Are you wondering if the Roland TD-1KV is the right entry level kit for you?
You’re in the right place!
In this essential YMI review, you’ll learn:
- The Key Features Of The Roland Td-1KV
- How The Kit Is Constructed
- How The Kit Sounds
- How To Tell If It’s The Right Kit For You
And Much More!
The Overall Verdict
The Roland td1-KV is an excellent choice for someone looking to start their drumming journey.
It’s incredibly compact and easy to store away and has some excellent coaching features that will do wonders for your playing. It’s inherently low noise design will also have your neighbors thanking you!
The sound quality is definitely better than rival kits in this price range too. The beater-less kick pedal is a bit of a letdown, but otherwise it’s a solid and usable drum kit that’s fun and inspiring to play.
- Mesh head snare
- Good sounds
- Great coaching functions
- Beater-less kick trigger
- Rubber tom pads
The most important part of any electronic drum kit is the drum module (also called sound module or brain).
The brain is the unit that all the individual drum and cymbals pads plug in to.
It houses all the pre-recorded (sampled) drum and percussion sounds, as well as being the hub for connecting to computers, headphones, and other external devices.
Let’s take a look at the key features of the Roland Td-1kv drum module:
- 15 preset drum kits
- 15 Play-along songs
- Onboard Coach Functions (Time and tempo check)
- USB MIDI connectivity
- Easy Recording functions
- Mix In and headphone jacks
Starting with the build quality and design of the module, the Td-1 is incredibly basic in its layout and design.
It has a satisfyingly solid construction with a modest array of rubber ‘push’ type buttons to select the various kits, songs, metronome, coaching, and volume settings.
As with most Roland v-drums, the unit feels well constructed and incredibly easy to use (which is great for kids).
There are only 15 preset drum kits included, however, they do a good job of covering a wide range of musical genres, and typically with Roland, they sound good overall (more on that later).
The included play-along jam tracks are a nice touch, however as expected they tend to sit on the cheesier side of the spectrum!
Great if you want just a quick jam and they will suit pretty much any playing style.
However, compared to Roland’s nearest rival, the Alesis Nitro Mesh Kit, the unit will feel pretty basic.
The Alesis has a whopping 40 preset kits and 60 play-along tracks, which is considerably more than the Td1.
Just like the Alesis, the Td1 has a ‘Mix In’ port which allows you to plug in a smartphone, computer or mp3 player so you can play along to your favorite tunes whilst hearing your drums at the same time...very useful for practicing songs or playing along to online educational content on your laptop.
The coaching functions on this module are excellent and are an invaluable tool for beginners picking up the sticks for the first time.
The metronome is easy to use and has a lot of functionality built-in, including subdivision changes and different click sounds.
The time check is a great feature that records you playing a few bars of groove and gives you an accuracy score at the end.
It tells you whether you’re ahead or behind the beat in realtime too, using a diagram on the screen. This is a fun and effective way of improving your timing and overall accuracy.
Read More >> Is the Roland TD11 Drum Kit Really Worth It?
Another great learning feature of this kit is the ‘Record’ button. Push this button will engage a click count-off and record the next few bars of your playing which can then be played back straight away.
At any level, recording your own playing is such an essential tool for improvement.
It can often be a difficult and humbling experience hearing back your drumming for the first time, but it makes for the most efficient improvement for time and groove.
The Roland Td1 makes it so easy just to record a quick snippet of the groove or fill you’re working on. It really is packed with some great practice features and will do wonders for your playing skills.
The real star of this sound module is the inclusion of the USB port. This allows you to plug your kit into a computer and record your drums into your favorite recording software (DAW) and means you can use a drum sample library (VST) to greatly improve the sounds available.
Many kits at this price point don’t have USB connectivity, so it’s a really nice feature to see on the TD1.
Overall the TD1 module is a very user-friendly and surprisingly powerful little unit. It suffers from being considerably more basic than rival modules (such as the Alesis Nitro) however with Roland you know you’re getting something reliable and consistent.
Read More >> How Do You Learn To Play Drums As A Beginner?
The thing that separates the td-1KV from the standard td-1K is the inclusion of a dual-trigger mesh pad for the snare drum.
The pdx-8 v-pad for the snare is a big improvement from the standard rubber pads that are still used on the toms.
It’s dual triggering meaning that you can trigger different sounds between the head/rim (great for rimshots) and the drum sticks have a much more natural rebound.
Mesh heads generally give a more realistic feel and response than rubber, as well as being quieter for people that aren’t actually playing the kit! You can also adjust the tension of the head using a drum key, to suit your playing style.
The cymbal pads also follow the compact design of the toms and are pretty small compared to other kits.
However, they are ‘choke-able’ (meaning you can hit a crash cymbal and stop its sound by grabbing/choking it) and, as expected, perform very well in terms of trigger accuracy and feel.
The hi-hat pedal is also surprisingly accurate and intricate open hi-hat grooves were much more dynamic and responsive than I expected, dealing with more advanced drum techniques with ease.
