Roland TD-1K Electronic Drumset
By Dendy Jarrett |
An Entry Level Instrument with Professional Features
If you’re from my generation, you may remember going to a relative’s home and finding a Hammond keyboard that had an internal rhythm maker (an early version of the drum machine)…you know, that cheesy bossa-nova beat that backed your grandma’s attempts at organ playing. Those early, super futuristic beat-makers (referred to as rhythm machines), were produced by a Japanese gentleman named Ikutaro Kakehashi. He founded Roland Corporation in the spring of 1972.
Electronic Drum Connection
For years Roland had played a dominant roll in electronic keyboards, effect-pedals, and rhythm (or drum) machines. In 1985 Roland entered the electronic drum market, and 1997 was a game-changer for Roland—and electronic drums—with their introduction of the V-Drums. This established Roland as an industry leader in electronic drum innovation.
One of Roland’s latest entries to the V-drum line is the TD-1K Electronic Drum Kit.
As a professional drummer, I wish I could proclaim that I’m an electronic kit genius and know all the ins and outs, but the truth is—I don’t. That’s why I found this little kit so refreshing. It’s not intimidating!
This compact and lightweight kit, weighing in at around 25lbs., is all mounted on a single riser, tubular aluminum post with a tripod base. The real estate is minimal (about a 4’X4’ area including you). The unit’s “brain” is at the top center of the center post, directly in front of the two mounted tom pads. It’s easy to see and reach. The entire set up procedure was remarkably easy and straightforward.
The Pads and Pedals
Even though this kit is an entry-level kit, it boasts some truly professional features. The gum-rubber pads are responsive and velocity sensitive, allowing you to play with dynamics and expression. The cymbal pads are dual-zone so you can crash, choke and play bell sounds. The hi-hat and bass drum control pedals are beater-less so they’re completely silent and independent so you can place them anywhere. Speaking of silent, the entire kit allows for stealth playing so you won’t be disturbing others in the house or your neighbors.
The TD-1K’s brain is a simple box with minimal buttons. It features 15 pre-programmed drum kits that cover rock, jazz, electronic music and more. It also has a built-in metronome to help you become more comfortable with establishing and holding tempo(s). A great brain feature, coach mode, is a training tool that will help support you in your lessons and learning. You can play along with your favorite tunes thanks to an 1/8” jack input for your portable music player.
A real pro feature is the USB output so you can connect the kit to your computer and play directly into your favorite DAW (like GarageBand, Cubase, SONAR, Live, etc.). This will have you recording your own drums to music in no time. You can also connect to Roland’s V-Drums Friend Jam series so you can play with music-minus-drummer tracks, take advantage of their extended practice and learning library, and also have your own drum-off with other drummers around the globe.
- Proven V-Drums sound and performance in an entry-level sets
- Enjoy drumming in any musical style with 15 expressive drum kits
- Supports essential acoustic drum techniques, including cymbal choke, advanced hi-hat playing, and more
- Build playing skills with the onboard Coach function, metronome, and recorder
- Practice along with onboard audio songs or your own tracks with the Mix In jack
- Beater-less kick pedal provides low noise for playing without disturbing others, ideal for practicing at home
- Space-saving, ergonomic design and stylish to suit any room in your home
- Sturdy drum rack with quick and easy height adjustment for every drummer, from kids to adults
- Upgrade options for enhanced performance, including OP-TD1C for an additional crash cymbal, KT-10 or KD-9 for kick, and more
- USB-MIDI for using the TD-1K with the DT-1 Drum Tutor, V-Drums Friend Jam series, and other popular computer music software
- Intuitive non-intimidating user interface—makes playing easy
With the confidence and experience of an industry name like Roland, you’re assured that the technology is cutting-edge, with top-drawer quality.
Even though the TD-1K is marketed as an entry- level electronic kit, I would consider it for light-playing gigs where space is limited and volume is a concern. Whether you’re looking to become a drummer, a beginner seeking an excellent platform to learn on, or a seasoned drummer who needs a quiet way to practice or record drums, the TD-1K is an affordable solution.
Dendy Jarrett is the Publisher and Director of Harmony Central. He has been heavily involved at the executive level in many aspects of the drum and percussion industry for over 25 years and has been a professional player since he was 16. His articles and product reviews have been featured in InTune Monthly, Gig Magazine, DRUM! and Modern Drummer Magazines.