Drum Review – Roland TD-6 Electric V – Drum set (TD-6SW)
With technology increasing daily, electric drum sets are becoming more and more popular, as well as realistic. The realistic feel of the drum pads and cymbals have truly come a long way. So, with all the different options out there for electric drum sets, how does Roland stack up? Being one of the leaders in electric virtual drums, you would think they make the best sounding drums, but is this the case? I checked out the mid-range priced V-drum set (TD-6) to see.
The Look of the Roland V-Drums TD-6SW
The Roland drum set was definately very slick looking. The kit came with 2 cymbals, one hi hat pad, a mesh snare, 3 tom pads, a hi hat foot pedal, and a bass drum pad. All this could be easily placed on the Roland rack that it came with. The kit (when set up) looks like any regular electric drum set. The size of this kit is very small, which is nice if you have issues with room in your house. The snare was very nice looking, having a white mesh skin. This made it look more like a real snare you hit, with a similar feel. The cymbals on the drum set are different than an average drumkit. They are not fully covered cymbals, meaning they have about half of the cymbal covered with a rubber trigger, while the rest is a plastic plate. This may seem like a bad thing, but when it comes to V-drums, it’s not at all. The cymbals are still round, and look like regular black cymbals.
The Module looks very nice, with a sleek new design. The black pod has a blue LCD display that compliments the rest of the unit. The controls on the module are very self explanatory, making it easy to adjust the settings to your preferences. The great thing about this module is its very simple and basic design. This keeps things looking very neat and tidy. The only concern I have about the looks of this kit is the wires and cords. There is no place for them to hide in the rack, so they must be strapped to it. Even if you take the time to run each cord along the rack and zap-strap them on tight, you still get an unorganized look on the kit. This is going to be the same with most kits this price however, so I was not complaining.
The Feel of the TD-6SW V-Drum Set
When I first played this kit I was a little surprised at how different it actually felt. It is obviously not an acoustic drum set, but I would have at least thought it would feel a little similar. This did not take much time to overcome, and I was drumming like I did on an acoustic kit in no time. The snare mesh pad was the best feeling drum on the kit. It had plenty of bounce, and a sound that mimicked a snare drum. In fact, I like playing on the electric snare better than I did the real snare. There was even a rim for the snare that had a trigger on it. There was much more response and bouncy, making rolls and tricks much easier. The drum set did not come with a kick pedal, so the bass drum feel can totally depend on whatever pedal you use. I used the Yamaha Flying dragons, and must say was impressed with the feel of the little bass drum pad. The only issue I had was with the bass drum wandering with excessive kicking. This could easily be fixed with proper settings.
The toms felt a little weak as opposed to real tom toms, but they were not too bad at all. The response on the toms was very nice, as was the feel. The only thing missing was the rim to the pads, but that was easy to cope with. Now for the cymbals: The crash and ride cymbals were great. They didn’t have the same strength, but that’s because they have rubber pads on them. Besides, they do not need to be hit very hard at all. Both cymbals were the same pad, with 3 zone triggers on them, one for a stick tip hit, one for a crash hit, and one for a bell hit. Depending on which kit you get, the hi hats can change. The kit I have uses a regular tom pad for the hi hats. There is no problem with this, but the feel is nothing close to a real set of hi hats. There is a set of hi hat cymbals for the V-drums that you can buy, but they are quite a penny more!
All around the Roland V-drums have a great feel to them, despite some common issues. It is an electric drum set, so it will feel different no matter who makes it. I found Roland’s’ pads to be quite comfortable and reasonable to play.
The TD-6 Module
The Module for any electric drum kit is the brain of the drum set. No matter what pads you have, the sound comes from this brain here! This means you can buy a very cheap electric drum kit, but with an upgrade to the td-6 module, you will get the same sounds. The TD-6 module is actually very powerful considering the amount of buttons it has. There is a complete equalization option on there where you can EQ the total sound (highs, lows, volumes etc…) Also, you can adjust and change the sound of every drum, trigger, and cymbal you have. This is so nice to have, allowing you to customize any drum set you would like. You can even change the name of the kits so you can recognize them.
For each tom and snare, you can adjust the width and depth of the shell of the drum. This means you can change the pitch and tone of your birch snare by changing the dimensions on the module. A great feature for personalizing your sounds. The TD-6 comes equipped with all the basic features of any V-drum set, a metronome, pre set beats, songs, fills, and other patterns for teaching. One of the best parts of using electric kits is the learning function on the modul. The ability to hear and learn all different styles of drumming with one teacher is priceless. The module even supports recording. This is great because you can record your beats and see where you need to improve. All these functions on the kit are incorporated with the 15 buttons on the faceplate. A very user friendly design for sure.
The module itself has almost 2000 sounds installed in it. This means endless possibilities for different drum kit sounds. There are literally hundreds of snares, toms, cymbals, and other neat and different sounding drum sounds on the kit. Probably one of the most fun things to on here is experiment with all the different world drum, and electronic drum sounds on the kit. Along with the thousands of voices, there are also hundreds of pre set songs and loops that you can listen to and play along with. This is great for teaching and learning. For the songs, you can even mute the drums already recorded, so you can play your own beat to it.
The module comes equipped with all sound inputs and outputs. You can plug in extra toms and cymbals if you wish to upgrade. There is room for earphones, and left and right outputs for stereo. There is also a midi out for recording. It is very easy to record anything with this direct output to a computer. A very well rounded sound module.
The Sound of the Roland TD-6
Now for what matters the most, the sound! Obviously it will not sound the same as an acoustic drum kit; however the sound was very close. Make sure you have proper speakers or head phones, as this will also affect the sound. Roland (like many others) use MIDI sounds for all their voices, which is not too bad. In fact, there are many albums out there with electric drums that no one knows about. Some sounds on the drum set were very fake; however, most sounds were very crisp and realistic. The way technology has increased there’s no wonder why this can sound as good as it does. The flow of the sound was seamless, meaning you could play as fast as you want and it wouldn’t cut any noise out. All in all, a great sounding kit!
Well there was a lot said here, and that’s because there’s a lot to talk about. There is almost too much to describe, as this kit is packed with features that cannot all fit in one review. The best bet is to go out and try one out for yourself. However, the key concepts and features were explained as best as they could be. In fact, the best part about this V-drum set hasn’t even been talked about yet – the price! For a solid design, with a very user friendly module that any one could figure out, this set sells for 1400-1900$. Considering everything you are getting, that is a killer price. Most competitors drum sets, for this price, will only give you half the options this powerful kit has. But don’t take my word for it, shop around and try some out. You will notice what I am talking about as soon as you sit down on the Roland TD-6SW.
Related content you may also be interested in...
Improve Your Bass Drum Speed And Control - Many drummers have amazing hand speed and control, but still find it difficult to master basic single strokes on a double pedal.
Yamaha Flying Dragon Double Pedal - Trying to find a solid set of double kickers for a good price? The Yamaha Flying Dragon series may be what you are looking for. With a solid background, Yamaha easily holds up with the competition.
Evans Bass Drum EQ Pad - Does your bass drum have too much resonance? Many drummers try to keep a pillow or towel up against the head to help deaden the sound, but this can be inconsistent.