Instrument cases are used to carry and protect various instruments while they are being moved and can provide protection for a wide variety of industrial items during shipping and transportation. They have the important role of protecting their contents from shock, vibration, moisture, dust and other potentially damaging factors.
Instrument cases are particularly useful in safeguarding fragile items, such as medical, musical and electronic instruments. Electronic instrument cases are specifically created to carry audio/visual equipment, recording equipment, batteries and other sensitive tools. Medical instrument cases, on the other hand, protect vials, syringes, medicine and other materials. Electronic instrument cases and medical instrument cases can vary in size, material, and color. These instrument cases are usually lightweight and indestructible and contain foam inserts. Instrument cases can also be personalized by displaying company colors or logos on the exterior. Instrument cases may be constructed from aluminum, steel or plastics such as high density polyethylene (HDPE), fiberglass reinforced polyester (FRP), carbon fiber, rotationally molded polyethylene or linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE). Many are rectangular in shape with packing material inside such as packing peanuts, heavy foam, special racks, shelving or a lining made of paper, foam, rubber, plastic or other materials. While some instrument cases hold musical instruments and are therefore critical for many musicians, the scientific community also relies on instrument cases to safely transport and store important tools used in medicine, research, engineering, biology and other applications.
Instrument cases can range from large crates to very customized and specific enclosures. For especially sensitive, delicate or expensive items, the packing material inside is often custom cut foam that is specially made to fit securely around the item. Because of the variation in materials, many different fabrication methods are used to create shipping cases. Metal carrying cases are made from sheets of metal that have been fastened onto a metal frame. Raw metal is melted together until uniform then cooled into slabs which are pressed through a series of rollers until it reaches the desired thinness. The sheets are then bent into the customized shape and dimension and welded or screwed together. The metal frame is usually constructed of extruded aluminum or steel. The corners are often reinforced with metal panels for longer life. Plastic shipping cases are molded through a number of processes including blow molding, injection molding and rotational molding. FRP plastics have fibers that are first woven, knit, braided or stitched together before bonding to the surface of the matrix, a tough plastic. Additional features include latches, swivel casters, rubber gaskets for waterproofing, shock mounts, enhanced and fortified steel or aluminum framing, buckles, straps, molded tracks for easy stacking or many other options.
Instrument Cases - Royal Case Company, Inc.
Instrument Cases - Royal Case Company, Inc.
Music Instrument Cases
Music instrument cases, to a musician, are very important. Instruments are fragile, and if people were to walk around with them with no form of protection, that would surely be a recipe for instrument destruction. A musician should always have an instrument case to protect their instruments.
The obvious reason of having an instrument case is to protect the instrument from damage; this means the instrument does not get scratched or damaged during transit. Cases keep dust off instruments ensuring that a musician does not have to clean the instrument each day. The bags also keep elements, such as temperature, low or high, humidity and rain off to keep the instrument protected.
Many are rectangular in shape with packing material inside such as packing peanuts, heavy foam, special racks, shelving or a lining made of paper, foam, rubber, plastic or other materials. While some instrument cases hold musical instruments and are therefore critical for many musicians, the scientific community also relies on instrument cases to safely transport and store important tools used in medicine, research, engineering, biology and other applications.
Instrument Case Manufacturing
Instrument cases are diverse; they range from large boxes to small and customized enclosures. For the highly sensitive instruments, custom cut foam is fitted to securely fit around the instrument. Different fabrication methods are applied thanks to the difference in materials used in construction. Hard instrument cases are made of metal or plastic. Metal instrument cases feature metal sheets that are joined to a metal frame; due to their heavy weight, metal cases are rare. These are made of aluminum or steel. Aluminum is preferred for its light weight while steel is preferred for its strength and durability.
Plastic hard instrument cases are common. They are created through either rotational, injection or blow molding. Some plastic materials have fibers that are first woven together to make the final plastic stronger. After the construction, latches, gaskets, casters, shock mounts, straps, buckles and other attachments are added. The corners are strengthened by a piece of metal.
Soft cases are made of different fabrics most common polyester and cotton. Inside the bags feature custom cut foam for shock absorption. They may be created in the shape of the instrument or created versatile to fit instruments on a given size range. Attachments include straps, buckles and pockets among others.
