• Drum Set and Percussion Setups from Musical Theatre and More

Austen's Pride - Regional - Dennis J. Arcano

Dennis J Arcano's setup for Austen's Pride, a new musical of Pride and Prejudice at ACT in Ridgefield, Connecticut.

"This setup also included six foot pedals: two on the timpani, a kick drum pedal, a hi-hat pedal..."

"This was the first fully staged production of this Broadway bound show based on Jane Austen’s writing of 'Pride and Prejudice'. It was orchestrated by Scott Wasserman, who is part of the music production team of 'Hamilton' and 'Dear Evan Hansen'. Scott kept me very busy with the percussion book, writing for over three dozen percussive sounds including a ribbon crasher, which became a bit of a running gag between us during the rehearsal process.

Due to lack of space, Apple's MainStage was used via the iRig Keys 37-Key Pro Keyboard for chimes, xylophone, vibes, crotales, and celeste. The Roland SPD-SX was used for several church bell and gran cassa samples that were needed while I was playing drum set with a stick in hand.

This setup also included six foot pedals: two on the timpani, a kick drum pedal, a hi-hat pedal, a sustain pedal for the mallet percussion via MainStage, and a Roland KT-10 pedal connected to the SPD-SX which triggered gran cassa when I was turned away from the drum set kick drum while playing timpani.

I also used a Roland V-Drum Cymbal Pad connected to the SPD-DX to play piatti samples. That replaced the hi-hats seen in the setup shots after we opened. The hi-hat was only used with foot pedal as piatti, and just wasn’t cutting it. The piatti samples sounded much better in context.

The drum set is a 1989 Pearl Export that I stripped off the original black drum wraps. I hand painted the original shells red and had black powder coating applied to all the original chrome rims. My DTS snare drum (close up pic included) is a one-of-a-kind custom drum made especially for me by Steve 'Steevo' Morrison, who is also a drum tech for Tommy Lee and Nate Morton of 'The Voice'.

A Big Fat Snare Drum Mute allowed me to transform the drum set snare into a mock Military Drum for the song 'I Can’t Resist A Red Coat'.

I made a highlights video featuring every instrument in this setup being played at least once. You can check it out here:

Fun fact for the Miller Machine fans… Billy’s wife Cristin starred in an earlier reading of this musical."

  • Pearl Export 22” Kick Drum (Remo Fiberskyn Drumhead)
  • Pearl Export 16” Floor Tom (Remo Fiberskyn Drumhead)
  • DTS 14” x 7" Custom Birch Snare Drum (Remo Fiberskyn Drumhead with Big Fat Snare Drum Mute)

  • Zildjian K 18” Dark Crash Medium Thin Cymbal
  • Zildjian K 17” Dark Crash Thin Cymbal
  • Zildjian K 10” Custom Dark Splash Cymbal

  • Pearl H1050 Redline Hi-Hat Stand
  • Pearl P2050C Eliminator Redline Bass Drum Pedal

  • Ludwig Copper Timpani (29” & 26”)
  • Yamaha YG-250D Orchestra Bells
  • Alan Abel Triangle
  • Grover 4” Bronze Piccolo Triangle (with The Miller Machine)
  • Pearl Ultra-Grip Brass Tambourine
  • Zildjian Thin Finger Cymbals
  • LP Maracas
  • LP Jam Blocks (Blue & Red)
  • LP Small Cowbell
  • LP Large Cowbell
  • LP Claves
  • Ratchet
  • OM Mark Tree
  • Bell Tree
  • Rhythm Tech “The Crasher”

  • Roland SPD-SX Sampling Pad
  • IK Multimedia iRig Keys 37 Pro Keyboard
  • Roland V-Drum Cymbal Pad

  • Vic Firth 5B Extreme Wood Tip Sticks
  • Vic Firth TG25 Tom Gauger Stick/Mallet
  • Regal Tip “Ed Thigpen” Brushes
  • Pro Mark Lightning Rods & Thunder Rods
  • Malletech OR39B Xylo/Bell Mallets
  • Mike Balter 16B Orange Yarn Mallets
  • Grover Triangle Beaters

Performance videos of this setup and more can be seen in the Musical Theater playlist of my YouTube channel:



Dennis is the resident drummer, percussionist, synth and drum programmer, and music contractor of ACT.

April 2019