I’ve been an official endorser for Paiste cymbals and Vic Firth sticks for a long time, and recently signed on with Q Drum Co.. Q Drum Co. is owned by master drum builder Jeremy Berman and Nine Inch Nails drummer Ilan Rubin. Jeremy was the main man behind Orange County Drums and Percussion (OCDP) for a long time, and is also one of the most in-demand and experienced drum techs in the industry. No one has more experience and knowledge about how drums should sound and work in a touring and recording situation, and that shines through in his work. He does some amazing stuff with metal shells as well.
I also own and use a ton of Drum Workshop drums and will often play DW drums at fly-out shows for their consistency, reliability and availability.
Apart from several DW and PDP kits and snares, I own a plethora of snare drums made by various companies, as well as a bunch of vintage drums. I’m a cymbal geek and have a large collection of Paiste cymbals to match any type of musical situation.
My setup always varies depending on the gig, but the gear I use with Bumblefoot is pretty consistent.
DW or Q Drum Co. (occasionally random brand rental kits, but always in the sizes below):
16″x24″ bass drum (sometimes 22″ diameter, sometimes 18″ deep)
9″x13″ tom (on snare stand, sometimes 8″x12″)
16″x16″ floor tom (sometimes 14″ or 15″ diameter)
16″x18″ floor tom (sometimes 16″ diameter)
6.5″x14″ brass snare (usually PDP Ace w/DW True Hoops)
12″ or 13″ side snare
19″ Signature Dark Energy Dark Energy Crash Mark I
15″ 2002 Sound Edge Hi-Hat top / 15″ 2002 Medium Hi-Hat bottom
20″ 2002 Medium
24″ 2002 Ride
20″ 2002 Medium
20″ 2002 Novo China
19″ 2002 Crash
My basic setup usually consists of a 24″ bass drum (14″, 16″ or 18″ deep), a single tom (12″ or 13″) and one or two floor toms (depending on the situation, either a 15″ and 16″, 15″ and 18″, 14″ and 16″, 16″ and 18″, or just a 15″ or a 16″). Generally, I’ll use bigger drums on bigger stages, and smaller drums for softer music and/or in the studio or on smaller stages.
I love larger cymbals for the simple fact that they have a lower pitch that blends into music much better than smaller cymbals, which tend to stand out more and are more often found “annoying”. I also simply love the timbre and sonic textures of large cymbals.
I’m all about 15″ hi-hats. Ever since I tried a pair, I was sold. I prefer 15″ hats over 14″ hats because they tend to have a lower pitch, which, like mentioned before, often blends into music better and doesn’t become harsh. In order of volume/loudness of the gig, my favorite hats are:
15″ Formula 602 Modern Essentials Hi-Hats
15″ Signature Sound Edge Hi-Hats
15″ 2002 Sound Edge Hi-Hat Top w/ 15″ 2002 Medium Hi-Hat Bottom.
I’ll sometimes use the classic 15″ 2002 Sound Edge Hats pair as well. I’ll pick whichever of those fits the music best.
I absolutely love 20″ crash cymbals. I’ll use any combination of crashes from Paiste’s Formula 602, Formula 602 Modern Essentials, Dark Energy, Signature and 2002 lines for light to medium loud situations. For heavier music I’ll use either 2002 Medium crashes, or Signature Heavy Full Crashes.
Not many situations call for a china type cymbal these days, but when one does, the 20″ 2002 NOVO China is my very favorite. Its incredible dynamic range makes it respond very well to soft touches as well as loud hits. My go-to splash for those sessions that do have a place for them is the 8″ Paiste Twenty series splash.
Ride cymbals are a tricky thing. Every situation requires a ride to have just the right balance between volume, definition and wash. My very favorite ride is the classic 24″ 2002 Ride. It seems to work well in about 75% of the situations I find myself in. For lighter work, I’ll often use a 22″ Signature Dark Energy MkII Ride. But when recording, I will pick whatever fits the music from my large collection of rides.
Some of my favorite snare drums are a 6.5″x14″ PDP Ace (with DW True Hoops), a 6.5″x14″ solid brass DW (the thing weighs 20 lbs!) and a 6″x14″ Ahead Black Nickel Over Brass snare with S-Hoops. I definitely love brass snares, but my current favorite snare is a 6″x14″ walnut stave snare, custom-built for me by HD Custom Drums. This thing has an incredible tone. Apart from these, I own some 20-odd snares that I’ll choose from to fit the music.
I use Puresound Custom Pro wires on all of my snares, and a variety of Remo drum heads (always a P3 on the kick, Controlled Sound or Controlled Sound X on snare, Clear or Coated Emperors or Black Dots on toms).
My main stick is Vic Firth‘s 5B wood tip. I’ll use either the regular 5B, the ones with the black lacquer coating, or the ones with Vic Grip, depending on the temperature/humidity of the venue and how much extra grip I may need on the stick. The lacquered sticks offer a little more grip for chilly/dry environments, and the Vic Grip even more so, which I’ll use a lot in the winter. For lower volume situations, I’ll use 55A’s.
My hardware is all DW 9000 series, with a 5000 series hi-hat stand and either 9000 or 5000 series single or double pedals.
I proudly endorse and work with the following amazing companies and their great products and/or services: