Setup - Ease and Tricks?

Radio King

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Thanks slcdrummer -- very helpful. I've drawn a section replicating your set-up so I can visualize it. Did you consider the lighter R2 or did you think the more robust R6 was necessary (for a bop kit with lightweight hardware)? Don't want to overbuy the heavier R6 if I don't need it.
I started with an R2 but quickly realized that it was a tight fit with a 4-piece set/cymbals/fan/throne. Here's my old R2 pic for reference:

1.jpg


I moved up to the R6 with no regrets. It's a little bigger and heavier duty than the R2: definitely worth the upgrade. Here's a comparison chart:
 
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stick2it

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Thanks for the helpful photo, Radio King. And thanks again, stcdrummer, for the follow-up. Radio King -- in the photo you shared, is that 18/14/12 + snare? That's what I travel with, so it would be helpful to know if that's what's in your photo. Again, I'd be happy to get away with the R2 just to keep the weight of that down as well.
 

Radio King

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Thanks for the helpful photo, Radio King. And thanks again, stcdrummer, for the follow-up. Radio King -- in the photo you shared, is that 18/14/12 + snare? That's what I travel with, so it would be helpful to know if that's what's in your photo. Again, I'd be happy to get away with the R2 just to keep the weight of that down as well.
Don't remember, honestly, but it looks like I had a 22/13/16 + snare loaded that day. An R2 should be able to handle a 14" deep bass drum along with accompanying toms and snare with careful stacking. But if your BD is 16" or deeper, it'll be tight.

Keep in mind also that the R6 has larger wheels, which is very helpful on uneven terrain.
 

stick2it

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Thanks Radio King. If you have 22/13/16 + snare on that R2 in the photo you shared, I should be able to get my standard Bop kit + DW ulitralight hardware bag on the same.

As I'm getting so much good info on this thread, I thought I'd give back by offering my own favorite set-up tips.

First is the (Steve) Maxwell Cymbal Toppers (make sure you get the right diameter for threading your cymbal stands).

Second is the Pearl Rapid Lock hi hat clutch.

In my opinion, these two are the best in their categories. I have Steve's cymbal toppers on all my cymbal stands so I can quickly move cymbals around with no fuss; they are indestructible, nice looking, and there is no way a cymbal will fall of one. The Pearl clutch works so easily, set's just the way I want my Istaanbul Agop hi hats to sizzle, and is a robust build. These two items save me a lot of time.

One more tip: I use DW aluminum floor tom legs (INDe has them too, in more diameters to fit your particular tom hardware) to further lighten the load.

Hope these recommendation helps some out in DFOland. I'll continue to look to this thread for more input on best practices for quick set-up.

Maxwell.jpg
805-500_HCL205QR-Hi-Hat-Clutch.jpg
 

drums1225

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Over the years, I've made a concerted effort to lighten my load and cut down my load-in and setup time. There's been some great advice here, and most of what I'm about to say has already been said, but this is my take. Consider that I drive a Honda Civic sedan and I can fit my 4 or 5 pc. kit plus a small PA system (QSC K10s and a digital mixer) or my other band's in-ear rig (QSC Touchmix 30, plus IEM transmitter rack) and still get 45mpg on the highway. Please excuse my Tama fanboy-ism, but I'm their biggest unofficial advocate. They should really give me an endorsement deal (you listnin' Tama?)
  • Rock n Roller Cart (R8) - I was VERY late to the party on this, and now I can't live without it. If you gig and don't have one (or a roadie), GET one. NOW! You will not regret it. I get my whole kit in one trip, aside from my hardware bag, and if I don't get a great parking spot, I can just wheel it down the block.
  • Roadrunner 50" wheeled hardware bag - Wheels are a must. Internal straps keep the stands from shifting around; I just bought a second one on sale for when mine earns its retirement. The zipper pulls WILL break, but I replaced them with 2" split key rings and the bag is still rocking after more than 10 years (and I don't treat it gently).
  • Tama Quick-Set Cymbal Mates, and Quick-Set Hi Hat clutch - These made the biggest difference in my setup and breakdown time. After decades of setting up and breaking down, I was able to trim a solid 2 minutes and a lot of twisting. Also, you'll never again twist a wingnut until it falls on a dark stage, and then need to crawl around looking for it. Just pinch and remove.
  • Tama Cymbal Stacker - I mount a 17" crash on the same (single braced) stand as my 21" ride. One less stand in my bag, and three less legs cluttering up the footprint of my kit. I think Tama has discontinued the one I have.
  • SINGLE BRACED HARDWARE - Let me repeat. Single braced hardware! Unless you're a super hard hitter or mounting really heavy stuff (hanging floor toms) or multiple drums/cymbals off one stand, you don't need all that extra weight. I have Tama Roadpro Light stands.
  • Beato Pro 1 Drum Bags - Great protection, somewhere between a hard case and a soft bag. I open the cases in size order, from large to small, and then nest them and get them out of the way. The bags keep their shape and aren't flopping around when you try to put the drums (or the other cases) back in; you can just drop them in. HUGE time saver.
  • Tama TMT9 Multi-Tool - Multi-tools are always helpful, but the MVP on this one is the wing bolt-shaped cutout that allows you to effortlessly loosen those tough wing bolts without resorting to the two drumstick method, or killing your hands.
Having a system for loading your vehicle helps prevent you from forgetting things, and ensures everything fits securely; same for having a system for loading the Rock n Roller cart.
 

Frank Godiva

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So I’ll mention my tip, but it’s not for everyone. Get a beater kit that you don’t have to baby or worry about.

I’ve owned many Sonor Phonics and they all sound the same. So rather then take out some Rosewood, I put together a kit in what I call Smokers Teeth White wrap cause it has plenty of yellow and dark spots on it. The hardware on the toms was painted grey by a former owner with Krylon.

From the stage it looks and sounds like any other 13 16 24 Phonic. This translates into no cases; purely throw and go in the back of the Explorer.

The band each helps me carry one drum in and out. The singer dropped my bass drum once. I told don’t worry you can’t hurt the heavy beech. I have never once heard of a cracked Phonic shell. My hardware is also mismatched used stuff.
I pack my snare and cymbals in bags and carry those myself.



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Carlos McSnurf

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So I’ll mention my tip, but it’s not for everyone. Get a beater kit that you don’t have to baby or worry about.

I’ve owned many Sonor Phonics and they all sound the same. So rather then take out some Rosewood, I put together a kit in what I call Smokers Teeth White wrap cause it has plenty of yellow and dark spots on it. The hardware on the toms was painted grey by a former owner with Krylon.

From the stage it looks and sounds like any other 13 16 24 Phonic. This translates into no cases; purely throw and go in the back of the Explorer.

The band each helps me carry one drum in and out. The singer dropped my bass drum once. I told don’t worry you can’t hurt the heavy beech. I have never once heard of a cracked Phonic shell. My hardware is also mismatched used stuff.
I pack my snare and cymbals in bags and carry those myself.
It works good when you mic your kit and use top class level cymbals (and snare).
It can work better with lighter drums. Phonic three piece kit is extremely heavy. I would go with some players grade Ludwigs
 

Frank Godiva

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It works good when you mic your kit and use top class level cymbals (and snare).
It can work better with lighter drums. Phonic three piece kit is extremely heavy. I would go with some players grade Ludwigs
Your absolutely right. Phonics are some of the heaviest drums ever made and they really weigh a ton in hard cases. The trade off is that they are very tough; indestructible like cockroaches and twinkies after the mushroom cloud.
 

k_50

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My take on the subject is to travel as light, and compact as possible.
I use light-weight stands, and collapse them:




They, along with my stick bag, set list, tape, etc., fit into a 24"x12"x10" case, which weighs 55-60 lbs. - An easy size to handle, and not too heavy.




