jeudi 7 août 2014

Rack It Up, Part II: How Drum Rack Systems Can Make Your Drumming More Comfortable and Set-Ups Faster

By Victor Salazar

Last week, I shared ideas about the advantages of using a drum rack system and how to find the type that would work best for you. This week, I'll talk about basic pre-packaged configurations, assembly, and things to look at when mounting various components onto your system.

Rack configuration: start with a pre-packaged basic configuration and build from there

Every company that offers rack systems offers a pre-packaged, basic configuration. These pre-packs include everything that you need to get started, meaning at least 2 upright legs, a crossbar, and some clamps.

Pre-packs are a great place to begin when figuring out your own system. They're certainly less overwhelming than having to put together a rack setup from scratch. You may find that a prepack is all you really need, or you could use this basic system as a foundation that you can build upon to create something much larger.

Beginning with a pre-packaged configuration is also cost-effective. The components in these systems are always slightly discounted as compared to ones you would buy individually.

Assembly: first and foremost, take your time

Once you've decided on the type of system and have purchased your new rack, you're ready to begin building. Setting up for the first time can be extremely time-consuming because there are many variables to think about.

Rack systems integrate a height adjustable crossbar to support the main components of your kit like your toms. Given that, some of the decisions that you'll be faced with include:

- Should you raise or lower your tom, or do you adjust the height of the crossbar or the tom arm?

- Do you re-position the tom arm and clamp on the crossbar, or do you simply move the entire bar closer or farther away from you?

These types of positioning alternatives require thought and experimentation. Be patient and try as many options as you can. Select the ones that not only position the components where you want, but also looks the most attractive. Aesthetics plays a big part in setting up your system.

Mounting components: think outside the box

Not every component needs to be mounted directly onto the system utilizing a clamp. To create a unique look, try mounting accessory holders onto existing pipes that originate from the rack. This prevents what I like to call the "prison bar look", where every accessory pipe is mounted straight-up and makes the drummer appear as though he's behind a series of vertical bars.

To avoid this, use your imagination. A great example of what's possible is Terry Bozzio's colossal curved cage-like setup and Mike Mangini's (Dream Theater) multi-tiered design. In both instances, the racks have impressive visual appeal without detracting from how well they function. They brilliantly represent the form-follows-function principle.

Final tip: label your rug

While racks allow you to recreate your system consistently, this process only works if you have a clearly labeled rug beneath your rack. Therefore, it's critical to trace the feet of your rack onto your drum rug.

Use a good quality marker or bright colored tape on a patterned rug where outlines might get obscured. It's also a good idea to trace the footprints of all your additional hardware components including your snare stand, pedals, throne, floor tom legs, etc. This will guarantee that everything will be placed exactly where it should be each time you set up.

Rack systems aren't for everyone, but they are definitely an option to consider if space, set up time, and component placement are glitches that you're currently experiencing.

Should you have any questions or need specific advice regarding your rack system decisions or dilemmas, feel free to reach out. I'm always here to assist!

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