I cannot tell you how much I love this little kit. I have a compact Tama set myself, but it’s from 2015, and is the Imperialstar Bop. I love it, but I would love to pick up one of these awesome new Tama Superstar Classic Neo-Mods as well.
I really love Tama’s size choices on this kit. Keeping the full size diameter, but just shortening the shells provides a deeper tone than deeper, but smaller in diameter shells. The kick on the Neo-Mod is a 20″, but is only 10″ deep. The rest of the drum sizes are a 7×12 tom and 9×14 floor tom. The shallow depth sizes make it so easy to move around.
Shells are 100% maple, which is very nice for a kit in this price range, and on top of that it looks insanely cool. The Neo-Mod comes in all kinds of cool looking finishes too.
The PST5 Line of cymbals has been around for quite some time now. I got my first one back in 2009, and instantly loved how great it sounded for how inexpensive it was. That one was the, now discontinued, PST5 19″ Rock Crash. I still have this cymbal today, and now that it is nearly 10 years old it almost sounds better than it ever did.
PST5s are not supposed to be Paiste’s high end cymbals, in fact there’s several lines that are more expensive and higher up on their virtual shelf such as the PST7s, and PST8s, then the 900 series and all of their ‘pro’ line cymbals on top of that. However, in my opinion they are some of the nicest sounding cymbals made. Sound crazy? I don’t care. I’ve owned several of the PST5 line, and have liked them just as much, or far better than other supposedly ‘pro’ cymbals. For example, I had a set of PST5 Medium Hi Hats, then got rid of them for a pair of signature hats, and ended up being pretty disappointed and wished I’d kept the PST5s.
They have very distinct musical pitches, and blend in incredibly well in recorded music. They also stand out in a live setting. I really love the crashes and Hi Hats. I also had a 22″ Rock Ride at one point (also discontinued now in this size) and it sounded amazing for what it was.
So if you’re on the lookout for some amazing cymbals that won’t break the bank, I highly recommend Paiste’s PST5 Line. My next cymbal purchase will most likely be the PST5 Sound Edge hats.
Many years ago (1990s) I remember a company making some aluminium hardware similar to this, I think it was Gibraltor, I never had some, but I always remembered thinking it was an awesome idea. Then they seemed to disappear and I never saw them again, well until now!
Yamaha has released this incredible hardware pack called Crosstown that is insanely lightweight, but insanely sturdy. Not only that, the design gives them a pretty interesting look.
Why is this idea so good? Well as any drummer knows, stands are HEAVY! If you’re playing gigs, and travelling around, the last thing you want to do is lug a 100lb hardware case up 4 flights of stairs for a gig in NYC. I actually use lightweight flat based stands by Ludwig, and yes they’re light, but not nearly as heavy duty as these, and actually not even as light since they’re still made of metal alloy. The total weight of the Yamaha Crosstown Hardware Pack is only 17lbs in the case!
Okay hear me out here before you get tiggered, but I really think this trend of the past couple of years of “low volume” cymbals is really stupid. Yes yes, I get that some people (including me) live in small apartments with neighbors all around who really will not like you banging on full volume drums, but if the option is playing something that looks like a drumset, but sounds like awful garbage, like the example above, I’d rather just play guitar.
I started playing drums when I was 10 years old, and as a kid (and as an adult), the power, loudness, resonance, and tones of the drums, all are part of why I loved playing them so much. If I had something that sounded like cardboard boxes and baking pans, I never would have wanted to play them. So what can you do?
Well, what I do is rent a small room about 10 blocks away from my house in an industrial neighborhood for my drums, but I realize this option isn’t realistic for everyone, so option 2 is build your own electronic drum set. Even though I kinda hate electronic drums too, but at least they’re better than what you hear above. I built my own electronic kit back in 2009, and it wasn’t that difficult, here’s some pics:
I’ve also made a playlist of youtubers who made some pretty awesome ones:
Or… you can just buy one (which is probably what I’d do now, haha.
E-kits have gotten a lot cheaper and better in recent years. But honestly, I would rather play any of the above than Low Volume cymbals with silent heads. At this point you’re just hitting drum shaped objects that sound like nothing. At least with electronic drums you can record them and have endless options of sounds. Plus they’re STILL QUIETER than LV cymbals and drums.
Anyway, I know this was a bit of a rant, but just had to get it out there ;P
Over the past month I have been trying various notation programs to help with my lessons online as well as in person, and one thing I have found in common with all of these programs, is they all seem to treat drums as an afterthought, and many don’t even work at all. This has been incredibly frustrating and causing me much headache.
Programs I’ve tried:
Musescore – Works to some extent but note entry is horrible, correcting mistakes is nearly impossible without screwing up every other note you entered.
Crescendo – Interface is actually better than average, however drum score flat out is not possible. It does not display correctly at all.
Finale Notepad – Another god awful UI, hard to use, but basic drum notation is at least possible, though you’ll be ripping your hair out by the time you get something readable.
Rosegarden – Does not even provide a drum/percussion staff.
I will keep investigating this HUGE problem but at the time being there’s really not a single program I can recommend for drummers. I’ve heard Sibelius works, but haven’t tried it personally. The program as a whole has a reputation of having one of the worst UIs of all time.
At the time being Musescore seems to be the only one that actually works, but it’s literally 100x easier to just write the lessons out by hand than wrestle with this clunky and unintuitive interface.