Are you wondering if the Roland TD-11KV is the kit for you?
You’ve come to the right place!
In this YMI guide, you’ll learn:
- The features of the Roland TD-11KV
- How the Roland TD-11KV is constructed (and why it matters)
- Some of the cons of the Roland TD-11KV
And much more!
The Overall Verdict
The Roland TD-11KV will appeal to a wide range of drummers.
With its compact design, well-made components, and ease of playability, it will be at home with students and pro drummers alike.
- Very well made
- Excellent module features
- Good feel
- Some slightly dated kit sounds
- Can feel a little cramped
Probably the most important component on any electronic drum set is the sound module (brain).
The sound module houses all of the sampled sounds, recording/coaching functions and allows for various types of external connectivity with iPhones and computers.
Let’s have a look at the main components of the TD11 brain:
- New SuperNATURAL sound engine with behavior modeling technology
- 50 available drum kits (25 presets and 25 user kits)
- Large expressive sound library of drum and percussion sounds
- Professionally recorded play-along backing tracks in different styles
- COACH function
- USB connectivity for use with a computer
One of the main selling points by Roland on the TD11 is their new ‘superNATURAL’ sound engine, which is supposed to provide the drummer with more dynamic and expressive playing experience.
There isn’t much info on how they’ve done this, but all I can say is that it has worked.
I’ve been playing Roland V-Drums for over 16 years and compared to previous iterations in the same price range, the TD11 feels way more responsive and dynamic.
Snare rolls feel much less robotic and the toms and cymbals respond with the lightest of touches.
The kits preset kits included also do a good job of covering a wide range of genres and you can have a lot of fun jamming along to the included backing tracks (which sound great...if a little cheesy!).
As well as a metronome, the TD11 drum sound module comes with a COACH mode. The COACH mode has a great feature called ‘Time Check’ that is designed to help you improve your timing.
It uses a visual cue to show you whether you’re ahead or behind the click so you can adjust in realtime. It also gives you a score out of 100 at the end of the exercises so you can see how you’ve performed and endeavor to beat it.
This is a great way of becoming a more solid drummer and is definitely more effective and engaging that just throwing on a metronome!
Another great feature of the modules is the ‘Quick Record’ button. This gives you a simple and easy way of recording groove ideas at the touch of a button.
It’s also an invaluable learning tool as you can quickly and easily record what you’re working on to see what needs improving.
As with pretty much all Roland products, the connectivity built into the drum module is excellent.
It comes with a USB port that allows you to upload your own Mp3s and samples via a pen drive. It also means you can easily connect the brain to a computer for use with recording software (DAW) and VST instruments.
There is also a ‘mix in’ port that makes connecting computers, smartphones, and mp3 players incredibly easy.
All you need is a headphone jack cable and you can play along to your favorite tunes right away.
All these features, coupled with the robust build and sleek design of the unit itself make the TD11 sound module a fantastic bit of kit!
Read More >> How Do You Play Electronic Drums?
The great thing about Roland drum kits is that they aren’t trying to re-invent the wheel.
Pretty much all the drum/cymbal pads and hardware mounts have been tried and tested over years of use on other kits.
Any upgrades or changes to their design are based on years of experience, which means you know you’re getting high-quality components that will last.
The TD-11KV comes with full mesh heads on the toms and snare (PDX-8 and PDX-6 pads), dual-zone CY-12C crash, and triple-zone CY13R ride trigger as well as a modest CY5 hi-hat pad and KD-9 kick trigger.
The snare and tom pads all have mesh heads, which gives a much more realistic and enjoyable playing experience than rubber.
They are also ‘dual-triggering’ meaning you can assign other sounds to trigger when you hit the rubber edge, such as woodblocks, claps, or cowbells.
The mesh pads are also much quieter than rubber, which is a bonus if you live in close proximity to other neighbors or even family members!
The only issue I have with the pads is that they are on the small side.
