support reviews

Mapex Heavy Rock Kit

Virtual Instrument by DrumDrops

This Mapex Heavy Rock Kit was used on the Drumdrops multi-track album 'Heavy Rock Drops'. This kit was recorded at the Garden Studios in Shoreditch, London. The kit is available to purchase in five different packs and is a must for all those who love rock drum kits. This kit, which was a Mapex Saturn Kit comes with three Mapex Snares including a much sought after Black Panther Hammered Series snare in Phosphor Bronze. The kit also comes with three crash cymbals, a china crash and a ride cymbal. It has been recorded with 16 velocity levels and multiple articulations. This Mapex Saturn kit is owned by Jason Bowld (Killing Joke, Bullet For My Valentine) who uses it for all his recording sessions with some of the UKs leading rock producers. These kits are renowned as being one of the best rock kits.

The Garden Studios (R.I.P. 1978-2012) was responsible for recording many great UK rock bands from Siouxsie & The Banshees, The Cure, The The and The Arctic Monkeys amongst others. It had a unique recording room which defied all acoustics but just sounded great on drums. We were lucky enough to record this kit here shortly before it closed its doors for the last time. Martyn 'Ginge' Ford (Bullet For My Valentine, Trivium, Slipknot) was responsible for recording the kit through the vintage Neve 8026 console that resided at the studio.

This Kit Can Be Purchased In Six Different Packs

The Kontakt 5 Pack comes with the Drumdrops Kontakt Instrument for exclusive use in Native Instruments Kontakt version 5. The instrument comes with it's own mixer section giving you control over the individual drum tracks and convolution reverbs that we have included. Each channel has an EQ and Transient Master. You can change the velocity curves of the drums and there is a randomisation feature to add subtle changes to make the drums even more realistic. We have also introduced a MIDI Groove Player, Step Sequencer, Groove Slicer and Mic Blend. The Kontakt pack comes with 41 separate articulations, 16 velocity steps and includes multiple round robins totalling 7119 drum samples. Read more here.   

The Multi-Velocity pack  provides up to 16 velocity steps of each articulation. This pack comes with patches for the latest versions of Battery, Kontakt, EXS24, Maschine, Geist, Studio One's Soundsets, Ableton Drum Rack, Reason Refills, Renoise, iDrum and the free TX16W sampler but the samples can be used in any drum machine or sampler that reads 24 bit WAV files. The multi-velocity pack now also includes over 500 MIDI drum loops covering a variety of genres. We have also included guide MIDI Maps for a lot of the popular defaults. This pack is a great choice for those who want the multiple velocity articulations and use the software packages that we have built patches for. Read more here.  

The Single Hits pack  is similar to the multi-velocity pack but provides three velocities of each articulation. This pack also includes patches for Battery, Kontakt, EXS24, Maschine, Geist, Studio One's Soundsets, Ableton Drum Rack, Reason Refills, Renoise and iDrum but can be run on any drum machines that read WAV files such as Akai MPC60s. The samples in this pack and the Multi-Velocity pack are stereo mixed samples from the close, overhead and room mics. Read more here.

The Drum Replacement pack  is our sample replacement pack. This pack comes with three different patches - Slate Trigger V2, Drumagog V5 & V4 and DrumXchanger. Each patch uses different amounts of samples depending on the capability of the software. If you run any of these pieces of software then this pack is for you. For full details on this pack read on here.

The All Samples pack contains the Multi-Velocity Pack, the Singles Hits Pack, the Drum Replacement Pack and the seperate mic samples from the Kontakt 5 Pack. This pack gives you ultimate flexibility, all the patches we create and three different packs of samples. For more on this pack read here.

The One Shot Sample pack  is our cheapest pack and a great pack for those who either just need one sample from each articulation (drum machine users) and no patches or for customers who want to check out the sound of this kit before purchasing any of the more expensive packs. Ask us nicely and we will knock the price of this pack off other packs for this kit if you upgrade.

Whichever pack you choose you can be reassured that is has the Drumdrops quality stamped all over it. Explore more of these pages and listen to our sample grooves to hear the different packs in action and work out which pack is best for you. If you want a heavy rock kit then we think you can do no better than start here and buy the Mapex Heavy Rock kit.