Choosing Musical Instrument Cases
The choice of an instrument case will be influenced by the need of the musician. In this case, the musician chooses between a hard, soft, hybrid or flight instrument cases. Each of these cases has advantages and disadvantages as well as unique applications. For instance, flight cases will be used when traveling by air, and a hard case will be used by a musician who is always on the road. The budget will also determine the case that you buy; gig bag cases are relatively cheaper and with more room, but they also last relatively shorter. Hard cases are more expensive than other cases but they last longer.
There is need to consider the shape of your instrument so as to ensure a snug fit. Custom made hard cases mirror the shape of your instrument; these can be bought from the instrument manufacturers.
Acoustic Guitar Case
Acoustic guitar cases and electric guitar case models come in different sizes, so it is important to make sure that the electric guitar fits snugly into its electric guitar case, and the same goes for an acoustic guitar case. There are the universal sizes for these musical instrument cases, and some cases are made for specific models that have unique sizes. A guitar hard case and gig bag cases offer protection, so one just has to identify the use and get the show on the road.
Compared to other guitars, acoustic guitars are designed with a large hollow space making them wider and bigger. Again, the sides of the guitar sport thin wood and chances of it developing cracks are high. Given its fragile condition, a hard guitar case like other cases used to hold the guitar, should be extra padded.
Bass guitar case
When you buy a bass guitar, it comes with a casing. Just like the guitar, the bass needs to be protected during transportation and from elements. The hard guitar case can either have a generic/standard size, or one can invest in a molded bass guitar case. The molded case is like a guitar a guitar hard case; it is made to fit a specific bass guitar so as to minimize the moving around the action.
Bass guitars are longer than other types of guitars, and their appropriate case will be slightly longer than the standard size case. However, bass guitar manufacturers are varying the lengths between the nut and the bridge, and as such, it is not safe assuming that all basses are long. Most bass guitars have a scale length of approximately 34 inches; this is the long scale reminiscent of standard bass guitars. There are short scale bass guitars with scale lengths between 30 inches and 33 inches. These, an example Hoffner Violin and Gibson SG, require shorter cases.
For a banjo player to choose a banjo case, they first need to identify their specific needs.
The prime case for a banjo is a custom fitted fiberglass case that has thick padding. Because a banjo's long thin neck is fragile, it's usually the number one most broken part of a banjo when traveling. To offer the utmost protection for the neck, the custom-made fiberglass case is recommended. This type of case is generally costlier and typically takes months to receive once the order has been made. So unless handling a very expensive banjo that moves around a lot, then a lower-cost music instrument cases would do.
Violin Case and Cello Case
The violin and cello are two very fragile instruments. Orchestral instruments, in general, have to be handled with great care. There are a couple of points, besides fitting, that an instrumentalist should look out for when choosing a violin case or a cello case:
A musician should, first of all, consider the type and amount of traveling that they wish to do with their instrument. The three factors that should be considered are:
• Shape or Style
Cases that are shaped are normally more compact and fit fewer things. The rectangular cases take up more space but fit more things. Half-moon cases are somewhere in between the two.
Straps are determined by how the musician prefers to carry their instruments. Many cases cater to different strap variations. Some cases come with padded backpack straps while others come with only one strap. A strap that is common in a violin case is the subway strap. It's useful in a crowded subway because it's attached to the scroll end of the case, allowing the musician to hold it vertically.
Some cases are heavier than others. Musicians that walk a lot to their gigs or use public transportation would be better suited for light cases. However, for those who are driven to their gigs, the weight of the case should not top the priority list.
When referring to case protection, two things are to be kept in mind:
A case with good suspension is important. A case with good suspension will ensure that the instrument does not touch the front or back of the case. The instrument would be protected from absorbing the impact if a minor accident was to occur. Most cases normally have suspension, but it's always good to cross check.
The climate outside the instrument affects its maintenance. Most cases come with at least water resistance features, but depending on where the instrumentalist lives, they may require a waterproof case or one that's insulated. One can customize a case to accommodate a particular climate. Humidifiers and case covers are two examples of that.
