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15 hours ago, Mick said:

Does anyone have any recommendations for custom sound cart manufacturers?

Thanks

Mick

 

15 hours ago, Mick said:

Does anyone have any recommendations for custom sound cart manufacturers?

Thanks

Mick

I sent you an email about carts.  let me know if you can’t find it. Mark Pope

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6 hours ago, bary555 said:

http://soundcart.audio/

 

heard a lot of good words. i don't own one, but want to order some time. also i used bebop cart-bag once. nice.

Same company - http://www.soundcart.tv/

 

I got a MiniCart from them and love it.

 

These carts are not  made to order (though I think you can get some bespoke specs if needed) but they are designed to be modular so you can set them up exactly how you want .

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40 minutes ago, DanieldH said:

Just a humble question.

When seeking custom, why would one seek ppl who know soundcarts rather than local casebuilders, bicycle nerds, carpenters, orthopedic and rehab ppl? 

 

 

Sound cart builders know what our particular needs are and have usually gone through the trial and error process in design and building and should have a better idea of what's going to or more importantly not going to work

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2 hours ago, Nate C said:

Sound cart builders know what our particular needs are and have usually gone through the trial and error process in design and building and should have a better idea of what's going to or more importantly not going to work

Some on-set experience is very valuable in designing a cart.  Knowledge of what will get loaded on it, how and in what positions it will be used, what the environments will do to it, what sorts of vehicles etc it will have to ride in, on and on.  This is why so many mixers end up building their own--it's very personal.

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On 11/28/2020 at 5:06 PM, Philip Perkins said:

Some on-set experience is very valuable in designing a cart.  Knowledge of what will get loaded on it, how and in what positions it will be used, what the environments will do to it, what sorts of vehicles etc it will have to ride in, on and on.  This is why so many mixers end up building their own--it's very personal.

I agree some set experience is helpful and or lots of research. It is also good to design something that is truly customizable, not just hyped to be. I think the test for that is can a newly designed but previously unplanned accessory be easily and quick releasably attached or detached. That requires lots of knowledge, creativity and skill and is the part that is far more difficult and time consuming than almost anybody could imagine. Your needs will change over time. 
 

Frankly, I think many people build their own cart because they think it will be fun or easier or cheaper than it is and they don’t know what they don’t know. I have not been able to figure out how it came to be that so many location sound mixer‘s attempt to build their own cart but camera operators, DITs and Steadi cam operators do not. If you were building a hospital would you 1) hire a doctor to design it or 2) hire an architect who specializes in hospitals and who will by law have to hire a structural engineer to design the structural elements? I hope you pick the latter.

 

I have seen DIY Sound Cart designs that cost about twice as much as they should have in 8020 Inc. parts And yet the design is much less strong and useful than one I could have built with parts costing half as much. When I saw one get lots of raving compliments I just smiled and bit my lip. That’s the thing with structural design. More material just costs more and weighs more but there’s no guarantee more material in the wrong place makes it one bit stronger. Also, connections can be the most important part as they are often the weakest link and the least understood and can cause catastrophic failures.

 

I have been working on my design for a soon to be released cart for almost 4 years and abandoned (for now) the working prototype of the earlier horizontal  version for a completely different Rackmount optional vertical version after 2-1/2 years. Nobody building their own cart just for their own use would ever go to that expense, time and trouble to strive for perfection. Someone like me with a BS in Architecture and 3 years as a structural engineer working for SOM under the engineer who designed Sear Tower in Chicago who has worked in video production since 2009 and is very detail oriented would.
 

I have seen fiascos like a camera cart designed by a “30 year grip” be a big sales flop even though manufactured and sold through MSE. I could’ve told them in advance it was a terrible design but I doubt they would have listened. It was obvious they probably liked it because it utilized a lot of parts that came from their existing catalog.  That’s wishful thinking but not a good reason to go with a design. The only feature I liked about the prototype they eliminated when they made the production version. When I talked at NAB to the now late owner of MSE, Ed, he told me they didn’t even bother to bring it to that show because they only sold one at the previous show.

