The Hit Kit!
Hot percussion news
They've arrived. Out on stage, in the recording studio, down at the music stores. Roland digital drums ore available now, and electronic percussion will never be the some again.
It has, most drummers will agree, been worth the wait. Roland spent a very considerable amount of time developing their first digital drum kit. The new system represents the perfection of two Roland specialities — the art of devising 'human' touch-sensitivity and feel, and the art of creating great drum sounds.
From the makers of the TR-808, TR-909 and TR-707 you'd expect the percussion voices to be pretty reasonable, and they are. All the sounds are PCM digital samples. There are four alternative sounds for each of the six drum voices; Bass, Snare, and four Toms. A powerful 'Edit' function means that these on-board sounds are merely the starting point. You can change Amplitude, Depth, Decay, Gate Level, Gate Time, Release, Pitch, Bend Depth, Bend Time, Dynamic Sense on Pitch, Attack, and Bass and Treble Eq. Once edited, the DDR-30 brain can store versions of each voice which can be used in 32 different kit combinations selectable at the touch of a button or the change of a MIDI-patch.
Varying the sounds you're going to use is one thing, but with Roland Digital Percussion there is considerable expression according to how you hit the pads, just as there would be with an acoustic kit. Not only loudness but also tone and attack change according to how hard you play, and Roland's unique three-layer pad gives a hitting surface with a very natural feel.
Add to this a full implementation of MIDI, and the Roland kit is clearly the most versatile system yet to have emerged. So, at least, it was found by Michael Giles, one of the first British Drummers to get his hands on a kit. He found '...the pads very well made and finished, strong and professional with XLR and jack sockets standard.' The hitting surfaces were 'very comfortable'. As for the sounds, Michael comments 'Extremely flexible. It even has internal gated functions. The metallic sounds are particularly excellent in their variation, clarity, and quality'.
See what you think.
Roland Newslink Autumn 85