On March 29 the Marshall Hall of the I.J. Paderewski Academy of Music in Poznań, Poland saw a drum masterclass conducted by world class drummer, educator, member of the Drumbassadors duo, René Creemers. The event offered the attendants an opportunity to learn a great deal about drumming techniques, dynamics, tempo, sound projection, acoustics, posture, etc. Naturally, there was no way we could resist taking our recording gear to show you the instruments our guest plays.
“Hi! My name is Rene Creemers. I’ve just played a masterclass here in Poznań, Poland, at the Academy of Music here. I’m with my instrument here, which is a Sonor drum kit, Paiste cymbals, Remo drumheads, Agner sticks. I have endorsements for all those instruments. I was asked to explain little about the drum kit and the cymbals that I use.
What I have here is a 22” Swish, which produces a nice, soft rustling sound. I’m very much a sound drummer. That’s why I make use of this half-dry sizzle ride. This, again, gives a more peaceful sound. This ride cymbal allows me to play a little more aggressively. I can play loud crashes, of course, but it still sounds a little bit dark. This hi hat is a Paiste 602, as you can see. The chick is also a bit dark. That’s what I like. All my cymbals are a little bit dark, but with a lot of brilliance as well. I have to take a few months of playing these cymbals to write and play my way. It takes time. Sometimes, half a year or even longer. When I get this type of swish, I don’t really like it very much in the first week. Then, I start to like it, and after four weeks I’m in love with it because I know how to handle it. That always takes time.
This drum kit is a bit new because I got it about a year ago. It’s a Sonor Vintage Series. They used to make them in the 1950s, but this is the new version – old style but new. 20” x 14” bass drum, 12” tom, 14” floor tom and a deeper snare drum, I think it’s 5.75”. Now, I’m in love with it because I know how it reacts. I tune it really high for my taste. It was new for me because I’d always played dark-sounding drum kits, on with I could play roots music, Americana, New Orleans. That sounded deeper, darker while this one sounds high and you have to play it completely differently, but that’s what I like. I’m really satisfied with this drum kit.
The other kit is also Sonor Vintage with a Matt finish, but it’s tuned completely different – I tuned it low. The sizes are different. There’s a 22” bass drum and a 16” floor tom. The rack tom is 12” and the snare is the same as there, but tuned completely different. Low tuning combined with jingles and sizzles from Meinl. I wanted to create a deep and dark sound. I use dampening rings because they kill overtones. Low tuning without overtones is really dark. You don’t hear too many high frequencies, which makes the sound deep and dark. The snare is tuned deep, too. This snare is tuned high because I wanna have this very tight sound. When I first got this one, I had some difficulties getting used to it, but I completely fell in love after a year because I really like this deep, dark sound at the moment. At home, I also have an SQ2 drum set, which is a fantastic high-level kit.
The cymbals are also dark. This is a 15” Paiste Masters hi hat. A cool hi hat that’s dark and deep. This is a 22” Paiste Masters Dark Ride. Pretty dry, too. Nice ping and attack, dark sustain. This is a stack made up of a pretty old Trash Set and a new Paiste Line Series splash. You search for a stack that’s good for you and these two cymbals work very well together.
This is a Paiste bell. It’s very cool because it sounds pretty warm. It’s a PST-X Pure Bell. They have two sizes, I think. This ring is from a roto tom. It rings very nice, too. These are Paiste Cortales. They don’t make them as sound discs any more, but they sound almost the same. I have a lot of sounds and try to integrate them into my playing. I always try to combine them with beats and grooves. That’s what I try to do all the time. Sometimes, I find combinations which I really like, study them some more and integrate into my program.
I’m very happy with the equipment and I’ve had the best service from Sonor and Paiste since 1991. This stuff allows me to play everything I like to play. All my ideas work out fine with this equipment.
One last thing is the heads. These are regular Remo Ambassadors, these are Ambassador Suede heads. They’re a little bit deeper and last very long. I can play them for 6 months or even longer. I don’t change heads too often because I like it when they don’t sound new. I mean, on this drum kit. On the other kit, I use regular Ambassadors. I change them more often on that one because I want a more healthy sound.
I’ve switched to Angner sticks. They make the Drumbassadors sticks because I’m one of the Drumbassadors. They’re very cool. Vim De Vries plays the same sticks. We’re very happy with Agner.”