Expendables refer to all of the single-use items like tape, batteries, and even wiring accessories for working with talent. With expendables, our job can be very efficient and executable. Without expendables, we can be literally left dead in the water. For example, if we run out of batteries, how do we power our transmitters for talent? If we don’t have wiring accessories, how do we attach the microphones to talent?
This lesson is for is getting you acquainted with some of the expendables that you should have with you standing by for interviews. You should have all of these items with you for the interview, as you never know what you will need at a moments notice.
When it comes to batteries, there are a few different types of batteries you need to be aware of in order to be prepared for anything that happens or any gear that is put in front of you.
AA Batteries (Alkaline)
These are probably the most common use batteries. They can be used in a ton of different transmitters and receivers. Make sure you understand the “draw” of the product you are placing batteries in. If a product requires a lot of amperage out of a battery, alkaline batteries are NOT recommended, as they can blow up inside the unit if the electronics are drawing too much power.
AA Batteries (Lithium)
Lithium Batteries are much better rated for higher draw electronics. If you notice that your alkaline batteries are getting majorly hot in your equipment, then use lithium instead. Or you can do it the right away and read the manual of the equipment to make sure you use the correct batteries for the job.
We all want to do our part to save the environment as much. Reducing our use of single-use batteries is one way we can help! Re-Chargeable batteries are getting better and better all the time. Make sure you get a bunch, as they will not last as long as lithiums, so you will need to replace after time. I recommend buying enough batteries so put them in all of your products, then buying 2 more complete sets plus multiple chargers. You need to be able to charge 1/3 of the batteries at once. 1/3 in use, 1/3 standing by fresh and topped off, and 1/3 on charge.
Transpore is one of the items all Sound Mixers have on them every time they work. It is simply surgical tape like you would see in a doctors office. This is a great tape, very easy to use. Be careful about the edges of the tape. If they are not fastened down properly to the skin and or clothing they can catch and make noise.
Moleskin is another adhesive with a soft felt on the opposite side. Moleskin works absolute wonders when taping microphones to skin and clothing. The reason we love it so much is it helps to stop the bad rubbing that happens around a microphone.
There is also a new brand of URSA Tape as well as Soft Strips and that is absolutely phenomenal. It is extremely soft and doesn’t seem to make as much noise as regular moleskin to my ears.
When it comes to wiring accessories, there is always something new to try be a long running manufacturer or a new show boat. It is best to get a bunch of direct
Furniture pads have a ton of uses. They protect things in your car during transport. They can cover up a cart in a pinch (if you don’t have a Space Blanket for each cart”. They can even help suck up reflections in a room. Try putting a C Stand into a T shape and make a quick wall to make a bigger room smaller! If you use a C Stand in a T Shape, ensure there is a Tennis Ball on the end so there isn’t an eye poker hidden underneath the furniture pad.
Carpets can be used for a few different purposes in interviews. Primarily, they are used to help catch the reflections so they don’t bounce off the floor and back into the microphone. It is a simple way to deaden a room quickly is to place them underneath the chair and when used in tandem with Furniture Pads.
Get both Blue and Black Painters Tape. These are used to tape the carpets down to the ground. If you put a carpet down, tape it down. End of story. Get the 2″ Rolls to make it easy.
I am not talking about your primary Sony MDR 7506’s here. These are the cheaper headsets that are passed out with IFB Systems. They can range in size and shape and more importantly, price. Here are a few of our favorite brands. I recommend buying them in bulk so they all look the same.