Kit of the Month

Split Hybrid

This hybrid electronic/acoustic drumset comes to us from the New York City–based drummer Howard Alper, who explains that the ability to combine traditional acoustic drums with loops and samples enables unique solo performances on a relatively small setup. “Recently I’ve been creating some interesting music on this kit,” Alper says. “It’s compact, yet it allows me to compose and play a variety of styles because of the different electronic options.”

The electronics include a Roland Octapad SPD-30 sampling pad, KD-7 kick trigger, and PDX-8 pad, and a Native Instruments Maschine 2 production system. “To complement the electronic gear,” Alper says, “I chose clear Crush acrylic drums for their sleek modern look and wide-open sound.” Those drums include a 6.5×14 snare and an 18″ floor tom that Alper converted to a bass drum with a Trick mount. The setup is rounded out by a Tama Speed Cobra double bass pedal and Zildjian hi-hat and ride cymbals.

Alper has divided the kit so that the acoustic voices are on the left-hand side and the electronic sounds are on the right, which demands a certain amount of playing coordination. “One example of how I use the kit is to first set up loops with the Octapad that I can play over,” he says. “While the loops are running, I then play the acoustic part of the kit with my left hand, and with my right hand I play samples or pads with the Maschine 2 controller.”

To see a video of the kit in action, search YouTube for “Howard Alper Android Diffraction.”

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