 

I won’t name names but on one of the Ursa Straps location sound cart interviews on YouTube you will hear an Academy Award winning location sound mixer confirm that after buying his cart he had to have the large wheels and axle repositioned so that it “wouldn’t fall over into a mud puddle”, his words.  This was a professionally manufactured standard model cart, made by one of the oldest sound cart manufacturers if not the oldest. The minute I saw the design it was obvious to me they put the axle where they did to make the cart’s big wheels not stick out as much for tight spaces, but did so with no concern for the fact that that would make it very prone to flipping over. That’s an amateur choice and not one a company like mine with a name like Stabilitech would dare choose. The same manufacturer tried to scare people into not buying carts from the newer players in the industry by insinuating they might go out of business and you won’t be able to get replacement parts. Companies of all ages go out of business every year, especially ones with cart designs prone to flipping, so I would recommend the best solution to that is to buy a cart designed with little to no proprietary parts, which I am doing for that reason as one selling point. Most cart manufacturers intentionally lock you into proprietary designs because they count on having way overpriced accessories, that you can only get from them, to boost profits. I recommend you consider the cost of the accessories and whether the type of design locks you into that brand’s accessories when choosing carts, even the accessories you may not realize you will want till later or may not exist yet.

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I just ordered a Rastorder DD cart this week as I want something that is flexible for either one man band mixing with a bag or bigger shoots.  Rob seems like a great guy and made the process very easy (even with some customization) despite him being +19 timezone away from me.  Looking forward to giving it a spin once it arrives.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I've been using the OR48 from Orca. In my video I said the case weighs 50 lbs. packed, but my friend said it was more like 30 lbs. 

Works great for the jobs I do...

$600 US.

 

 

 

Edited by leo153
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On 11/30/2020 at 3:42 AM, indiefilm said:

I agree some set experience is helpful and or lots of research. It is also good to design something that is truly customizable, not just hyped to be. I think the test for that is can a newly designed but previously unplanned accessory be easily and quick releasably attached or detached. That requires lots of knowledge, creativity and skill and is the part that is far more difficult and time consuming than almost anybody could imagine. Your needs will change over time. 
 

Frankly, I think many people build their own cart because they think it will be fun or easier or cheaper than it is and they don’t know what they don’t know. I have not been able to figure out how it came to be that so many location sound mixer‘s attempt to build their own cart but camera operators, DITs and Steadi cam operators do not. If you were building a hospital would you 1) hire a doctor to design it or 2) hire an architect who specializes in hospitals and who will by law have to hire a structural engineer to design the structural elements? I hope you pick the latter.

 

I have seen DIY Sound Cart designs that cost about twice as much as they should have in 8020 Inc. parts And yet the design is much less strong and useful than one I could have built with parts costing half as much. When I saw one get lots of raving compliments I just smiled and bit my lip. That’s the thing with structural design. More material just costs more and weighs more but there’s no guarantee more material in the wrong place makes it one bit stronger. Also, connections can be the most important part as they are often the weakest link and the least understood and can cause catastrophic failures.

 

I have been working on my design for a soon to be released cart for almost 4 years and abandoned (for now) the working prototype of the earlier horizontal  version for a completely different Rackmount optional vertical version after 2-1/2 years. Nobody building their own cart just for their own use would ever go to that expense, time and trouble to strive for perfection. Someone like me with a BS in Architecture and 3 years as a structural engineer working for SOM under the engineer who designed Sear Tower in Chicago who has worked in video production since 2009 and is very detail oriented would.
 

I have seen fiascos like a camera cart designed by a “30 year grip” be a big sales flop even though manufactured and sold through MSE. I could’ve told them in advance it was a terrible design but I doubt they would have listened. It was obvious they probably liked it because it utilized a lot of parts that came from their existing catalog.  That’s wishful thinking but not a good reason to go with a design. The only feature I liked about the prototype they eliminated when they made the production version. When I talked at NAB to the now late owner of MSE, Ed, he told me they didn’t even bother to bring it to that show because they only sold one at the previous show.

 

I won’t name names but on one of the Ursa Straps location sound cart interviews on YouTube you will hear an Academy Award winning location sound mixer confirm that after buying his cart he had to have the large wheels and axle repositioned so that it “wouldn’t fall over into a mud puddle”, his words.  This was a professionally manufactured standard model cart, made by one of the oldest sound cart manufacturers if not the oldest. The minute I saw the design it was obvious to me they put the axle where they did to make the cart’s big wheels not stick out as much for tight spaces, but did so with no concern for the fact that that would make it very prone to flipping over. That’s an amateur choice and not one a company like mine with a name like Stabilitech would dare choose. The same manufacturer tried to scare people into not buying carts from the newer players in the industry by insinuating they might go out of business and you won’t be able to get replacement parts. Companies of all ages go out of business every year, especially ones with cart designs prone to flipping, so I would recommend the best solution to that is to buy a cart designed with little to no proprietary parts, which I am doing for that reason as one selling point. Most cart manufacturers intentionally lock you into proprietary designs because they count on having way overpriced accessories, that you can only get from them, to boost profits. I recommend you consider the cost of the accessories and whether the type of design locks you into that brand’s accessories when choosing carts, even the accessories you may not realize you will want till later or may not exist yet.

