Music Gear News
The Pearl e/MERGE Electronic Drum Kit Emerges from a New Collaboration Between Pearl and KORG
Pearl's new e/MERGE electronic drum kit is powered with KORG technology and marks the first collaboration between these iconic companies.
Pearl needs no introduction to drummers, being a serious market-contender in the manufacture of drum and percussion equipment. While Pearl's acoustic drum kits grace the world's stages and studios, it is only now that we have been introduced to a serious contender in the arena of electronic drums from this prolific brand. Taking the combined experience of two renowned companies, the e/MERGE features a raft of new technology to make a real step-forward for e-drummers.
The three new elements of this collaboration are the MDL-1 e/MERGE Module, KORG's Wave Trigger technology, and Pearl's PUREtouch electronic pads. Pearl will be releasing this new technology in two kit formats; the Pearl e/MERGE Hybrid Electronic Drum Kit (featuring a hybrid acoustic kick drum) and the all-electronic Pearl e/MERGE Traditional Electronic Drum Kit.
These new kits will be debuting at the summer NAMM show in Annaheim, California, but in the meanwhile we'll be taking pre-orders if you want to get to the front of the queue!
Let's have a look and see what new technology is coming soon with the Pearl e/MERGE kits.
Wave Trigger Technology
This ultra-fast technology is partially based on KORG's own Wave Drum - a "dynamic percussion synthesizer" drum pad which gained popularity due to its unparalleled responsiveness. This technology is so precise that even a change in drum sticks can make a noticeable difference in tone. Wave Trigger Techology (WTT) is an enhancement of the original Wave Drum and it uses parallel processing to react incredibly quickly to every nuance of your playing. The e/MERGE drum kit uses this WTT to ensure that (in Pearl's words), "sample layers are smoothed, latency is imperceivable, and sensitivity is on a different dimension from anything that has come before."
e/MERGE MDL-1 Module
The module is the 'brain' of any electronic drumkit and the e/MERGE module is certainly fully kitted-out. It features a pair of fast, multicore processors to react to every nuance of the incoming signals. Pearl has loaded the module with a library of high-definition acoustic drum samples alongside world instrument sounds, ethnic, electronic, orchestral and other tones to explore.
The MDL-1's tones were recorded in Music City USA, Nashville, Tennessee, and are created to cover all genres and styles. These sounds can be stored in presets and edited with the 35 onboard effects. The MDL-1 features a large number of ins and outs, so it seems like you'll have no problem integrating the e/MERGE kit with your studio or live setup.
PUREtouch Electronic Pad System
Pearl's patent-pending PUREtouch system is designed to replicate the feel of a real acoustic drum head, without any of the usual over-'bounciness' of other setups; if anyone can achieve this feat, we reckon it surely must be Pearl, with its extensive experience in producing real acoustic kits. Pearl and KORG say that six layers of material work together to make "the most natural feel of any electronic pad available" - we can't wait to try it out.
When combined with WAVE TRIGGER TECHNOLOGY, every area of the drum head responds to changes in dynamics and pressure, from the center to the edge. e/MERGE also enables drum-head tightening to change the feel, alongside two separate rim triggers for those all-important rim shots.
The e/MERGE features two bass drum options, letting you use select a free-standing kick trigger or a traditional-looking hybrid bass drum with an internal trigger. The pad delivers a natural feel with accurate tracking and collapses for quick and easy transportation.
The PUREtouch technology doesn't end with the drum heads; Pearl's cymbals also feature PUREtouch to provide an exceptionally responsive feel. The PUREtouch Electronic Cymbal Pack features an 18” three zone Ride (bell, bow and edge),15” two zone Crash (bow and edge), and 14” two zone Hi-hats (bow and edge). Pearl and KORG have incorporated a special multilayer construction and a softer feel, helping to provide a more authentic cymbal feel. The two companies have also addressed the - often unnatural - sound of 'choked' cymbals by triggering sympathetic harmonic resonance after you grasp the cymbal. "Truly the most natural sounding electronic cymbals ever."
The PUREtouch Hi-hats feature a vented bottom to provide stability, alongside a plunger trigger system, compatible with virtually any hi-hat stand. This creates an extended range of articulation without any disturbance in the natural movement of the 'hats. Elsewhere, Pearl's PUREtouch bass drum trigger is available either stand-alone or in a hybrid acoustic drum for players who prefer a more traditional look. Both kick pads accept single and double pedals and offer a full range of adjustment to integrate with any playing setup.
To finish off this exciting e-drum kit is the custom Icon e-Rack system. Featuring a chrome-plated design and chrome tom arms, this rack is a classy-looking solution to positioning your kit.
There really is a wealth of technology on offer with the new e/MERGE electronic drum kits and we can't wait to see the first player-demos. These kits will be debuting at SUMMER NAMM 2018 but we'll have them available to pre-order, should you wish to be the first to get your hands on this new gear when it's here!
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