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paul

paulmiller



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Location: Lewisville, Texas, USA
No. 1 Posted on Dec 18, 2013 12:54 PM Profile | PM | Email | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
For the last several years I've been gigging with two different setups, a 12/13/15/16/22 for big band and rock gigs, and 10/12/14/15/20 for small group jazz. I also have two different sets of cymbals for the sets. In the meantime, I also have a 10/12/14/16/22 Catalina Maple for home use that I've been really pleased with.

Recently I had the chance to bring my gigging sets inside to play while rehearsing my small group, and to play with tunings and tweak the racks, and I'm considering a rethink. I'd already settled on a single set of ride and crashes for all gigs, and am seriously thinking about going to a 10/12/14/16/20 for everything, too, or even 8/10/12/14/16/20.

I'm doing some home recording that will help with the decision, and it may not happen. My big band has a gig in January where I may try the "smaller" setup to see how it works out. Until then, I'm interested in others' experiences with different sizes. How did you decide what sizes to play? How do you tune? High? Low? Dead? What do you think?



The presence of those seeking the truth is infinitely preferable to the presence of those who think they've found it. - Terry Pratchett

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pwc





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No. 2 Posted on Dec 18, 2013 8:09 PM Profile | PM | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
I steadily but surely downsized over a long period but primarily in dimensions rather than piece numbers. I did decide to go from 5 to 4 piece sets but am currently back "up" to 5. Your kits are way bigger than anything I have ever settled on.
My key change was to 12" snare drums, but deep and solid or stave.
The next change was cymbals and the largest is now 20" down from 24" rides to 22" rides and I have one set only put together over a long period and find they can suit any gig with a switch of main ride.
Then against convention I went with 10" rack tom with 14" floor and 20" bass for a long time. Now my kit dimensions are 18 x 7.5 bass (yes 7.5 !), 8, 10, 12 toms but each are shallow and 12" snare although the current kit came with a 13" snare which is too shallow for my taste so I rarely use it.
Finally, and more to the point you raised, not ever having more than one real kit (I had and have a single head very portable kit also) I never had your options to mix and match but I have to think that your choice of 20" bass is a good one for versatility reasons and I can't see how one 6 piece for all gigs can be wrong.
So go for it .... !
I tend to tune high and my choice of what to play was really dictated by the venues and genre that I tended to play in.
,
,

(Click the picture to view the original one)


pwc edited on Dec 22, 2013 2:13 AM

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StillKicken





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Location: Buda, Texas
No. 3 Posted on Dec 20, 2013 8:22 PM Profile | PM | Email | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
Paul with your choices I think I would go with 8/10/12/14/16/20 in small areas you could always drop the 8 or 16 or both.

Like you I own a large set; 8/10/12/14/16/18/22 plus a 13; all Ludwig maple drums. The 12 was an addition to replace a hard to tune 13. That is a lot of drums and hardly ever used all of them maybe two times; now due to my age and small venues Iím downsizing not only drums but hardware as well. A little over a year ago I converted the 18 FT to a 16x18 bass; that is one nice drum. At first I planned to use either bass drum depending on venue but once I started using the 18 I havenít looked back.

In the smallest venue I use the 10 and 13 hanging over the bass. Yep went back to the 13 only because of color match and using electronic tuners seems to be working for me. Larger venues I add the 14 RT converted to Floor Tom; a much better sounding drum in that position.

Hardware; Iíve used it all I guess form large racks to stands back to racks and now finally settled on a Stealth system. I think itís the most practical configuration for me and it takes up less room on stage. On one end it holds two toms, a boom cymbal and a wood block plus an arm for the small powered monitor; on the other end is the snare. Just donít set it up on the side of a hill. LOL! On the other side of the bass drum I have a Tama cymbal boom stand with a one tom mount that could be used for the 13 if I decide to use the 8Ē tom.

So how do I cut back on hardware? The double tom mount is a bass drum mount plugged into the vertical Stealth tube plus a down tube cymbal boom is clamped to the back side of the tom mount. I plan to order a new ATLAS clamp double tom holder that will clamp to the upper portion of a boom (hide-a-way) cymbal stand plugged into the Stealth system. It will not only have a cleaner look but itíll be a single collapsible pole when the Stealth foot is removed for packing. I ordered an ATLAS cymbal scissor lift that will clamp to one of the floor tom legs; this will eliminate the right side heavy cymbal stand when not needed. I hope to feel the difference in weight and efficiency.

My tunings are low at this time although high enough to resonate, no dead sounds for me. Toms are tuned in thirds from the bottom up. Both heads are Fiberskyn tuned the same for max resonance. I plan to tune slightly higher; there are times when the 10Ē just will not cut it, lacking the higher tone needed in some cases. I really miss not using the 8Ē tom.

sherm



K.I.S.S. = Keep It Simple System
OldFart

Mapex



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No. 4 Posted on Dec 22, 2013 12:51 AM Profile | PM | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
Hey Paul -

I, too, have a 10/12/14/16/22 kit and feel I should've gone for a 20" Bass over the 22", now that the set-up has been time-tested (20"x16 seems an ideal size to me).

For both Sound quality and Hauling ease, the configuration "feels" ideal. I tend to tension the heads "up" with the aim of getting a rounder resonance.

Best wishes -


OldFart edited on Dec 22, 2013 12:57 AM

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Andy





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Location: Rockford, MI
No. 5 Posted on Dec 22, 2013 5:08 AM Profile | PM | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
Hey Paul, a 20" bass drum will work for anything; even heavy metal gigs! I play mostly Rock and gradually went from a 24 kick to a 22 to eventually a 20. I still have all three sizes of bass drum and all sizes of toms, but my most common gigging kit is:

16x20 bass
9x10 tom
14x14 floor tom
5.5x14 snare

It works for everything. Many drummers wouldn't dare bring a 9x10 tom to a Rock gig, but when tuned a bit on the low side, it sounds sharp, fat and funky. I love it.

I think you should still keep your "big" kit because sometimes it's fun to switch it up a bit and try something different at a gig. Although you CAN use a 20" kick and small toms effectively for every gig, it's always nice to drag along a big-ass 24" bass drum and some giant toms every once in a while just to show then who's boss! Smile

The biggest change I've made over the years is to get rid of all my matching kits and just keep the individual drums that I really like. This change of philosophy allows me to incorporate a mix of orphaned drums into various sets. Sounds silly, but that's "how I roll" nowadays.

I primarily gig with my small drums but have the ability to essentially "turn on a dime" and bring a giant hair-band, Bonham-esque kit if I feel the need. That's what makes it fun.




paul

paulmiller



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Location: Lewisville, Texas, USA
No. 6 Posted on Feb 13, 2014 10:13 AM Profile | PM | Email | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
I've been playing around at home with the 10/12/14/15/20 setup, and have decided to keep switching back and forth.

I've played 20" kicks in a rock setting, and this one would do the job, but I like the extra resonance at low tunings I get with the 22. The slightly higher tunings on the toms for small group work seems better also.

Thinking now about adding a bar on the left side of the 'big' rack to add 8" and 10" toms to the 12/13/15/16/22 setup. Hmmmm....



The presence of those seeking the truth is infinitely preferable to the presence of those who think they've found it. - Terry Pratchett

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pwc





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Location: Pattaya, Thailand
No. 7 Posted on Feb 13, 2014 10:26 PM Profile | PM | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
I have done the opposite in terms of dropping the 8" tom and just using the 10" rack tom with the 12" (floor tom) to make a 4 piece. In my typical settings, I have far more call for cymbal variation than with toms but since I have never played anything like the size of your kits, Paul, it suits me.


Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
StillKicken





Posts: 2344
Joined: Jan 16, 2005
Location: Buda, Texas
No. 8 Posted on Feb 14, 2014 3:26 AM Profile | PM | Email | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
I'm still using the 10 and 12 with a 14 floor and loving it with the 16x18 bass. However I still miss the ability to reach for the 8. The 8 and 10 works really well for big band especially when playing Latin tunes.

