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Roland V-Drums

Updated on December 22, 2014

Roland Drums

Roland have been making V-Drums for more than 20 years now, and currently have 4 electronic drum kits on the market; the HD-3 (a small and compact kit which replaced the HD-1), the Roland TD-11 (replaced the TD-4), the Roland TD-15 (replaced the TD-9), and the Roland TD-30 (replaced the TD-20). Roland are well known for producing extremely high quality electronic drum kits, and their current line of kits includes some of their very best yet.

Read on to find out more about Roland V-Drums, what they're capable of, and to find out how much these kits are currently available for.

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Roland TD-1 Electronic Drum Kit

If you've not got much space available then the Roland TD-1 may just be the perfect option for you. For its small size you can definitely do a lot with this awesome piece of kit.

With some seriously awesome training functions, the Roland TD-1 is an excellent electronic drum kit to start out upon, providing you with 15 different drum kits which therefore provides you with flexibility for playing any style and can also be hooked up to your computer via the included built-in USB-MIDI interface for easy pairing with programs such as Superior Drummer and EZDrummer.

The good thing about the Roland TD-1 is that whilst it's a lot cheaper than other Roland kits available, you won't find that the quality has here been compromised. It's upgradeable as you progress, making it very easy indeed to start out with the regular TD-1 kit and upgrade the kit as you progress, potentially replacing out the pads with mesh pads as you so wish, maybe even upgrading the kick/hi-hat as well, providing you with a strong basis to progress within the Roland electronic drum kit world, upgrading and improving your kit to move forward with you.

If you have a home studio setup, are just getting into drumming, or are an acoustic player looking for a cheap yet high quality kit to practice on at home in the quiet, then you can definitely do a lot worse than investing in this Roland TD-1 electronic drum kit, in fact for this sort of money I really don't think you can do any better!

Roland TD-4KP

Making use of the same pads/cymbals as the aforementioned TD-1, the Roland TD-4KP is an electronic drum kit that has been designed with portability very much in mind.

Easily packed away and transported, the Roland TD-4KP is an incredible piece of kit for all those that intend to regularly move around with it. Alternatively, if you've got limited space in the home then this would be an excellent drum kit for setting up when required and packing away to provide space when not in action.

Roland TD-11 and Roland TD-15 Kits

Not quite up there on a level with the Roland TD-20/Roland TD-30 kits, but still very good electronic drumkits are the Roland TD-11 and Roland TD-15.

The TD-11 has 9 inputs whilst the TD-15 boasts 10; both are very good electronic drumkits from Roland, and both have a lot to like about them. They don't have the high price tag that you'd expect of the TD-20/TD-30 kits, but they also aren't quite as expansive. Does this mean that they're bad kits though? Of course not, they're just not top of the range, but are still very good for those that don't wish to play with absolutely huge kits.

Dependent upon which kit you go for, these Roland kits come with mesh head drum pads just as the more expensive options do, and the feel to play them is very close to mimicking that of a true acoustic drumkit.

The Roland TD-11 comes packed with 50 kits to choose from, the Roland TD-15 meanwhile comes with 100, so whilst both of these Roland electronic drum kit options are good ones; the Roland TD-15 is most definitely the module that gives you the most variety, and straight out of the box is the module that gives you the greater strength in terms of its capabilities.

Below you'll find a video informing and demonstrating to you just what the Roland TD-11 and Roland TD-15 electronic drum kits are capable of.

Roland TD-11/Roland TD-15 Kit Overview

A general look at what Roland's new mid-range kits have to offer.

Roland TD-20

The Roland TD-20 kit is the one that I personally use and is an electronic drumkit that I've been really very happy with. Having played on cheaper electronic drum kits in the past, I always felt like it was somewhat of a false economy paying out for a cheaper kit as the sounds that my previous electronic drum kits were really very limited/poor, the cymbals were cheaply made and I found myself having to replace a number of them as I went along, and I just generally didn't get much enjoyment out of playing on a drum kit that to me just didn't remotely sound like an acoustic drumkit whatsoever. So the price I paid out wasn't as cheap as I'd initially thought as I had to replace broken parts, and ultimately, rather than continuing to splash out on a piece of equipment that was slowly falling apart to nothing, I decided to splash out on a Roland TD-20.

I didn't realise just how bad my old electronic drumkit was until I plugged in my new Roland TD-20 drum module and started to play; the sound was incredible, and it was then that it dawned on me just what I'd been missing out on prior to investing in this kit. I'd spent a good $500+ on an electronic drumkit that just never sounded right, and I'd now corrected my mistake in investing in a piece of music equipment that I could truly enjoy. If I could go back to the start then there's no way that I'd have invested in a budget electronic drumkit to begin with; it was an absolute waste of money, the bass drum supplied with the kit was terrible and required a lot of force just to make it even register a note, the cymbals broke, and the sound was terrible. If I was buying my first electronic drumkit now, I'd make sure I spent a bit more money and got myself something that I could be happy with, and that would be a Roland electronic drumkit every time!

