Stan Lynch's gear with the Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers

DanRH

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Being in a Petty trib band, I found this discussion with Stan Lynch in Modern Drummer back in '84 very interesting. Just in case you're interested...


RF: What comprises that sound?

SL: That is an older Tama drumset, the Imperial Star, which is a thin composite shell. They’re all stock sizes, a set you can buy off the rack, with a 14 x 24 kick drum, 8 x 12, 9 x 13, and 10 x 14 rack toms, and 16x 16 and 18x 18 floor toms. I never use all those drums at one time. They’re there in case they want to hear specific sizes. The most toms that I use is in a drum fill in the middle of “Don’t Do Me Like That.” I used four tom-toms. Usually Jimmy and Shelly like to hear two rack tom-toms, the 9×13 and the 10 x 14 on top of the kick drum along with the 16 x 16 floor tom. The snare drum I use is an old Ludwig Superphonic.

RF: You mentioned the “Refugee” snare. Is that the same one?

SL: That’s the one. I have a whole slew of snare drums, but that one snare cuts the majority of records. Occasionally I ‘ l l get an old brass snare on there. We’ll always use a white coated Diplomat bottom head, and depending on the song, we’ll use Pinstripes or white coated Ambassadors on the top. If we want a more live sound, I go with the white coated heads. I’ve taken all the mufflers out of the drums and I have any new ones made without mufflers. I never put any tape on any of the surfaces. That makes me very honest. I either tune my drum correctly or it sounds terrible.

My cymbal setup is Zildjian. Depending on the song, if you want a little less noise, go to bigger cymbals because they don’t ring as much. If you want things to sound real bright, go to smaller cymbals. Live, last tour I used a smaller set than I record with. I used a 22″ bass drum, a 9 x 13 rack tom, a 16 x 16 floor tom and a duplicate of the studio snare.

RF: Why the smaller set live?

SL: I think the smaller set is more fun to play. It’s all part of the growth process too. I was trying to do something different. I just wanted to play a different setup because I thought maybe it would make me play differently. I t did too. Live, I use a 21″ ride, a 22″ swish, an 18″ crash and 13″ New Beat hi-hats, which are kind of unusual but they feel great. They’re a lot more fun. The 13″ are a little more responsive for live stuff.

In a live show you vary your tempos from song to song like crazy. One song is really fast and the next song is a funeral dirge, so you have to have a kit that will respond to all of that and will work in extremes. Then it will work everything else in the middle. In the studio, you might spend two days working on one song, so you can tailor your setup to make that one song really work. Live you have to go for instant satisfaction.

RF: What about your heads for live playing?

SL: I’m using white coated Ambassadors on top and Diplomats on the bottom, and the same with the snare. The kick drum has the white coated Emperor on the live kit and in the studio I use an Ambassador, white coated. On the live kit I needed a little thicker head just for the security of it.
 

jb78

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This is great, thanks Dan!
 

karlcrafton

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"A white coated Diplomat bottom head" for the snare? Am I reading this right?
For the bottom of the toms. It's worded kind of weird (from 1984), but later in the same interview he clarified it a little better.
Likely the snare bottom was either a plain ol' Hazy Ambassador, or a Ludwig snare side that was who knows how old.

Personally, I always liked the larger natural maple Tama kit he had. He used that for a little bit, and it's on the video with Stevie Nicks for Stop Draggin My Heart Around.

I always thought it was neat that he used a ride and one crash and a china/swish. Usually drummers have at least 2 crashes when they use a swish/china.
I've tried it myself more than once, but I always end up using 2 crashes. He's more brave than I am I guess haha!
I can use just a crash and a ride with hats no problem though! One of those weird "things".
 

Pat A Flafla

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So Stan and Neil were playing the same hats. That's interesting. My 13" new beats are also my favorite set.
 

CC Cirillo

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Thanks for posting.

I've always liked his drumming AND his sound a lot.

I too think he meant he uses a Diplomat snare side--but has anyone ever used a Coated Diplomat snare side? Wondering what that might yield.
 

Mcjnic

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Thanks for posting.

I've always liked his drumming AND his sound a lot.

I too think he meant he uses a Diplomat snare side--but has anyone ever used a Coated Diplomat snare side? Wondering what that might yield.

I have.
It kills resonance and buzz quite a bit. But if tuned a bit loose, it gives it a seriously fat and loose warm splat kinda sound. No idea what he meant, but I could definitely see him using what he said on the bottom. It would yield the desired effect for his splatty snare sound.
 

John DeChristopher

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Very cool @DanRH. I interviewed Stan for Vintage Drums Magazine (a now defunct British publication) in 2018 and we got deep into his gear for Damn The Torpedoes. He had signed with Zildjian by the time of this MD interview, but he used Paiste 2002s on Damn The Torpedoes.

Check it out...

Stan Lynch page 1.jpg


Stan Lynch page 2.jpg



Stan Lynch page 3.jpg


And this was from a year ago...
 

bellbrass

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I loved John's interview with Stan; Stan came across as a fairly grounded guy who just wanted to share his experiences, and not brag about them. I seem to remember reading somewhere that, in order to get the drum sounds you hear on early Tom Petty albums, they tuned his drums stupid-loose and did the rest with processing. That further confirmed what I had suspected for years: the sound you hear on a studio album has little to do with the brand, sizes and model, and everything to do with production.
 


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