"True" recording set-up
One would think that recording "True" would up the ante from "heavenly" even more. L'Arc was producing a big album so one would imagine a lot of time was spent getting the right sounds. Thankfully, at least with Sakura's drums, this is not the case. Rather, he decided he wanted to take a simple approach to recording this time. In interviews he claims this album was recorded with just 1 snare, basically 1 set of cymbals, the usual toms, and primarily a 22" bass drum. This is good to know since I have no photos and detailed descriptions like I do for "heavenly!" That said, I will describe the "basic set-up" for recording this album, and then point out little facts about each song that might deviate from that set-up.
Snare drum: 14"x6.5" Pearl Custom Classic
Toms: Pearl MR 10"x8", 12"x8", 13"x8", 16"x16", 18"x16"
Bass drum: Pearl MR 22" (unknown depth)
Sakura doesn't own a 22" bass drum so he probably rented one from Pearl. I would bet it is 16" depth but don't know for sure. As for the toms, this album features Sakura rolling around toms much less than the previous ones, and the whole album could basically be played on the 13" and 16". He said in an interview he didn't mess with the toms much so he probably just used his standard set-up from lives. Also, he put die-cast hoops on all the toms for this album. Finally, he said he recorded the whole album with 1 snare drum except for "kaze ni kienaide" since that was recorded much earlier. Not sure what the snare was for that song but it hardly matters since it sounds like crap anyway.
Snare: Remo Coated Ambassador (top), Remo Ambassador Snare Side (bottom)
Toms: Remo Coated Ambassador (top), Remo Clear Ambassador (bottom)
Bass drum: Smooth White (batter), Pearl stock reso head (resonant)
Sakura continues to use his tried and true snare and tom heads. Apparently the bass drum batter heads he used live, which appear to be a Coated Ambassador with a black dot on the underside, he made himself. I am not sure if he also used this for recording his 26". It seems unlikely that he used such a head on the 22" I suppose, and probably just used a Smooth White as usual.
15" Paiste mystery Sound Edge Hi-Hats
22" Paiste Signature Dry Ride
20", 18", 17", 16" Paiste Signature Full Crashes
12", 10" Paiste Signature Splashes
18" Sabian AAX Chinese
A few changes and cymbals of note here. First of all, Sakura starts playing a set of what are obviously Sound Edge hi-hats from this album onwards, but I can't be certain they're 2002 series. I know they're not Signature, but there is a chance they could be Formula 602. I am assuming he's using the same old ride but it could be different. With the crashes it's also an educated guess and I've listed them all for completeness, but there's a decent chance he has pared down to just the 18" and 17" (as he did with his live set-up). He probably only used 1 splash and it's probably the 10" but it could be a 12" too. Finally, I'm pretty certain about the chinese cymbal at least.
Now, for what is different about each song:
Fare Well: sounds like he uses his 26" bass drum for the whole song.
Caress of Venus: uses entirely electronic drums.
Round and Round: no deviations that I am aware of.
flower: uses a 26" bass during the bridge only ("like a flower!" part), otherwise the 22".
"good-morning Hide": could be the electronic bass drum although it's hard to say. Lot of electronic overdubs on this one.
the Fourth Avenue Cafe: seems to use the basic set.
Lies and Truth: uses an electronic bass drum.
kaze ni kienaide: for the toms, he used only batter heads. On the single mix, his 22" kick had a large port hole on the resonant head. For the "True" mix, it has been overdubbed with an electronic bass drum sound. The snare is also a different one but I'm not sure which.
I Wish: who knows. Likely just the usual set-up.
Dearest Love: likely uses his 26" bass drum.
Unfortunately there are no images to share from the recording of this album.