Great Sound.. AND Solid Build
I have just passed the 6 month mark with my set of Roland TD-11KV. A little about who I am. I have been a guitarist, bassist, & pianist for 40+ years. Deep down I have always wanted to conquer the drums. The only thing that kept me from making that happen was the noise the acoustic kit made. One thing worse than the volume of an acoustic kit is the volume of a student learning on an acoustic kit! The cost for electric kits had always been well out of my price range to consider picking up a new instrument.
Enter this kit by Roland. It is the perfect blend of everything I need. I have beat on this kit something terrible as I try to develop the more sophisticated chops while I enjoy venting my frustrations from my job upon it. This kit takes a beating! And it sounds phenomenal doing so!
There are several varieties of sounds to make up several different kit styles for different genres. It is a compact kit however. That means the brain has only one additional port for an extra piece beyond what is offered with the kit. You can choose either an extra drum or cymbal. I don't recommend a drum as when I tried, the unit did not have enough space for the extra tom. I settled for another hi-hat sized cymbal which I use as a splash in between the crash and ride.
The tones are dead on realistic. The sensors are very responsive to your playing dynamics and offer multiple sounds for each piece. If you don't like rim shots, you can choose to turn off that feature from the brain. I like to keep mine on just for variety.
If you noticed, the hi-hat pedal and hi hat are not connected. Yes, it looks strange. But, I have played both the standard hi-hat as well as the one on this kit and cannot distinguish any difference in its responsiveness. One thing about the hi-hat in terms of sound options. There are not many. And you really cannot get a sustaining splashy sound from it. The sound decays rather quickly after the stroke. The hi hat is perhaps the only piece that still sounds a bit on the electronic side.
As for the rest of the kit, all the skins sound like a well tuned and equally MIXED kit. Another thing I love about electric kits is you don't have to do any major sound adjustments to them. The only adjustment I had to do was trim back the bass pedal in my favorite factory tone when playing through my Focus Rite Scarlett as the kick drum was clipping on its factory setting. The rest was plug and play!
Finally, I am very proud of my purchase of this product. And I recommend it for those who are entering into this realm of instrument and technology. If you have been accustom to more sophisticated brains you may be a little let down as this is scaled down. But, it is perfect for my expectations. Each piece in the kit is editable. All you need to do is strike the piece and the brain switches to that instrument in the edit mode allowing you to tweak on the fly.
Prior to this unit I was shopping and considering the Alesis unit. It had some extra pieces than this one. What tipped Roland for me was a friend of mine has a kit for almost 15 years and it works like a charm. That longevity is something I sought after even if it means having a few less pieces that the Alesis.
One more thing, for you drum students, there is an internet interactive game that works from your usb port in the brain into your PC. It has songs of various genres that you play along with. Then the game rates your performance on accuracy, creativity, Kick pedal and overall score. It is a lot of fun. My child likes to play the children's version of that game as well!