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by Billy Amendola

 

KEY NOTES

  • Mesh heads provide accurate and realistic playing surface
  • Much improved V-11 V-Hat
  • 22" ride is “odd man out” in this family
  • Larger snare pad

 

Roland has addressed the pricing issue somewhat by upgrading their mid-priced TD-8 V-Stage kit with a lot of the same features offered in the high-end TD-20, and thus creating the new TD-12. Okay, let’s keep it  realistic: For half the size and cost, you can’t get everything you want. But with the TD-12, you do get your money’s worth—and then some.

 

To Have And Have Not

One of the features not brought to the TD-12 from its big brother is separate  outputs, which are essential if you want control over every drum individually  for recording. Instead, the TD-12 offers two stereo mixes and two individual  outputs. This means you’ll have to spend a little time inside the module working  out the levels before recording. As an example, you could internally balance the  three toms, then group them all on one output fader.

 

temp.jpgThe TD-12 provides 560 drum instruments and 262 backing instruments for  play-along sequences, all in a smaller, more affordable package than the TD-20.  (To hear some of those sounds, go to www.moderndrummer.com.) I personally found  some of the TD-12’s upgraded sounds cooler and more usable than those found in  the TD-20.

 

The usual V-Drum sonic package is all here, from authentic acoustic sets to  ultra-modern electronic kits. You can customize your snare drum, toms, bass  drum, and cymbals with the modeling-based V-Editing function. On the kick and  snare you can change shell depth, head type, tuning, muffling, shell material,  and strainer adjustment. On the toms you can also edit shell depth, head type,  head tuning, and muffling. And for that “ultra-realistic” quality, you can even add snare buzz. When it comes to cymbal sounds, you can alter size, sizzle type, and sustain.

 

The TD-12 is also brush-compatible, with sounds and sensitivity that make  such a feature practical. Plus it includes what Roland calls the Expressive  Interval Control feature for accurate snare and ride/crash cymbal playing. This  function varies the sound in natural ways, based on the speed of stroke  repetition. As with previous V models, there are ambience parameters including  room size, type, and shape, as well as mic’ position.

 

What You Hit

The drum pads on the TD-12 come equipped with Remo’s now-legendary mesh  heads. These pads have kept Roland at the top of the field since they first  introduced V-Drums. They’re comfortable to play on, virtually silent, and as  realistic as can be with every stroke.

 

The VH-11 hi-hat is a major improvement on the TD-12. And the best news is:  It’s compatible with the TD-10, TD-20, TD-8, and TD-6. The new hat now comes  with only one pad (a top-moveable playing surface). Underneath is a motion  sensor unit that stays attached to your traditional hi-hat stand. When I checked  it out, it was accurate on every beat. As far as I’m concerned it’s the closest  Roland has come to accurately simulating an acoustic hi-hat.

 

If you’re accustomed to playing the TD-8, you’re sure to love the upgrade  features that have been incorporated into the TD-12—especially the new, larger  10" PD-105 snare pad. On the other hand, if you’re used to playing on the TD-10  or TD-20, you may need to adapt to the TD-12’s smaller 8" tom pads. Speaking of  pads, I’d recommend eventually adding two more pads to the TD-12, one for an  additional crash and one to trigger your sequencer. As it’s designed now, the  size of the TD-12 is ideal for small gigs or recording situations. It takes no  time at all to pack it up, get it in the car, and re-set it up at a club or  studio.

 

Bottom Line

Electronic kits in general are great for songwriting, for home recording, and  especially for practice situations. With this in mind, it seems like there’s a Roland kit for everybody. The new TD-12, in particular, delivers lots of  high-end features without an unattainably high-end price tag.

 

THE NUMBERS

  • TD-12 Electronic Drumkit $4,299
  • Includes TD-12 sound module, one 10" PD-105 dual-trigger V-Pad, three 8"  PD-85 dual-trigger V-Pads, one 11" VH-11 V-Hi-Hat, two 12" CY-12R/C  dual/three-way trigger V-Cymbal Ride/Crash units, one KD-85 V-Kick trigger pad,  and an MDS-12 V-Stage series stand with cables. (Bass drum pedal, snare stand,  and hi-hat stand not included.)

 

(800) 386-7575, www.rolandus.com

©  2006 MODERN DRUMMER Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.
Reproduction  without the permission of the publisher is prohibited.
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