That, plus a 24", 14", 16" kit, rug, and two snares easily fits in the back of a compact car




Setup-time is anything from 10-30 minutes, depending on how many people are in my way



 

Frank Godiva

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My take on the subject is to travel as light, an compact as possible.
I use light-weight stands, and collapse them:




They, along with my stick bag, set list, tape, etc., fit into a 24"x12"x10" case, which weighs 55-60 lbs. - An easy size to handle, and not too heavy.




That, plus a 24", 14", 16" kit, rug, and two snares easily fits in the back of a compact car




Setup-time is anything from 10-30 minutes, depending on how many people are in my way



I like the matching case table thing; great idea
 

Grooovepig

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I started with an R2 but quickly realized that it was a tight fit with a 4-piece set/cymbals/fan/throne. Here's my old R2 pic for reference:

View attachment 511809

I moved up to the R6 with no regrets. It's a little bigger and heavier duty than the R2: definitely worth the upgrade. Here's a comparison chart:
Nice pic. You gave me an idea on how to carry the throne. Also like the fan. A must have in the summer.
The RNR carts are the best!
 

multijd

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Thanks all thus far. Excellent suggestions.

I typically gig with a 1 up, 1 down setup, but sometimes vary it with 2 down, and even sometimes 2 up 2 down. That is not really the time-suck though, regardless of number of toms.

I almost always play with 3 crashes, 1 ride, and a Roland SPD-ONE. I have tried everything -- including flying three cymbals from one stand, dog bones with cymbal arms, etc. All those "innovations" seem to just take more time. I'm leaning toward reasonably lightweight stands for each item, numbered for placement, with memory locks everywhere, the stickers for the boom tilt (great tip Dave), and the tall gear bag for minimal stand collapse. That seems like it will help a great deal.
Yes on the smaller stands. I don’t use combo stands. They make setup/teardown, and positioning too complicated. I don’t do combo bags because of the bulk and weight. To me less weight is a big factor. Rock and roller is a must.
 

Radio King

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Nice pic. You gave me an idea on how to carry the throne. Also like the fan. A must have in the summer.
The RNR carts are the best!
Hey thanks, glad it was helpful for you! One note: I had to give up transporting the throne that way - the throne base kept wanting to work its way out of the stack, so I switched to putting the base back in the trap bag and laying the seat itself at a 45 degree angle between the drums and the fan, then securing all with bungie cords. No risk of falling onto the pavement that way.
 

Cauldronics

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I tried the round, numbered velcro rings and bracket shaped pieces (I think they were Protection Racket) that go under each foot of the stands to make setup easy. Each set has a numbered wrap to match the stand it belongs with and the wrap goes on the stand.

It looks like a great idea on paper, or for someone who either never changes their setup or not much. But when I wanted to change to another kit, it would’ve been much easier to start over with a new rug and another set of rings. Peeling them off the drum rug was a lot of work and not worth the trouble.

The rings worked for some gigs and they did make things go faster but changing kits negated their purpose.

If the rings were made of something easier to remove and just as durable, I’d still use them. I’m thinking of blocking off all but 3 areas on each ring so they can be removed easily. That might work.
 

aratts

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I will probably get a lot of grief, but I drill my bass drum and install mounts so that the ride and the crash off the rack Tom are off the bass drum. Two less unwieldy cymbal stands not taking up space and weight.
 

5stroke

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The Warwick is the same thing. Get it!
The Rockbags by Warwick I've found by searching online all are shaped like a guitar (meant for guitars) and don't show a cart attached. That shape would somewhat compromise the amount of space to pack in the hardware. Link to Warwick productcs: https://www.framuswarwickusa.com/rockbag
Is there a specific model/# you are referring to that has the same features as the are the same thing as the Gator Drumcart?
 

High on Stress

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The Rockbags by Warwick I've found by searching online all are shaped like a guitar (meant for guitars) and don't show a cart attached. That shape would somewhat compromise the amount of space to pack in the hardware. Link to Warwick productcs: https://www.framuswarwickusa.com/rockbag
Is there a specific model/# you are referring to that has the same features as the are the same thing as the Gator Drumcart?
The Warwick Rockbag you are looking for has been discontinued.
 


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