OK, cool, you are a great cart designer.  You'd be a greater cart designer if you spent a lot of time watching how location sound gets done.  There is no comparison between a customized mixer's cart and a generic camera cart, the former is far more personal and has to attach, protect and make usable far more equipment than any camera or grip cart. Those carts are gear-carriers.  Our carts are personal workstations.    I really thought that the late Mr Chindha had some great ideas, but his carts, as with many of their "descendants", are too expensive for many sound folks who are also having to finance must-have gear like wirelesses, TC gear etc.  So many roll their own.   We're not stupid, just poor.

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On 11/30/2020 at 3:42 AM, indiefilm said:

Frankly, I think many people build their own cart because they think it will be fun or easier or cheaper than it is and they don’t know what they don’t know. I have not been able to figure out how it came to be that so many location sound mixer‘s attempt to build their own cart but camera operators, DITs and Steadi cam operators do not

Philip said: "Those carts are gear-carriers.  Our carts are personal workstations"

 

I'm with Philip P. here, the sound cart bears almost no similarity to the carts that camera operators, assistants, DITs and Steadicam operators use except that they all have wheels. I'm referring mostly to rather high end sound carts that are used in major motion picture and television productions  ---  not your basic hand truck type cart that just serves to get your bag/gear to the set from the trunk of your car. A full sound cart is actually a specialized workstation, something which camera operators, etc. do not need  ---  they generally just need a means to house the equipment and have it moveable on the set. I have always built my own sound carts all the way back to the first one I did in 1970: a Sears television cart I purchased and then highly modified to suit my "style" of working (which was, of course, only just beginning to be developed). The big breakthrough for me was seeing Michael Evje's cart, the first ever upright style cart with sliding shelves for the Nagra and mixer. From that point on I always built upright carts, at some point standardizing on essentially rack mount width (in the beginning, none of our gear was rack mount stuff). My only regret was that I never invested in a lot of the right tools to do as truly proper build  ---  almost all of my carts were built with a hand drill and a hacksaw. When I needed welding or help-arc, I would get some help from someone who could do that stuff (several times this would be the Special Effects person on a movie I was doing). I built a total of 9 carts over 46 year long career.

 

Anyone interested, I have a brief history (incomplete) of sound carts I have owned or built. LINK to personal website

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Indiefilm, show off that Sears Tower expertise you have. Show us your cart.

 

 

5 hours ago, Jeff Wexler said:

Philip said: "

Those carts are gear-carriers.  Our carts are personal workstations"

 

I'm with Philip P. here, the sound cart bears almost no similarity to the carts that camera operators, assistants, DITs and Steadicam operators use except that they all have wheels. I'm referring mostly to rather high end sound carts that are used in major motion picture and television productions  ---  not your basic hand truck type cart that just serves to get your bag/gear to the set from the trunk of your car. A full sound cart is actually a specialized workstation, something which camera operators, etc. do not need  ---

Yep, a look at the cart gallery will show not one of them is the same.

 

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11 hours ago, Philip Perkins said:

  There is no comparison between a customized mixer's cart and a generic camera cart, the former is far more personal and has to attach, protect and make usable far more equipment than any camera or grip cart. Those carts are gear-carriers.  Our carts are personal workstations.  

I know Jeff and Paul already quoted this, but it is worthwhile quoting this again, to really repeat this point and hammer it home.

A Sound Mixer will often spend the majority of his time at his sound cart, this isn't true for grip or camera carts. 

