Hands-On Review:Enhanced Expression
An Inside Look At The TD-9KX2 V-Tour Series V-Drums
By Drew Armentrout
Roland Product Specialist
Over the last 35-plus years, Roland's commitment to electronic percussion has led to new technologies and products that appeal to drummers at every playing level and budget. In 1997 the company introduced the revolutionary V-Drums, which set the standard for modern electronic drum sets. Featuring mesh-head pads, cutting-edge sounds, and a unique user interface, the original V-Pro® V-Drums set was a major technological breakthrough that was embraced by drummers, producers, educators, and others in the music community. Not surprisingly, professional drummers in every musical style have accepted Roland V-Drums as an essential tool for their work in the studio and onstage.
The popular V-Tour Series has been enhanced with larger, natural-feeling cymbal pads; a redesigned kick pad; and an upgraded TD-9 module. Let's take a closer look at the TD-9KX2 V-Tour Series V-Drums set.
The combination of feel, response, and sound quality are key to how great V-Drums play. Thefeatures patented multilayer mesh-head pads (10" PD-105BK pad for the snare and three 8" PD-85BK tom pads) to accurately reproduce every drumming technique and nuance. Using a standard drum key, the mesh head's tension can be adjusted to fit any playing style. This design also produces very little acoustic noise when struck, making V-Drums ideal for apartments, home recording, and situations where stage volume may be a problem, such as small clubs and churches.
KD-9 Kick Pad
Compact and solid, the newly designed KD-9 Kick Pad provides a natural feel and stable operation. Featuring a cloth playing surface, the KD-9 triggers accurately with a wide dynamic response and sensitivity. Setup is quick and easy, and the KD-9 is compatible with all brands of single and double kick pedals.
On any drum set, the cymbals are unique instruments, each with its own distinctive characteristics. The CY-12C V-Cymbal® Crash is slightly thinner than previous designs with a natural swinging motion and weight and separate triggers for both the edge and the bow. The CY-12C is also "chokable," letting you mute the cymbal sound just as you would with an acoustic crash. With its enlarged bow area and enhanced playing feel, the CY-13R V-Cymbal Ride provides terrific ride cymbal performance. Accurate three-way triggering for the edge, bow, and bell faithfully reproduces the nuances of an acoustic ride.
Rounding out thecymbal family is the VH-11 V-Hi-Hat®, which features a unique floating design that mounts on a standard acoustic hi-hat stand. With dual-zone triggering, natural motion and feel, the VH-11 re-creates all the expressiveness of an acoustic hi-hat.
TD-9 Sound Module
The heart of theis the TD-9 Percussion Sound Module. With over 500 expressive drum, percussion, and FX sounds, the TD-9 is versatile and flexible for any musical style. When the pads are struck with increased strength, the tonal characteristics of the sounds change along with their volume. The user-friendly interface includes large, dedicated buttons and a generous 128 x 64 backlit LCD display. Using an intuitive icon-based navigation, you can quickly edit the sounds to create your own customized drum sets—instantly change the tuning and muffling of a drum, the size and sustain of a cymbal, or the pitch and decay of a percussion instrument with ease.
For performance and practicing, the TD-9 includes 50 internal play-along songs in a variety of musical styles. These real audio songs are fun and challenging, and instrument parts can easily be muted or soloed. You can also play along with your own songs via USB using optional flash media. Other great practice features include the unique Scope function, which provides realtime feedback of timing on an easy-to-read screen, and Quick Record/Quick Play, which lets you record and play back your drum performances with push-button ease. And like all Roland percussion modules, there's a mix input for connecting an MP3 or CD player and a headphone jack for private practice sessions.
Connecting components to the TD-9 is fast and easy with the clearly labeled multi-pin cable harness. Two extra dual-trigger inputs are available for adding additional drum and cymbal pads or Roland RT Series acoustic drum triggers.
Version 2.0 software
The TD-9 Version 2.0 software adds 30 brand-new snare and bass drum sounds, plus 40 new kits for a total of 99. The new sounds include punchy, dynamic kicks and expressive, aggressive snares, giving you an enormous range of creative options. Also new is MP3 audio file playback, which joins the previously available WAV audio playback for jamming along with your favorite songs or backing tracks.
Putting it all together
A quality drum set is not complete without quality hardware, and the included MDS-9 drum rack delivers with a sturdy four-leg design, ball-joint mounts for snare and cymbals, and angle-adjustable positioning for fast and flexible component placement.
Roland V-Drums are well known for their dynamic and expressive sounds, superior playability, flexibility, and rugged reliability, and the TD-9KX2 V-Tour Series kit is no exception. Simply put, it's the best playing, most responsive and expressive electronic drum set in its class.