The main issue I have with the triggers on this kit is the inclusion of a sprung type beater-less kick drum trigger.
Most electronic drum kits have a real bass drum pedal that attached to a tower unit and is struck like a traditional bass drum. This teaches you essential kick pedal control.
The sprung pedals tend to be more inaccurate and much less realistic than a real drum kit.
However, they are much quieter acoustically than a traditional kick pad, which I guess is what Roland was going for (you can make it even quieter with the ne-10 noise eater from Roland).
Luckily, upgrading to a KD8 (or similar) pad further down the line is possible and relatively inexpensive.
As with pretty much all Roland equipment, the build quality is excellent.
Their gear is built to last and you’ll notice that Roland equipment tends to hold its value much better than other brands because of it (Yamaha are similar in this regard).
Compared to the Alesis Nitro Mesh kit, you are getting rubber pads instead of a full mesh kit, but the build quality is definitely superior to the Alesis.
Again, all Roland’s equipment is modular, so you can always upgrade the pads down the line to give a more authentic feel.
Read More >> How Do You Set Up A Drum Kit?
The Strike Pro also has separate outputs for all the individual components of the kit.
This is an absolute godsend if you intend to record directly out of the unit or if you want to send individual kit elements to a sound engineer.
It gives you complete control and is an unusual but welcome feature in this price range.
The module also comes with a massive library of preset drum kits (over 100) which is about double the Roland Td17 module, it’s the closest rival.
Now some of the sounds on the Alesis kits can be a bit questionable, so more doesn’t always mean better...but more on that later.
The Strike Pro also has all the other standard features you’d expect at this price point, including headphone output and an Aux In for plugging in other devices via a ⅛” stereo jack cable (such as iPhones, iPads, Mp3 players, etc).
Unlike a lot of other modules, the Strike Pro comes with an SD card slot, and an 8GB sd card included.
This means you have a lot of extra card storage for your own custom user kits and makes transferring new sounds very easy.
Another excellent feature of the Alesis Strike Pro is the inclusion of the powerful new Strike Software editor for use on your PC or Mac.
You simply connect the module to your computer via USB, and you can edit kits and layer WAV samples to create your own bespoke custom presets...very cool.
Overall I’m very impressed with the Strike Pro module, its simple yet functional design and impressive list of features make it a worthy competitor to anything in the same price range by Roland or Yamaha.
The Roland TD-1KV kit has obviously been designed to be compact.
At around a meter wide when set up, this kit will easily fit into the corner of a bedroom or small studio.
The super-compact, space-saving rack feels surprisingly sturdy and makes moving/storing the kit incredibly easy. Also, as long as you have an adjustable drum throne, it can be set up for younger kids to practice with too.
Again, Roland’s long history of quality components is evident here, the clamps and cymbal/tom mounts all feel satisfyingly solid.
They’re easy to maneuver into position and stay put even when you’re a hard hitter like me!
The kit has a very pleasing aesthetic too, with compact cable management, a sleek curved drum rack, as well as matching white cymbal and tom pads...it doesn’t look garish or overly plastic.
For an entry-level kit, this is where the Roland Td-1kv really shines.
Roland has gone for a ‘less is more’ approach with the included drum sounds on this kit and in my opinion, it’s paid off.
Instead of packing the module with loads of mediocre sounding presets, they’ve decided to keep it to a core of 15 expressive drum kits.
The included kits cover pretty much all musical avenues, from heavy rock to jazz, to EDM and hip hop...there’s something for everyone.
On the acoustic kits, the sounds feel full, punchy, and very satisfying to play. The mesh snare drum is incredibly sensitive and ghost-notes feel accurate and realistic.
The toms are also dynamic and having dual-zone cymbal triggers, allows you to get different sounds from the bow or edge of the pads.
Unlike most budget electronic kits, there isn’t anywhere near as much of the ‘machine-gun-like’ tom or snare hits that can make an e-kit feel robotic and lacking in expression.
However, if you aren’t satisfied with the built-in sounds, you can always opt for a drum VST sample library instead.
All you need to do is connect the kit to your computer via a USB cable and assign the pads to your VST of choice. There are even excellent free options in GarageBand or the basic SSD package to get you started and will give you a superior sound compared to any e-kit.
Read More >> What Are The Best Inexpensive Drum Sets?
The Roland TD-1KV is an excellent choice for the aspiring young drummer or beginner looking for something compact and functional to practice at home with.
Like with all Roland gear, it’s incredibly well made and easy to use.
It doesn’t have as much packed into the module as some of the competition, however what it does have is of a high-quality.
The inclusion of a sprung bass drum pedal is a bit of a letdown, but with the scope to upgrade down the line as your drumming improves, this isn’t too much of a problem.
The inclusion of USB MIDI also makes this kit a very affordable bit of gear for bedroom producers looking for an easy way to input MIDI drum grooves for their tracks.
You can really see why these are some of the most popular electronic drums on the market today.