Launched this week at NAMM 2020, the new Roland TD-27KV electronic drum set is the latest addition to the popular V-Drums line. This high-end e-kit pulls features from Roland’s flagship TD-50 series and the core TD-17 series, creating a new breed of e-drums geared toward serious students and pros.
Roland’s top priority with the TD-27 was to create an e-kit that responds to the nuances of the player’s technique, just like acoustic drums. So, Guitar Center invited technical master Thomas Lang to give the TD-27KV a spin. Watch the demo below to see how the kit responds to his trademark mix of precision and style.
For most drummers, the most exciting feature of the TD-27KV will be the digital sensor technology in the snare and ride. This revolutionary feature debuted with the TD-50, Roland’s most advanced (and expensive) V-Drums line. The new TD-27 makes it available at a lower price point for the very first time.
The included PD-140DS snare and CY-18DR ride each have an array of digital sensors, including the type used in smartphone screens. That means these pads can pick up Lang’s detailed stick work, and they also sense hand placement for cross-stick playing and palm muting. The pads transfer all this data via USB cable to the TD-27 module, where a new engine transforms it into realistic acoustic sound.
The tech is complex, but the result is simple—these pads simulate the sensitivity of an acoustic snare and ride with new levels of detail.
But drummers know the actual playing is only part of the battle. Drum choice and tuning are just as important to overall sound. That’s why Roland also brought advanced editing to the TD-27 module. The system is designed to be just as intuitive as tuning an acoustic kit. By simply turning a knob, the drummer can adjust the pitch, muffling and tone of each individual drum.
“This allows you to tune a drum and dial up the pitch that you want,” Lang said, before flipping from pitch adjustment to muffling. “And likewise you can very conveniently change the decay or sustain of your drum with the muffling knob.”
Of course, the sound only counts if the drummer can make use of it. During the development process, Roland spoke to gigging drummers and students who stressed the importance of modern connectivity. To meet this need, the TD-27 includes a wide variety of ports, including a simple “direct out” so drummers can plug straight into the mix at gigs. And the TD-27KV also has built-in Bluetooth. That means players can stream and play along to music from their favorite audio device, or capture audio and MIDI information wirelessly from the module.
The TD-27KV has all the usual details players demand from high-end electronic drums, including hundreds of sampled instruments, a library of pre-made kits and premium mesh heads. But the spirit of this kit goes beyond specs. Just like an acoustic drum set, this e-kit is designed to conform to the player’s preferences as they change and grow. Whether the drummer is an ambitious student or a master like Thomas Lang, the Roland TD-27KV can become a reflection of their personal sound