clickers, and laser pointers. Here are the most useful types of batteries in this industry.
Wireless Presenter Clicker or Remote
Kensington Wireless Presenter
A wireless clicker is always a request. Many presenters or AV companies forget to bring a clicker to remotely advance their slides. I never go on a gig without one.
Etekcity MSR-R500 Digital Multimeter
A voltage meter is a good tool for cable testing and checking electrical connectivity.
Ground Lifter Plug
If you are having buzzing in your audio or video lines sometimes a ground lifter plug can clear this issue.
D Plug Power Cable
6 FT 3 Prong AC Power Cord Cable Plug
A spare D plug can really help when someone forgets to pack one with gear.
Sharpies are a must for labeling soundboards, laptops, and switchers for the correct sources.
White Labeling Tape
Labeling tape is very useful to mark the stage, labeling gear or floor markings to prevent tripping over cables and equipment.
Having a well-stocked audio-visual tech kit can reduce some anxiety in an already stressful enough business. Many of these items have bailed me out of several technical problems. What items have helped in your technical field? Have I missed anything essential? Please feel free to comment.
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What do you suggest as a bag to store and transport these items.
I use a laptop bag and some pouches to keep adapters in them. I have seen many techs use a small Pelican case on wheels.