Hello and welcome to some drum chat!
Are you coming to Owl Shed Studios to track some drums? Wanna learn about the kits we have in? Want a bit of info to send your drummer before coming in so you can gauge what stuff there is to play with? Well, you've come to the right place! If you'd like some info on the snares the studio keeps around, go to THIS POST RIGHT HERE!
Owl Shed Studios uses Mapex drums, seeing as Andrew (that's me, hi!) is a Mapex artist!
In short, there are two types of kits.
One type is a black and red Saturn IV and the other is a white oyster kinda finish Saturn V Tour Edition. All the drums are a maple/walnut blend - beautifully warm and round sounding. The Saturn ranges are top of the line drums - both kits have seen countless stages each and have both been on a wealth of recordings via my remote session work!
The Saturn IV has;
22 x 18 kick and 10, 12, 16 toms.
The Saturn V has;
24 x 14 and 20 x 14 kicks and 10, 12, 16 and 18 toms.
Most of the time at Owl Shed Studios, we are working on multiple projects at once. As such, I am almost always running remote sessions, mostly using the 24, 10, 12 16 and 18 of the white Saturn V. The black and red Saturn IV can be used by clients along with the option of the 20 x 14 kick and 14 tom from the white Saturn. The drums all sit beside each other beautifully as they are all constructed of the same wood - mixing and matching between the two is something that I do frequently!
In so far as flexibility of sound, they are unparalleled. There is nothing that I can't draw out of these drums, from big rock tones to dead and muffled, lo-fi type sounds. Whatever project has come in, from folk to metal, these kits have excelled!
As for heads, these drums are headed with Code Drum Heads - Coated Generators, usually. A double ply, coated head that lends itself well to round, warm tones. The drums are commonly tuned as a middle ground, where there is enough attack and presence to be articulate in a mix but low enough that there is a beautiful, round resonance to them. Tuning and muffling can obviously be altered to taste but this is how they generally sit!
The examples below will give you an idea of the range these drums can offer! The single biggest influencing factor is always the player but whatever the player, these drums can serve well to adapt to suit their needs! In these examples, there have been no samples used - it's all drums, baby!
First up, this video of our cover of 'The Seed 2.0' by The Roots shows how they can sound in an organic, open way. The drums were recorded using some more classic techniques, where if I remember correctly, the only close mic was a kick out. Everything else was a Glyn Johns setup, room mics and a good, well balanced performance!
The Azure video below I think illustrates well the tuning middle ground - present enough to work well within an intricate arrangement and performance but with enough tone and body to still carry some weight and character to the overall mix. The kit here is the 22, 10, 12, 16 of the black and red Saturn IV.
The video below will show the capabilities of the drums to achieve a nice, warm rock tone - perfect for most guitar driven ensembles! The kit is the full white Saturn V with the exception of the 20 x 14 kick!
The video below hopefully will give an idea of the sheer aggression the drums are capable of, if need be! I'll let the video do the talking. The kit is the 22 of the black and red Saturn IV and the 10,12, 16 and 18 of the Saturn V.