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  #1  
Old 06-06-2010, 05:21 AM
mikejungle mikejungle is offline
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Default Minimalist Setup?

I did a search on 'minimalist' with no results and 'small' with some results, but didn't find what i was looking for.

It seems that most minimalist setups are a 4 piece w/ varied choices of cymbals. Do some people strip it down even more and make it work well? maybe just the floor, bass and snare?

And are there certain size combinations for the bass drum, rack tom and floor tom that "work better" or are "optimal"?

I'm probably going to be going with the 20x16 bass, so if that helps...

Thanks
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Old 06-06-2010, 05:32 AM
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Default Re: Minimalist Setup?

I believe this is the thread you are looking for:

http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/s...ad.php?t=50907
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Old 06-06-2010, 05:35 AM
DanFo DanFo is offline
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Default Re: Minimalist Setup?

If I was to run a "minimalist" kit it would be a snare, bass, hats and a ride with crashable abilities. But I've seen kits with all toms, a snare and no bass.

It's whatevers gunna fit the music is what you'll need so run with it. And a 20x16 can give many ranges on sound so just have a good overall snare and some good cymbals and you can jam with it.
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Old 06-06-2010, 08:05 AM
mikejungle mikejungle is offline
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Default Re: Minimalist Setup?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrumEatDrum View Post
I believe this is the thread you are looking for:

http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/s...ad.php?t=50907
yeah...i ran into a bunch of these threads, which is cool. but not all of em have the dimensions listed...

so yeah. if there even are 'optimal dimensions' for a minimalist setup, i'd like to know. thanks for the posts.
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Old 06-06-2010, 08:20 AM
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Default Re: Minimalist Setup?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikejungle View Post

And are there certain size combinations for the bass drum, rack tom and floor tom that "work better" or are "optimal"?
20x14 bass drum
14x14 floor tom
12x8 tom
14x5 snare

Of course, it all depends on the sound you want for the genre you're playing, and your reasons for picking a minimalist setup. If you're looking for something ultra-portable, you could look into nesting kits or cocktail kits or even convert a floor tom into a kick. You can get a "passable" rock kick sound out of a 16" kick, but 16" kicks really excel at bop music and small combo jazz. Some people even roll with a 10" rack tom and a 13" floor tom, but don't expect to sound like Bonham...
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Old 06-06-2010, 08:24 AM
mikejungle mikejungle is offline
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Default Re: Minimalist Setup?

sorry, i should note that the bass drum will be a pearl, so i noted it 20x16, which is how i think they are usually listed.

so 20" diameter 16" depth.

my reason for wanting a minimal setup is that...i'm a bassist wanting to play the drums at home, so i don't want to clutter up my room with excess gear. but i also want it to sound good enough/be sufficient for recording.
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Old 06-06-2010, 10:04 AM
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Default Re: Minimalist Setup?

It really depends a lot on you. But it is possible to make it work with only bass, snare, hihat and crashable ride. One good example are these videoclips from JoJo Mayer's "Secret Weapons for the Modern Drummer"

HTML Code:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VGwIzdNfI9k
But a floor tom could make a huge difference in the overall picture. You get sort of another dimension to play with :p
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  #8  
Old 06-07-2010, 01:14 PM
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Default Re: Minimalist Setup?

At the moment I'm literally just using a kick, snare, hats and a ride. Forces you to think a bit differently and get the most out of very little. Its a lot of fun actually!
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Old 06-07-2010, 07:41 PM
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Default Re: Minimalist Setup?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikejungle View Post
sorry, i should note that the bass drum will be a pearl, so i noted it 20x16, which is how i think they are usually listed.

so 20" diameter 16" depth.

my reason for wanting a minimal setup is that...i'm a bassist wanting to play the drums at home, so i don't want to clutter up my room with excess gear. but i also want it to sound good enough/be sufficient for recording.
Oh. Since you were asking about what sizes were best, I just assumed you were getting a custom kit. My bad.

If you want versatility with that size of kick drum, I'd say that you should get 3 toms. If you do more rock, I'd suggest a 12" rack, and 14" and 16" floor toms. If you do more funk/jazz, I'd suggest getting 10" and 12" racks and a 14" floor tom. Then, you'll have an option for your toms, if you want to switch it up a bit, but definitely keep the 12" and 14" toms in there.
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  #10  
Old 01-05-2017, 05:00 PM
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Default Re: Minimalist Setup?

