DW Drums (and Hardware/Pedals)
I believe there isn’t a company anywhere that tries to make a more perfect product than Drum Workshop. For more than 27 years, DW has been blowing my mind with new technological breakthroughs with their constant efforts to make a better drum. DW's innovations have been copied and imitated, but there is only one single original drum Industry leader. DW is a true custom drum builder willing and able to make your dream kit.
I've been using Evans drumheads for almost 30 years as well and love their consistency as well as the way they maatch up with my DWs. I started trying them when I was touring with Joan Osborne and they sounded great and were totally reliable night after night. These heads are trustworthy, consistent and great sounding.
Model 526 aka "The Bulb". This was the only company able to make my stick with the smallish hump that sits in your hand, which adds power abilities and to a 5a type stick model. The tip is designed for cymbal happiness. My sticks feel better and better every time I pick them up to play. I hope you try these out!
Zildjian’s been making cymbals for over three hundred years, and they’ve been good enough for Baby Dodds, Big Sid Catlett, Buddy Rich and Gene Krupa, let alone all the musicians that play them now. Their cymbals have a little “something extra”, which challenges me to be more beautiful with my” metal violins”! I’m happy to be playing them and thrilled to endorse them. Zildjian is more than a company, they are a family!
I've been using Gator Cases' Protechtor Line Classic Series for more than twenty years now and they've taken care of my drums while traveling all around the world. They are very lightweight whereas flight cases are heavy (and twice I've had a fork lift plow through one of flight cases!). These Gators are a great choice because of airline restrictions on weight. If you look around at the best drum techs and cartage companies, you will see Gator Protechtor Cases. I'm proud to own them and relieved to know my drums are safe.
Let's talk drum gear on facebook!
Discounting the four track recordings I made at home when a teenager, my beginning was in early 1988, I started recording myself with four Daking mic pres and his compressor/limiters. The limitation of sending drum tracks off for hit records taught me serious lessons about phase and time alignment that every true engineer understands and respects. There are many mic pres out there, but for the money, Daking products shine among the best. Iron Transformers are what makes engineers love Neve, API and yes, Dakings. By the way, Geoff Daking was and still is the drummer for the Blues Magoos.
Neve, API & Helios
Neve, API and Helios mic preamps are pretty much considered the best for recording drums by most engineers because of how they match up and enhance the tone of the drums. Neve = beefy. API = huge. Helios = woody. Mic pres, Microphones and mic placement are kid of like snare drums - you can never have too many choices, LOL!
Schoeps, Beyerdynamic & Gefell
There are many great microphones available out there; A/T, Shure, Blue, DPA, Neumann, Gefell... the list goes on and on. I previously endorsed Shure for many years, and I once got the Germans with Schoeps to help pay for my Modern Drummer Festival 2000 appearance! I still love my Schoeps, and usually place a matched pair of Schoeps for my Overhead mics, which are the most important of all the other microphones. Schoeps have that absolute "you are there" abilities and they also add a slight sweet top end - not more volume, just something velvety. For years I used Shure mics and think they are great. Currently I love the off axis rejection of the beyerdynamic line up, mc88, m69, m210 for close drum miking. The Gefell UMT800 is the best bass drum mic I've heard and it is nice having something that almost nobody else ever uses. Finally, I have several matched pairs of different ribbon mics that are alternated with what I've mentioned above, depending on the desired tone.
Protools is what everybody uses. It's kind of a drag at times - kind of expensive and irritating at times, but it's what we all use, so I work in Protools. I can accept files from any format and help you make your record. Let's talk about what you want!
I leaned on many engineer friends as I developed my lessons in how to record so I wish to thank all of these by name who assisted me at one time or another with encouragement and knowledge: Geoffrey Daking, Rob Stevens, Ed Cherney, Nathaniel Kunkel, Steve Marcantonio and Brian Reeves.
If you wish to pick my semi coherent brain about recording, start something up at my facebook page and I'll be there!