Home Drum Kits Pearl Reference One Shell Pack – Drummer’s Review

Pearl Reference One Shell Pack – Drummer’s Review

Here’s our latest review featuring a Reference One shell pack from Pearl Drums.

Filmed January 2024 (scroll down for recording & equipment details).

The kit features…

  • 13″ x 9″ Rack Tom – 6-ply, 5.4mm shell that blends four layers of Maple and two of Mahogany and has a rounded 45-degree bearing edge,
  • 16″ x 16″ Floor Tom – a 6-ply, 5.4mm shell but with an opposite blend of two layers of maple with four of mahogany,
  • 24″ x 14″ Bass Drum – 8-ply, 7.2mm with a blend of 2-ply maple and 6-ply mahogany,
  • 14″ x 6.5″ Snare Drum – a 5.4mm 6-ply shell which combines four outer layers of maple with two inner layers of birch,
  • Putty Grey Lacquer Finish,
  • Pearl R2 Air Suspension Tom Mount System,
  • Pearl’s MasterCast hoops,
  • REMO Heads fitted throughout.

4-Piece Shell Pack (24′, 13″, 16″, 14″): £3600.00 (approx.)

Pearl says...”Delivering the best features of Pearl’s original Reference and Reference Pure Series drums, Reference One is an uncompromised, total percussion instrument where every element combines to create a drum sound you’ve never experienced before.

Each reduced-thickness EvenPly shell in the Reference One set is fitted with MasterCast Die-Cast hoops, for a radical combination sustain and attack. Included with Reference One, Pearl’s R2 Air Tom Suspension System delivers perfectly balanced, weightless tom mounting for high-yield tonal clarity.”

For more details, head to: www.pearldrums.com


Recording Details:

Filmed at Paul Caboche Studios (Cornwall UK). 

Microphone List:

Kick Rear: Audix D6
Kick Front: Electrovoice RE27ND
Snare Top: Electrovoice PL80
Snare Bottom: Electrovoice PL80
Hi Hat: Oktava MK-012-01 Cardio
Ride: Oktava MK-012-01 Cardio
Toms: AKG C414B
Over Head wide: AKG C414B (pair)
Centre Over Heads: AEA R88 MK2 Stereo Ribbon Mic
Front Centre Room : AEA R88 MK2 Stereo Ribbon Mic
Wide Room Mic’s: sE2200T Tube Mic’s (pair)

Recording Process:

Microphone Pre amps: 16x Rupert Neve Designs 5052

Pre amp outs to Avid HD analog to digital converters connected to Avid HDX card

Recorded into Pro Tools Ultimate latest version running HDX cards mounted in an Apple Mac Pro 2019 16core.

Audio Template Details: 

No EQ:

Direct microphone sound – no EQ either pre or post recording applied from the Neve 5052 Pre-Amps EQ section.

Basic EQ:

Basic EQ setting using the EQ section of the Neve 5052 mic Pre-Amps. No post recoded EQ or processing applied.

Full Studio Mix:

Post EQ section of the Neve 5052 mic Pre-Amps plus post production EQ, gating, parallel compression and some reverb added to the snare and toms. There was also some room mic processing along with parallel drum bus adding compression and reverb to the overall sound.

A Note From Paul…

“The microphones were set up with the overheads and room mic’s measured to the centre of the snare drum to keep the phase of any stereo pair in phase. The AEA R88 MK2 mic’s being stereo mic’s had no issue with phase but the front centre room mic and centre overhead where aligned with each other to keep the same stereo image. The phase reverse switch on the front kick mic was used to correct the phase between the two bass drum mic’s. The phase reverse switch was engaged on the bottom snare mic to correct the phase between the two snare mic’s. Hi pass filters only used on the hi hat mic, Ride mic and overheads. The AKG C414B mic’s on the toms have very little proximity bass boost so can be considered a pretty flat representation of the toms. The same can be said for the Electrovoice PL80 mic’s on the snare drum. Every effort was made so that the NO EQ sound example audio on the video was as true a representation of what the drums sounded like in the live room. The live room of the studio has been treated to also provide a neutral sound close to the drums with the room mic’s then giving a true representation of what the drums sound like in the room. Using 16 identical Mic Pre amps also helps with electrical phase so there is no difference between tone and phase of the Mic Pre amps. The brief for recoding the drums was to give as true a representation as possible of what the drums actually sound like and to then give examples of what can be done to the sound of the drums.”

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