Custom Drums Created By Sonic Masters
Known for being a drum-centric producer, Eric Valentine has been crafting thunderous percussion sounds for over two decades. Tired of using multiple kits to create these recordings, Valentine was looking to design a more focused drum set that was easily controllable and could offer the proper resonance. The resulting Eric Valentine Signature Kit was a labor of love collaboration between EV and Jefferson Shallenberger, the owner and master craftsman behind Sugar Percussion.
Crafting A Kit For The Studio
While working on a record for Slash of Guns ‘n’ Roses, Eric Valentine first encountered a Sugar Percussion snare drum and immediately heard something he liked. Reaching out to Jefferson about his love for the snare, the storied producer inquired about creating a special drum set. “Eric couldn’t find the kit he wanted for the studio and that’s when the emails started going back and forth,” says Shallenberger. “I’ve always loved the studio, so there was analogous level of nerdery when talking to an engineer or producer like Eric about drums.”
With the two creative thinkers working on this new signature drum kit, both Valentine and Shallenberger were open to trying creative options that had never been used before. “I wanted to try shallower depths for the toms and I also wanted to base the dimensions of the drums on prime numbers,” says Eric Valentine. By only dealing in prime numbers, Valentine and Shallenberger hoped to make it easier to tune the drums to certain pitches and eliminate the ability to over-accentuate certain overtones.
The final version of the Eric Valentine Signature Kit features the shallow design that the producer desired with a kick drum sized at 26” x 11”, floor toms at 17” x 13”, rack toms at 13” x 7” and snare at 14” x 6.” Additionally, each drum in the set features thicker shells and blunter bearing edges to provide robust and concise tones that can be recorded evenly using only one microphone in the studio.
Incredible Construction With Quality Materials
The shells of Sugar Percussion’s Eric Valentine Signature Kit are stave-built from Alaskan Yellow Cedar and made from the wood of one tree. Jefferson and Sugar Percussion prefer this method because it allows for incredible tonality, construction with any species of wood and alleviates stress in the circular structures. The wear and tear drums take can add to an already stressed piece of equipment, but thanks to stave–built construction, each instrument faces no bent stress or uneven tension.
When evaluating materials to create a drum set, Sugar Percussion uses the traditional solid wood density scale. Eric and Jefferson’s choice of Alaskan Yellow Cedar wood sits at two on this scale (out of a possible 11), which means it is a softer material that offers a warm, full-bodied sound and thunderous percussion. If you’re looking for a mellow, thick tone, this drum kit will fit well into your studio space perfectly.
Built With Love, By Hand
The story behind Sugar Percussion centers on Jefferson Shallenberger. As a long-time artist and woodworker, Jefferson has led a storied career in both fields, becoming an expert craftsman who specializes in the smallest details of his creations. With his busted old drums nearing the end of their life, the California-based creator set about dismantling the kit and working towards something new. Through in-depth analysis of his kit and other sets of drums, Shallenberger saw where others in the industry had previously gone wrong and formed the foundation of a new gold standard in the percussion world.