Living in Egypt has its advantages and disadvantages.
Gasoline is cheap, Advantage.
Family is near, Advantage.
Weather is Sunny, Advantage.
Voiceover Equipment hard to come by, DisAdvantage.
Yes I type funny and I uppercase letters that don’t need it. But I try to write the way I speak so if you’ve ever heard me talk (there are a few podcasts and interviews you can listen to with me on them) then you would know why I type the way I do.
Anyway I digress. So back to our story. Living in Egypt has its occasional pros and cons. I can’t say that without mentioning the revolution the country (and myself) just went through. But I’m of the opinion that the revolution will change things and allow more products and consumer goods reach the general public here.
One of the biggest obstacles I have had to overcome through the years with regards to being an independent voiceover professional has been the ability to put together a decent studio.
Almost every single piece of equipment I have as part of my audio arsenal (with the exception of my mic stands) where purchased from abroad. Either the US or England.
My microphones had to be brought back to me from the US by friends visiting North America, My reflection or reflexion filter was brought back by a couple visiting family in the UK. Trying to find an Auralex supplier in Egypt has been an ongoing nightmare.
I’ve tried to be as cost effective as I possibly can but in the end the issue is as simple as … this item is not sold here… you will have to order it from abroad.
And buying anything from abroad means shipping and customs.
The Rode PSA1 Swivel Mount
One day a few weeks back I snapped. I wanted to buy something and I found a way to bring it into Egypt but I had no idea how much it would cost me.
I found a piece that I have been interested in acquiring for a few years… a swivel mount. But I couldn’t buy it because I wouldnt be able to use it since I don’t have an studio isolated and insulated enough to be able to use a free standing microphone that doesn’t pick up echos willy nilly in the room. Remember I don’t have echo cancellation foam… no auralex means you have to come up with other solutions. lots of curtains and lots of carpets.
So anyway I contact a shipping company who have an address in NY that I can send my item to and then they can ship it to me in Egypt and deliver it to my door.
After all was said and done and after I did a bit of research I decided on the Røde PSA1, after a quick visit to www.shopzilla.com I figured the best deal around was at B & H photo and I bought the mount for $78.95 plus New York Tax (no rebates for me). So a grand total of $85.96.
I deal included free shipping so I made the order and off we went.
The Shipping of the 6.49 Lb contraption would cost me $51.9 and customs took $26.3 … all in all $78.2
All in all $164.2 USD to buy a Røde PSA1 and get it from the NY, USA to Cairo, Egypt.
Incidently Røde does have a dealer in Egypt but they do not sell the PSA1 and do not offer buyers the ability to special order it for them.
So yeah this is the box the PSA1 came in… nothing special there… Egyptian customs opened it and took away the pleasure of allowing me the first hands on … on my own equipment… boo hoo
As always Røde has some very stylish packaging… alas the packaging will come off and I won’t have much use for it later.
Here are the components of the package the swivel arm itself which is wrapped in yellow tape that says “Caution Spring Loaded” you have to be very careful with that cause you can take your eye out if you just remove that tape (or paper band) without being careful. The box also contains the two different ways you can install the swivel mount on your desk… either using the clamp… which is a temporary method of hooking the arm up to your desk… or by using the mount which requires that you drill a hole using a 7/8ths bit to install the mount itself. Røde are also awesome about giving you extra velcro pieces to secure your microphone’s wire to the swivel arm itself. As well as the american to european mic stand converter.
This is the desk clamp that can easily be secured to some of the thickest desks out there.
This is the mount… pretty sturdy as well as nice looking.
Again designed for some pretty thick desks.
Be veery careful here… as I said before this thing as a mighty spring and you can hurt yourself if you aren’t careful removing that yellow strip.
Here you can see the Velcro strips that Røde supplies to hold the wire to the body of the swivel mount.
For the purpose of this article I secured the Swivel arm / mount using the clamp and used my Audio Technica 2020 as a demo to see how it works. Once my full studio is set up I will be using the Røde NT1-A that I bought a few months back.
Next I am in the market for a studio kit that I read about in a blog. It goes for $99 USD but shipping it to cairo will cost me another $200 because its 2 boxes weighing in at a total of 14 Lbs. all in all.
so $300 for foam… yeeesh.