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15 hours ago, Jeff Wexler said:

Philip said: "

Those carts are gear-carriers.  Our carts are personal workstations"

 

I'm with Philip P. here, the sound cart bears almost no similarity to the carts that camera operators, assistants, DITs and Steadicam operators use except that they all have wheels. I'm referring mostly to rather high end sound carts that are used in major motion picture and television productions  ---  not your basic hand truck type cart that just serves to get your bag/gear to the set from the trunk of your car. A full sound cart is actually a specialized workstation, something which camera operators, etc. do not need  ---  they generally just need a means to house the equipment and have it moveable on the set. I have always built my own sound carts all the way back to the first one I did in 1970: a Sears television cart I purchased and then highly modified to suit my "style" of working (which was, of course, only just beginning to be developed). The big breakthrough for me was seeing Michael Evje's cart, the first ever upright style cart with sliding shelves for the Nagra and mixer. From that point on I always built upright carts, at some point standardizing on essentially rack mount width (in the beginning, none of our gear was rack mount stuff). My only regret was that I never invested in a lot of the right tools to do as truly proper build  ---  almost all of my carts were built with a hand drill and a hacksaw. When I needed welding or help-arc, I would get some help from someone who could do that stuff (several times this would be the Special Effects person on a movie I was doing). I built a total of 9 carts over 46 year long career.

 

Anyone interested, I have a brief history (incomplete) of sound carts I have owned or built. LINK to personal website

 

Very cool to see the evolution of your carts! I have to be able to pack all of my gear in a car. So I have been thinking about making mine modular and use one of those little hand trucks that fold flat as my "frame".

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I pretty much settled into doing medium to high budget feature films and almost always had a transportation department that would deal with my cart(s) and equipment package. When I used to do commercials, I had a van which could easily transport my full size cart and cases. If I were to design and build a mini-cart (or what is sometimes referred to as a "bag cart") I would probably go for some variation of the Zuca cart (the ones that Eric Ballew does). 

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2 hours ago, Trey said:

 

Very cool to see the evolution of your carts! I have to be able to pack all of my gear in a car. So I have been thinking about making mine modular and use one of those little hand trucks that fold flat as my "frame".

Your situation is where the work of most sound people has evolved to--working solo, working small, with a cart that is in fact a gear carrier and not a permanently set up workstation.   For many solo mixers the cart is just your bag rig sitting on a Magliner etc with a shelf--that is the most flexible set up for a soundie who may have to spend all or part of a day wearing that bag, or at least doing so during shots.  Cart makers like Rastorder and the folks who make Zuca-based rigs try to thread between no cart and "big" carts.  My major problem with having both smallish and then a fairly large cart is that using them resulted in me getting pushed farther and farther from the action.  I didn't like that at all, but that's probably down to a personality thing: I've known mixers thru my whole career who preferred to set up as FAR from the action as they could get away with.  So, if you want to work in close, you have to be very small and very portable (the old joke about how the gaffer will know where to put the key light, etc).  If you are good with being farther out (or required to be re: Covid rules) then you can go big.  The vehicle thing is a big factor too.

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39 minutes ago, Jeff Wexler said:

I pretty much settled into doing medium to high budget feature films and almost always had a transportation department that would deal with my cart(s) and equipment package. When I used to do commercials, I had a van which could easily transport my full size cart and cases. If I were to design and build a mini-cart (or what is sometimes referred to as a "bag cart") I would probably go for some variation of the Zuca cart (the ones that Eric Ballew does). 

 

Understandable! I do have a pickup truck if I really needed to haul some gear. But I would rather travel lite if at all possible. Those Zuca carts you mention are definitely on the list for later on down the road!

 

23 minutes ago, Philip Perkins said:

Your situation is where the work of most sound people has evolved to--working solo, working small, with a cart that is in fact a gear carrier and not a permanently set up workstation.   For many solo mixers the cart is just your bag rig sitting on a Magliner etc with a shelf--that is the most flexible set up for a soundie who may have to spend all or part of a day wearing that bag, or at least doing so during shots.  Cart makers like Rastorder and the folks who make Zuca-based rigs try to thread between no cart and "big" carts.  My major problem with having both smallish and then a fairly large cart is that using them resulted in me getting pushed farther and farther from the action.  I didn't like that at all, but that's probably down to a personality thing: I've known mixers thru my whole career who preferred to set up as FAR from the action as they could get away with.  So, if you want to work in close, you have to be very small and very portable (the old joke about how the gaffer will know where to put the key light, etc).  If you are good with being farther out (or required to be re: Covid rules) then you can go big.  The vehicle thing is a big factor too.

 

I have thought about a small sound cart, and then have a utility cart that I could bring if needed. Both could fold up and go in the trunk/backseat of the car easy. But I am sure that as my needs evolve so will the carts! LOL

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