Michael Schack

Drums - SquarElectric, Netsky, sMashUp
May 31, 2016

Drums / Roland / Tama / Meinl

Michael Schack

Who are you and what do you do?

  • Born, raised and still living in Belgium
  • Never had any formal music conservatory education, I actually have a degree in economics/marketing.
  • Professional drummer since the early ’90s, focusing on live playing and sound design.
  • Hybrid drummer, combining all things acoustic with electric, since 1993 and after building a side carreer as a Roland electronic drums demonstrator in the Benelux countries, started touring the world as a V-Drums artist in 2001.
  • Since 2003, a regular “product development consultant” for Roland Japan’s Electronic Percussion Design Department, assisting them in the design, development and sound content of the TD-3, TD-20, TD-9, TD-20X, SPD-30, SPD-SX, TD-30, TD-15, HPD-20, TM-2 and TD-25 instruments.

Current musical adventures:

  • SquarElectric, a duo project with a V-Jay/DJ friend of mine, which resulted in a live duo MashUp concept where I trigger all sounds and mixes and him putting moving images and sound FX on top. I’ve been combining and integrating the SquarElectric adventures in my international solo performances at drum festivals, Roland drumming events and music fairs, apart from playing live with some of Belgium’s most famous live playing artists like Milk Inc, Kate Ryan, Ozark Henry and Soulsister.
  • Netsky, which went “Live” in 2012. Since then we played numerous venues and festivals all over Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the UK, Korea and the US, including the Coachella festival etc. Netsky is now releasing a third album, and we’ll be playing some big festivals in Europe and the US during the summer.
Michael Schack
  • #PushYourDrumming clinic concept, which I conceptualised together with Roland Benelux drum product manager Christophe Cools and after starting out of Benelux in fall 2014, since then brought me all over Europe, Malaysia and recently also Canada. With #PushYourDrumming, I want to show and inspire any drummer how to think out of the box, take advantage of all drumming things online and start playing beats and fills that matter instead of studying drumming mathematics which usually keep yourself inside your own practice room. It’s been a ball seeing all those drummers showing up to the clinics and doing things with all tips and exercises which they take home after the clinic on a USB stick or download with a special #PYD code after attending the clinics.
  • Michael Schack “sMashUp”, not only in Benelux but also in Colombia and Mexico for the very first time this summer.
  • Drumeo Affiliate Satellite Instructor - since July 2013.

What do you use?

Depending on the project or gig, I have five different setups. And each one has a name :)

1/ The SmashUp

For the SquarElectric and my solo SmashUp shows, I’m playing Roland TD-30KV V-Drums combined with two SPD-30’s Octapad controllers, connected to two Apple laptops loaded with Ableton Live Suite 9.6. When playing V-Drums, I never combine those with acoustic cymbals. I do use Tama Hardware, always!

2/ The Live V

When playing with Netsky or doing a demonstration concert for schools or at smaller drumming events, I’m using that same TD-30KV, including Tama Road Pro hardware, but then combined with a Roland SPD-SX Sample Pad.

Michael Schack's Tama Starclassic Bubinga

3/ The PushYourDrumming set

This one can be a TD-30KV or even a smaller TD-25KV, with Tama hardware, but always combined with a full expanded multipad setup, including the SPD-SX, the Octapad SPD-30 and a Roland Aira TB-3 Touch Bassline synth.

4/ The Bubingaboom = Hybrid 1

When playing acoustic, I always combine my current Tama Starclassic Bubinga with at least an SPD-SX. This is also the minimal setup for most of my recent live streamed Drumeo (webcast) lessons.

I usually also use this set for recording sessions in my studio. It cracks into the red zone every single time. Depending on the request, type of music etc., I sometimes also use parts of other brand drumsets I own, including a Ludwig VistaLite and Slingerland StudioKing setup. But over these last 2 years, this 2015 Tama set has been dominating my recording studio.

For cymbals, I’m a total addict of the Meinl Byzance Series. Since 2008, I’m even combining two of their 16” crashes as HiHats and almost never went back to regular 14” setups. They really blend well with any male or female vocal performance, both live and in the studio, and they keep my HiHat muscles in good shape :)

Michael Schack

The full set listing : Tama Starclassic Bubinga, consisting of

Meinl Byzance symbal setup

5/ The Cocktail Jam = Hybrid 2

When recording more specific Sample Pack content and HipHop/BreakBeat stuff, I’ve also been using the Tama Cocktail Jam, always combined with a Roland multi-dual trigger setup combined with a couple of Roland TM-2 Trigger Modules.

Michael Schack

My Recording/Production gear

What would be your dream set up?

I’m already playing my dream drum set ups, so I would invest more in my studio setup:

  • Apple Mac Pro 32-core desktop running Ableton Live Suite as I’m currently using
  • full set of Apogee converters
  • a double set of Universal Audio Apollo interfaces
  • a full selection of Manley outboard gear
  • a full set of the latest Moog synths
  • a full set of the latest Waves plugins
  • a full Nexus software synth package
  • a full Rob Papen software synth package