Live rigs - organization or other practical concerns

I’m not really sure where to fit this topic. I searched, but if this case been covered in another thread please let me know.

I’ve been thinking about how to organize my gear in a way that is portable, fast, and ergonomic. My ideal is to have everything set-up beforehand and just plug the output of my mixer in the PA or monitors.

I’ve been looking at rifle cases as a possible solution (like the Pelican 1700). My current set-up is a Rytm, OP1, Analog Heat, 54hp 4U modular system, some effects pedals, a tiny mixer, and a SQ1. I could mount everything to a board, though ideally it would stay in the case and I would just remove the lid.

Does anyone have any feedback? Also curious as to how other people approach this.


that pelican case seems like a good route - especially if you need to fly with this setup. you could probably replace the hinge pins with removable ones like the synthrotek and pulplogic cases.

maybe related…


+1 for only what you can carry on your own in one trip. my live rig is a bit clumsy at the moment since i’m just taking my studio setup out and about - but the goal i’m working towards is one carry-on size case & a backpack.


even more related, how it has turned out (click through to see images):

The table and stand have a nylon case that I can carry in one hand, the gear goes in a backpack (this one), and can still do it in one trip. Now if I have to carry a mixer as well… I’m hosed!

As a group we practice set-up every week. When we did the small gig in January we set up in “mood lighting” and were able to be up and ready in ~20 min. tops.


I guess pedalboard / DJ-mixer cases are not an option if you want to fly, but they offer plenty of space and when you open them you don’t have the sides in the way… since basically the lid is the bottom so to say. You should be able to pack everything into two cases: 1 for the modular and one for the rest, the Rytm is ptobably the biggest piece of kit in your setup. Btw. nice setup, I can imagine this to work really well for live sets!
What mixer do you have, if I may ask?

I obsess over this. With your gear and goals (not a ton of stuff, plug and play, carry-on status not necessary), I’d suggest looking into a pedalboard-style flight case, since they’re easy and not too expensive to custom order depending on your final board size/layout. If putting velcro on your gear turns you off, you could make the internal board out of pegboard or drill holes in plywood and mount your gear more harmlessly with zip ties.

The pedal board case I have used forever came from these guys. Just wish I had added wheels! You could even make one yourself.


Thanks, I’m a big fan of the set-up. Compact and capable of a wide variety of sounds. I mostly make semi-abstract and noisy techno, but the Rytm is suprising capable at getting into really ambient territory too.

Mixer is an Alto ZMX 52. I like that it has an on/off switch (hard to find on mixers this size) and a large main volume knob. Not the greatest, but pretty decent for the price and size.

I started looking more at pedal boards as an option and I think this is the way I will go. I was looking at pedaltrain boards and the Rtym, OP1, Heat, and pedals will fit on a 24x12 with some creative cabling. This is really the core rig and I would be comfortable with only these.

for the folks who have gone the pelican 1700 route – i know @wolfgangschaltung did a cutout into the top foam so there was no pressure on the pots. most of the other pictures i’ve seen haven’t made this accommodation and there are obvious indentations where the pots push into that layer. i definitely have to push down a little bit to get everything closed up, but the foam seems soft enough. have an all mannequins/monome 104hp with the p much the same depth and clearance as isms. am i just being overly precious?

I just went through this for a sound design gig abroad. I put my rig (sound card, grid, isms case, and octatrack) into a pelican 1720 case under the plane.

Having done it now I’ll say that I don’t want to do it again, and I’m currently building a revised rig that’s entirely carry on. I don’t want to do it for a few reasons:

– My partner’s bags were lost on the return leg, and it was nerve wracking sitting there waiting to learn whether my rig had also missed the transfer (it didn’t thankfully, but still not a process I want to repeat).

– You never know how someone will treat your baggage, and you’re at the mercy of the weakest link. Eliminate the weak links.

– As a creative limitation, I find the challenge of “bring only what you can carry” to be rewarding on a very fundamental and practical level. It also makes set up / breakdown at venues a breeze (rather than having to wheel the flight case out, pack it all up, etc)

As such the new rig will be a 7U 104hp Intellijel case (fits as carry on on all airlines, I show up pre patched and with grid presets ready to go, which is a plus with this case) and an octatrack + drum machine (likely to be the digitakt, but for now is a tanzbar. Fits in a backpack along with laptop and other essentials). The Digi seems the most practical way to carry all my drum samples from my stems, plus analog drum machine samples, plus pre programmed patterns, etc. Octatrack is set up with two thru machines (one for modular one for drums), one pickup machine (set to quantize looping) and a neighbor for 4 FX on the pickup, plus three tracks with stems from my songs and track 8 is the master.

Hope that is somewhat helpful!


I can’t remember wich one but I had one of the Peli(can) 1700-series cases and returned it. It was SO big. Hard to fit in a normal taxi, if you filled it up it got so heavy that there would be a hassle at the airport, and so on.

I also traveled a few years with a traditional flight case. But the problem was it was so heavy so I had to take a lot of the gear in my carry on or other suitcase when we flew. Then put it back before the gig. Seemed a little wastefull.

RIght now this is my liverig. It is based around a Peli(can) 1560.

Layer one: 256 kit with homemade enclosure. And the part on the left used to be for housing a volume and an expression pedal, but now it is going to house a small eurorack skiff.

Then a towel just for some extra protection:

Layer two: Apollo twin sound card, Critter and Guitari Organelle, Monome GS64, Faderfox pc4, arduinoscreen, usbhub under the monome and arduino, power strip. And cables and so on. When I fly with this thing I also chuck in some bubble wrap.

Then the laptop/laptops goes in one/two Peli(can) laptopcases