Roland have just announced a major expansion of their long-established V-Drum series, which sees the introduction of three complete electronic drum kits, each based around the all-new TD‑50X 'brain'.
The TD‑50X, we're told, “provides the most acoustic-like experience available in electronic drumming,” a feat it achieves with the help of Roland's proprietary Prismatic Sound Modeling [sic] technology. This apparently combines the basic sound of multi-sampled drums with physical behaviour modelling techniques, to produce what Roland describe variously as “expressive”, “interactive” and “immersive” sounds.
The new module includes close to a thousand built-in sounds (including brand-new kick, snare, hat, tom and cymbal samples), and comes with 70 ready-to-play preset kits out of the box. Naturally, you can assemble your own kits (the TD‑50X lets you mix and match shell and cymbal types and sizes, as well as drum head types and cymbal characteristics), and the brain also incorporates a PureAcoustic Ambience engine for realistic-sounding reverbs.
No fewer than 14 analogue trigger inputs are provided (plus additional inputs for hi-hat control and a ride bell), as are three digital triggers (via USB A-type ports), and MIDI, via good old-fashioned 5-pin DIN. In terms of audio, you can send your kit components to any of the eight individual outputs, plus the main stereo mix (duplicated on XLR and jack).
Owners of the previous TD‑50 who simply must have the latest tech needn't skip their modules just yet though: that module can be upgraded to perform all the new TD‑50X functions, at a cost of $199 via Roland Cloud.
Of the three new kits, the VAD706 (pictured, right) is the priciest, and combines the look and feel of real drum shells (available in four different finishes) with Roland's proven mesh drum-head technology. The TD‑50KV2, meanwhile, combines Roland's large V-Drum pads with a full-size kick drum, and the TD‑50K2 — the most streamlined of the newcomers, pictured below — employs Roland's compact kick and tom pads.
The VAD706, TD‑50KV2 and TD‑50K2 are due to begin shipping from late May, and will cost $7999.99, $7499.99 and $5399.99 respectively. The TD‑50X module will sell for $2399.99.