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Providence, Rhode Island

The Studio

I've been playing music most of my life. Although I've played a variety of instruments, I'm really a guitarist. But after almost 18 years of playing rock guitar, I came down with a serious form of arthritis.

Since I can no longer play the guitar (squeezing the neck puts too much stress on my hands & joints), I went back to piano. That didn't work too well either, until I found a synth with very light action. I also brought an electronic drum set around that same time, but the hard rubber pads were too difficult for me to deal with.

My customized Yamaha DTXpress that I purchased in 2000 (pic on right). I added the Hart Dynamics 13" Acusnare, and 2 Hart Dynamics Ecymbals. I owned the kit for about two and a half years before selling it. I stopped playing drums until this Aug ('07) when I purchased my new set!

Hart Dynamics Virtuoso. Unlike the Yamaha, this kit has mesh heads (much easier on my hands). I've added another pad (ride cymbal), snare stand, and the Iron Cobra Power Glide double bass pedals. All the other pics on this page are of the stock kit when I first purchased it.

In this picture of my studio, you can see my "padded" drum sticks on the chair. I can't play with regular sticks as they put too much pressure on my hands & joints. But with my modified sticks, and the ability to enhance the sensitivety of the pads, drumming is once again possible for me to do :-)

Another shot of my Hart Dynamics Virtuoso kit. The drum module is the Roland TD-3. You can see my rackmountable Tascam AM/FM stereo tuner sitting on top of my speaker. I need to throw it in the rack.

A better view of the Roland module. Surprisingly, It worked fairly well the Virtuoso kit right out of the box, although I had to tweak a couple of settings to get the rim shots to work properly. I'm still fine tunning the parameters to get it setup exactly the way I want the pads to trigger.

The soundboard is a 12 channel Behringer Eurorack. The power amp is Hafler's TA-1600 (75 watts x 2 channels). There's also a CD player mounted in my SKB rack.

My synth is the Yamaha SY85, which I picked up in 2001.

I also have a 20" TV hooked up to the board (for watching DVD's). It sits on the floor because I have a twin mattress on the floor that I lay on while watching TV in this room (more comfortable that way for my bad back). You can also see the 2 speakers, one on each side of the room. I brought them 30 years ago! They're the Lafayette 2002 speakers. They have a 12" woofer, 5" midrange horn, and (2) 3.5" tweeters. Normally home speakers will not hold up to the "punch" of live instruments. But these actually do quite well. They sound great with my CD player, stereo tuner and DVD movies. But I have to turn the volume down when playing the drums or keyboard through them. Since I normally use my headphones when playing, it's not really an issue.

Sept '07 - I've setup a digital (PC based) home recording studio. It'll be interesting to see how some of the new music I've written will sound. It's not easy playing with arthritis. Anyway, I hope to have at least a few songs finished by the end of the year. I'll post the MP3's on the site when they are completed.