Gear: Roland’s New V-Drums: Acoustic Design

When writing a song, performing in front of an audience, or laying out the vocals, to be our best, you have to “feel” the music properly. For far too long, drummers have had to live by double standards with their playing experience: take advantage of the world of percussion sounds offered by electronic drum units or play a more traditional acoustic drum set that feels better. The innovations in Roland’s new V-Drum Acoustic design promise drummers the best of both worlds.

Roland changed the drumming scene with the introduction of V-Drums (Virtual Drums) in 1997. With innovations such as network drum pads, V-Drums felt more like acoustic drums that defined the drumming experience for most players. V-Drums have been a huge success and have evolved with many improvements in vocal unit and dramatic changes to their drums and cymbals. However, the physical aspects of electronic drums continued to look and feel differently from the familiar full-size acoustic drum set that has inspired generations of drummers.

With the new V-Drums Acoustic Design, Roland has dramatically changed the electronic drums experience, blending the physical presence of acoustic drums with digital percussion technology. Physically, the new design offers the authentic look and craftsmanship of a premium acoustic drum set with full-size wood-shells and cymbals, beautiful finishing options and responsible chrome hardware. Assembly functions, where electronic drums often cannot, serve as a massive centerpiece for bands on stage, but more importantly, full-size acoustic drums placed in front of the drummer, provide more of the feel of a traditional drum kit. The built-in immersive sound and organic response of V-Drums Acoustic Design promises to inspire drummers to go deeper and explore.

Roland’s V-Drums Acoustic Design lineup features the flagship VAD706, along with the VAD506, VAD503 and VAD306. With a full range of drum sounds that can be tuned to your liking, the TD-50X, TD-27 and TD-17 units that power the Acoustic Design Series can also import external samples.

The best in class VAD706 V-Drums Acoustic Design set is a five piece set with full size wood casings and dual chrome holders. It features digital bushings, riding and a hi-hat offering detailed playability of the three key pieces in the drummer’s arsenal. The full-size wooden shells with advanced sensor systems are designed to deliver a true acoustic feel.

At the heart of the VAD-706 is the Roland TD-50X module, which is built on the company’s proven technologies for prismatic acoustic modeling and PureAcoustic Ambience technologies. Features over 900 sounds, including many new kick, snare, and cymbal selections. It provides one XLR stereo main output and eight direct TRS outputs that provide balanced connections for a PA mixer along with a 32-channel USB audio/MIDI interface for professional PC music production. Four auxiliary analog trigger inputs allow for easy group expansion. The TD-50X can import additional WAV samples via an SD card and mix inputs from a smartphone or laptop.

The 14″ PD-140DS Digital Snare from the VAD706 (also included with the VAD506 and VAD503) works with the high-speed processing in the TD-50X module to give the best expression to the work. A three-ply mesh head is mounted on a standard 14″ housing and provides a natural bounce and instantly familiar feel that drummers will appreciate. A multi-element sensing system tracks strikes across the board in minute detail – until cross-stick techniques are detected.

For cymbals, the VAD706 offers a newly developed CY-18DR 18-inch digital riding cymbal and a newly developed 14-inch VH-14D digital high-hat that delivers a new experience in touch sensitivity, color contrast, and open/closed precision. The 14″ upper/lower cymbal design provides a familiar look and feel, while a high-resolution detection system captures stick and foot joints in perfect detail. The TD-50X module includes new, fully improved acoustics for the VH-14D. The VH-14D is also a great upgrade option for VAD506 and VAD503.

Two 16-inch CY-16C-T cymbals provide the VAD706 players with even response, improved stick feel, and a natural rocking motion of the cymbals as a result of a 40 percent slimmer design. These full size slim malfunctions are also included with the VAD506 and VAD503.

Rounding out the VAD706 is the 10-inch PDA100 and 12-inch PDA120 shelves along with the 14-inch PDA140F floor tom. Each is equipped with projectile sensors developed specifically for the acoustic-designed V-Drums wood casings that eliminate hot spots while providing accurate and even response across the entire playing surface.

Adding to the realism of the VAD706, the Roland KD-222 22-inch bass drum incorporates a kick sensor system first developed for Roland’s flagship TD-50 V-Drums lineup, and the system uses innovative air damper mechanics to “move air” through a wooden kick shell, Produces resistance as the beater hits the head for an authentic sonic feel. Dual pedals are also supported.

The four premium finishes available for the VAD706 include a clear stained maple look with options of Gloss Natural, Gloss Cherry or Gloss Ebony, or a bold White Pearl finish.

The V-Drums Acoustic Design VAD706 from Roland is now available for $7999.99 with other models starting at $2699.99.

Learn more about the VAD706 and other V-Drums here.

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