BTW: I did purchase an Audix D6 bass drum mic for the bass. There are times I feel the 18 needs a little help in large dance halls. I haven't tried it yet and I hope the PA has an extra channel I can use. LOL!!

sherm



K.I.S.S. = Keep It Simple System
Andy





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Location: Rockford, MI
No. 9 Posted on Feb 17, 2014 5:29 AM Profile | PM | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
Here's what my "pile of drums" consists of:

3 bass drums (20, 22, 24)
4 Toms (10, 12, 14, 16)
4 snares

To keep things fresh and interesting, I just configure these drums into all sorts of different kits depending upon what I'm playing and what I'm feeling.




StillKicken





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Location: Buda, Texas
No. 10 Posted on Feb 17, 2014 6:02 AM Profile | PM | Email | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
Andy, you need one more bass drum. Get an 18" bass if you can't find one get a 16x18 FT and convert it to bass.

Then you would have:
4 bass drums
4 toms
4 snares

Don't you think? LOL!!!

sherm



K.I.S.S. = Keep It Simple System
Andy





Posts: 1743
Joined: Jan 16, 2005
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No. 11 Posted on Feb 17, 2014 5:32 PM Profile | PM | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
StillKicken wrote:
Andy, you need one more bass drum. Get an 18" bass if you can't find one get a 16x18 FT and convert it to bass.

Then you would have:
4 bass drums
4 toms
4 snares

Don't you think? LOL!!!

sherm


You're right. There's something unsettling about a 3-4-4 progression. It's just not natural and now that you've pointed it out to me I'm a bit unnerved. Perhaps I should take the proper steps to correct this situation? Smile




paul

paulmiller



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Location: Lewisville, Texas, USA
No. 12 Posted on Feb 18, 2014 8:33 AM Profile | PM | Email | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
After some more thought, and a lot of fooling around here at home, I think I'm going to try the smaller drums (10/12/14/15 or 16/20) on a big band gig. I need to review a couple of recent recordings, but this setup is sounding really good to me.

Life was in some ways a lot easier when I had fewer choices.



The presence of those seeking the truth is infinitely preferable to the presence of those who think they've found it. - Terry Pratchett

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paul

paulmiller



Posts: 2708
Joined: Jan 23, 2005
Location: Lewisville, Texas, USA
No. 13 Posted on Feb 18, 2014 8:34 AM Profile | PM | Email | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
After some more thought, and a lot of fooling around here at home, I think I'm going to try the smaller drums (10/12/14/15 or 16/20) on a big band gig. I need to review a couple of recent recordings, but this setup is sounding really good to me.

Life was in some ways a lot easier when I had fewer choices.



The presence of those seeking the truth is infinitely preferable to the presence of those who think they've found it. - Terry Pratchett

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Andy





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Joined: Jan 16, 2005
Location: Rockford, MI
No. 14 Posted on Feb 18, 2014 3:37 PM Profile | PM | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
Paul,

What you're going through right now is what I endure prior to every gig. My wife calls it "drum fuss." She also applies this term to any time I barricade myself in the band room to re-tune or re-configure my drums for the millionth time. Smile




pwc





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Location: Pattaya, Thailand
No. 15 Posted on Feb 19, 2014 12:37 AM Profile | PM | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
For all you big kit guys, if you have a spare 6"or 8" tom then how about this .... ?



Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
paul

paulmiller



Posts: 2708
Joined: Jan 23, 2005
Location: Lewisville, Texas, USA
No. 16 Posted on Feb 20, 2014 4:45 PM Profile | PM | Email | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
That's really cool, Pete. As it happens, I have an 8x8 tom that matches my other drums and that isn't in use.

Andy, I rarely have your problem. I basically have two different setups, each with its own rack, and I rarely change them. 10/12/14/15/20 for small group stuff, and 12/13/15/16/22 for big band and rock. I may change a ride or china cymbal, but otherwise it's pretty consistent.

