Kyle Wooten’s Masterpiece In White

Pearl Reference Series

A couple years back, Kyle Wooten decided it was finally time to launch his career as a professional drummer. The Hazard, Kentucky native wisely realized that he would need the right tools to get the job done, so he bit his lip, entered his credit card number in Musician’s Friend’s shopping cart, hit “Order Now,” and waited until a brand new set of Pearl Reference Series drums showed up on his doorstep.

Job done. But it wasn’t just any Reference Series kit. Wooten invested a few extra bucks to get one of the company’s limited-edition “Redline” models. While these drums share the exact same shell makeup as other Reference kits, Pearl injects a red dye into the isolation pads that protect the shell from the hardware attachments, which dramatically offsets the deliberately limited finish choices of white or black. Only 50 sets were produced in each color, so Wooten earned some serious bragging rights (he chose white, as you can see).

His one up/two down configuration features a 24” x 18” bass drum, 13” x 9” mounted tom (on a snare stand), and 16” x 16” and 18” x 16” floor toms (on legs — nicely retro). Since Redline kits don’t include a snare (despite their suggested retail price of $4,999!), Wooten uses a nickel-plated steel Pearl Chad Smith Signature model, and keeps a 1970s Premier Olympic model on the side as a backup.

Pearl Reference Series

Toms are fitted with Evans G2 batter and G1 reso heads, and he mounts Evans ST Dry batters on his snare, and an Evans EQ3 batter on his kick. Hardware includes a trusty Ludwig Speed King pedal or the highly adjustable (and more modern) Pearl Demon Drive. “I’m a single pedal guy,” he says. “I was always told if Buddy Rich can play with a single pedal, then so can you.”

The loyal son-of-a-gun swears by Zildjian just as much as Pearl, and has outfitted his kit with two 19'' Z3 Rock crashes, 14'' New Beat hi-hats, and a 20" A Custom Ride.

It sounds as if Wooten’s drive to drumming superstardom has begun to pay dividends, since he scored an endorsement deal with Silverfox sticks, preferring the company’s MR Tip series. “They are great sticks, especially for a hard hitter such as myself.”

All’s well that ends well, eh? And Wooten couldn’t be happier with his entire rig. “I love it – probably one of the best kits I have ever played. I use it on stage, and in the studio. It can take a beating, and withstand the abuse of the road. I’ll probably keep this kit for the rest of my life!”