The Drum Kit - Mapex Heavy Rock Drum Kit

Mapex have been making drum kits for over 18 years. This kit is a Mapex Saturn kit which is one of their Pro Lines. The distinct tone of the shells comes from the mix of Maple and Walnut. The kit is constructed from 6 plies of wood to create a shell thickness of 5.1 millimetres. The thinner hybrid shells provide a lower, warmer and darker tone than similar all-maple shells. Mapex also have a non-fussy approach to applying hardware to the shell. Too much metalwork on a drum can result in a dead tone.

Jason’s Saturn kit is his number one recording kit. He started using the Mapex kit about 5 years ago and has used it on every record since. The toms were fitted with Evans G2 clear heads which makes them sound well balanced with attack and resonance and almost naturally EQ’d. The Kick drum was fitted with an Evans emad skin with virtually zero dampening. The sound of this kick is best summed up with two words – Punch & Sub.

Mapex also excel in the snare department too. Jason mainly uses a Black Panther Machete which has a savage attack but also comes with weight and fatness to match. However we also recorded two other Mapex snares. A hammered, Phosphor Bronze snare which has the attack, but with more warmth that helps provide an openness that can complement tracks beautifully and a Black Panther Stainless Steel snare.

Paiste cymbals complement the Mapex kit perfectly. The signature range of cymbals have an eq’d sound with no midrange honk or clanginess that can dominate other cymbal’s sound. The sound-edge hi-hats are extremely crisp and the ride ping on the Custom Twenty series metal ride is sweet and not muddied by too many overtones.

The kit comprises a Mapex Saturn 22” Kick drum. Three snares – a Mapex Black Panther hammered phosphor Bronze 14” x 6.5”, a Mapex Black Panther 14”x 5” and a Mapex Machete 14” x  6.5”. There are two Mapex rack toms – a 10” x 8” and 12” x 9” and a 16” x 16” floor tom. The hi-hats are Paiste sound edge 14” hats. The cymbals consist of a Paiste Dry Heavy 21” Ride, a Paiste Twenty Metal 18” Crash, a Paiste Metal China 18” Crash, a Paiste Twenty Custom 19” Crash and a Paiste Twenty Custom 20” Crash. All in all this is an epic sounding rock kit.

The Articulations Broken Down

Kick - Mapex Saturn Kick Drum:

  • Dimensions - 22"
  • Articulations - Emad and EQ3 Heads
  • Multisampling - Up to 16 velocity layers with 5 round robin samples

Snare 2 - Mapex Black panther:

  • Dimensions - 14" x 5"
  • Articulations - Centre, Edge, Rimshot, Sidestick and Flams
  • Multisampling - 16 velocity layers with 5 round robin samples

Hi Hat - Paiste sound edge Hats:

  • Dimensions - 14"
  • Articulations - Fully Shut to fully open in 6 stages - centre and edge, Floot pedal shut and open.
  • Multisampling - 12 Velocity layers with 5 round robin samples

Rack Tom 2 - Mapex Saturn Rack Tom:

  • Dimensions - 12" x 8"
  • Articulations - Centre
  • Multisampling - 16 Velocity layers with 5 round robin samples

Ride - Paiste Dry Heavy Ride:

  • Dimensions - 21"
  • Articulations - Centre, Edge and Bell
  • Multisampling - 10 Velocity Layers with 5 round robin samples

China - Paiste Metal China Crash:

  • Dimensions - 18"
  • Articulations - Centre and Edge
  • Multisampling - 10 Velocity layers with 5 round robin samples

NB: All Drums were fitted with Evans heads

The Recording Studio - The Garden Studio, London UK

The Garden studios closed at the end of 2012 and we were lucky enough to capture the sound of the live room before it was turned into a Pret A Manger.

The studio, based in Shoreditch London had been running as a commercial facility since 1978 when it was setup by John Foxx from Ultravox. For the last 20 years it has been owned by musician Matt Johnson from The The and in its final 5 years was run in partnership with producer / mix engineer Craig Silvey and Miloco Studios.

What made this studio so interesting was that the live room defied all acoustic logic. It had a low ceiling live room with plaster walls and a wooden floor yet when you set up a drum kit in there it just sounded huge. This live room has been used to record hit after hit over the years. Including albums by The The, Siouxsie & the Banshees, The Arctic Monkeys, Florence & The Machine, The Horrors and Bombay Bicycle Club.

The Recording Equipment

The Garden was centered around a vintage Neve 8026 console one of the greatest tracking consoles ever made. Like all our single hit kits we recorded straight to Pro Tools HD (the tape noise levels would be too much for single hits especially the quiet ones). With the vintage neve and classic microphones we were soon able to fatten the sound of this kit. All the microphones were recorded through either Neve 1084 or Neve 1076 mic pre's which were built into the console. Ginge used an external GML 8200 EQ on the kick microphones.