The Roland TD-20 may no longer be Roland's flagship model, it's certainly still a really very capable drumkit however, and if you're interested in a Roland drum kit then the TD-20 is definitely a kit to consider. Take a look at a video review of the TD-20 below, and if you can pickup the TD-20 for a decent price on eBay then I definitely think that it's well worth the investment! The Roland TD-20 has been discontinued now so you'll perhaps be able to pick one up new whilst stock lasts, however eBay could definitely be your best bet for picking up a real bargain. The TD-20 features an equal number of inputs to the TD-30, it's a great drum module, and as I said before; the TD-20 is certainly an electronic drumkit that puts a huge smile on my face, and I'm sure it'll impress you too.

Roland TD-20 Demo/Specs

A video providing information about the Roland TD-20 drumkit and showing what the drumkit is capable of in action.

Roland TD-30

Replacing the TD-20 as Roland's new top of the range model is the TD-30. With faster trigger response than ever before (not that there was ever any noticeable lag to my ear anyway), the TD-30 is now the absolute dream module when it comes to electronic drumkits, and if you're into your Roland kits then the TD-30 is certainly the one to lust after.

As a mere TD-20 owner I can't personally vouch for the brilliance of this kit on an ownership level, I have heard great things about it however, and as a long time Roland fan I would definitely count on this kit being every last bit as brilliant as people say it is. In fact, I've watched countless videos of the kit in action and it certainly seems as awesome as people say it is, so I really don't see that you'd possibly be at all disappointed with this one. It's pricy, sure, but with a Roland electronic drum kit you know that it's worth every cent.

Below you'll find a video where this particular YouTube user discusses just how natural the TD-30 sounds and feels to play. It's hard not to be impressed really, and I for one would most definitely like to make the upgrade at some point. As much as I'm happy with my Roland TD-20, it's always nice to have the very best available, and right now that's the Roland TD-30.

Roland TD-30 Review

A review of the Roland TD-30 electronic drumkit.

Leave your final comments and thoughts here.

What do you think of Roland V-Drums?

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    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      My brother played drums when he was in a band in his teen years. I don't play real ones, but I must say, I play mean air drums! :-)

    • writerkath profile image

      writerkath 5 years ago

      Even though I've never drummed, I LOVE it! I play around with drums anytime I see a set. Can't seem to stop! :)

    • RichLeighHD profile image

      RichLeighHD 5 years ago

      @jc91583: Yeah, definitely.... Especially when you factor in the cost of a decent set of cymbals! Yeah though, definitely wouldn't recommend some of the cheaper kits; from my own personal experience and the problems I've heard of friends having with cheaper kits, the lesser branded kits are definitely to be avoided as they're not very well made, easily become unresponsive, and like you say; with some of them you'll even find that there's a huge amount of lag that just makes playing them a horrible, horrible experience. One plus point is though that if you do originally get a cheaper kit and then upgrade to a more expensive product later, you can just invest in the module if you've already got pads/cymbals that you're happy with. Most pads are interchangeable between different brands so in most cases this isn't a problem. Of course, you are better off just getting a Roland in the first place, but just buying a Roland module is definitely another thing to consider for those that already have the pads. Roland pads/cymbals break sometimes too of course, but they take a lot more of a battering before they do so than the cheaper pads/cymbals, that's for sure, and I've personally been using Roland pads and cymbals for a while now without any issues whatsoever.

    • RichLeighHD profile image

      RichLeighHD 5 years ago

      @JosephsJewelry LM: I know that a few bands do use them live, and one that I saw earlier this year (using the same TD20 module as I use) was Wheatus. Now, I'll have to be honest here in admitting that during the course of the show, the VH-12 hi-hat did become unresponsive/was dropping notes, and therefore had to be changed out for another one that he had backstage. I can only imagine this was an isolated incident however as the other band members looked a bit worried and were asking him how long it'd take to get another hi-hat sorted and setup, however it's a very simple process and probably took less than a minute to fetch the spare hi-hat and get it set up to the kit. So it's definitely possible to use Roland kits live and successfully too, and had the other band members known how simple a task it is to change out the hi-hat then they probably wouldn't have drawn the attention that they did to it at the show I was at. I've also read on plenty of forums etc. about people gigging with their Roland kits, so they're definitely more than capable of cutting it live!

    • jc91583 profile image

      jc91583 5 years ago

      I have been playing drums for 20 years now. I love playing on an electronic kit. The different sound effects will keep you busy for hours and hours. I definitely like playing on the Roland although I have only really messed around with one in the music store. I have noticed that buying the wrong electric kit can be a big disaster. Some of the ones in the store had triggers that were worn out and lagged or didn't even work! Surprisingly, the price of an electronic kit isn't bad when you think about the cost of a good acoustic kit. Good choice of sets.

    • JosephsJewelry LM profile image

      JosephsJewelry LM 5 years ago

      The electronic set looks very interesting. I would like to see its capabilities in a live concert setting really being utilized. Good stuff.