Small kits in popular music

StaggerLee

Silver Member
Ok... so three times now recently i have seen (or heard of) the big guys genuinely using micro kits for gigs....
Steve Smith: Lots of pics of him gigging with one of his bands with a sonor jungle....
Eric Harland: saw him using a 16" bass drum live (without his side bigger one), and snare for a rack tom and 14" floor tom, loved this guy.
Questlove: Did a small gig that used his own breakbeats kit with. Not talking about the few weeks he used it on late show, this was an actual roots gig.

Is it just me thats surprised the pros are using these micro kits in genuine live settings?
 

tcspears

Gold Member
I think part of it is the audio technology that we have now; it used to be that if you played a big venue you needed a 24" BD. But now it seems like audio engineering, and gadgets like the subkick, allow drums to play the kit they want and not worry about the sound not filling the room...
 

StaggerLee

Silver Member
i saw him at that show :) he was using what i thought was an 18 (turned out to be a 16 which was a prototype for pac d kit). was rather amazing
 

SmoothOperator

Gold Member
I think part of it is the audio technology that we have now; it used to be that if you played a big venue you needed a 24" BD. But now it seems like audio engineering, and gadgets like the subkick, allow drums to play the kit they want and not worry about the sound not filling the room...
Actually, I think it is probably has more to do with 16"s sound being reproduced and heard better through a PA. Though, they might actually like playing a 16 better.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I wonder if Eric would use a 16 unmiced for an acoustic gig. A PA can make a Spongebob kit sound massive.

I can't even do an 18, I feel like I have to work too hard to get the dynamic I like. I'm rarely miced, like once a year is a lot.
 

StaggerLee

Silver Member
larry, a friend of mine who saw him doing voyager in a really small intimate setting said he does use it un mice'd but only for really smaller gigs. then he doesnt bring the secondary bass and uses just the 16 (though there is some debate he is using a 14" as a recent video went up of him using a really small kick with metal hoops when the pac d is wood hoops aside from 1st gen and some prototypes), a wood snare as rack, his brass snare and a 14" floor. along with his 3 rides and 16" Hi hats consisting of a standard crash and afx crash.
 

WallyY

Platinum Member
I can't really agree about the smaller bass drum and drums in general as sounding perfectly good miced.
I saw Cindy Blackman a couple weeks ago playing her 26" bass drum and from the sound, I can tell that the larger drum has a better tone.
It's as if the resonant overtones last longer with the larger drums tuned a little higher and it keeps the complexity of the drum sound.
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
Endorsed drummers are usually trying to push product onto listeners. I'm sure Steve Smith and Questlove were doing that to sell drum sets...not what necessarily sounds the best without PA equipment.
 

StaggerLee

Silver Member
I think questloves case this certainly is true. Steve smith however has been a LONG time user of those drums and it came about after he kept using a floor tom as a bass drum, so im pretty sure he simply just likes there sound. Florian has always been a user of micro kits, and so has eric harland (who certainly can not be said to be a drummer who is trying to sell drums due to the very bizare set up he tends to play).
 
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