The Microphones

Kick Out – AKG D112

With its distinctive egg shape, the AKG D112 has become one of the most popular kick drum microphones ever made. A descendent of the earlier D12 dynamic microphone, AKG set about engineering a tougher and more modern sounding kick drum mic with a specially engineered diaphragm to create a solid and powerful response below 100 Hz and a narrow band presence rise at 4 kHz to help the kick punch through dense mixes with little or no added EQ. It's a large diaphragm cardioid dynamic with a built in pop shield and can handle up to 160 dB SPL with no audible distortion

Kick Sub – Yamaha NS10 Cone

The Yamaha NS10 speaker cone was used to capture the extra low frequencies of the drum. A dynamic microphone and a speaker are essentially the same thing. They take acoustical energy and convert it into electrical energy or vice versa.

Snare Top – Shure SM57

The legendary SM57 is an industry-standard cardioid dynamic microphone and is probably one of the most versatile microphones in a studios sonic arsenal. These microphones are commonly used for recording vocals, guitars and snare drums.

Snare Bottom – Shure SM57

The legendary SM57 is an industry-standard cardioid dynamic microphone and is probably one of the most versatile microphones in a studios sonic arsenal. These microphones are commonly used for recording vocals, guitars and snare drums. 

Hi Hat – Neumann KM84

The Neumann KM84 microphone is a small capsule cardioid condenser and was the first mic made with 48 V phantom power technology. The Neumann KM84 has become a real favourite for classical music recording because of its smooth faithful reproduction but its also known as a favourite mic for drum overheads and hi-hats.

Rack Toms – Sennheiser MD421

The Sennheiser 421 is a large diaphragm dynamic microphone that came out originally in the early 60s and quickly became known as a really good sounding robust mic that could handle high spls. It has established itself as a microphone that is great for toms and bass instruments

Floor Tom – Electrovoice RE20

The electro-voice RE20 is a cardioid moving-coil dynamic microphone with LF rolloff and EV's patented "variable d" design which minimizes proximity effect. Its a real "all around" workhorse microphone and instruments benefit from its smooth sound and flat frequency response.

Ride – Bruel & Kjaer 4011

DPA's 4011 mic - known prior to 1998 as the Brüel & Kjær (B&K) 4011 mic, features a 1dB roll-off in the midrange frequencies along with a 1dB rise between 10 and 15kHz. The result is a crisp, though not overly bright sound. Its response off axis is fantasic.

China Splash – Bruel & Kjaer 4011

DPA's 4011 mic - known prior to 1998 as the Brüel & Kjær (B&K) 4011 mic, features a 1dB roll-off in the midrange frequencies along with a 1dB rise between 10 and 15kHz. The result is a crisp, though not overly bright sound. Its response off axis is fantasic.

Overheads - Coles 4038 Ribbon Microphones

The 4038 is a classic Studio Ribbon Microphone designed by the BBC and originally manufactured by STC. Coles, the outsourced manufacturer, bought the rights to the STC microphone line in 1974. It is one of the world’s best-known ribbon microphones.

Room Microphones – AKG C12

The AKG C12 is a legendary microphone having started manufacture in 1953. It is a large diaphragm tube condenser microphone. It is one of the most sought after microphones ever built. The mythical status of the C12 is entirely based on the design and manufacture of its hand tensioned, edge terminated Ck12 capsule which is undoubtedly the most intricate and beautifully engineered mic capsule ever produced.

The Spec Breakdown        

  • Kick - AKG D112 - Neve 1084 / GML 8200 EQ (Mic Pre / Outboard)
  • Kick Sub - NS10 Cone - Neve 1084 / GML 8200 EQ (Mic Pre / Outboard)
  • Snare Top - Shure SM57 - Neve 1084 (Mic Pre / Outboard)
  • Snare Bottom - Shure SM57 - Neve 1084 (Mic Pre / Outboard)
  • Hi-Hat - Neumann KM84 - Neve 1084 (Mic Pre / Outboard)
  • High Rack Tom - Sennheiser MD421 - Neve 1084 (Mic Pre / Outboard)
  • Low Rack Tom - Sennheiser MD421 - Neve 1084 (Mic Pre / Outboard)
  • Floor Tom - Electrovoice RE20 - Neve 1084 (Mic Pre / Outboard)
  • Ride Cymbal - Bruel & Kjaer 4011 - Neve 1084 (Mic Pre / Outboard)
  • China Crash Cymbal - Bruel & Kjaer 4011  - Neve 1084 (Mic Pre / Outboard)
  • Overheads  - Coles 4038's - Neve 1076 (Mic Pre / Outboard)
  • Room Mics - AKG C12's - Neve 1076 (Mic Pre / Outboard)

The Drummer - Jason Bowld

Known for his powerful drumming with Metal supergroup Axewound and industrial legends Pitchshifter, Jason has toured the world from club level to Stadium level - and continues to do so with various artists.

