When they were introduced around 15 years ago, V-Drums revolutionised electronic drumming. Their ability to sound and feel like real drums, combined with advanced features only possible through electronics technology, meant beginners and professional drummers alike could finally incorporate electronic drums into their repertoire.
Now, the years of experience and development which have made Roland’s V-Drums the first choice for drummers across the globe, have produced another exciting addition to the range. The Roland TD-4KP is the first truly portable and compact kit to suit all budgets or abilities and makes travelling with your V-Drums easier than ever.
So if you’re just starting out with V-Drums, or you’re keen to take drumming to the next level, what are your options? Let’s look at how the new V-Drum Portable fits into the current V-Drums line up.
Drums For beginners: HD-3 V-Drums Lite
Roland’s HD-3 V-Drums starter kit is updated from the hugely popular HD-1, yet shares some of the same technology and expertise found in top of the range V-Drums, which in turn are played by some of the world’s best drummers. Compact and affordable, the HD-3 is perfect for beginners, studios and schools, or anyone with limited space or budget.
Like all V-Drums set-ups, the HD-3 is so quiet (with headphones) that you can bash away without annoying the neighbours: the innovative beaterless pedal feature even tackles the irritation of noise from the kick drum, so it’s perfect for use in flats where a noisy kick drum coming through the ceiling might harm neighbourly relations. However, this entry-level model is big enough to punch well above its weight, and includes upgrades from the HD-1 such as low-noise pads, an LED screen, 20 kits instead of 10, and chokable cymbals. The snare features Roland’s acclaimed mesh-head technology which produces an authentic acoustic drum response and is also quiet when struck. There’s also the optional V-Drums Tutor software and a huge (and free) series of V-Drums video lessons so you can learn at home.
On the move: V-Drums Portable TD-4KP
Roland’s latest V-Drums kit continues the revolution. The new TD-4KP is the long-awaited solution to the drummer’s eternal bugbear of having to lug gear into vans or up flights of stairs. The world’s first truly portable electronic drum kit is fully foldable within seconds making it ideal for anyone moving between lessons, practice sessions or small, intimate gigs.
The TD-4KP is four feet high and just over three feet wide when fully assembled – much smaller than other V-Drums kits. And while it folds down to almost half the size, it doesn’t scrimp on features. It packs 25 kits, 125 percussion sounds, stunning audio quality and MIDI output for sequencing or triggering. A Rhythm Coach helps you develop your timing, stamina and endurance with a range of challenging training exercises. Despite its compact size, the TD-4KP plays and feels like any other Roland V-Drums kit. With its new black and white livery it looks the part and you can even upgrade the snare to one of Roland’s mesh-head options.
Up a level: V-Drums TD-11K/KV
The bigger brothers of the entry level range are the TD-11K and TD-11KV. These much larger, but still affordable set-ups pack additional features such as 50 drum kits, 190 sounds and professionally recorded backing tracks perfect for jamming along to. They’re the ideal drum kits for practice, recording, play-along and live performance.
A mesh head snare is included with the TD-11 (and mesh-heads come as standard on the TD-11KV). Both models feature Roland’s new SuperNATURAL-enhanced sound engine, which means these V-Drums kits don’t just sound like authentic acoustic drums, they feel and respond like them as well. Either kit will help drummers of all abilities enjoy a more natural and realistic drumming experience.
All V-Drums kits are compatible with the innovative Friend Jam software, available from Roland’s website, which enables you to download practice songs, share a workout record on Twitter and compete against other drummers. On the TD-11 V-Drums kits, Roland Wireless Connect lets you jam via your iPhone by using a USB WIFI key that wirelessly transmits the audio and data between your TD-11 and iPhone. You can then post your best scores to the worldwide leaderboard and brag to your friends on Twitter.