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[Review] The Roland TD-30KV and TD-30K: The Best Digital Kits You Can Buy

By February 23, 2012 August 6th, 2012 11 Comments

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 TD-30K

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.


Roland Td-30Kv V-Pro Series Electronic Drum Kit

Roland TD-30KV

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…

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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.

Join the discussion 11 Comments

  • Jeremy says:

    Thanks for posting this review of the TD-30K and TD-30KV kits. Due to the lower price tag I will probably be purchasing the 30K. Roland advertises it as a ‘professional studio’ kit, but I’m hoping that it will work fine as a stage kit for a drummer like myself who gigs out in clubs about 2 weekends per month. My biggest concerns are that the rack might be a little too lightweight and that things might move around when playing. Does anyone have any knowledge on how sturdy the rack and pad mounts are for the 30K?

    • Dude these kits are solid as a rock. The 20 was good but this is far better as the kick is more stable and the feet will grab better. I always set mine up on a chunk of black carpet I bring and have never had movement issues. As far as the K being good enough for a club dont give it a seconds thought. hands down good enough for any club.

  • anthony says:

    Hi Steve, I’m new to electronic drums so some of my questions might be elementary. Can you import more sounds into the td-30 module? I am both a drumset player and an african drummer and would be interested in as many world music sounds as I could get my hands on. I see that there are 100s already to choose from, but just wondering if so desired are there more out there, and where do I find more great world music sounds?
    thanks,
    anthony

    • Keven says:

      Hey Anthony

      The new TD30 module ships with over 1000 sounds.. There is no way at the moment to update the module with “new sounds” since the module itself is so fresh and new..

      However, its sibling the Roland TD9 underwent a USB stick upgrade a few months ago which increased its kit memory allocation and gave it 30 new sounds so I imagine that whilst at the moment it isnt needed or available, we can clearly see an upgrade path that could be used in the future which would extend the products life of course..

      Hope this helps

      Kev

  • Steve says:

    Jeremy,
    The Td-30 uses the same rack as other Roland digital kits and in my experience are very sturdy and if you’ve used one before you’ll know what to expect, but if you’re particularly heavy handed I suggest you try before you buy.

  • Steve says:

    Anthony,
    Unfortunatley you can’t import external sounds onto the TD-30 but there’s pretty much unlimited onboard sounds to choose from so I wouldn’t think that would be a problem. All I can say again is try before you buy and check if they have some of the main sounds that you would you use.

  • Massimo says:

    Hi Steve,
    thanks for posting the review of the new TD-30 drum kits.
    I have tested the KV and not the K.
    The KV is great but expensive; I’d go for the K due to the much lower price but I’m sure I’m gonna lose something.
    What is your feeling in terms of quality/price ratio comparing the 2 kits ?
    Would you consider getting the K and improve it with some KV pads ?
    Thanks, Massimo

  • Scott says:

    Hey Steve.
    Thanks for the great review. It has helped a lot.
    I have been researching the differences between the 30K and the 30KV for a while now as we need a new kit for our church. The price jump of $3K is significant and therefore I am leaning towards the TD-30K vs. the KV. What I was most concerned about was getting away from the ‘machine gun’ sound I currently have with my Roland TD-10 kit (yes, it is very old…I inherited it). The SuperNATURAL sound module and specifically the behavior modeling is what I’m looking for. It appears that both kits have that because they share the same TD-30 drum module. I would also suspect that if later I wanted to upgrade and buy the more advanced hi-hat or snare I could do that and it would plug right in correct? Thanks

  • Is there any point in upgrading the TD-20 Module to the TD-30 without buying all of the new pads and cymbals? Will the older pads and cymbals be able to get the dynamic range out of the new module?

    It took me a long time to build up the kit that I have and there is no way I will EVER be able to afford one of these kits all new.

  • Greg says:

    Steve,

    I do a lot of cross stick type rim shots, with the butt of the stick on the head and the shaft of the stick tapping the rim. Will this electric kit duplicat this sound?

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