If you’re in the market for an entry level electronic drum kit, the Roland TD-1K might well be on your radar. It is a well-built kit with the possibility to expand as your playing progresses. The kit carries a price tag which may be a bit higher than some other kits in the same market, but is it worth the extra money? Read on for the Roland TD-1K review.
Roland TD-1K Review
The TD-1K is Roland’s entry level electronic kit, best suited to beginning players or those on a restricted budget. The drum module uses Roland’s high quality V-Drum sound samples and it is very simple to use. You get a series of coaching functions and play along songs built in to help you on your way.
The kit looks stylish and at home anywhere you place it with its striking white on black colour scheme. It is built around a sturdy drum rack with a space saving design which is adjustable for any drummer, kids and adults alike.
Included with the TD-1K are two cymbal pads, a hi-hat pad and four identical rubber drum pads. The kit is very quiet so you can play and practice without bothering those around you.
Normally, electronic drum kits create a lot of noise and vibration when the bass drum beater hits its pad, but the TD-1K has beater-less units which don’t rely on striking a pad. These pedals allow for very quiet playing – ideal if you live in an apartment with downstairs neighbours.
An entry level module, but one that retains the high quality from Roland’s expressive V-Drums sound library. This intuitive and easy to use module has 15 pre-made drum kits which allow you experiment with different sounds, and play along with the built in songs.
If you prefer your own music, you can simply connect your tablet, smartphone, or any music device to the mix in jack to play along with whatever takes your fancy.
Improve your playing and timekeeping skills with on-board coaching functions and adjustable metronome. You can also record your performances which is great for hearing your progress.
The TD-1 module features a USB-MIDI port which opens up to you a world of possibilities. Connect to the free V-Drum Friend Jam Series, which gives you drumming challenges, and the ability to compete against other players around the world.
Try out DT-1 drum tutor, or a whole host of third party software to record your own music or even change the drum sounds. The possibilities are endless. The drum lesson software Melodics is a great companion to the TD-1K.
The module sits squarely in front of the player and is easy to use with large buttons and an easy to read display.
Roland also uses the same TD1 module on the higher end all mesh kit, the TD1-DMK which demonstrates that the module has what it takes to give you a great playing experience.
In this video demo, drummer Johnny Rabb gives you an in-depth tour of the TD-1K’s playability and great features:
The TD-1K has all rubber pads which are unique to this model. As you may already know, Roland is famous for its 2-ply mesh drum heads. The TD-1K doesn’t have any of these mesh heads, unless you go for the TD-1KV option, which features an 8” PDX-8 mesh snare pad.
With this in mind, the rubber pads that you get with the TD-1K are durable and responsive, and they will not cause a problem for the development of a beginning player, in fact they play very well for a kit at this level.
The cymbal pads support bow and edge sounds, as well as giving you the ability to choke the cymbal with your hand, an advanced feature not found in all entry level electronic kits. With the help of the foot pedal, the hi-hat pad responds accurately to your playing techniques, just like real hi-hats.
With the help of the TD1 module, the pads allow you to play with a wide dynamic range so you will hear the precision of your ghost notes and accents clearly as you play.
The TD-1K will grow with you as you improve and start to seek more from the hardware. Thanks to the range of upgrade options available the set will not hold you back.
You can add another crash cymbal to expand your stylistic range with the OP-TD1C package. The KT-10 bass drum pedal will give you a pedal which is a step closer to having a kick drum tower with a real bass drum pedal in realism and feel, but still plays more quietly than a full pedal setup.
You can further reduce the volume with Roland’s NE-10 noise eater pads which sit beneath the pedals to bring the volume down to a minimum.
If volume isn’t a concern, you’re free to choose the KD-9 kick drum tower and any bass drum pedal of your choice, including double pedals for a truly realistic playing experience.
The sound quality of the module is very good for a kit of this price. On some entry level kits the cymbals and hi-hats can sound particularly bad. Not so with the TD-1 module which features great cymbal and drum sounds throughout.
You get nice looking, solid and dependable hardware with the TD-1K. If you eventually find limitations with the bass drum pedal or number of cymbals, you can easily upgrade.
While the price is a bit higher than other kits in this market, it’s worth paying the extra for the quality sounds and hardware, and the ability to expand.
What do you think of the Roland TD-1K V-Drum kit? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.