This review is a guest post from Steven Williams. Steven works at a music shop in England and is lucky to get the opportunity to play with lots of new equipment.
To many drummers, the Roland TD20KX is still widely regarded as the best digital drum kit you can buy, but now there’s a new kid on the block! The Roland Td-30Kv and the TD-30K aim to fill their brother’s very big shoes and create the finest electronic drumming experience yet. Typical of Roland, the TD 30 is available in two pad configurations; the TD-30K has the standard, but still good, pads similar the ones found on the previous TD-12KX. However the TD-30KV features over a decade worth of research and development and the latest technology available from Roland.
Roland had a surprisingly difficult task on improving the TD20KX and has had to really step up their game to create the finest digital drumming experience ever. The most exciting features are the introduction of Roland’s SuperNATURAL sounds taken from V-Piano technology. This subtly and naturally alters the tone in accordance to the volume as an acoustic drum kit would. This software alone sets the TD-30 apart from other digital drum kits. But the features don’t stop there; a partner technology called ‘Behaviour Modelling’ has been introduced which gives massively improved response and an impressively more authentic sounding and feeling snare, most noticeably in transitions between rim and mesh headshots. This gives improved authenticity when performing triggering rolls, buzz rolls, ghost notes, etc. The cymbals have also been upgraded with improved positional response and dynamics, and respond as a real cymbal would.
With drums being a vital instrument for all environments and all genres of music, it is crucial when developing digital kits that they are versatile and capable of handling anything you can throw at them. That is why the Roland TD-30KV and TD-30KV are packed with over 1000 high-resolution sounds, which can all be adjusted in precise detail through the V-Edit mode, allowing you to create the perfect setup. The kit is surprisingly flexible as the drums can be changed along with the (virtual) drumheads and even the mic positions. This makes the Roland TD-30 the ideal instrument in a studio environment where an entire library of potential acoustic drum sounds can be used and are available by a simple touch of a button. Yet another new introduction is the ambiance fader which, for live performances, is important because as we all know that how the audience perceives the performance is crucial.
One of the features the TD-20 boasts, the VH series hi-hat trigger, has been greatly improved with the new VH-13-MG V-Hi-Hat. It keeps the same realistic stick bounce and cymbal movement but improves the motion sensor and also the triggering sensor, with smoother transitions between open to closed, and even the ability to change tone by pressing harder on the foot pedal when its closed. The TD-30KV therefore is, by a distance, the most realistic and advanced digital kit yet. The TD-30K doesn’t feature the new VH-13 and still has the VH-11 floating hi-hat trigger that is still, in all fairness, superior to the majority of other digital kits.
The Roland TD-30KV and TD-30K has an onboard effects processor which has a compressor and EQ for each pad. A USB player allows WAV and MP3 files to be played through the kit so you can jam along to you’re favourite song.
The amazing thing is the list of features just goes on and on. Have a look…
If you get the opportunity to have a play on them I would seriously recommend it because as far as I’m concerned they are by a distance the best digital kits money can buy.
If you have any questions for Steven you can ask them in the comments by clicking here.