The Neverending Quest to the Perfect Setup

iCe

Silver Member
Hi everyone,

Just out of curiosity i thought i'd post this question: do you also change your setup on regular basis or think about changing it?

I'm one of those drummers who likes to have a big setup because i have a lot of 'sonic choices'. I also like a small setup, so that everything is compact but that means sacrificing some sounds. I like having 3 toms up front, but i also like to have two toms off-set (or even one tom) so that the ride is (slightly) above the bassdrum for easy acces. And is also easier to crash that way. I think you're getting the dilemma haha

My setup in it's current version i like, but i still struggle to find a sweet spot for the rocket toms and the ride (i keep accidentally crashing it sometimes when doing a fill over the 12"). I do like the ride in that position, because my arm and shoulder are in a comfy position (hence why i like an off-set or single tom setup). So now I'm thinking of putting the ride above my 14" floor tom and besides my 12" tom for easy access. That also means i can put the 19" crash more up front and that every cymbal on the right moves a bit more closer in. Maybe more drastically I'm thinking of going for a Neil Peart setup (toms over the hi-hat), but that means also moving the crashes higher and i like them nice and low.

Just thought i'd share my frustrations haha. Not posting this asking for suggestions (open for them though), but more wondering if anyone else is on this quest?
 

bud7h4

Silver Member
I move cymbals around regularly, and much like you, it seems to revolve around the ride placement. Troy Wright has several setups I like, as I have a similar overall kit setup to begin with.
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
I change it up quite a lot. Experimented with having a center pedal for several years (Off-Set, then Sleishman). Also, a center hi-hat position (1st a Yamaha cable unit, now a DW 9550).
 

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iCe

Silver Member
I change it up quite a lot. Experimented with having a center pedal for several years (Off-Set, then Sleishman). Also, a center hi-hat position (1st a Yamaha cable unit, now a DW 9550).

I've been also thinking about placing the hi-hat in the center (thus creating space for closing in the rocket toms) ala Danny Carey or even open handed playing. Probably going to change something this friday at rehearsal and I'll see where that leads me hehe
 

Benthedrummer

Well-known Member
Quite a few years ago now I invested in a second hand DR-80 Pearl rack.

I have not changed my setup at all since then.

It has given me the freedom to achieve my perfect setup........
 

roncadillac

Member
I've changed my set up frequently over the years. The constant is that I prefer smaller set ups (I gigged just bass, snare, and ride for over a year). Where I struggle and what makes me go 'back and forth' these days are toms. I hate toms, I really do. They are the most boring part of a kit and the only way to make them less boring is to add more and hit all of them... Not my bag baby. I struggle because as a drummer I feel like I have to use them. My playing doesn't lack without them, I'm very used to it and successfully snare comp without a problem as well as receive regular compliments on my ability/sound in relation to my kit size (tee hee hee). I've used this time at home to pull out both my toms and set up a proper 4 piece. At first I was pumped about it and flailed about my kit like Moon. I then put on some of the backing tracks I jam to or music from the band I'm playing with and quickly realize how much I hated them again.

I'll flat out say it: I play toms like a Dbag lol

I fully expect I'll be going back to 2 piece kick/snare set up for most of my playing. I only occasionally add a floor tom if I'm filling in for a friend's band or when I'm recording to fill the sound out a bit. Live? Don'need'em.
 

cbphoto

Diamond Member
I ran the usual 2-up 2-down with 4 or 5 cymbals for years. Then a fellow musician (guitarist, percussionist) suggested I remove all but the essentials: bass, snare, ride, hats. It was a revelation and really helped me learn to ”stick to the groove”. I played that way for about 5 years.

As I began recording, I realized that adding a tom or another cymbal was to add sounds and help the song. It was very freeing. I do the same now and only set up the drums & cymbals I want to play for a particular song or practice session.

I‘m no wizard on the kit, and really enjoy learning how to compose a drum part for a song. Using only what’s needed has helped me improve on the kit.
 

roncadillac

Member
I ran the usual 2-up 2-down with 4 or 5 cymbals for years. Then a fellow musician (guitarist, percussionist) suggested I remove all but the essentials: bass, snare, ride, hats. It was a revelation and really helped me learn to ”stick to the groove”. I played that way for about 5 years.

