The Audio Mixer's Ultimate Toolkit: Top Must-Have Items

As an audio mixer, you know that having the right tools is essential for getting the job done. But what are the must-have items for every shoot? In this article, we'll share our top 10 picks for audio mixers. From cables and adapters to headphones and recorders, we've got everything you need to create professional-quality sound. So whether you're a seasoned pro or just starting out, read on for our audio mixer's ultimate toolkit!


4/30/20235 min read

Every audio mixer has their own personal gear, and they decide what is necessary to the shoot they will be working on. However, there are universal items that we believe every audio mixer should have in their personal kit. You never know in what situation, environment, or gear you will be dealing with on your shoot and it's always best to come over-prepared than under-prepared and struggle through the day. There's one rule of thumb that you should abide by: if you bring it you won't need it and if you leave it you will need it. This list can be rather lengthy, so the run and gun will likely find yourself having a dedicated "go-bag" or backpack that you use exclusively for your shoots, whereas the scripted narrative mixer will likely have a follow cart that this stuff lives on.


One personal item that is required when working on a shoot is your mixer harness. Always bring it even if you don’t think you will need it, because you will probably need it. You don’t want to end up in a situation where you need to walking around carrying the bag and all your other gear in your hands. It's always to better have it and not need it then to not have it and need it. Your harness is so lightweight that you can easily pack it into your Pelican or backpack and carry it around with you without any hassle.

Recommended, But Not Required

If you are either freelance or working for a company, like Vandelay, you will either have someone pack your kit for you or you will do it yourself. You want to make sure you have all necessary expendables for the duration of your shoot, even if the production company is supposed to provide them. You have to make sure to pack enough Moleskin, Super Stick/Topstick, Transpore, Batteries (AA, AAA, 9V) and any other tapes you prefer for your shoot, otherwise you will be in a tough situation if you end up needing these items on locations. Now, keep in mind if you are working for a big production, the production company will provide all the expendables and will have it on set ready for you to use, however it is still recommended that you bring a few items with out on set just incase you are put into a tough situation.

Some of the other items that we suggest you bring along with you are adaptors for your cables, adapters such as BNC > 1/8’’ (3.5mm), 1/8’’ (3.5mm) > 1/4’’ and an XLR gender bender adapters. These adaptors can be used to jam a slate, plug into a board or even attach something to camera. You can encounter a situation in which you might’ve packed the wrong cables and these adaptors can help you adapt and resolve the issue you have on set very quickly.

The weather can be crazy sometimes, and the weather apps aren’t always accurate on the elements and its best to always carry wind protection for your mics. Lav wind protection is a little shield to help you get decent audio in a testing environment. Another item you can bring to help you with your lavs is a Lav Bullet or Mic Drop. This item is a little weight that you can attach it at the bottom of the lab to help it weave it through the clothing of talent. This will help avoid the lav getting stuck in the middle of their clothes and avoid you having to stick your hand up to retrieve it.

A couple other items that is a good idea to bring is your own personal walkie surveillance, scissors, leather-man/multi-tool, pens, sharpies, and a tweaker. these items are great to bring along with you on set just because you will never know never if you will need to write something down, tweak something with the tweakier or the multi-tool, or even using a surveillance that was given to you and realizing that its been used before you.

Carrying a variety of media such as 32GB CF card, 64GB SD card, 16GB MicroSD card as a back up can come in handy in a variety of reasons. One reason could be that you record so much that day that you run out of space in the media card you originally packed, or the DIT on your shoot has only one kind of card reader. If so, you can easily transfer media from one card to another so you can accommodate the DIT to not only make your life easier, but also theirs.

A phone charger or a battery bank can not only help you charge your phone but also a piece of gear that lost charge on location without any outlets. This can come super handy on those long shoot days. It’ll save not only you but maybe even another crew member.


A few optional items you can bring are cables such as XLR and an AUX cable. These are cables you could potentially use if you are using a C-stand for your boom or adding something to the camera or your mixer. A small can of WD-40 is something you would’ve never considered to bring as audio mixer but you never know when you might need to quiet a squeaky door hinge.

Some personal items such as a head lamp or flashlight, light rain jacket or emergency poncho, some work gloves and a folding chair or stool are great items to bring because you never know the location you will be at or for how long. The weather can always change and it can rain on you or the location you are in is super dark and need some light. These items may seem like they are a hassle to carry around but trust us when we say it’ll make your life a lot easier if you have them around.

Your laptop, flash drive and a CF/SD card reader are great items that you are able to bring on set with you. There have been many shoots that the DIT is unprepared for and is unable to download media at the end of day for you. These items will allow you to download, save and back up your own work and for the production as well.

Sunscreen, bug spray and a sun hat are all essentials that you might want to start packing for whenever you are outside during the summer. The sun during the summer months can be horrible; you can get dehydrated, possible heat stroke or even develop skin cancer if you don’t protect your skin. The bugs can be ruthless and there are many bugs out that can cause you to get sick. Although these items are usually provided by the production as well, sometimes it's just better to carry your own.

On top of all of the other set-essentials, it's best to carry at least $20 in cash just in case you need to pay cash for parking, tip the valet or something like that. Only carry your essentials in your wallet, so that way you are prepared for anything that comes your way. Don't forget to save your receipts or a picture of the parking stall, valet booth, or some other proof that you paid cash.

To round out the recommendations for a sound mixer to bring to set, dog treats can be quite the handy treat… you never know when you’ll meet a new furry friend that you need to keep quiet!