In December 2010, Jason was asked to stand in - with literally days to spare for Bullet for my Valentine's U.K. headline Arena tour - with no rehearsals! It was this opportunity - duly taken - that spawned the Metal supergroup Axewound with Bullet singer Matt Tuck, Liam Cormier (Cancer Bats), Joe Copcutt (Rise to Remain) and Mike Kingswood (Glamour of the kill).

Jason has toured and recorded with the likes of Killing Joke, Bill Bailey ('In Metal' album) and Pop will eat itself to name a few, and he also records drums remotely for commercial ventures such as video games (Grid 2, Forumla 1 2012) and T.V. commercials.

In other genres of music, Jason has gigged and recorded with EMF guitarist Ian Dench and singer Amanda Ghost which in turn has earned him respect from U2 and Depeche Mode producers Dave McCracken and Steve Fitzmaurice. Personal requests from Sony BMG to record for up and coming bands has reinforced Jason's efficiency in the studio, where he has been known to record drum parts for albums within three days. This positive work ethic is further echoed by other international producers that Jason has worked with such as Machine, Ulrich Wilde, Al Clay, Andy Sneap, Romesh Dodangoda and Sterling Winfield.

On the drum clinic front, Jason has great experience playing and teaching at most of the main drum festivals from Drumfest, Drummer live to Frankfurt Musicmesse and UDE. His passion for education is further backed up by his tuition column in Rhythm magazine and contributions for the latest Rockschool syllabus of which he has written and performed tracks for. At present, Jason is writing with Axewound for a new album and continues to stand-in for Killing Joke and session drum for Pop will eat itself. He is also recording drums for a classical/ Metal album with producer Andy Sneap and continues to write music for sync.

The Engineer - Martyn 'Ginge' Ford

Through the 80s Martyn-Ginge-Ford played in many bands as a drummer in and around South Wales later moving to London to pursue his dream of getting a record deal with his band (Blood Brothers) his dream was achieved by signing a record deal with Jive Records in 1986, recording the album in the acclaimed Battery studios in London, this is where his interest in recording / engineering / Production started. 

In the early 90’s Ginge returned to Newport in south wales, and was instrumental in putting a band together named DUB WAR fronted by Benji Webb. Dub War quickly be came successful and signed a record deal with Nottingham based metal record label Earache. The next 5 years was were taken up recording and touring the world over. At the end of the 90’s the band split. 

In 2000 Ginge joined forces with Benji once again to form the band Skindred. Setting up a make shift recording studio in the rehearsal room beneath a boxing gym in Newport, where he set about recording the demos for Skindred’s first album for RCA. The album Babylon was recorded with producer Howard Benson in Bay 7 Studios in the Hollywood valley. This was the first time Ginge encountered Pro Tools vowing to leave the band to set up a studio full time studio. Leaving the band soon after Ginge setup Nott-In-Pill studios. 

The first band to record at the new Nott-In-Pill studios was a band called Bullet For My Valentine then called Jeff Killed John. Ginge was so impressed with the band he tried very hard to get people in the music industry interested in the band, the rest is history. 

Ginge went on to record, produce and mix many rock and metal bands including Bullet For My Valentine, Slipknot, As I Lay Dying, Trivium, Dirge From Within and Funeral For A Friend .

The Developer - Channel Robot

Channel Robot was founded in 2009 in Melbourne, Australia. They specialise in developing unique and powerful virtual instruments for Kontakt using Native Instruments’ KSP scripting language and high quality sample sets. Channel Robot build their own instruments, license their technology and provide design and development services to the audio industry.

The UI Designers - Ether Creative

Ether Creative are a design-led digital agency based in Maidstone in south-east England. This small but perfectly-formed team design and build mobile sites and apps, PHP based software systems and of course websites. They blend up a mix of bleeding-edge design and development techniques, thorough research and planning, plus a real dedication to their craft.