Maple (6-ply, sugar-hardened)
African Walnut (Satin)
16×18“ kick (8 lugs)
16×18“ kick (8 lugs)
16 x 20“ kick 10 lugs)
20x 22“ kick (10 lugs)
9×10“ rack tom (6 lugs)
10×12“ rack tom (6 lugs)
12×13“ rack tom (6 lugs)
14×14“ floor tom (6 lugs)
16×16“ floor tom (8 lugs)
Zildjian 7A (sticks)
ProMark Cool Rods (rods)
Kick (batter side):
Remo Ambassador Coated (Kick 1 and 2), Remo Fyberskin 3 (Kick 3), Remo Ambassador Renaissance (Kick 4)
Kick (resonance side):
Remo Ambassador coated (Kick 1), non (Kick 2), Evans EQ3 (Kick 3), Remo Weather King Clear (Kick 4)
Toms (batter side):
Remo Ambassador Coated
Toms (resonance side):
Remo Ambassador Clear
THE HEART IS IN THE WOOD.
The heart, soul and body of a drum is undeniably the shell. For lack of a better comparison, the choice of wood is like asking a chef to pick protein for a main dish. The wood is the raw produce and primary vehicle for tone, saturation, distribution, balance, highs, lows…and yes, this list could go on for quite a while yet.
MAPLE – A STAPLE.
Even though drum manufacturers of late have ventured off in all kinds of directions with exotic choices of wood, maple has traditionally been a natural pick. Why? Well, maybe first and foremost since it’s an easy-accessible produce, but also because it has some very ‘all-purpose’ characteristics and qualities. It produces a warm but not too dark tone at the same time as it’s bright but not with overly peaking highs. In essence, maple is a pretty ideal choice for an all-round drum that can work in any context you put it in.
CAUGHT IN A HOOP.
But there must be more to a drum’s personality than the wood alone, you say? Of course! Just like a chef’s choice of seasoning, preparing and cooking – every bolt, screw, nut and kink is what makes each drum unique and ultimately what gives it character and nuance. What stands out the most when it comes to the classic Canadian manufacturer Ayotte is the company’s choice of hoops. Hoops, you say? Yes, the circular gadgets that hold the drum heads down. Without diving too deep into detail, the by far most common variant used on most drums are made of die-cast metal.
The use of wood for hoops actually stems from the World War II era during which the U.S. government mandated in its official General Limitation Order No.L-37 that no more than 10% of the total weight of a musical instrument could come from ‘critical materials’. These materials of course included metals, which the government saw better use for in producing tanks, airplanes and ammunition. This forced manufacturers of musical instruments to take on new creative measures in order to keep producing drums – hence wood hoops and lugs were born, and with them came a new, distinct tone.
“Even though the hoop of a drum can seem insignificant at glance, playing a kit where the edges are made from a material completely different in texture that what you are traditionally used to, it makes a huge different in tone, feel and even playing style. Their very own lug design of the proprietary Tension Tune Lock System helps greatly to ensure a very solid tuning even if you hit them the drums with everything you got (which I certainly did)”, explains Norman Garschke, the drummer behind sampling each kit and instrument in the Superior Drummer 3 core library.
WHY THIS KIT FOR SUPERIOR DRUMMER 3?
Today, Ayotte is the only active brand still using wood hoops in major-scale production of drums. Hence, in our quest of capturing the broadest possible palette of drums for Superior Drummer 3, Ayotte was at the very top of our list for a modern, high-end brand that still had shells made of maple. We were very lucky to find an almost complete shell set with three different sizes of bass drums and five rack toms. Much like we expected after we set it up, it turned out that this wood-hooped marvel of a kit would be a joy to engineer, play and write music to. Norman recollects:
“I remember that we all fell in love immediately with that warm and naturally thick sound as soon as the drums were set up in the Galaxy main hall. As a drummer, I can only say that these drums feel amazing when you play them. The wood-hoops make you want to play rim shots all the time because these sound so interesting and different every time you hit them, almost like the hoops have a personality. I chose a lighter stick for these on purpose because it perfectly matched the rather acoustic/natural sound of the drums and helped to pull the interesting sonic textures from the shells. This great set of drums literally asked for experimenting with more options on the different bass drum sizes, with different heads and tunings. Besides the standard bass drums sounds, we used a configuration with a heavy stone inside and no resonance head, and also a higher jazz tuning with a closed resonance head. Because of its great sonic qualities, it also felt natural to record the set with hot-rods. Having worked with the kit now that it’s available in the product, it turned out even broader than I had dreamed of. It has the perfect qualities for anything from lighter acoustic pop and singer-songwriter music to jazz, pop, rock and even metal. You can tweak and mix this kit to bits and that unique acoustic and warm wood tone still shines through.”
Drums-only demos with different tools.