Category Archives: drums

Top 5 Compact Drum Kits of 2018

Long gone are the days of the 1970s and 80s (sigh) of huge drum sets and huge hair (sigh). Today most people who play drums seriously do not want a gigantic kit to lug around, or even have the space for one in their house. For the past 10 years small compact kits with 18″ bass drums have really caught on, even some with 16″ bass drums. I even play an 18″ myself!

With the giant sea of musical instruments out there, I thought I’d provide a list of what I consider the best compact, or “bop” drum sets out there in 2018!

5. SPL Street Bop – This set is an incredible bargain and as you can tell by the video below it is quite capable of some incredible sounds! It features an 18″ kick, 12″ tom, 14″ tom and 14″ snare. Buy one here

4. Ludwig Breakbeats – This kit features a really small 16″ kick, 10″ and 13″ toms, and a 14″ snare that is super compact, has a stunning glitter finish, and don’t sound too shabby. If you’re looking for super small and great looks, the breakbeats is probably your best choice, get one here

3. Yamaha Stage Custom Birch Bop – Though this kit doesn’t come with a snare (you’ll have to buy that separately), It does come with incredible professional sound. Yamaha makes some of the best drums in the world and their quality is only matched by a small few. This kit comes with an 18″ kick, 12″ tom, and 14″ floor tom. It’s small, but still big enough to sound like a real set. Buy one here

2. Gretsch Catalina Club Jazz – Same sizes as the Yamaha above, 18″,12″,14″ (14″), but this amazing Gretsch comes with a snare as well! The natural wood finish looks absolutely amazing and the kit sounds great! Get one here

1. Tama Imperialstar with 18″ Kick – Though the Tama Imperialstar Bop was discontinued in 2015 (this is the kit I have) they still make a similar one with an extra tom and it even comes with cymbals. Tama drums are some of the finest made in the world. They are known for their incredible durability and sound. Get one here

So there’s my list! I hope you found it helpful and it helps you pick out your new drums!


Return Home – Drum Version (Live Playthrough)

This is the the title track and first song off my album “Return Home” I’ve made a special version with live drums for youtube, and possibly to be released later on within an album. Thanks for watching and please subscribe Drums uses: 2015 Tama Impiralstar Bop, 18k, 14s, 12t, 14f Cymbals used: 22″ Nuvader Ride, 18″ Camber (orginal) crash, 18″ Meinl Kinetic Crash, 14″ Camber/Avanti Hi hats (extremely rare, I’ve only ever seen two pairs of these, they have a sprayed on bronze color coating) Heads: Aquarian Studio X on everything Sticks: Aquarian X10 synthetics stands: 2x ludwig flat based stands, tama snare stand, olympic flat based hi hat stand, tama ride/tom mount stand.

Paiste 505s, The Best Vintage Budget Cymbals

Paiste 505s were a budget line of cymbals made in Switzerland by Paiste in the late 70s and early 80s. However, if you’ve ever heard a 505 you’ll quickly realize just how special these cymbals actually are.

They do not sound like a budget line at all, and in fact, they’re not even made like a budget line. The hammering and lathing on the 505 line is nearly identical to the famous 2002 line. Paiste made them less expensive by making them slightly thinner than the 2002s. This gives them a bit of a darker, lower pitched sound than the 2002s. But they still have that beautiful Paiste spread.

I have a 20″ green label 505 ride. This cymbal sounds absolutely gorgeous to me. There’s a nice stick definition that has that distinct paiste sound, but there’s also a full dark wash that sits underneath, and it also has a beautiful and controlled sounding crash when you lay into it.

Check out my song below of the FB-01 and Drums. I play on the 505 ride throughout the whole song.

Yamaha FB-01 FM Synth Module with Live Drums

This is a new song I created with only the Yamaha FB-01 in 8 part multi-timbral mode and then played lived drums to it. No FX were used on the FB-01. I seqenced the MIDI using the program, Seq24 for linux, then recorded the drums in Harrison Mixbus 4.
Drums used were a 1966 Slingerland Blue Sparkle kit, with an 80s metal Pearl Export 6.5×14 snare drum. Mics used in this recording were:
Kick – CAD KBM412
Snare – PDMIC78
Overheads –

Best High End Drum Micing Kit

One of the most legendary microphones for recording drums is the Sennheiser MD421. But at nearly $400 a piece, just getting 3 tom mics will cost you $1200! Not all of us have that kind of scratch to blow. Plus you’d still need a snare mic, kick mic, and overheads. By the time you get done you’d probably throw down about $3000!

You don’t have to do that though to get a killer high-end mic setup for drums. If you have medium amounts of scratch to blow, the Sennheiser DRUMKIT600 Drum Microphone Package could be the best high quality drum microphone package for $1000 on the market.

You will get a complete setup for a 4 piece drum kit that includes 3 tom/snare mics, a kick drum mic and two condenser overheads. This kit will last you for years to come and is great for both live and studio use. All of the mics come packaged in foam encased, locking aluminum case. This way you can keep studiomates from “borrowing” your mics without permission 😉