I found a good movie about minimalism you can take some info from it http://putlocker1.biz/minimalism-doc...ortant-things/
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  #11  
Old 01-05-2017, 05:40 PM
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Default Re: Minimalist Setup?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanFo View Post
If I was to run a "minimalist" kit it would be a snare, bass, hats and a ride with crashable abilities.
I used a kit like that for a few years with one Americana band. If I was feeling really ambitious, I'd add a proper crash. One time I brought a rack tom, but invented ways to use it just because it was there. I served the music much better without it.

On other gigs, since I always know what the music is, I'm able to bring exactly what I need for that band. No more, and no less.

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  #12  
Old 01-05-2017, 05:49 PM
tcspears tcspears is offline
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Default Re: Minimalist Setup?

For the longest time, I just played bass, snare, floor tom with a ride cymbal and hi hats.

A few years ago I got a new kit, and now have one rack tom. I still usually just use the ride and the Hi Hat. Every once in a while I'll throw on another ride cymbal.


I'm playing jazz, which is a little more dynamic than rock/pop, so I feel that I can coax more sounds out of the drums and cymbals by controlling my technique, where I'm hitting, and volume levels. I constantly get feedback from drummers, saying that I can produce a lot of sound out of such a minimalist setup.
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  #13  
Old 01-05-2017, 05:53 PM
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Default Re: Minimalist Setup?

Old thread but maybe still relevant.

I've been following this guy's lessons and he uses a fairly minimal kit in his live presentations:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tXGkosU7Z2E

Kick (looks like a 16 to me), snare, hi-hats and two cymbals. Could probably get by with just one cymbal.

I'm transitioning from a 5-piece set to a 4-piece for gigs (but still keeping my 5p kit at home). I need at least a floor tom for the songs I play (classic and alternative rock), and I could get by with hats, ride and a single crash. That's as small as I could go: kick, snare, floor tom, hats, ride and crash. But by that point, bringing a suspended tom and another crash is not a problem.
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  #14  
Old 01-05-2017, 06:00 PM
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Default Re: Minimalist Setup?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikejungle View Post
my reason for wanting a minimal setup is that...i'm a bassist wanting to play the drums at home, so i don't want to clutter up my room with excess gear. but i also want it to sound good enough/be sufficient for recording.
I feel like you're overthinking it a little bit. Non-drummers and even some drummers get a little too caught up in how big or small the kit is or the drums are. They're just drums, you're not going to build any product knowledge being timid like that.

If you want clean, go with a 4 piece kit in a finish you like. Add hats, ride and crash and you're good to go. Inevitably you'll discover things about your taste and liking and can change your setup from there. Easy peasy.

Big plus if you buy used, you can sell them off if you discover that you want something else and not take a loss.
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  #15  
Old 01-05-2017, 07:21 PM
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Default Re: Minimalist Setup?

When I was gigging a lot, I used 2 stet-ups. If I was playing in the funk/jazz band I would use kick, snare hat, crash-ride. If I was playing in the rock band I would play 1 up, 1 down with hats, crash, and ride.
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  #16  
Old 02-08-2017, 01:56 PM
Drummer_Sully Drummer_Sully is offline
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Default Re: Minimalist Setup?

I used to carry around quite a large kit that I now leave in the studio and take a small Mapex kit out on gigs - 16 kick, 10 rack, 14 floor and sometimes don't even bother with the rack. Crash, Ride and Hats, and that has been working really well for a while now. Obviously it depends on the gig you're doing, if I were to be on a bigger gig I'd make the effort and take the studio kit.
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  #17  
Old 02-08-2017, 02:01 PM
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Default Re: Minimalist Setup?

What I see mainly on this site when people are speaking minimalist, they are speaking number of pieces more so that drum sizes. If you were to go minimalist in a punk band your drum sizes would be different than a minimalist funk setup. Maybe.
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  #18  
Old 02-08-2017, 02:28 PM
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Default Re: Minimalist Setup?

The most "minimalist" set I've seen was a buddy of mine who used a snare, a hi-hat and a ride. It was lounge type jazz, and he pulled it off with aplomb and a great sound.
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  #19  
Old 02-08-2017, 02:29 PM
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Default Re: Minimalist Setup?

kick, snare, hat.


I use this for my acoustic trio.
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  #20  
Old 02-08-2017, 03:35 PM
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Default Re: Minimalist Setup?

When I first started playing with my current band six or seven years ago, we did a couple of lower-volume gigs in small venues. I brought along a 20" kick, snare, hats, and a 19" medium-thin crash that worked as a ride. I had a cowbell and a jam block as well, since we did a lot of Latin stuff. At one gig I added a floor tom, but other than that I played that setup for nearly 6 months.

Now my minimalist kit is a cajon with a foot-strap tambourine. I set up and tear down faster than anyone else at those gigs now.
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Old 02-08-2017, 04:57 PM
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Default Re: Minimalist Setup?

I'm going to be trimming down my 4-piece to a 3 piece pretty soon.

Kick
Snare
Floor tom
Hats
Crash/Ride (one cymbal)
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  #22  
Old 02-08-2017, 05:11 PM
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Default Re: Minimalist Setup?

My minimalist set up at a jazz gig. Worked perfectly.
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Old 02-08-2017, 05:11 PM
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Default Re: Minimalist Setup?

Not sure this answers the OP or not but, my minimalist setup...

Cajon, cajon pedal, Tama single braced hi-hat stand, 13" K hats, 14" A Custom crash with sizzle chain, 14x5 snare, mounted tambourine. Music leans toward "Americana", acoustic folk. Use brushes and cajon brushes mostly, but anything would work. Using cajon as a bass drum saves me from hauling a bass drum and a throne which is great for tight spots.
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  #24  
Old 02-08-2017, 05:16 PM
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Default Re: Minimalist Setup?

I usually play 2 rack toms but yesterday I had them both off for head experiments and man I really like the look of the kit without the rack toms.

I need my 2 rack toms though. I use them more than my floor.
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Old 02-08-2017, 05:29 PM
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Originally Posted by larryace View Post
I need my 2 rack toms though. I use them more than my floor.
They're just rhythms and they can be voiced however you choose. Take away those high toms and invent other ways to play the same notes, or even use the same space to play something else. Once you get the hang, it's incredibly liberating and creative.
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Old 02-08-2017, 05:47 PM
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Default Re: Minimalist Setup?

Hmmm.. I guess this is pretty minimal. Last weeks small acoustic music session at home. :-)

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Old 02-08-2017, 05:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Dr_Watso View Post
They're just rhythms and they can be voiced however you choose. Take away those high toms and invent other ways to play the same notes, or even use the same space to play something else. Once you get the hang, it's incredibly liberating and creative.
But but but...I hear high tom notes more than low ones. The notes I hear...I hear them complete with a voicing. If I don't have that voice, I would pick different notes, or skip it completely. The notes I choose and the voicing I hear...are inseparable. They are meant to be paired together. Its like I want to wear a sports jacket with these pants but if I only have a sweater, I'm not going to be happier. Not having a high voice limits me, it doesn't make me more creative. What you call creativity, I call a workaround to my main idea. I don't do a lot of fills as it is, at least give me the voices I want to hear. Can I please keep them up?

And I couldn't possibly be more creative than I already am :)
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Old 02-08-2017, 06:48 PM
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Default Re: Minimalist Setup?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr_Watso View Post
They're just rhythms and they can be voiced however you choose. Take away those high toms and invent other ways to play the same notes, or even use the same space to play something else. Once you get the hang, it's incredibly liberating and creative.
I recently did a gig where we were opening for another band, and I was using his kit. I show up to find snare, kick, floor tom. I've never played without at least one rack tom. While I'm sure that given a little time, I could adapt what I'm doing to accommodate not having the rack tom, it messed me up somewhat. We were playing mostly originals for this gig, and stuff that I had written for these songs included fills and usage of those toms. Threw me for a loop.

On the flip side, I guess I'm not going with todays trend, but I far prefer to have two rack toms/one floor tom, versus 1 up/2 down. Guess I'm just old and set in my ways...
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Old 02-08-2017, 08:31 PM
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Default Re: Minimalist Setup?

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I recently did a gig where we were opening for another band, and I was using his kit. I show up to find snare, kick, floor tom. I've never played without at least one rack tom. While I'm sure that given a little time, I could adapt what I'm doing to accommodate not having the rack tom, it messed me up somewhat. We were playing mostly originals for this gig, and stuff that I had written for these songs included fills and usage of those toms. Threw me for a loop.

On the flip side, I guess I'm not going with todays trend, but I far prefer to have two rack toms/one floor tom, versus 1 up/2 down. Guess I'm just old and set in my ways...
That will happen, and if you had already put in some practice time and let your mind get used to using the same spaces in different ways, you wouldn't have been uncomfortable.

The cool thing is, being real good on a minimal setup gets you ready for anything. It's easy to adapt to more stuff, but harder to re-wire the brain to use less. You start thinking about the different ways to hit each item you do have, start thinking a bit more about dynamics to get more sounds from less, and most of all you start introducing more space in your playing and really anchoring on the time of the song.

Bottom line in my opinion: If you can't wrap your mind around what to do with the spaces when you don't have all the things around you that you're used to, that's a big hole in your playing and even thought patterns about how you're approaching things.

At home my actual practice setup is bass, snare, hats, low tom and one crash/ride cymbal.

At the gigs and at band practice, I use my normal 4 piece with some extra cymbals.

I can play all my songs, and the huge majority of covers I play along to on either set. I don't lack the adaptability and it doesn't matter what backline I use or how many kit parts I have, my brain is wired to think in terms of the rhythms and not the sounds I must have in those spaces.
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Old 02-08-2017, 08:52 PM
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Originally Posted by larryace View Post
If I don't have that voice, I would pick different notes, or skip it completely.
All valid options. Instead of high tom notes in a fill, I'll often extend the snare run and end up on the floor tom, or I'll insert a complimentary space or perhaps a dynamic build on the floor instead of a roll across all the toms. I also tend to use the bass drum as a replacement note for sounds I don't have in front of me and that usually ends up sounding really cool... In the same vein, lots of times if I'm going from high tom to low tom and I don't have the high, I'll start on the floor and substitute kick notes for the lowest in the fill. I could literally go on all day because I'm a creative guy with less. When I have more, all that creativity just serves to give me even more options and thought patterns with what's available.

The important part is that I never rely on a certain sound. I can adapt. My playing can be drastically different on one kit to another, and that's a cool thing for me.
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Old 02-08-2017, 10:08 PM
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Default Re: Minimalist Setup?

When you know exactly what you want to say, who needs creativity?

:P
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Old 02-08-2017, 10:36 PM
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Default Re: Minimalist Setup?

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That will happen, and if you had already put in some practice time and let your mind get used to using the same spaces in different ways, you wouldn't have been uncomfortable.

The cool thing is, being real good on a minimal setup gets you ready for anything. It's easy to adapt to more stuff, but harder to re-wire the brain to use less. You start thinking about the different ways to hit each item you do have, start thinking a bit more about dynamics to get more sounds from less, and most of all you start introducing more space in your playing and really anchoring on the time of the song.

Bottom line in my opinion: If you can't wrap your mind around what to do with the spaces when you don't have all the things around you that you're used to, that's a big hole in your playing and even thought patterns about how you're approaching things.

At home my actual practice setup is bass, snare, hats, low tom and one crash/ride cymbal.

At the gigs and at band practice, I use my normal 4 piece with some extra cymbals.

I can play all my songs, and the huge majority of covers I play along to on either set. I don't lack the adaptability and it doesn't matter what backline I use or how many kit parts I have, my brain is wired to think in terms of the rhythms and not the sounds I must have in those spaces.
You're 100% correct, if I had realized going into that gig that I wouldn't have had the rack tom available, I would most certainly have done some woodshedding in that configuration beforehand.

I'm not one to worry about stuff being exactly the way I have it, when I'm playing someone else's kit. As long as I can reach it (I have one friend who puts his cymbals WAY up high, so I do adjust them, he's the only one I change any hardware for) I leave their kit the way they have it, save for maybe adjusting the seat. So I'm good for adjusting what I'm doing on the fly, this was simply a VERY drastic change for me :)

I can work with either one or two rack toms with no appreciable challenge to what I'm doing. I realize a lot of folks like going with just one, I've kept with the two, since each of my kits are mounting them thru the kick drum, I might as well put the other up there. On my main kit, I have a bunch of cymbals, but I go with a much smaller array for my smaller kit. I agree, its fun working with less and making myself do different stuff.

