Review of the Roland TD-30KV Drum KitPlaying the Drums
This sound engine (which replaces Roland’s COSM) was originally developed for the V-Piano and is now starting to be used in the Roland range of pianos, keyboards and V-Drums.
The SuperNATURAL drum sounds are created from high-quality multi-samples of real drum instruments and are said to be completely transparent to the player.
Every drum sound created responds dynamically, switching the individual samples, depending on how hard the pads are struck and at which position.
The rear panel of the large, metallic grey TD-30 is filled with an array of sockets. These include trigger inputs, a set of routable direct-outs, mix-in input for iPod or any other music source, USB socket to connect to a computer, and a USB socket designed to accept a standard memory stick, etc.
The durable and solidly-built KD-140 kick pad weighs around the same as a conventional bass drum. Each of the other pads feature upgraded trim triggers, taking full advantage of the TD-30’s dynamic potential. The newly designed cymbal pads are finished in a silvery-grey on the surface.
After a rapid set-up, the first kit to appear on the large graphic display is the Studio ? this is a dry sounding set with few effects to cloud the drum sound. Concentrating on the snare, we try a mixture of subtle delicate strokes, flams and the usual playing techniques. The sound is tight and realistic.
The dynamic range of the toms is likewise impressive. For example, by hitting “tom 3” softly the tone remains the same, but when striking harder raises slightly in pitch and brightness. The “larger“ tom has less of this upwards tensioning effect, but has a slight increase of tone.
When the cymbals are fully closed and increased foot pressure is applied, the tone alters, just as their acoustic counterpart. No matter what position you strike each cymbal, the sound adjusts according to that position.
The TD-30’s onboard Song Player will play back the TD-30’s preset patterns, preset songs or any song stored in the USB memory stick. The Song Player has four basic user controls: USB, PTN, STOP, and TEMPO.
V-Drum technology enables a variety of kit components to be completely altered or adjusted, with a choice of shell types, drum and cymbal sizes, dampening, tension, etc. Creating a user kit from scratch is surprisingly easy via a menu system that is intuitive and drummer-friendly.
The upside is the dynamic response from this set is truly breathtaking and the sounds convincing and inspiring, while the downside is the expensive price, which is more than $5,000. To conclude, you get what you pay for ? a high end drum kit for a high end price.