I endorse Paiste cymbals and Vic Firth sticks, and mostly use Drum Workshop and PDP drums.
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 basic setup usually consists of a 22″x18″ or 24″x18″ bass drum, a single tom (12″ or 13″) and one or two floor toms (15″ and 16″, or just a 16″). Generally, I’ll use bigger drums for louder music and on bigger stages, and smaller drums for softer music and/or in the studio or 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.
My favorite set of hi-hats is a 15″ Paiste 2002 Sound Edge Bottom, with a 15″ 2002 Medium Bottom used as a top cymbal. Contrary to what most people think when they hear this, this is a very musical sounding set of hats. The Medium Bottom is only slightly heavier than the Sound Edge top, giving the set a little more bite and a crispier texture when played half-open. But apart from these, I have a whole bunch of other hats at my disposal. 14″ Signature Dark Crisp Hats tend to work really well in straight-ahead pop tunes.
I absolutely love 20″ crash cymbals and my main crashes are two 20″ 2002 Mediums. These things are absolute classics (used on many classic albums by the likes of John Bonham, Alex Van Halen and Roger Taylor). For heavier or lighter music I’ll use any combination of Paiste cymbals from their various lines.
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. But I will pick whatever fits the music from my large collection of rides.
Some of my favorite snare drums are a 14″x6.5″ solid brass DW (the thing weighs 20 lbs!) and a 14″x5.5″ 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 my 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.
My main sticks are Vic Firth‘s HD9 and 5B, depending on what feels right at the particular moment. I might also use 55A’s, X55A’s, 5A’s or X5B’s. All wood tips.
My hardware is all DW 9000 series, with a 9002 double pedal and a 5000 series hi-hat stand. I also have various 5000, 7000 and 3000 series pedals for various situations/kits.