This can sometimes leave you feeling a little cramped, however this is a massive bonus for anyone looking for a compact electronic kit for an apartment.
The crash and ride cymbals triggers are fantastic. They swing a very satisfyingly realistic way as well as being choke-able and the three way triggering on the ride gives you bow, bell, and edge sounds which also feels very natural to play.
The hi-hat controller feels responsive but suffers from the slightly unrealistic feel associated with all sprung pedal designs.
But at this price point it’s no surprise the hi-hat isn’t mounted on a real hi-hat stand. It still does a good job of being responsive and playable.
The KD9 kick pad is a big improvement from the more solid and clunky feeling KD8.
It has a cloth contact point which drastically improves feel from its predecessor, giving a much more realistic bass drum experience (NOTE: there is no Kick pedal included with the TD11).
Overall the triggers included with the TD11KV continue to exhibit the excellent craftsmanship associated with Roland products.
All Roland components are interchangeable and upgradeable, so you can always gradually swap out individual parts for bigger/better versions as you go.
The hardware supplied with the TD11KV feels compact yet robust. The included MDS-4V rack has a very basic, low-mass design, which is minimalist in look without sacrificing strength.
The various cymbal and tom mounts feel sturdy and well designed, allowing for adjustments to be made quickly and easily when necessary.
I’ll be honest, in the 16 or so years I’ve been using Roland products, I’ve never had a piece of their hardware break...and my gear takes a beating!
Read More >> What Are The Best Inexpensive Drum Sets?
The playability of the TD11-KV overall is very good at this price point.
The tunable mesh toms and snare give a more forgiving and soft feel to the kit and the realistic cymbals really make you feel at home as if you were playing an acoustic kit.
The kit is designed to be quite compact, so it may feel a little tight at times. Moving around the toms can sometimes feel like you have to really bring your hands together in a way that you wouldn’t on an acoustic kit.
The space-saving rack also means that there’s only so much you can space the pads out.
However, this may be a plus for anyone that is tight on space or wants a compact kit for transporting to rehearsals.
The new sound engine however does mean that the kits feel expressive and powerful.
Dynamic rolls on the toms and snare feel pretty realistic. Roland seems to have tamed some of the machine-gun-like feel to their samples.
Overall for an electric kit in this price range the sounds included with the TD11 module are pretty good. They feel powerful and punchy and offer a broad range of stylistic options.
However, I still feel like Roland is using a lot of the same samples from kits 15 years ago.
I often get pangs of nostalgia when I hit certain acoustic drums and cymbals that are exactly the same samples that were included on my Roland TD-6 in 2005.
Now this isn’t necessarily a massive problem, as the samples are good, but it does sometimes leave some preset kits sounding a little dated.
The samples of the kits themselves are expressive and nicely detailed, although sometimes they can feel a bit unrealistic and give you some of the ‘machine-gun’ feel associated with cheaper kits.
Now don’t get me wrong, the TD11 doesn’t sound bad by any means.
And for anyone upgrading from an entry-level kit it will still be a significant improvement. I would still take Roland’s samples of Alesis at this price range.
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Overall the TD11-KV is a solid entry into the world of Roland-V drums.
It’s compact nature and extensive coaching and connectivity options will definitely appeal to a wide audience, whether that be students, pro drummers looking for a practice kit or producers looking for a simple way to record drums.
As you’d expect with Roland, the components are well made and are easy to use. So expect this kit to last.
The only real downside for me are some of the dated kit sounds. If Roland spent some time updating some of their core samples their drum kits would be unbeatable.
However, for most people considering this kit it won’t be too much of an issue and with the ease of connecting your favorite drum VST, this becomes even less of a problem.
If you’re looking for a well made, compact, and playable electronic kit, that won’t break the bank...then you can’t go too far wrong with the Roland TD11-KV.
And if you’re on an even more conservative budget the TD11-K (with rubber instead of mesh) is a great option.
Our Overall Rating: