I’m copping my friend Steve Goold’s recent post on the gear he used for the Ben Rector shows. (https://stevegoold.wordpress.com/2015/05/26/tour-de-compadres-gear-post/) It looks very similar to the setup he used for the Sara Bareliis tour and I wanted to share my set-up as it looks very similar. Steve is one of my favorite drummers and I’m always inspired by him. I’m very much into simplicity and electronic sampling so my kit always revolves around a few acoustic pieces and a couple sample pads. PDP, Meinl, and Alesis consistently represent the best gear I’ve ever used. I currently use a stripped down PDP four piece as the foundation (18” kick, 14” brass snare, 12” rack, 14” floor tom) and compliment it with an Alesis PercPad and Sample Pad. This gives me endless auxiliary percussion options and sound effect sampling capabilities. Cymbal wise, I use two hi-hats (14” and 16”), an 18” crash and a 20” ride. I also use a GonBops tambourine. My setup is usually configured in a unique way and I’m all about the “use it or lose it” philosophy. I prefer to set my toms perfectly flat and level with my snare drum. My electronic pads sit where a second rack tom would usually hang and my cymbals are set fairly low too. Much like a jazz, musician I often set my ride on the left side just above the main hi-hats with my crash to the right (I copped that off the Dweeb’s Mike Blue). I also use a variety of heads from different manufactures as I believe every drum has its own unique sound. Here is a kit diagram.
As you can see my cymbal placement is based on accessibility and ease of movement. By placing my ride on the right just above the hi-hat I can swing traditionally with my right hand or play an open style using my left. With an auxiliary hi-hat mounted left (almost center) on the bass drum I can go back and forth between two hi-hats with an even reach. Likewise with my toms. By setting them all low and level I can strike them without reaching. It may look odd, but in reality it is quite ergonomic.