In fact, using the same set of cymbals is part of what got me thinking about standardizing the drums a la Steve Gadd and Dave Weckl.

Good news is that I got a call to sub at an informal big band gig this Sunday, so I can try out the 'smaller' setup in a setting where it won't count as much as with my regular big band.



The presence of those seeking the truth is infinitely preferable to the presence of those who think they've found it. - Terry Pratchett

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paul

paulmiller



Posts: 2708
Joined: Jan 23, 2005
Location: Lewisville, Texas, USA
No. 17 Posted on Feb 21, 2014 3:26 PM Profile | PM | Email | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
I spent a good part of this afternoon working on my 20" bass drum, and am pretty happy with it overall. Then I got out the 22" to change the resonant head, and decided to ditch the original idea altogether.

At a big band tuning, the 22" just has more power and resonance than the 20", and I just can't give that up. So I'll keep both setups, and retune the 20" to its natural spot.

Question answered, and all's well.



The presence of those seeking the truth is infinitely preferable to the presence of those who think they've found it. - Terry Pratchett

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OldFart

Mapex



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No. 18 Posted on Mar 1, 2014 8:33 PM Profile | PM | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
paul wrote:
I spent a good part of this afternoon working on my 20" bass drum, and am pretty happy with it overall. Then I got out the 22" to change the resonant head, and decided to ditch the original idea altogether.

At a big band tuning, the 22" just has more power and resonance than the 20", and I just can't give that up. So I'll keep both setups, and retune the 20" to its natural spot.

Question answered, and all's well.


I was secretly hoping you'd opt for the 20"; at least to try it in situ for a while anyway. You gave it consideration, though; and my hat's off to you for the openness behind the effort.

Now, I also thought that against a 16 piece (or larger) ensemble the 20 just might benefit from some reinforcement through a PA system and a Bass Drum mic (or even one such mic through a solitary amplifier set next to you). And deft choice of Bass Drum Mic would get your 20 "out there" fairly easily.

But, indeed, it has been settled to your liking.

This was an interesting thread, nevertheless Smile



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paul

paulmiller



Posts: 2708
Joined: Jan 23, 2005
Location: Lewisville, Texas, USA
No. 19 Posted on Mar 2, 2014 12:27 PM Profile | PM | Email | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
What really got me thinking about it seriously was that I brought the 'small' drums kit into the house, and have been playing it alone and with my small group for a few weeks. (Just trying to make lemonade out of the lack of gigs that call for it)

In the end, I just really like the bigger sound of the 22" in a big band format. I readily admit that the problem may be my tuning of that drum, and I'll probably try some different things over the next few weeks to see what I can get it to do, but for now the status quo holds.

There's not any big advantage to standardizing, except having the exact same setup all the time. At the same time, I like being able to change the sound of my 'standard' six piece setup just by choosing different drums.



The presence of those seeking the truth is infinitely preferable to the presence of those who think they've found it. - Terry Pratchett

Just Add Sticks


OldFart

Mapex



Posts: 6687
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No. 20 Posted on Mar 3, 2014 9:37 PM Profile | PM | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
paul wrote:
What really got me thinking about it seriously was that I brought the 'small' drums kit into the house, and have been playing it alone and with my small group for a few weeks. (Just trying to make lemonade out of the lack of gigs that call for it)

In the end, I just really like the bigger sound of the 22" in a big band format. I readily admit that the problem may be my tuning of that drum, and I'll probably try some different things over the next few weeks to see what I can get it to do, but for now the status quo holds.

There's not any big advantage to standardizing, except having the exact same setup all the time. At the same time, I like being able to change the sound of my 'standard' six piece setup just by choosing different drums.


... And the early history of Swing is behind you.

We've seen the early Swing drummers. They incorporated larger diameter Bass Drums as part of their traps. I'm sure they simply played what was available; but that contributed to the accepted Swing sound - and for practical purposes that's commensurate with your ultimate conclusion.

I'm betting your tuning was on the mark Wink



Mapex Saturn * Paiste
Terry Bozzio Single-Ply Coated

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