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Topic: Traveling to Russia, looking for advice

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  1. #1

    Traveling to Russia, looking for advice

    I'm traveling to Arkhangelsk, Russia in a couple of weeks to do music camp with some church kids there. I'm taking my MacBook Pro and my M-Audio Fast Track Ultra to do audio work of various kinds: tracking, sequencing, Finale print work, etc.
    I've never traveled internationally with these delicate electronics, and I would dearly love to not blow them up!!

    Advice- tips - cautions, all appreciated!
    Brad Pearson
    THG Music
    Spokane WA

    MacBook Pro (2.33 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo), 3 gig RAM, OS 10.6.5, Finale 2011b, GPO4 & CMB2

  2. #2

    Re: Traveling to Russia, looking for advice

    Have a great trip, first of all!

    Since moving from former USSR back in the 1991, still I have a feeling its just something that stays with you no mather what - you can stop being related in some way ( Specially the last 6-7 years, with the huge development of the net and international tv broadcasts.)

    So despite the technical background of your question - I feel like taking the social part of it
    The thing is - Russia has made a huge steps forward since the 90-ies, but still - Arkhangelsk is by no means as central as Saint-Petersburg or Kiev, so please, in everything you do, remember you are visiting people with many problematic aspects in life-quality and background. Many people live a life that might be easily called poverty - by our standarts. Many things we take for granted - are still out of the reach for those people.
    Oh and another thing - don`t count on the local authorities - including police and medicine (hope you won`t need them of course), the way you do back home - not always these are the good guys


    I am sure the people you are going to work with, shall be very friendly, interesting, and even naive for western taste - cause in most cases, those involved in musical activities come from the "intelligence" background - in Russia its a name for a sort of people, traditionally keeping the cultural and artistic heritage alive, passing the high level language and education thru the family (btw, they are usually very modest in terms of income and lifestyle).
    So its important to understand the huge difference between those, and many others you may encounter - many uneducated, rude and uncertain people live there. Now, in difficult times, its important to remember that many loose their sanity and common sence, so in order not to fall into some problematic situations, one should keep his eyes open, and make his intuition work afterhours.

    As for gear and gadgets - again, nothing to worry about in the places you`re going to work, but in other venues - public transport, streets etc. I personally would keep them unidentified (kept in some discreet, and casual cases) cause those things are less common, and one may feel at least uncomfortable to draw attention and such... You never know

    Hope you like it there!

  3. #3

    Re: Traveling to Russia, looking for advice

    Don't forget power supplies. If you need to plug in it might be a different voltage and it might be a different plug. Generally in Europe I understand the voltage is between 220 and 240 volts at 50 Hz, in US its 110 to 120 at 60Hz.
    You will need a converter of some description.
    Derek
    Things may come and things may go but the art school dance goes on forever
    NOW WITH Cubase 5, JABB,GPO, Fender Strat, Ibanez RG, Yamaha Fretless Bass, Framus Archtop, The Trumpet and Mr T Sax, together with GREEN SEALING WAX


  4. #4

    Re: Traveling to Russia, looking for advice

    Quote Originally Posted by buckshead View Post
    Don't forget power supplies. If you need to plug in it might be a different voltage and it might be a different plug. Generally in Europe I understand the voltage is between 220 and 240 volts at 50 Hz, in US its 110 to 120 at 60Hz.
    You will need a converter of some description.
    +1

    A lot of power supplies these days are equipped to handle it internally though since they draw DC current, so you may only need the adapter that changes the plug type. The supply to my external HD for instance says: INPUT: 50-60Hz, EINGANG (voltage?): 100-240V. You can always call the manufacturer of your device if you're not certain.

    Have a fantastic trip! Take pictures and keep a travel diary if you can. They're wonderful for observing cultural details because you're actively making the comparisons.

    Reegs

  5. #5

    Re: Traveling to Russia, looking for advice

    Exciting news, Brad!

    I was in Russia in Nov. of 2008 and had a fantastic time. I was in Moscow, hosted by someone of privilege and surrounded by professional performers - SO, not exactly a representative slice of the population.

    I'm really glad that Vladzakr has seen your post and replied - His descriptions of what the social conditions will be like where you're going are accurate I'm sure, and helpful.

    As to your tech questions which buckshead addressed, - I traveled with my lap top, audio interface, and microphone. I got the best Targus leather bag I could find ($100) to carry it all. Excellent protection, and that was my check on baggage for the flights--NO WAY would I think of having something like that checked in with the regular luggage.

    There was room in the Targus for my journal, some DVDs, a book, besides the electronics. When checking in and out of the airports, the laptop had to be taken out of the bag. They would run the bag through their scanners via conveyer belts, while handing the computer on down the line. Everyone was always careful with all of it, and of course I did my own unpacking and re-packing of the laptop - No problems.

    Power - My laptop is an HP Pavilion, and it was great to find out before the trip that it has a built in power converter! The only thing needed was a plug Adapter, not to be confused with a converter. To be sure I got hold of the correct adapter, as soon as I arrived, my hosts assisted me in getting hold of the correct one - American blade style plug going into a small adapter with the Russian/European style cylindrical plugs. It turned out that they had purchased a power converter for me in case needed - readily available, at least in Moscow.

    Look up the info on your MacBook Pro - maybe it has internal voltage switching too, that would be convenient.

    Congratulations - and have a fabulous trip!

    Randy

  6. #6

    Re: Traveling to Russia, looking for advice

    Thanks, Randy. I was hoping you might post, since you had been there recently.
    I know the climate, both meteorologically and culturally, will be different in Arkhangelsk. We will be with very poor people for the most part. I am expecting to be regularly shamed and humbled by what I consider to be necessities in my privileged Western lifestyle. I am praying to be changed by this experience, perhaps to be more willing to let go of so many of the trinkets that I now cling to, as though they were the definition of who I am in Christ.
    Thanks for the tech tips, too.
    Take care...
    Brad Pearson
    THG Music
    Spokane WA

    MacBook Pro (2.33 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo), 3 gig RAM, OS 10.6.5, Finale 2011b, GPO4 & CMB2

  7. #7
    Senior Member rwayland's Avatar
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    Re: Traveling to Russia, looking for advice

    Probably you should not have anything of sensitive nature on the laptop. Make at least one backup, and have only essentials on the laptop drives. Send back via internet any data you accumulate while there.

    You won't regret safety measure, but you might regret the lack.

    Richard

  8. #8

    Re: Traveling to Russia, looking for advice

    Good one, Richard! - I failed to mention earlier, I had a copy of all the files on my laptop copied into a 200 GIG hard drive which I packed separately in one of my suitcases.

    Randy

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