Brain Salad Surgery - See The Show

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Ludwig drums


For the recordings of Brain Salad Surgery, Carl Palmer used a Ludwig Black Vistalite set with drums in the following sizes: 6" 8" 10" 12" 13" 14" 15" concert toms, 16" and 18" floor toms, a Ludwig 6 1/2"x14" supersensitive metal snare drum and a 24" bass drum. He used this set from around March 1972 until the stainless steel set replaced it for the Brain Salad Surgery tour, which commmenced in Autumn 1973. The Black Vistalite set had acrylic shells, and the shells were solid black. They were discontinued by the Ludwig Drum Company around 1980.

Carl Palmer:
"I've developed some electronic drums, which is a project I've worked on for about two years. Each note on the synthesizer's keyboard triggers an electronic circuit. And this same electronic principle can be applied to drums. The synthesizer is very versalite. I've had one made that plays 14 notes. That means when I'm playing the drum that the first strike triggers off the mechanism and a series of 14 notes is played. Each note is pre-tuned to the part of the tune when I plug the electronic drums in. On the 14th note, it repeats - it goes back to the beginning and starts over automatically. I don't actually play the instrument. I only start it off.One drum has been developed in such a way that it does one specific thing, another drum has been developed so that, when I strike it, it produces another sound, perhaps a drone. In a way it's gadgetry. But it's no more gadgetry than what guitarists or keyboard players have used. You can get best the feeling of what I'm doing by listening of 'Toccata'. There's the drum which has been tuned to set off the sequence of 14 notes and I have about 5 other sounds which are just sounds that I have chosen myself. I strike the drum with the 14 notes, it plays some of the tune. Then I introduce all the other electronic sounds on the top of this sequence which continous on and on. And then I bring in two other drums which play rhythmical patterns. So the whole thing becomes an electronic percussion section. It's something that I think no one else has done on this extent yet."

Carl Palmer prefered Paiste Cymbals and used it in various sizes:
13" Hi-Hat, 18" and 20" Full Crash, 20" Heavy Bell Ride, 18" and 20" Power Crash, and 38" and 50" Symphonic Gongs.

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