I've been incredibly lucky to have endorsers who were my first choice.
I first came across Sonor drums in 1982 at the Berlin Jazz festival. They were supplying drums to the festival and were still a family run business then. What comes to mind foremost, was the explosive quality of these drums. I remember I was playing the Bubinga shells and I had never heard anything like that......ever!! They were kind enough to invite me to their factory ( Mr. Link said he liked my playing and wanted me to see how the drums were made and to talk about a possible 'deal' ). I was super excited, of course, and drove up through the crisp winter air and snow. On getting there, I was ushered into a room with about 5 or 6 of their 'top' prople, a drum set and pretty much nothing else. Then they said.... 'Play'. So I played, and they liked. What do you know?They offered me a 70% discount on factory price but I was 22. Do the math.
Anyway, when I finally got to a place that I could command an endorsement, I always knew I wanted to play Sonor. So, I held out till I connected With Mr. Jasbeer Singh of Sara Trans Corp., sole representative for Sonor in India. Then, life was good.
I've been with Zildjian for over 15 years now, and although that story isn't as dramatic, their presence in my musical world is no less important. They provide me with a unique palette of sounds, only to be found in the Zildjian range of products. K Custom's, K Constantinople's and an exquisite pair of Armand Zildjian 14" hi hats are my cymbal muses. I am now endorsing their sticks ( 6 A's ) as well.
Not one to rest on his laurels, Jasbeer then introduced me to the people at Remo, makers of drum heads par excellence. It was love at first sight. They....complete me.
That's my drum 'story'
The rooms have been designed by Andy Munroe, U.K., and they sound great. I've always been a proponent of the analog world, which led me to buying an analog console during a time when people were opening studios based around a Mackie 24 x 8 mixer, or an O2R digital console by Yamaha. My weapon of choice, an Amek Angela 2, 48 input, 24 bus console with Supertrue automation. Buying this mixer was one of the wisest decisions I made, as far as choice of gear in the studio went.
Further gear includes a Drawmer 4 channel compressor, 4 channel Focusrite preamp, TC M5000 and Eventide reverbs/FX, Tascam 122 Mk 2 cassette deck and Tascam CD player/recorder. I use 2 x MOTU 24 io's, which are a PCI based audio interface, to feed all signal paths into Logic Pro, my choice of DAW, installed on a fully loaded Mac Pro tower.
Microphones are such a subjective thing, really. My choices were a pair of Neumann 187's as overheads, or as my main stereo mics, a Neumann TLM 170, a matched pair of AKG C414 ULS, a Rode NT 1000 and an old Groove Tube valve microphone, which is sounding sweeter as it get's older. I also have an old Bruel & Kjaer (I think the company is called PDA now). Being a drummer, I really wanted to source mics that would compliment my style of playing, as well as the drums, cymbals and heads I was using. My drums are Sonor S-Classix, cymbals are by Zildjian, and I play Remo heads. The Sonor drums have such an incredibly 'open' and musical sound, and the Zildjian cymbals are a blend of dark soundscapes, coupled with explosive, bright crashes, it was important that the mics were able to capture all the punch that the drums, heads and cymbals were delivering, as well as the subtle overtones present throughout the kit. Shure SM 57's and the Audix Fusion 5 series, along with the U 87's as overheads, ended up as the work horses on which I've come to rely to do the job.
I used to be a gear slut. I've toned down that desire to rush out and buy every new keyboard that hits the market. Now with plug ins that are really phat and quite close to the real thing, you don't need to be lugging a host of keyboards to your gig anymore. I've simplified my electronic instruments to a V-Synth GT by Roland (quite a beast), an old Yamaha VL1 physical modeling synth (possibly one of the greatest keyboards that Yamaha created), and a Korg MS 2000. Plug ins are Arturia Analog Factory and Brass, of which I'm an endorsee, Korg Legacy and M1 synths, all the Spectrasonic goodies- RMX (which i use more as a Rex player), Omnisphere and Trillan, Kontakt 4, all the Native Instrument stuff- Battery, Absynth 4, FM8, Massive, Evolve and Elements by Heavyocity. Not too shabby by way of sounds.
For all those who, like me, consider it an essential aspect of any creative environment, we also serve Espresso Coffee by Nespresso.