A ukulele is a stringed instrument, so the same precautions that we have tackled apply when choosing a guitar case.
Weight should be considered especially if the musician requires moving around with the ukulele a lot on foot. A ukulele case, just like most reliable instrument cases, are usually water resistant but not waterproof, so if the climate favors rain, a specific waterproof case would be best. Carrying variations are subject to preference; handle, backpack straps or shoulder straps. If making a custom case, the ukulele should be taken to the shop or one can check the measurements. Simply stating the type of ukulele may not guarantee the right fit.
The best case for your ukulele should be custom made; these are created in the shape of your uke and may be hard shelled or soft. With an exception of a few models, ukuleles feature wood as the main material. A common characteristic of wood is that it is susceptible to damage from lack of moisture or excess moisture. Ergo, a case that protects the ukulele from both conditions is ideal, in this case, a hard shelled case. When living a low humid neighborhood, an instrument humidifier will be handy.
The two points to consider when choosing a clarinet case are:
1. Single or double
Beginners and clarinet players who don't really play professionally are comfortable with a single bag that houses one clarinet. However, advanced players who play professionally normally opt for double cases because they normally carry a spare clarinet in case something was to happen to the primary clarinet.
When purchasing a case, one needs to factor in extra space for accessories. The case does not just store the clarinet alone. It should also have room for accessories such as tuners, sheet music and cleaning cloths. Zippered sheaths can be purchased for cases with no extra accessory room. Other than storing accessories, they also keep out rain and snow and protect the inside contents from temperature change.
Most trumpet cases come together with the trumpet during purchase. However, musicians may need an upgrade or a different type of case. A trumpet case is no different from other instrument cases; you have to consider the type, the size and extra room for accessories. Of importance is the size of the trumpet; just like a guitar case, the trumpet should not wiggle inside the bag.
A keyboard case is used to protect a keyboard when the musician is traveling with it or when it's been stored. Keyboards are big, which increases the risk of getting bumped into or scratched during travel.
They can also easily be affected by dust or spills when they have been stored. A keyboard case is necessary for a keyboard's protection.
Each time a keyboard leaves home, it should be packed in a case or bag. As with most cases, when choosing a case for the keyboard, the level of defense required will determine the type of case. If the keyboard will travel by air a lot or go for long distances, a hard case is a necessity. These cases protect them from harsh conditions and rough handling, ensuring the safety of the instrument. The drawback of the hard shell cases is weight and size.
If a musician is taking a short trip downtown or maybe to a nearby town, then a carry-friendly bag would be ideal. One should ensure that the bag or case has different carrying options for comfort purposes. External storage for accessories, pedals, music sheets, etc., should be noted.
Cases offer more protection but are bulkier and pricier than the keyboard bags so weighing out all options is necessary. If the keyboard does not really move around much then lighter protection than the bag is recommended; keyboard cover. It offers light protection indoors from dust and spills but is not suitable for travel outside the establishment it is stored/used in.
Drums are generally larger, heavier and more unforgiving compared to other instruments. As such, they need drum cases with a sturdier construction, with wheels for easy transportation and with tough materials. Even the soft drum cases are offered with as a hard bottom on which reinforced wheels are attached.
There are different drum case models and three general types of drum cases; traps, trunks and soft cases. Trap cases are made of a hard and tough material and they protect drum hardware, cymbals, snare drums and extra heads. These are very heavy and loading them on or off a car may need more than one person. Drum trunks are like flight bags; they are the heaviest in their category and also the toughest and are ideal for traveling.
Roadie cases are a must have for a gigging musician because they enable them to carry two instruments in one. It securely holds the instruments and ensures that they are protected from damage. True to their name, these are travel boxes for your instrument. They are also referred as a road case or flight case. They are not custom-fit; just a box with extra room for your music instrument accessories.
Getting the Music Instrument Cases Size Right
Getting the right size instrument cases is important. While most musicians prefer taking the measurements of the instrument and having a custom case made, there are manufacturers such as Gibsons and Fender who create cases that match the dimensions of a specific instrument. Instrument measurements vary from one manufacturer to the next and as such, it is always advisable to contact the manufacturer for correct measurements. You can also request the instrument manufacturer for a custom made case.
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