Nigel's Gear


© 2002 D.C. Parmet

Go to DW Drums and select Nigel from the list to see his setup.

The Million Dollar Piano shows in Las Vegas feature the newest kit from DW, called The Olsson Aviator Mark 1.
You can read about it and see it here, here, and here.

Chris Sobchack, Nigel's drum tech extraordinaire, wrote in 2006:
"As you know, we have 3 kits that float the globe doing studio and live gigs.
We have named each based on its color or finish ply.

We have the following:
#1 'Ghana' [2000] which is a special Ghana [exotic zebra]wood finish [finish is Deep Rich Red Burst] that John did for Nigel.
It has been retired as our dedicated studio kit as it records so well. It toured the world for around 2.5 years before becoming the studio kit.
Five mounted toms, 7"x8", 8"x10", 9"x12", 11"x14", and 13"x16"; two 18"x22" kick drums;
two 8"x22" woofers; 5.5"x14" snare.
DW hardware (Pedals are 5000 series)

#2 'Pinky' [2002] is a standard [curly] maple collector's kit, but I don't see the pink burst as a lacquer option so I assume it was a custom color for Nigel [Ed.: Garrison at DW told us that 'the finish is Hot Pink Lavender overall to Rich Purple fade']. We call this our "B" rig because it was the second kit we received and usually lives in Europe or acts as our second kit when we need to be in more than one place at the same time. . . common with Elton! Now if we could only clone me and Nigel!

#3 'Formula 1, or F-1 for short' [2005] A VERY custom new collector's maple kit with the new bass drum configuration that we absolutely adore. It is a fade of Ferrari Red to Formula One Yellow with Nigel's trademark cartoon signature character airbrushed into the shells! This kit has been used as our "A" rig live kit and is seen always in Vegas and was used for Live 8 last year [2005]. This is a very precious kit and has been signed on the woofers by John Good and B.B. King. After almost 2 years on tour, this kit has one tiny scratch. As I always tell my helpers. . . . I will KILL them if anything happens to this kit as it is such an incredible piece of art.
So far so good!"

#4 'Annette' [2007] debuted at the Red Piano shows in Las Vegas in February 2007.

"Bobby" debuted in 2003 but is no longer used. Made from birch wood;
same specs as "Ghana," but only one kick drum, as it was built as a recording kit.


1. Get a medium size bath towel, square if you can find one.
2. Fold it in half to make a triangle.
3. Pull the corners of the triangle inward and then roll the towel up into a sausage roll looking shape.
4. Tape this with gaff tape directly to the batter (the side you hit) head and the shell of the drum.
5. Lay a muffling pillow (Velcro if you are moving the drum a lot like we do) into the drum mostly to just touch the resonant head (not the side you hit).
6. DONE!

DW Hardware
9000 series stands
5000TD3 pedals (double chain, Turbo)

Paiste Cymbals
14" Paiste Signature Heavy Hi-Hat
18" Paiste Signature Full Crash
20" Paiste Signature Mellow Ride
24" Paiste 2002 Ride with Rivets

Balistik logo
Vic Firth
"Rock" stick with oval wood tip, 16 5/8" long, .630" diameter

Vic Firth Rute
505 brush, with thirty-one plastic bristles (.094") secured in a vinyl handle (.690" thick). 15" long.

Ambassador coated drumheads
Ambassador smooth white (bottoms of toms)
Clear PowerStroke 3 bass drum head with no flam patch

Fat Cat Snappy Snares

Read the article about Nigel's use of SONY's headphones

Beta52 Kick drum mic, internally mounted
SM57 on snare (top and bottom)

Sennheiser Evolution microphones
E835 on toms & E604 for vocals

AKG microphones
460 for hi-hat and ride, 414 for overheads

MC32/12 mixing console
R-3 reverb

Ghost 32 channel mixer

audio cables

Quik Lok
QL 400 mixer stands
Read Quik-Lok's press release dated August 19th, 2001.
NEW 7/27/02 Read another piece on Pro-Music-News...nice photo, too!