Barnes and Mullins

Barnes and Mullins

Review – Pearl Masters Maple Pure (MMX) Shell Pack

Here’s the latest review from our sister-site Drummer’s Review featuring a Masters Maple Pure (MMX) shell pack from Pearl Drums.

Filmed October 2023 (scroll down for recording & equipment details).

The kit features…

  • Three-Piece Shell Pack: 22″ x 14″ Bass Drum, 12″ x 8″ Rack Tom, 16″ x 16″ Floor Tom,
  • Add-ons: 14″ x 14″ Floor Tom, 14″ x 6.5″ Matching Snare,
  • All drums constructed from 4-ply, 5mm hand-curated North American Maple shells, with 4-ply maple reinforcement rings top and bottom,
  • 45˚ bearing edges throughout,
  • Pearl’s R2 Air Tom Suspension Mount system,
  • Pearl’s CL Bridge Lugs,
  • Pearl Mastercast Die Cast Hoops (Snare & Toms), Matching Wood Hoops (Bass Drum),
  • USA-made Remo heads throughout.

UK SRP: 3-Piece Shell Pack (22′, 12″ 16″): £3072.00

Matching 14″ Floor Tom: £986.00 

Matching 6.5″ Snare: £739.00

Pearl says...”In celebration of three decades of Masters quality and excellence, Pearl fuses new appointments, refreshed finish and hardware choices, and the ground-breaking resonance of the R2 Air Tom Suspension System with the original Masters MMX 4-ply, 5mm shell with 4-ply Re-Rings.

Since their introduction in 1993, Masters Series drums have been a professional standard for premium tone. Originating with the 4-ply MMX Shell Recipe, Pearl’s combination of hand-curated North American Maple veneers with precision hardware appointments has found a performance home with countless drummers from the recording studio to the concert stage.”

For more details, head to:

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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All of Drummer’s Review videos are recorded in a top quality studio with the finest equipment. To get the best from our reviews and really hear the instruments perform be sure to listen on good quality speakers or headphones!

Also, be sure to check out our other sister-sites (share with your bandmates!) covering Bass Guitar and Acoustic Guitar…

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