• Drum Set and Percussion Setups from Musical Theatre and More

Dennis J Arcano - Video Games Live

Dennis’ setup for Video Games Live with Tommy Tallarico at the Ridgefield Playhouse in Ridgefield, Connecticut.

“My setup is a for a condensed percussion book for one player. When they perform with a full orchestra they usually have 3 percussionists plus a timpanist. The entire performance is played to a click track to get all the video game images to sync with the score, so any of the additional percussion parts not in my book can be played back through the house from pre-recorded tracks. Pretty nifty! (The conductor Emmanuel Fratianni and the production manager said they never usually have a percussionist catch as much as I did; so that was a nice pat on the back!)

Basically, we have a bunch of old instruments rented or borrowed for me for this performance; an old concert bass drum with mounted Sabian Orchestral crash cymbals, tam-tam, ancient orchestra bells and a 2 1/2 octave Kelon-type pit xylo. My two Miller Machines are used for one finger cymbal note in the score and for my 6" Alan Abel triangle! We also have my 18" Zildjian Dark Crash Thin for all the suspended cymbal rolls, my OM ‘Jazz Chimes’ Mark tree and OM Temple Blocks, a Pearl Ultra Grip Tambourine with Pearl's QuickMount holder (which lets you instantly go from mounted to hand-held playing), and a few percussion toys like whip crack, egg shakers, Flex-a-Tone and of course a duck call for the ‘Duck Hunt’ section of the Classic Arcade Medley. 

The highlights for me, however, are my drums. The snare is 14” x 6.5” Pearl Philharmonic Concert Snare; an awesome Christmas gift last year from my amazing wife! The concert toms are just the 10", 12" and 14" toms from my Ayotte Custom drum set that I bought in 1995. (Their serial numbers are in the first 1700 drums that Ayotte ever made!) For the music from ‘Chrono Trigger & Chrono Cross’ I was also able to jam a bit on my 14" Remo Mondo Designer Series Key-Tuned Djembe. I just purchased the Meinl TMD Professional Djembe Stand for this gig, which made a huge difference for a multi-percussion setup like this one.”

Check out Dennis’ YouTube page.

Below is a photo of Dennis and Tommy.