In case other drummers are evolving their tech or looking for ideas on how to organize what they have, I'm sharing what I've recently developed. Until the past year or two all I've had to worry about is toting, setting up, and playing a basic acoustic set of drums. As I've gotten involved in a few smooth jazz gigs I've had to get into the world of mics, mixers, background tracks, etc. Here's what I've put together ...
That's a standard Yamaha cymbal stand with a Gilbralter small accessory table (roughly 12 x 12) mounted low to hold my mixer. The mixer is a Yamaha MG102C 10-channel stereo mixer with compression. Above it is an "iKlip" iPad holder that's designed for mic stands. (Not bad, but not really heavy duty. You might want to look for something a little sturdier.) Then coming off the threads for the cymbal stand is my DB-90 metronome.
I'm using the iPad to drive performance (background) tracks. The group I've been playing with and the headliners we backed on a recent gig all have supplemental tracks with click that they sync to on stage (percussion, backing vocals, strings, horn sections, you name it -- anything too complex or expensive to put on stage live). I load them into an app called "Set List Maker" (which is great and lets you also load in PDFs of your charts). Performance tracks have two channels. I run the music channel through my mixer to the Front of House sound system and the click channel just to me. Every track has a two-bar count-off. The first bar is for me, then I use the second to count in the band.
Originally I was going to use my iPod for performance tracks, but the iPod auto advances to the next tune, which can be a really bad thing if you forget and the next track suddenly starts playing in the middle of the wrong tune. Plus navigating the small screen of an iPod on stage gave me too much room for error. The tunes in the iPad App are listed in HUGE type and make an easy target, and they don't autoplay. A lot of players just use a laptop, but the iPad works really well for me. JUST REMEMBER TO TURN IT TO AIRPLANE MODE during performance, otherwise every email, Facebook, or other notification sound that comes through will play for the entire audience! (Fortunately, I learned this in a rehearsal, not during a live show :-)
The Dr. Beat is for when I want a tempo reference before a tune, or if I want to have a click throughout a tune that doesn't have a performance track. I can just dial it in. It's for my board only and goes straight to my headphones.
Originally I bought a set of dual drive Shure in-ears, but there was too much isolation and I haven't had the option of figuring out an ambient mic for the stage set-up yet, so these first few gigs with my new "tech tree" I've just been using a basic set of Bose consumer-model headphones and cheating/leaking the left ear cup for the room sound. I don't love it, but it's a start.
Here's a shot of the "tech tree" with the full set-up: