Setup - Ease and Tricks?

Radio King

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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?
I believe they're still available, but for European markets only: https://shop.warwick.de/en/cases-ba...-29-x-26-cm/41-5/16-x-11-7/16-x-10-1/8?c=3046

I ended up buying the one I mentioned on CL over the weekend for $80. It looks brand new, so I couldn't get my money out fast enough.

The main differences between the original Warwick and the Gator are the caddy itself and the wheels: the frame is a slightly thicker gauge with the Gator, and it also uses skating wheels, whereas the Warwick has knobby plastic wheels. The bag itself is virtually identical. I used the Warwick last night for rehearsal - no complaints whatsoever.
 

Tom Holder

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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.
This is some of the best, most practical suggestions I've heard in a long time. Thank you! I'm getting myself a "multi-tool" TODAY!
 

jmato

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To follow-up, and reiterate my thank yous, I implemented several of these suggestions this weekend. I took the better part of Saturday getting organized. After ensuring I could put my Yamaha 700 sinigle-braced hardware without breaking them down (other than legs) in the big hardware bag, I organized all my stands (including mic stands) in the one bag and marked them so I knew which goes where in my setup. I also acquired a three-sized stack of rolling toolboxes, which now carry all my tools, miscellaneous hardware for repairs, IEMs and Rolls amp, microphones, pedals, fan, stick bag, extension cord and outlet strip, etc. I can put the hardware bag and all drums (soft bags) and cymbals on the rock n roller cart, which means only two trips from the car (1 for cart, one for rolling toolboxes). The result? 30 minutes from the car to complete set up of my four piece kit, 4 cymbals +HH, and 3 mics (2 OH, 1 kick). That is tons better than what I was dealing with previously. Thank you to my DFO brethren for the help.
 

TheBeachBoy

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I used the R8 Rock n Roller for about a decade but decided to get the R16 when I got a bigger mixing board, plus the bigger tires are better on gravel and grass. One trip and I can just open the hardware case to set up my hardware without having to bend down too much.

original_b18e933f-03a4-420d-93ce-9203f6ce223e_PXL_20210909_010735464.jpg
 

Cauldronics

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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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Yeah, come to think of it I haven't heard of or seen a cracked Phonic shell either. Now of course, someone will dig through google and find two pics and claim that they just weren't built for the road and they used paper towels for half the plies lol.

My beater kit is a 1983 Tama Superstar that was already road proven when I got the 22-16-15-14-13-12-10 about 7 years ago for $400. From the proverbial 10 foot distance, it looks more than passable. Get up close and it looks like nobody cares about the kit, but it still sounds like the tougher version of a Recording Custom and I think Tama was going for that at the time.

The best part is like you mentioned - throw it in the car with no cases and *go*.
 
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Cauldronics

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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
The only drums I have that compare in weight are Pearl fiberglass and the bass drum from the 90's Yamaha Maple Custom. But I think the Phonics are still heavier.
 

notINtheband

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I used the R8 Rock n Roller for about a decade but decided to get the R16 when I got a bigger mixing board, plus the bigger tires are better on gravel and grass. One trip and I can just open the hardware case to set up my hardware without having to bend down too much.

View attachment 517475
Hey! I have that same rolling golf bag case on top there! Use it for my stands. Sweet!
 

TheBeachBoy

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Hey! I have that same rolling golf bag case on top there! Use it for my stands. Sweet!
If you find them used they're great for hauling hardware. I got mine for $50 from another drummer buddy. Fits so much stuff but gets heavy, especially at the end of the night.
 

JazzDrumGuy

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Suitcase kit - 1 trip in, 6 minutes to set up!

Seriously, I don't have much to add. I have 2 cymbals on one stand and it's preset, but just folded. Otherwise, I normally play a 4 piece kit. Biggest thing for me is the in-trip - if I can pull it all off in two fell swoops (no R&R cart here!), it takes me about 20 minutes to unload and set up.......
 

Joe61

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I got a bigger Rock n roller when I upgraded my drum mixer and subsequently the case for it was bigger. I stack all my drums in a way that I can put my SKB golf case on top. Two reasons: One trip and so I can unload it without having to bend over all the time.

I use fairly lightweight flat based stands and have a memory lock (or hose clamp) on everything, including the floor tom legs. Put the rug down and place stands sort of where they go, set up the bass drum and pedal, toms, snare, bass mounted cymbal arm, and put everything into playing position. Next is the mixer/ Senn e604 mics with a short cable already attached. All my bass drums have a built-in mic and XLR jack. That takes about 3 minutes. Then the cymbals takes about a minute with Camber T-Tops and a Gibraltar quick release clutch. Total time from my car to the first beat is about 15 minutes, sometimes about 12 if I'm really hustling.

The biggest trick is getting there before everyone else so you're not running all over each other running cables or putting away cases, etc.
Regarding this last sentence...truer words were never written.
 

Ludwigboy

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Bring a 4 piece set with one rack tom and one floor tom; the bare minimum ...in my case, 2 lightweight Ludwig flat base stands, a Ludwig flat bass hi hat, 60's 22/13/16 or 20/12/14 Ludwig set, snare, Speed King and throne plus 1 ride and 1 crash and a pair hi hats ....I can be ready to play in 20 minutes or less plus the light drums and hardware are easy to haul; I fit everything in my Toyota Corolla!
 

Cauldronics

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I’m still happy with my multi-tom case on wheels. Big time saver and no dust solution for storage. Probably not that great for a demanding gig schedule but workable.

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