Platinum Member
For gig/session (hopefully) I already know the music (or at least a vague concept), and have chosen the appropriate number of toms in advance based on the musical setting.

While I own 8 thru 18, I usually start with a 4pc, and then work up if necessarily. Although it's rare I ever use more than a 5pc.

Although the last full album I did record, as we were getting ready to cut the first song, the singer said "could you, like, hit more stuff?" lol And thus, the kit grew by a left side floor tom and more sound effect cymbals.


Gold Member
he wouldve known already as I wouldve sent him the stage plot a week earlier.


Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
You must have had a sound guy from Phoenix.......... LOL



Staff member
Your getting ready to do a session or gig. The sound guy says to you: "how many toms are you using tonight" what do you say?
Hi Joe, good to have you here :)

Depends on the gig of course - could be one up - one down, could be 3 up - 1 down.

I always tell them "two up, two down". When they start whining about it I just say "do your job, hump..." HAHAHA
If I was running your live sound, I'm having to ask you because you couldn't be arsed to complete the tech rider. If you responded like that, I'd put exactly the same level of effort into making your drums sound good :)


Gold Member
The answer is three, but I wonder why such a simple question from a pro drummer.

I have been playing in original bands around the country for twenty years and unless I was on tour I have almost never had a tour rider. Local shows dont ask for riders and the sound guys usually use the same setup for everybody anyway.

Mad About Drums

Pollyanna's Agent
I'd say all of them...



Silver Member
LoL! Reminds me of the Bozzio kit:


But seriously, I don't get the question.. or is that the point? It's pointless?
Assuming the sound guy can't see my setup..and do the math; I'd echo the other post "2 up, 2 down".


Platinum Member
I switched to a one-up, one-down setup about four years ago and I've never looked back. I did it to challenge myself to break some habits where I would play certain patterns on auto-pilot instead of creating parts that fit the music.

I discovered peripheral benefits, too: I don't miss hauling the extra drums around, the extra time setting up and tearing down, and the pain of tuning that many drums.

So my answer would be simple: "Two."


"Uncle Larry"
Your getting ready to do a session or gig. The sound guy says to you: "how many toms are you using tonight" what do you say?

How many would you prefer? Then I'd let him talk to pick his brain to see which is the best way to handle this particular person...with the goal of getting the guy on my side.

Simple manners, make him feel in control, and get him to like me. I can't expect him to be open minded if I'm not.

Rule #1 in dealing with audio engineers, don't peeve them off.

Then if his vision and mine don't quite line up, remember rule #1 and then I'd tread ever so lightly, testing the waters, to see how much this person is willing to concede by stating my requirements as humbly as I could.

Seems like kind of a strange question tho, like he may be short on mics?