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Game Review: Roland TD 30

Roland TD 30 KV Review

VALUE FOR MONEY 9.5/10

FEATURES 10/10

PLAYABILITY 9.5/10

SOUND QUALITY 10/10

Pros:

  • Multidimensional sound that feels real
  • Hundreds of options for customization
  • The SuperNATURAL sound engine
  • Consistent and dynamic trigger pad feedback
  • Very little noise

Cons:

  • Quite expensive
  • Difficult for new players to get started
  • No warranty

Roland as a brand is known for producing high quality, world-class musical instruments and the Ronald TD 30 KV is no different. Both TD 30 K and TD 30 KV models were introduced simultaneously, but the latter took the market by storm as it targeted high end, pro users. The popularity of the model can be judged from the fact that it is a proper challenge to acquire a piece.

After exploring the market for a few days, we were finally able to procure one, and here is the verdict.

Build and Hardware:

It is a lightweight model even though it takes up its share of space. The box contains 4 cymbal pads, 5 trigger pads/drums, the sound engine/module, input and output audio cables and corresponding mounting gear. It features the amazing MDS 25 rack with its over-engineered clamps, chromed tubing and a cable management system, that successfully takes care of all of the 16 wires.

The Roland TD 30 KV is part of a next generation drum series as it features the SuperNATURAL module. The engine introduces behavior modeling and advanced sensing technology for the first time in drums. Behavior modeling uses real drum sounds in the engine and reshapes them to give a more natural feel while the advanced sensing technology is used to dynamically alter the levels of individual samples relying on at which position and how hard the pads are struck.

Unlike most beginner kits that have pads made of plastic or the real drums that have Mylar, the trigger pads of TD 30 KV are made up of a mesh that is designed to absorb sound and make the kit quieter but still give the feel of real counterparts. The material yields a lesser rebound due to its softer nature and this helps both amateurs and pros play it better and faster. With the help of the SuperNATURAL engine, the drums produce great sounds, keeping the noise under 50 dB (which is “quiet” for drums).

The kick pad is a robust and rock solid KD 40 and weighs about the same as a standard bass drum. It also features newly developed VH 13 hi-hat that accommodates a motion detector sensor as well as strangely sticky, grayish cymbal pads.

Module:

Along with the amazing behavior modeling and advanced sensing technology that produce a unique and new sound every time you hit a pad, the Roland TD 30 KV’s sound engine has a myriad of customization options.

The SuperNATURAL module has an LCD screen installed along with buttons labeled according to their functions, so new users do not have to keep a manual at hand all the time. On a superficial look, the interface seems quite intricate, but with the help of a simple tutorial, players can achieve an astounding quality of sound.

Drummers can change various characteristics of each drum pad to trigger by customizing options of shell depth, beater type, sound muffling and resonance/mic position. They can also change reverb settings by adjusting Hi damp frequency (Hz), Hi damp (%), middle or mid dampening frequency (Hz), and low-cut frequency. These settings demonstrate the level of detail that can be achieved by the sound engine, and there are many more such options available; the above-mentioned ones do not even scratch the surface.

The rear panel of the module has an array of sockets, including trigger inputs on the lower row, a set of routable direct outs, a mix-in input for music sources like iPod, a USB socket and a USB memory socket for memory cards.

Playing experience:

After a simple setup, the Roland TD 30 KV gives you unlimited freedom to play any style and kind of music while ensuring a realistic feel and producing first-class sound quality. The toms have a great dynamic range, with“tom 3” having an upwards tensioning effect while the“larger” one has a slight rise in tone. With the help of the sound module, rimshots on each of the tom pads can produce all sorts of sounds and effects.

The greatest strength of the kit is the seamless and effortless changes in sound. This can be felt both in the cymbals and the pads. With the help of motion detector sensor, no matter where and how you strike each cymbal, the sounds are modified according to that position. The effect is more pronounced on the ride which has variations in sound from the bow, bell, and edge.

The tone also alters just like real drums when the cymbals are completely closed and increased pressure is applied. The cymbal swells sound brilliant whether the player uses ordinary sticks or mallets to produce them. Users can also use headphone audio output to hear the nuances and subtlety of each stroke clearly.

The TD 30 KV also features “Song Player” that can play back TD 30’s preset songs, preset patterns or songs stored on the memory card. USB, STOP, Tempo and PTN are the four basic user controls of the “Song Player”.

Configuring the settings:

The kit comes with an LCD display and labeled buttons that help new users configure the sound module’s settings easily and the manual does not have much use after one or two sessions.

With the help of V-Drum technology, it is quite easy to change various kit characteristics easily, and a user kit can be created effortlessly via a menu system that is drummer-friendly and intuitive. There are seven sliders on the sound module that are used as“faders” to control the strength and intensity of sound coming in from the hi-hat, toms, cymbals and the other inputs. From the six drum kit buttons, multi-effects, composition, mixer, and ambiance can be selected to introduce additional changes in the music to have the best possible results. The user has three ways to adjust the volume; mix in, phones and master, and tweaking these is as easy as turning a knob.

Conclusion:

Overall, the Roland TD 30 KV is an amazing kit with great design and structure. It is by far the most expensive kit by the company on the market. One point to be noted is that the kit is not suitable for beginner drummers, as they can easily get confused and overwhelmed with the number of options at their ha. Dropping in a large sum of money on this model is also not very smart for someone who does not know how to take care of such a beautiful instrument.

The company designed this kit keeping pro users in mind, who want to have a realistic experience with electronic drums and can take advantage of its customization options. The kit has received high ratings for its quality and durability, as it is built to stand the test of time and bear the daily wear and tear for years. The brilliant SuperNATURAL module gives the user a never-ending number of sound variations to create the sound they desire. With the help of constant behavior modeling, the kit allows its players to feel the nuances of a real drum kit, so they can have the taste of the real, old-school drums without any of their flaws. All in all, Roland has outdone itself with the TD 30 KV.

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