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Keith Cronin plays drums.

my primary kit

my drums in the studio

NEW: SOUND SAMPLES - Click here to listen to some audio clips of the drums shown on this page.

Most of my work with Clarence Clemons was done on the road, using rented gear, so there's a shortage of photos of me playing my own drums. These photos are from an older recording session with Thursday's Child. They show my typical setup for session work, which includes two rack toms, but for live work I only use one rack tom, a holdover from my jazz background.

I basically own a big stack of maple drums that I've accumulated over the years, all at least 30 years old. From this stack, I pick and choose my setup based on the nature of the gig. They consist of several brands - the thing that unifies them is how great each drum sounds, and the fact that their natural maple finish provides the professional look of a matched kit.

Among the stack o' drums are the following:

  • 14 x 22 Gretsch bass drum (1975)
  • 8 x 10 Pearl rack tom (1980)
  • 8 x 12 Pearl rack tom (1980)
  • 9 x 13 Gretsch rack tom (1975)
  • 10 x 14 Gretsch rack tom (1975)
  • 14 x 14 Camco floor tom (1977)
  • 18 x 16 Gretsch floor tom (1975) - this is 18" deep - the drum is a cannon!
  • 16 x 16 Gretsch bass drum (1975) - converted from a floor tom for my microkit

NOTE: Click on each picture to see larger version.
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For this session, I used the 10" and 12" Pearl rack toms along with the 14" Camco floor tom. This is the most common setup I record with - I've had great luck with these drums in every studio I've used them in, and engineers always love this setup. The snare shown in this photo is a new Slingerland 5.5 x 14 copper drum that I've recently fallen in love with. Some of the other snare "contenders" are scattered nearby - described next. aerial view of session kit - click to enlarge

snare arsenal - click to enlarge This photo shows some of my favorite snare drums to record with:
  • 3 x 13 Ludwig Black Beauty piccolo
  • 5 x 14 Gretsch chrome-over-brass snare
  • 5.5 x 14 Slingerland Radio King (in Capri Pearl - a funky finish I love)
  • 5 x 14 Ludwig Acrolite (1966) - the snare I use the most, live and in the studio
  • 5.5 x 14 Slingerland copper snare - I just bought this inexpensive drum, and love it!
  • 10 x 14 George Way maple snare - made by the predecessor to Camco and later Drum Workshop

All my rack toms are suspended on RIMS - the ones shown here were bought directly from Gary Gauger 30-some years ago, back before the other drum companies had ripped off his idea.

All the heads are Aquarian (along with my graphite sticks), and my cymbals are all Sabian, a mixture of their AA, AAX, HH, B8 Pro, and Signature lines.

My hardware is mostly Tama, with bits and pieces of Yamaha and Pearl thrown in.

a Sabian cymbal taking a beating - click to enlarge

a different way to mic a bass drum - click to enlarge For this session, the engineer used a novel approach to mic the bass drum. Using the speaker in this cabinet as a transducer, the air that my bass drum moved caused the speaker to vibrate, making the speaker itself act as a microphone!

The extreme low end this produced was AMAZING, mixed with the mic inside the bass drum to give me the slap and punch I needed. And the way it was placed, the speaker only picked up the very directional sound of my bass drum - there was almost no bleed from any of the other drums or cymbals.

This principle has been adopted by Yamaha with its popular Subkick product, which has become popular with many pro drummers for both recording and live work.

I've owned a lot of drums over the years, including some wild-looking custom kits from Resurrection Drums. But these are the ones I keep coming back to.

I guess that makes me a "vintage drum guy," but the funny thing is - most of these were new when I bought them. So I guess that means that it's ME that's "vintage," not just my drums!

these are a few of my favorite things - click to enlarge

Aquarian Drumheads and Drumsticks

Sabian Cymbals

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