Jefferson Shallenberger is a master woodworker who's been applying his world-class knowledge and skill to making drums for six years. Under the banner of Sugar Percussion, Jefferson crafts drums that not only sound incredible, but each one is also a unique piece of artwork.
We recently teamed up with Jefferson to build a snare drum that was specifically meant to be used in the recording studio. The end result is nothing short of magical. Meet the Sugar Percussion Vintage King Edition Snare Drum. This snare has an extremely full sound with warmth, attack and depth that you will love featuring on your recordings.
Watch our new Sugar Percussion Vintage King Edition Snare Drum demo video below to hear how it sounds and continue on for an interview with Jefferson to learn more about how the drum's construction benefits its use in the studio.
How do you approach designing a drum that is specifically meant for the recording studio?
The aim is control. Anyone can mummify any drum with tape and gel to get that ‘bag of pudding’ sound but what if the drums could sound like an actual instrument in the studio… An actual tone, an actual voice? We build in the good and build out the bad… Tone without noise, body without honk. It’s a controlled version of a well built, beautiful sounding instrument.
What made you choose walnut for this drum?
We wanted to do something special for the Vintage King snare while retaining the utmost versatility. Eastern Walnut is a beautiful, quirky, expensive tree to mill and shape. It has a gorgeous color and tone and, with a little extra work, produces an exceptional instrument. Much like Mahogany in its balance of warmth and crack, its tuning range is massive and sits comfortably in any style of music. We’ve made a few snares and kits from this tree and were thrilled with the results. When discussions for a signature Vintage King snare began it was a natural choice.
Can you talk about what the extra inch in diameter adds to the sound of the drum?
14” is convention. It’s what’s always grabbed for, and it sounds great. But why not open it up a bit and create a bigger, fuller sound… Something a bit more unique without being overly esoteric. The 15” diameter lets this shell spread out more, breathe a bit fuller and brings a wider body to the tone.
What kind of impact can having a shallower depth to the snare bring to the sound?
The Vintage King snare is an inch shallower than our flagship size in an attempt to control some of the natural body in these solid wood shells. Increasing the diameter opens it up so to balance, we shaved an inch off the depth, thereby reigning in the goodness. In the studio every instrument needs to work well with the others, no one thing monopolizing the spotlight. The natural harness to the wider diameter is a reduced depth. This shortens up the resonant tail, not so much to choke but just enough to control befitting the studio environment.