During strict lockdown, we were sent an electronic drum kit from Roland. For this reason, we had some time to get acquainted with the company’s new product – the TD-27KV kit. We spent a few days checking out and testing all its functions hidden under the pads, buttons, knobs and sockets, which the panels of the device are equipped with. This has allowed us to create a visual tutorial briefly illustrating the options available on board.
We’re Testing the Roland TD-27KV electronic drum kit
We conducted the test in our live room, which is especially prepared for recording. We started off with a presentation of all the sounds offered by the Roland TD-27KV set. The next stage of our test was going through all the training functions. In the course of the test, we will present all the sound sets offered by the module.
2. Basic product specification
- Producer: Roland
- Model: TD-27KV
- Drum sound module: TD-27
- Prismatic Sound Modeling system (Roland Prismatic sound engine)
- PureAcoustic Ambience technology
- Integrated 28-channel USB audio interface
- Pads: Kick (KD-10 x 1), snare (14″ x 4.3″), hi-hat (12″, mounted on a standard acoustic hi-hat stand), toms (10″ x 3), crash (12″), crash (13″), ride (18″),
- Rack: Yes
- Weight: 32 kg / 70 lbs 9 oz
- Preset sounds: 700
- Drum kits: 55 preset + 45 customized kits
- Training functions: Yes
- Backing tracks (songs): Yes
- Connectors: MIDI OUT/THROUGH and MIDI IN, DIGITAL TRIGGER IN x 3, MIX IN, DIRECT OUT x 2, MASTER OUT L, MASTER OUT R, PHONES, FOOT SWITCH, TRIGGER IN (AUX 1, AUX 2, AUX, 3 CRASH 2)
- SD slot: Yes
- AC adaptor: Yes
- Bluetooth: Yes
- Connecting cables: Yes
- Drum key
3. Product and sound
The basic premise behind this kit was to offer some of the solutions applied in Roland’s flag ship model, i.e. the TD-50KV, at a more affordable price. For this reason, the TD-27 sound module comes with Prismatic Sound Modeling, which is based on the Roland Prismatic sound engine and is applied to the samples to model response and get a full-bodied instrument that responds like its acoustic counterpart. That is supposed to ensure an expressive and natural sensation. And it DOES. We have already had the opportunity to fiddle with the TD-50 module along with the accompanying kit and we can say that the playing experience provided by the TD-27 is identical.
Thanks to the application of a lightweight rack, the instrument is fairly easy to set up. Upon making a purchase, apart from the drum sound module, a user gets a set of 4 mesh pads responsible for the snare (includes a stainless steel shell) and 3 toms, as well as 4 cymbal pads, a standard acoustic hi hat stand and a bass drum pad. All the cables have been properly described. The module and the pads are connected via USB cables. It is truly a 21st century solution and Roland should have the kudos for having applied such a configuration.
The new PureAcoustic Ambience technology present on board aims at optimizing each Roland set. A user can adjust mic positioning on the kit as well as edit the overhead mic simulator. In-built multi-effects and mixing capabilities give the functionality of a fairly powerful studio console with EQ, compressors, reverbs, delays, transient, etc. The integrated 28-channel USB audio interface facilitates computer music production, while three auxiliary trigger inputs make it easy to add extra tom and cymbal pads thus expanding the kit.
Built-in Bluetooth allows for the wireless streaming of audio from an external device (a phone or laptop) to the module, which happens smoothly and without interruptions. With the SD slot, a user gets a possibility to import his or her own WAV files. The training functions (e.g. Time Check, Warm-up) help develop playing skills and follow progress, while the advanced metronome assists in improving time-keeping.
The Roland TD-27KV set tested here is very adjustable and practical – all the instruments are mounted on a solid rack. The mesh pads are made at the highest quality level. They feature the function of adjusting the head tension using a standard drum key. The KD-10 bass drum pad works very well, has great sensitivity, and feels very comfortable when playing. It perfectly reflects the dynamics applied by the player. It is also compatible with a double bass pedal and seems quieter than the other models due to its internal cushion covered with rubber/mesh material.
Most electronic drum kits differ from their acoustic brothers, primarily due to small pad diameter. The TD-27KV solves the problem, to a large extent with the help of larger tom and cymbal pads. All the 10-inch toms, along with the 14″x 4.3″ snare made from stainless steel, feature Roland’s mesh heads. The 12-inch hi-hat pad is mounted on a standard acoustic stand, the ride is sized 18″, and the two crashes are 12″ and 13″. The latter three are mounted on boom cymbal holders, which provides comfortable setup options and gives natural cymbal swing when playing.
The snare and ride pads communicate with the TD-27 module via USB cables, working together with the sound engine to render all the sonic details of drumming, including ghost notes, rim shots, cross stick and the wide tonal range of the ride. This allows drummers to express themselves through their skills and genuine techniques in incredible detail.
Multiple sensors and fast processing provide really good response, enabling a user to play in a natural way using ghost notes, rim shots, cross stick on the snare and the wide tonal range of the ride. The dynamic and tonal range of all the pads leave nothing to be desired. The dual-zone cymbal pads feature the choke function, while the triple-zone ride pad enables a user to play on the bell. It should also be noted that the larger pad sizes do not result in an increased loudness.
The TD-27 module features 55 drum kit sounds, 6 backing tracks (up to 500 songs to play along to can be imported), and a possibility to create up to 45 custom drum kits. The latter is done by changing heads and tuning, adjusting dampening level and head tension, selecting different beaters, adding layers, etc. All of that happens in a simple and intuitive way, with the help of four editing knobs: INSTRUMENT (changing the sound of a selected pad), LEVEL (adjusting the volume of each pad individually), TUNING (changing the tuning) and MUFFLING (adjusting the dampening level).
The coach functions on board include: TIME CHECK (easy), TIME CHECK (hard), CHANGE-UP, AUTO UP/DOWN, QUIET COUNT, TEMPO CHECK (easy), TEMPO CHECK (hard), STROKE BALANCE, TIMER.
The module also features a RECORD function for recording a user’s playing solo or against backing tracks.
The Roland TD-27KV, although a mid-level kit (thus not as well-equipped as the TD-50KV), is still a great electronic drum kit offering quite a number of high-level solutions and technologies at a price considerably lower than the top model. 3,000 US dollars or euros is not cheap, but we must not forget that half the price of the TD-50KV buys more than 50 per cent of the possibilities Roland’s flag-ship product offers.
OUR VERDICT: 5TOP
- USB cable connectivity
- 14-inch snare
- Quiet kick pad
- Triple-zone 18-inch ride pad
- Stable, lightweight rack
Drummers and Drummerettes! We give you our test of the Roland TD27-KV electronic drum kit!