As I began recording, I realized that adding a tom or another cymbal was to add sounds and help the song. It was very freeing. I do the same now and only set up the drums & cymbals I want to play for a particular song or practice session.

I‘m no wizard on the kit, and really enjoy learning how to compose a drum part for a song. Using only what’s needed has helped me improve on the kit.

We've had a similar journey by the sounds of it, cheers
 

Darth Vater

Senior Member
I'll experiment when I first get a kit but once I get them to where I'm comfortable, that's pretty much where they'll stay.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
I like to move things around and try new ideas. It's usually about once a year or so. There is never any rhyme or reason to it, I'll just get an idea and see how it works out. I think I've tried just about every possible combination of up/down and placement at this point.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry" - Administrator
Staff member
I don't move things around. They stay the same. It's just another distraction for me, different layouts.

The upside of changing layouts doesn't outweigh the downside for me.

For me, that time is better spent trying to do something I can't do yet.
 

roncadillac

Member
I don't move things around. They stay the same. It's just another distraction for me, different layouts.

The upside of changing layouts doesn't outweigh the downside for me.

For me, that time is better spent trying to do something I can't do yet.

But, what if that thing you can't do yet can be done quicker/easier with a different set up? ;)
 

Justinhub2003

Silver Member
Since I’ve been working from home (it’s week 9 for me).
I have done nothing but tinker with my setup, buy new sounds and also change heads like Mad to find the perfect sound.

New sounds and new setups inspires me to play different and gets me refreshed to want to play more.

for example I bought a Istanbul Xist ion trash and added to the kit two days ago, and right away it inspired me to want to work my dynamics and play a long to much more melllower tunes. It’s a very quiet cymbal so make its voice heard, I had to change my aproach and also change the way I’m playing the louder voices around it

it’s fun
 

RickP

Gold Member
I have owned sets of all different configurations and finally come to the conclusion that I just want to play a four piece kit with hats , ride and two crashes and ai will stay with that till I am done playing . I like this set up and I feel I need to be imaginative .

now please do not get the wrong impression that I am denigrating people that have large kits . I love large drum sets but for the stuff I play these days , half a large kit would not get played and it is a just not feasible ( and expensive ) for me to go on my gigs with a large set up . What I take now works perfectly for me
 
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iCe

Silver Member
I have owned sets of all different configurations and finally come to the conclusion that I just want to play a four piece kit with hats , ride and two crashes and ai will stay with that till I am done playing . I like this set up and I feel I need to be imaginative .

now please do not get the wrong impression that I am denigrating people that have large kits . I love large drum sets but for the stuff I play these days , half a large kit would not get played and it is a just not feasible ( and expensive ) for me to go on my gigs with a large set up . What I take now works perfectly for me

I played in a rock band for 3 years or so and for that bass, snare, tom + floor tom was enough. Hats, 2x crash, ride and china were my basics all the time. Sometimes i added a splash, mini china, stack or cowbell just to spice things up. Main job was keeping time and having a big kit would mean i wouldn't use 90% of it (in contrast to the progressive metal project i play in now, where i guess almost 75% i have is used in every song). But for that band meant also i wouldn't have to haul around loads of gear for a short Battle of the Bands gig.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
I don't think there will be, or should be, a perfect set up.

Guitarists don't ever have a perfect set up. They change guitars, often from song to song. Often for reasons, no one else can hear.

Every musical situation, sometimes each individual song, has different needs.
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
How did you like the offset bass pedal? I was thinking of getting one but there's no one here that has them to try.
Back when I got it .... my basic choice was between the Off-Set, and the Sonor Giant Step. Tried them both at the NAMM show. Preferred the Off-Set, so that's the one I bought. Not a bad pedal ...... but .....

Few years later, I got a chance to play a Sleishman. Sold the Off-Set and replaced it with a Sleishman. The Sleishman does away with the drive shafts, so while the Off-Set gives you basically the feel of two slave pedals, the Sleishman feels more like a standard chain drive pedal.

But certainly, you expect some trade offs, being the main purpose of both pedals is to center the bass drum, not cater to blazingly fast single pedal triplets.
 

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