Interesting...
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  #33  
Old 02-08-2017, 11:00 PM
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Default Re: Minimalist Setup?

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When you know exactly what you want to say, who needs creativity?

:P
Never stop growing or limit yourself artificially. You need creativity and new ideas because it keeps you fresh and thinking; off of auto-pilot and into the unknown.

Even if you never gig one, practicing on a minimal set will make you a better drummer in several ways, which I won't outline again.

And yes, I do realize that you're both perfect and don't need creativity, but this is for the benefit of everyone. The other mortals.
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Old 02-09-2017, 03:11 AM
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Default Re: Minimalist Setup?

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Originally Posted by mikejungle View Post
yeah...i ran into a bunch of these threads, which is cool. but not all of em have the dimensions listed...

so yeah. if there even are 'optimal dimensions' for a minimalist setup, i'd like to know. thanks for the posts.
I was working a project for a bit where I was playing really tiny rooms and music that was very much about groove. I got by with my Breakbeats kit sans rack tom (16" bass, 13" floor), 14" HHX Groove hats, and a 19" HHX Omni. I'd typically bring an old Slingerland Artist snare, as the edges and tone of the drum in general made it easier to get a pleasing, fat, onubstrusive sound.

We played larger rooms a handful of times, and for that I kept it similar but larger; 22" bass, 16" floor, 22" AA Apollo, 14" AA Regular hats, and a brass snare.

I'm not going to say I have NO trouble going from my typical larger setup to something like this, but I believe my thought process and approach to playing helps, as I tend to think more in terms of patterns and high voice vs low voice. As long as I have basic contrasting voices, I can mostly adapt. There's still always going to be those moments of muscle memory failing you and find yourself going for a rack tom or crash that just isn't there, and times where your limited palette doesn't provide you with an adequate substitution and you find yourself a bit jarred with how things sound... but the audience will never know if you don't show it.

I'll also add that I brought a double pedal, and being able to interject that in fills for climatic moments and dramatic effect really helps make a small kit sound much bigger, without really adding much more to carry.
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Old 02-09-2017, 03:29 AM
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Never stop growing or limit yourself artificially. You need creativity and new ideas because it keeps you fresh and thinking; off of auto-pilot and into the unknown.
Growing is too much effort. I like the whole auto pilot thing, it's easy! And I really dig the known! You can have the unknown! I'm tired of figuring things out! I want to enjoy myself!

I'm not a real big fan of fresh thoughts either, I prefer my thoughts to be aged a bit before I release them.

I refuse to grant you satisfaction tonight James :P
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Old 02-09-2017, 03:31 AM
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GruntersDad GruntersDad is offline
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Default Re: Minimalist Setup?

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Originally Posted by larryace View Post
When you know exactly what you want to say, who needs creativity?

:P
You've already created it.........then said it.
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Old 02-10-2017, 01:05 AM
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Dr_Watso Dr_Watso is offline
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Default Re: Minimalist Setup?

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Originally Posted by larryace View Post
I'm not a real big fan of fresh thoughts either, I prefer my thoughts to be aged a bit before I release them.
I know for fact this statement is false. Like Uncle Larry would ever think before he opens his mouth! As if!
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Old 02-08-2018, 05:50 PM
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CommanderRoss CommanderRoss is offline
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Default Re: Minimalist Setup?

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Originally Posted by mikejungle View Post
So yeah, if there even are 'optimal dimensions' for a minimalist setup, i'd like to know.
I wouldn't go lower than 16" for a kick. Anything less starts sounding to high pitched for a kick and you lose any bottom end.

Here's what I use for my small acoustic gigs. 16" "foot tom", 10" 805 popcorn snare and a crash/ride.
I recently found a cymbal mount that fits into the upper floor tom leg bracket, so it now sits right on top of the kick. The snare now mounts to the mic stand I use, so it's even smaller than you see it here as the snare/cymbal stand is gone.
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Old 02-08-2018, 06:06 PM
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Default Re: Minimalist Setup?

Daria approves, I think?
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Old 02-08-2018, 06:06 PM
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Default Re: Minimalist Setup?

CommanderRoss, what are you running head wise on that little 16” kick? I’ve been curious as to how people get a fatter sound out of smaller kicks like yours.
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