Earlier on this year (April 2016) I began my work with L.A based artist Allie X. When I got the call to work with Allie X, they wanted someone who had a good knowledge of incorporating electronics (or what is more commonly referred to as “Hybrid Drumming”) and also programming (arranging stems from records for live use).

For this blog I’ll mainly be dealing with my kit set up, as I often get asked questions on how I do things, but more importantly why… So here it is:

My hybrid drum set up in rehearsals at The Premises for the first run of shows with Allie Xin April 2016.

My hybrid drum set up in rehearsals at The Premises for the first run of shows with Allie Xin April 2016.

SHELLS – (Tama Hyperdrive Birch): 22″ x20″ Kick | 14″ x 5.5″ Bubinga/Birch Starclassic Snare | 16″ x 14″ Floor Tom.

HEADS – (Remo unless stated otherwise): Kick – Powerstroke 3 | Snare – Coated Emperor X Floor Tom – Vintage Emperor x.

CYMBALS – (Zildjian): 14″ K Custom Dark Hi-hats | 11″ Oriental Trash Splash | 19″ A Medium Thin Crash | 17″ K Custom Fast Crash/10” Spiral Stacker Stack | 20″ S Trash Crash.

ELECTRONICS – Yamaha DXTX Multi 12 trigger pad/brain for triggers | Roland RT 10k Kick Trigger | Roland KD-7 Kick Trigger | Roland RT 10s Snare Trigger | Yamaha TP65 Single ZoneTrigger pad.

STICKS – Promark 808 Nylon Tip.

When playing with Allie X, the most important part of my kit set up is my Yamaha DTX Multi 12. My DTX pretty much runs the show.

Allie X’s music is very production heavy and electronic sounding and I reflect this in both my approach to playing the songs and also to my incorporation of samples and whether I would layer them with the live drums or play them in isolation for dynamics or even, song authenticity.

As you can see in the photo, instead of having 2 snares, I used the TP65 pad as my snare 2. Because Allie X’s music is so electronic it works better in the verses playing completely electronic sounds so sonically it sounds and feels like the record but also allows me to lift the choruses dynamically with samples on my main snare and kick drum to still keep the sonic identity of the songs coherent.

This gig is all about laying a solid groove, and as it’s a “track” heavy gig (with only me on drums, George on guitar and Allie X doing bits of keys) it’s really important to lock in and give the songs drive and energy, while leaving space for the synths (with many of them being rhythmic) to fit around that. For a few songs it was important to play the fills (which were features of the songs) on the DTX with tom samples rather than toms (which is why I still only used a floor tom).

First time around with Allie X, I used a few different cymbals but for the most part my set up stayed the same. Some of the newer songs that were added to the set were more abrasive, and I felt like the trashy/distorted sound would fit in better with the songs and give me a bit more edge, hence the choice of the 10” Spiral Stacker over the 17” K Custom Fast Crash and the 20” S Trash Crash (that cymbal is a MONSTER… Cuts through but has a much more distorted and full-bodied sound than the EFX range).

I had a great time doing British Summer Time Festival (Hyde Park) and a great headline show at Oslo, Hackney with Allie X… Looking forward to doing it again in the near future.

Photo below shows my most recent set up, with the main difference being my choice of cymbals.

My hybrid drum set up and Cymatic Audio playback rig for Allie X's headline show at OSLO, Hackney, July 2016

My hybrid drum set up and Cymatic Audio playback rig for Allie X’s headline show at OSLO, Hackney, July 2016

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