Initially, I thought that this was a weakness until
I discovered that the thing had memories where sound settings could
be stored and so, with the press of a button, you could dial up
a whole new kit to play. This made the thing ideal for live (and
studio) work and an ideal recipe for succes you would have thought
- fashionable electronic drum sounds that can be recalled with the
press of a button AND from a respected drum manufacturer who had
been in business since 1940. Not so....
For whatever reason, the Pearl DRX-1 wasn't a massive success for
the company (or rather, if it was, punters saw those pads and just
assumed it was a Simmons - bad move, Pearl!!). Whatever, the DRX-1
never achieved the status of the Simmons in the annals of electronic
musical instrument history and to be honest, I had quite forgotten
about it until I was contacted by regular Ozzie Hollow Sun contributor
Dean Morris who sent me a pile of samples from his own, original
If the DRX-1 was a clone of the Simmons on the surface (at least
with its pad design), its sound generating principles were pretty
much identical too. However, Pearl did improve on the design quite
significantly. In Dean's own words:
"The DRX-1 was an interesting box (still is) in that as
well as the noise and oscillator sound source, there was a control
called "overtone" which could be used to vaguely approximate
the different tuning of the bottom head of a drum. As well as that,
the filter had controls that allowed the user to vary both the attack
of the filter, and its tonality. This tonality, then, affected the
tonality of both the noise source, and the oscillator. By varying
the attack and tone of the filter, a huge number of variations could
be made on sounds.
These features, more than anything, were the deciding "sound"
factors that convinced me to change from the SDS. The other factor
was the pads. The Pearl pads were, and are, a delight to play."
Frankly, I was astonished at the sounds I heard! I had thought
that the Simmons reigned supreme for this kind of electronic kit
sound and that nothing could touch it but Dean's samples proved
that I was wrong. They have all the punch and dynamics of the Simmons
and will serve well as an alternative (or addition) for the Simmons
if you need some overtly electronic drum sounds.
Note that some of the tom and snare sounds are pretty much interchangeable
and you can use any of the toms as snares or vice versa -
some even make good kicks! Feel free to experiment!
I'm extremely grateful to Dean for this rare soundset and it's
fair to say that thanks to this contribution, Nostalgia is the only
sample collection to contain these sounds.