I recently wrote my guide on “how to record drums at home” in which I talked about the possibility of using electronic/acoustic drum kits. I was personally considering both methods, but in the end I decided to go with an acoustic drum kit. However, if I was still working in my apartment, I would’ve certainly purchased the Roland V-Drums TD-27KV. I determined that it was the best electronic drum kit for home recording, let’s find out why!
After some thorough research, I decided that the Roland V-Drums TD-27KV was the best electronic drum kit for home recording. It’s the one I would’ve personally bought it if I didn’t have the luxury of having the proper environment for an acoustic drum kit. Out of all the electronic drum kits I looked at, the TD-27KV was the least expensive product that still featured the premium features of Roland’s higher-end V-Drums. We’re talking about the ultra-realistic snare drum (which can be used with brushes), the ultra-realistic ride cymbal, the hardware and the drum module. It’s one of the most affordable kits that WON’T limit your expressive abilities. Let’s dive deeper, shall we?!
- The Roland TD-27KV is the best electronic drum kit for home recording because of its ultra-realistic snare drum
- The Roland TD-27KV is the best electronic drum kit for home recording because it works with brushes
- The Roland TD-27KV is the best electronic drum kit for home recording because of its ultra-realistic ride cymbal
- The Roland TD-27KV is the best electronic drum kit for home recording because it feels like the real thing
- The Roland TD-27KV is the best electronic drum kit for home recording because of its drum module
- How to record electronic drums at home using the Roland TD-27KV
The Roland TD-27KV is the best electronic drum kit for home recording because of its ultra-realistic snare drum
We’re starting with the Roland PD-140SD because personally, that was the highlight for me! The snare drum is one of the most complex instruments to emulate/simulate, but the Roland TD-27KV comes as close to the real thing as possible.
Just so you know, the Roland TD-50KV (the flagship model) used the exact same snare.
One of the things that differ from the PD-140SD digital snare is the fact that it’s got EIGHT sensors. Most electronic snare drums have FOUR at the most. What that means is you’ll be getting much more subtlety and nuances from your playing.
The dimensions of the PD-140DS (14” x 4.3”) also contribute to its realism.
Roland has also made it possible to TUNE the actual drum. However, this only affects the action of the snare head, not the actual sound. In other words, the tightness/looseness of the 8 lugs will result in more/less rebound in regards to your sticking.
Getting back to the sensors though, there’s something else the PD-140DS can do!
By placing your hand in the position to “cross-stick”, you’ll automatically be triggering the sound without needing to explicitly hit the rim (like most electronic snare drums). This means that the PD-140DS actually behaves like the real thing!
It uses USB cables to connect to the drum module, so it’s more than simply a set of triggers.
Lastly, I just wanted to tell you that the snare stand ISN’T usually included in the package. Unless you purchase some sort of special bundle made by your retailer, you’ll need to purchase the stand separately (the pictures can be misleading).
But here’s the question… Can you use brushes with the PD-140DS?
The Roland TD-27KV is the best electronic drum kit for home recording because it works with brushes
One of the main flaws with electronic snare drums is the inability to use brushes. The Roland TD-27KV is one of the few electronic drum kits that can actually work with brushes!
If you’re into that kind of stuff though, you may not be capable of appreciating it.
When I was looking for the best electronic drum kit for home recording, I knew it needed this. Without the ability to use brushes, you’re essentially limiting yourself down the road (even if you don’t currently use brushes).
It just demonstrates the quality of this digital snare drum.
If you can’t use brushes on it, chances are it isn’t as sensitive as you think it is. Tracking stockings is one thing, but imagine how difficult it can be to track the movements of tiny bristles gliding across the surface of your snare…
The PD-140DS’ size also plays an important role at this stage!
Now, the one thing I want to advise you against is using typical metal brushes. You’ll most likely end up scratching/damaging the surface of your PD-140DS.
Instead, you should be using nylon brushes which are much better suited for electronic drums!
Before moving onto the ultra-realistic ride cymbal, I just wanted to mention some final remarks about the PD-140DS digital snare drum. It’s one of the most realistic electronic snares on the market and is included with Roland’s top-tier kits.
ANY articulation you can do on an acoustic snare drum can be replicated.
Prior to owning an actual drum kit, I was using my MIDI/USB keyboard to record drums. It was certainly doable, but extremely limiting with these articulations.
If you’re not planning to purchase one of these kits (that included the PD-140DS), I’d say save your money and stick with the keyboard controller.
The Roland TD-27KV is the best electronic drum kit for home recording because of its ultra-realistic ride cymbal
Besides acoustic snares, one of the most difficult instruments to replicate is the ride cymbal. The Roland TD-27KV includes their revolutionary digital ride cymbal, the CY-18DR.
Similar to the PD-140DS, this digital ride features multiple sensors.
Most electronic ride cymbals include 4 sensors at the most (edge, ride, bell, choke), but the CY-18DR is different! It’s almost as if the different zones blend with each other. I’m not sure how Roland achieved this, but it sounds exactly like an acoustic ride cymbal.
Touching the surface while sticking will also slightly “mute” the cymbal.
Once again, the CY-18DR is featured on Roland’s more expensive V-Drums, so the TD-27KV is the most affordable kit that includes it. For any serious drummers in the audience, an ultra-realistic ride is a must-have, so it’s completely worth it in my opinion.
Once again, the last thing I wanted is to replicate the performance of my keyboard controller!
Most of the electronic drum kits on the market are no different than hammering one of these MIDI/USB keys with the added velocity sensitivity. My objective was to replicate the sound of an acoustic ride cymbal which cannot be achieved by other means, until now.
