- MAPEX 14″ × 5.5″ Snare Drum
- MAPEX 22″ × 18″ Bass Drum
- MAPEX 12″ × 8″ Tom
- MAPEX 10″ × 8″ Tom
- MAPEX 16″ × 16″ Floor Tom
- MAPEX 14″ × 14″ Floor Tom
- Mambo Cowbell
- A: SABIAN 10″ HHX Splash
- B: SABIAN 12″ HHX Splash
- C: SABIAN 18″ HHX Stage Crash
- D: SABIAN 20″ HHX Evolution Ride
- E: SABIAN 17″ HHX Studio Crash
- F: SABIAN 20″ HHX Legacy Ride
- G: SABIAN 20″ HHX Chinese
- H: SABIAN 13″ HHX H-H
- I: SABIAN 18″ HHX Chinese
- J: SABIAN 14″ HHX H-H
- Dom Famularo Signature Stick
- American Concept Dom’s Pad Stick
I use Mapex Saturn drums. Maple has a strong, clear punch sound. Maple Mapex drums give that quality of sound. The Saturn drums are very thin shells all Canadian Maple and with a thin layer of Walnut to give it strength. I love the thin shell…deep bottom sound! They are the deepest sound I have heard. The 22-inch bass drum tuned with Evans EMAD heads front and back gives the most depth a bass drum can produce. My tom set up… 12, 10, 16, and 14. Why, you ask? WHY NOT? There is no Tom Tom Police that will arrest you! You can do anything you want! I have been doing this for many years and I find it gives me the greatest challenge for creativity and ideas musically. I like the 12-inch in the first position and the 16 as my first floor. This is my comfort zone. I like the sound options of the 10 and 14, so I place them in the remaining space. I use a 5-1/2 inch maple snare drum for the dark crack it produces. I also use the Mapex Saturn drum. This is a very thin shell with a layer of walnut. This gives it a long sustain and a deep powerful sound.
I am using SABIAN‘s exciting new line of HHX cymbals and one Legacy. The HHX sizes are similar to my regular HH series setup; 10″ and 12″ splashes, 14’ & 16″ Studio Crashes and 16″ Stage Crash, 20 HHX Stage Ride at my left and a 20″ Legacy Ride at my right, 18″ & 20″ Chinas, a 14″ Stage Hats and a 13” X-hat. This is because I’m playing open handed.
Although I have the opportunity to play many of the varieties that SABIAN offers, I usually prefer to play the Sabian HHX Series. My set up is a 10″ and 12″ Splash over the hi-hat. I do this to challenge my left (weaker) hand. Many drummers have a splash cymbal in front of them where their strong hand always hits it. By setting the splashes over the hi-hat, it opens up new ideas of playing and strengthens my weaker side! My left hi-hats are 14″ Bright Hats which give a sharp, crisp cutting sound, but are still deep enough to give the funk and groove that I like when playing, and my right hi-hats his a 13″ HHX too. My crashes are two HHX 16” Stage and studio. In these positions I can get to them with either hand or they give just the right sustain, attack and musical blend. My left 20” Stage Ride and my Right 20” Legacy allows me to play both right and left lead. It has some great cuts to the band. It is the kind of cymbal you can crash and still immediately maintain ride cymbal patterns on. My two china cymbals are an 18″ Chinese, upside down, and a 20″ Chinese right side up. They are there strictly for the attack and punches that I like in expressive drumming… to expect the unexpected! This allows me to dynamically build a drum solo through the full range of playing, from very soft to very loud. My full cymbal setup gives the total orchestral control of sound I need to go from a tiny splash to a roaring Chinese. This opens the range of expression to go anywhere. I especially enjoy harmonic cymbal sounds, using a cymbal technique that involves hitting the edge of a cymbal very softly. All these sound selections bring out the drama of any drum solo or musical situation! My open handed playing gives me the freedom to move around the entire kit.
I have designed my Signature Series Dom’s Pad Stick. The Pad Stick, in maple, is designed to stretch and strengthen muscles. I’m currently using Vic Promark’s 5B sticks. I also play my Dom Famularo kit sticks. You can purchase both the Dom Famularo Pad Sticks and the Dom Famularo kit Sticks from my online store.
Evans Drumheads offer the greatest range of options from any drumhead company today. I tune the drum as low as possible without causing the head to wrinkle. The front head is a little tighter than the batter. This gives me the lowest pitch possible from the drum. On the toms, I use clear EC2 on top and the G1 clear on the bottom. The bottom heads on the toms are slightly tighter than the tops. I use four toms, and they are tuned to an interval of fourths between them (If you need help hearing this, hum the first two notes of “Here Comes the Bride” – that is a fourth!). The clear EC2 gives me the feel and dryness that I feel compliments the sound of my shells. On the snare drum, I use a EC2 coated on top. For my Bass Drum, the EMAD 2 is perfect! Your drum head choice is one of the most important qualities of your sound. I highly recommend visiting www.evansdrumheads.com and your local drumshop to research the tremendous variety of heads Evans has available to find the ones that work for you!
Shure Microphones are very high quality and help to get my sound across to the audience. Their specifically designed hi-hat and overhead mics round out my setup. The variety of models gives me the greatest range of sounds.
I believe in allowing myself to take chances in my setup, and the unconventional setup is a great place to start. Believe in total individualism and expressiveness for who you are, in the style that will best represent your playing. You must experiment with your tuning and setup as a part of the entire picture, so that can best be the example of your sound and what you are trying to say in your musical expression. This becomes a extension of your voice as an artist of the drumset and it is your individual personality. If you allow it to come out, you will break down barriers for the growth of drumming as we enter the 21st century.
“I love this Mambo cow bell…it give a low deep sound that cuts through any band. I am able to place it on my bass drum and use the LP mount to adjust the position anywhere I need it. For me, having a cow bell as a part of my set let’s me step into the Latin world and feel music like it is a celebration. LP opens doors of expression with sounds that make people want to dance!”