Dream Theater’s Mike Mangini has a new video up, detailing his dauntingly complex drum kit. In fact he takes the time to acknowledge that, yes, this is a really enormous drum set that most people would find superfluous (although Terry Bozzio still has him beat). Personally I think it’s fine if he’s actually hitting all those drums and putting them to use in novel ways, which he seems to be doing. It does however blatantly advertise that Dream Theater is much more successful than your band will ever be. Even if you manage to tour with a roadie and someone working sound, it’s very likely that you will never be able to play on a drum kit of this scope.
There are a couple unique things going on with his kit though, besides just the damnthatsalotofdrums factor. Most notably, his sticks are designed to be heavier without being larger. It’s a cool solution, since most drummers who need their hits super loud will move up to large caveman sticks, like 2B or maybe 3A. His sticks look like they might be standard 5B size (although it’s obviously hard to be sure from the quick glimpse in video) but the wood is heavier and they’re soaked in resin that adds even more weight. I’m curious if that means they’re more durable as well.
Other points of note are his tiny auxiliary snare which Pearl designed in a golden ratio of depth to diameter, custom trash cymbals, and a hell of a lot of Shure Beta 98 tom mics, which are the best I’ve heard at sounding great in such a tiny size. They’re condenser mics though, so I have found that they pick up a bit more cymbal bleed than the common dynamic mics you’ll find on toms, like a Sennheiser MD421 or Shure SM57.
Dream Theater’s new, self-titled album, was just released on September 24th. I’m assuming it’s self-titled because it’s the first one they wrote entirely with Mangini, and bands like to name their albums after themselves when it’s a new milestone. Or maybe they just got tired of coming up with names after a dozen albums.