Revealed at Musikmesse 2015 with streamlined, high quality features
Words: Victor Guillamon Images: Richard Ecclestone
New from Roland is the TD25. We are reviewing the TD-25KV version, although you can also buy it in the K format. The TD-25 replaces the TD-15 and is priced in the upper-middle range in Roland’s ekit portfolio.
I have been around electronic kits for a good while now; some call them glorified practice kits, but they have developed so much in the last 20 years and now bands are using them both in the studio and live.
Roland is, in my opinion, the leader in this field, so it will be interesting to see what the new kit offers…
The TD-25KV comes with the VH-11 hi-hats that mount to an acoustic hi-hat stand, PD-85 8” tom pads and PDX-100 10” snare and floor tom pad. It has two CY-12 pads for crashes and a CY-13 to use as the ride cymbal/aforementioned extra crash. The rack is the same MDS-9V as was seen on the TD-15 and can be seen on Roland’s website.
It’s the brand new module where big changes have been made. The new design looks and feels incredible.
Roland have taken the TD-30 sound engine and applied it to this module, giving you incredible sounds. The sound engine also allows for positional sensing on both the snare drum and ride cymbal, allowing you to play ghost notes with great feel. It does not come with 500 sample sounds, but the samples it does have on board are of the highest quality, and editing them is so easy. All you have to do is turn the jog wheel and press on the selected genre, then press again to select from one of the three pre-sets.
There are six genres, giving you 18 kits, plus 18 user kits so that you can program your own. Sound editing is possible and easy. Just strike the pad and adjust the type of drum by size, volume and select if you want to muffle it. All this is done with individual dials so there is no need to scroll through a lot of screens.
Now to the coolest feature. The module allows you to record audio (not MIDI). So now you can record yourself playing along to a Foo Fighters track (for example) and listen to yourself on playback. This opens up a lot of great possibilities for recording rough demos with your band. This feature will allow your band to send demos of new songs and you can record various ideas for drum tracks, and allow your band members to listen. All this is achieved using a memory stick. The completed song and the drum track can be separated too so the drummer can listen to their parts individually.
Roland’s simplified approach to this new kit is a real bonus to all levels of drummer as it provides easy accessibility – you can understand the functions and performance of this kit immediately. Gone is the useless overload of functions and sounds and in comes the extremely drum-like sounds that have been carefully selected to ensure they are usable in both a recording and live situation.
The recording function is my favourite, giving you complete control of your own practice, and this will also help you to improve quickly. Roland will also issue regular software updates to ensure the kit has optimum functionality and remains current. The pads and the rack look and feel great to play as yet another bonus.
Roland has definitely raised the bar here and there are so many changes overall, with an affordable price. I can see it encouraging drummers to purchase their first electronic kit, or upgrade on their existing one.