TD-50KV Review In Progress
Ok so I finally got a TD-50KV kit in that wasn't already sold. After trying to sell it for a few hours I couldn't take it any longer and had to start setting it up to check it out. NAMM is still over a month away and it's sitting right there! So I get a 6 pack of energy drinks and start to work.
As usual Roland boxes these kits like champs. They have it down so the kit gets to its destination in great shape. This can't be taken for granted. Back when the TD-10 kit was current Roland shipped the racks assembled. This is fine if the box is heavy duty enough to take the abuse but it wasn't. More often than not they would get damaged either on the way to us or to the customer if we didn't heavily reinforce the rack box. This involved us opening the box up and putting bubble wrap around the rack tubes. Now the MDS-50 is shipped so that you have to put it together. This lowers costs and makes transit much safer for the rack by far. Its a 5-10 minute process to get the rack up which I started with. Then the KD-140-BC kick drum which is the same kick drum as the TD-30KV so I am already familiar with that. Next I got the module out and attached the plate. Once the module was attached to the rack I got the snare out. I see right away that its Chrome and not Black Chrome like the previous snare for the TD30KV. For some reason I hadn't noticed that in the pics. Its a nice feeling drums very hefty! I'd recommend a sturdy snare stand for your kit like the Pearl S930 or S1030. The head is quite different feeling and I feel like its an improvement. It's not as bouncy but is still very quiet. Once I plug it into the TD-50 it auto recognizes that its a snare and I hit enter to start playing with it. Its amazingly sensitive. The whole drum seems to be a pickup and it picks up every little nuance. Its light years ahead of the last gen snare which I liked quite a bit. Advanced players are going to love it. Unfortunately I realize at this point that I've sold out of snare stands. I emailed my Pearl rep to some on order but in the meantime I can't really finish my setup. I decide to go ahead and get the ride out and play with it. too. Its huge and heavy. It feels more like a Ride for this reason to me. Wow it is a revelation. The thing is a true electronic ride cymbal. Its very sensitive and dynamic and the bell works every time and has a distinct line so you can tell where to hit it. This is by far a step up for them the CY-15R no question. At this point I had gotten the itch to play some beats and go ahead and put a tom on the kit and use a box as a snare stand. I then played on the kit for about 30 minutes going through the patches and even starting to create a custom kit. Its very familiar feeling of you have owned a TD-10, TD-12, TD-20, or TD-30. Roland has always been user friendly and that continues with the TD-50. The module itself sounds great and seems built like a tank. It has a ton of nice new features that I'll discuss more in the future. Since I need to finish the setup and get a snare stand I'll stop here for now and just say that I'm really impressed so far. To be continued.......
Ok now that I have snare stand. Thanks Chris! I've been playing the new snare and ride the most since I got it set up and I'm really impressed. Enjoying myself quite a bit. Remembering how much more I need to practice more than anything. The module is great as expected. I have gone through all the 50 stock kits and there are quite a few usable kits on there. I already made my own user kit in position 51 it just takes a few minutes and no owners manual to get your own kit made. I already had an 1/8" cable laying around to go from my ifruit to the mix input on the front of the module. There is a 1/4" MIX IN on the rear as well. Anyway the real stars are the new Ride and Snare like I've said. It's night and day even between these and the previous gen stuff. The amount of input and dynamic range these have is incredible. The PD-140DS snare drum is the best thing Roland has ever made like this. Its huge, heavy, and just plays like a champ. The head seems to feel less springy than before while still being really quiet. It needs a sturdy snare stand like I may have mentioned before. The CY-18DR ride isn't a slouch either. Its has a huge flat surface and plenty of bell. There is now a line where the bell starts so you know exactly where to hit it. It seems to pick up everything I do and never misses a hit. I'm liking the stock kits quite a bit they seem to have something for everyone in there as far as variety goes. The options for creating your own kits and layering samples are pretty incredible though. I want to get into that some in the next few days. I'll post more I have more time to play.
Been messing around with the built in recording function. It records to the SD card slot and works really well. Its fun to just record some playing and listen back at how well or had bad you messed up ( me ).
Sadly I could not play Edrums for awhile due to a broken elbow. I've been back playing with the TD-50 the past 6 weeks or so and really enjoying it. The editor is incredible and I have not run out of parameters yet. You can make a lot of different sounding snares just with the Jarrah Ply Snare sound as a starting off point. I have made about 15 good kits so far and plan on combining those with some other kits and giving them away for free to Edrumcenter customers in the near future. I highly suggest if you make your own kits to turn snare buzz on your kick drum and toms. By default for the stock kits this is turned off. If you are trying get acoustic kits to sound "bigger" this really seems to help. If you have not done so already you should download the free kits Roland came out with after launch. You can get them HERE. Will update again once I start layering internal sounds with samples.
Roland has come out with version 1.06 which adds more sounds this is a must upgrade situation. Here is the link to upgrade.