Trust me, you’ll hear the difference with the Roland TD-27KV.
Not to mention that the ride cymbal is actually 18-inches which is bigger than usual. You’ll be capable of “exploring” the CY-18DR like any acoustic ride cymbal.
The Roland TD-27KV is the best electronic drum kit for home recording because it feels like the real thing
When I was looking for the best electronic drum kit for home recording, I knew it needed to feel like an acoustic drum kit (as close as possible anyway). Some of the things I couldn’t accept were those remote controlled hi-hat pedals and remote controlled kick drums.
Look around, you’ll see that “budget” electronic drum kits are exactly like this!
With the Roland TD-27KV, you’ll actually have an actual electronic kick drum pad. You’ll also have the ability to mount your hi-hat to an actual stand (the same as the ones used for acoustic drum kits). However, keep in mind that the pedal itself and the hi-hat stand aren’t included.
I’m talking about the standard package without any additional “upsells”.
I personally feel like Roland could’ve included everything, but it’s one of my biggest complaints about this kit. To play it right out of the box, you’ll need an additional…
- Kick Drum Pedal
- Snare Stand
- Hi-Hat Stand
- Drum Sticks
You can always double-check with your merchant, but you’ll see what’s included.
You just need to be mindful of what’s NOT included!
Just to clarify with you though, I’ll be listing everything that you can expect in your package:
- Kick Drum (KD-10)
- Snare Drum (PD-140DS)
- 3x Rack Tom (PDX-100)
- Hi-Hat (VH-10)
- Crash (CY-12C)
- Crash/Ride (CY-13R)
- Ride (CY-18DR)
- MDS-Series Rack Stand
- Drum Module
Once you’ve got that installed with the additional hardware though, I know you’ll be more than satisfied with how realistic this kit feels! If you’re aware of the “missing” pieces, it’ll save you the disappointment of receiving it and not being able to play it.
I really hope Roland addresses this issue, but some dealers are more transparent about this than others.
The Roland TD-27KV is the best electronic drum kit for home recording because of its drum module
The last thing I wanted to discuss is the Roland TD-27KV’s drum module. The unit itself is of the highest-quality and is complimented by its integrated sounds. The possibility for the complete customization of each drum is what really impressed me though.
Compared to Steven Slate Drums (the sample library), you’ll have much more flexibility!
For example, you can individually tune and dampen each drum to your preference. You’ll also have access to plenty of factory-presets and can easily create your own. The TD-27KV also features PureAcoustic Ambience which is basically high-end room modelling.
It can emulate the sound of stages, studios, rooms, etc…
The other thing that impressed me was the integrated sound modelling for each drum. It’s the same Prismatic Sound Modelling engine that comes with the higher-end Roland TD-50KV. Basically, if you’re not satisfied with the high-quality drum samples, you can model your own!
Each drum can be created by determining the size of the shell, wood-composition, size of the cymbal and more!
You can even use the integrated FX to make your sound completely unique.
Now, moving onto the actual hardware, the Roland TD-27KV drum module also allows you to eventually expand your kit by providing THREE additional inputs (usually for cymbals).
Another thing I really like about the TD-27KV is the drum module’s ability to act as an audio interface. I was even happier to include this electronic drum kit in my guide on the best way to record drums at home because of that!
The USB output allows you to record straight into your DAW using the onboard sounds OR you can also trigger your favourite sample library (Steven Slate Drums, Superior Drummer, etc…). It can stream up to 28 channels of data, which quite frankly is overkill…
It also includes MIDI I/O, although most of us aren’t really using that anymore.
However, the audio outputs (L/R) are essential for use with speakers. However, you can also plug your headphones straight into the module!
Lastly, I just wanted to mention the fact that the drum module includes BLUETOOTH CONNECTIVITY. It’s really convenient for practicing without the need of an additional auxiliary cable. You can stream songs straight into the interface without any wires!
It’s gimmicky, I know… However, it’s what you can expect from the state-of-the-art TD-27KV.
How to record an electronic drum kit at home using the Roland TD-27KV
I hope you realize why I chose the Roland TD-27KV as the best electronic drum kit for home recording. Since we’re focused on that aspect, I figured I’d summarize the guide I wrote on the “best way to record drums at home”.
I highly recommend reading it if you’re interested, but here’s the gist of it!
Basically, you won’t be needing to purchase any additional devices with your Roland TD-27KV. Some other electronic drum kits would require the addition of an audio interface. Like we discussed, the drum module itself is used as the audio interface.
That being said, you technically start recording drums using the onboard sounds right away!
The only thing you’d need is your DAW. However, as good as the integrated sounds are, I still recommend you eventually consider an additional sample library like Superior Drummer 3.
It’s not essential, but in my opinion the sounds you’ll be working with are much better and much easier to manipulate on-screen. The software itself is unlike anything I’ve ever seen and includes over 230 GB of content!
Needless to say, there’ll always be limitations to drum modules.
I was focused on providing my readers with the best possible controller without breaking the bank. If you want to provide yourself with the best possible sounds, I recommend checking out Superior Drummer 3.
That being said, here’s where you can get everything we discussed today:
If you were looking for the best electronic drum kit for home recording without spending more than you needed to, the Roland TD-27KV is your best bet! Compromising on expressive capabilities isn’t an option when it comes to electronic drum kits (in my opinion), unless you’re literally planning to play EDM. I really did my homework and found the most affordable option without compromise, but you’re free to choose whatever suits your needs best. However, if you’re not into realistic drum kits, I would consider keyboard controllers as an alternative (Hammer 88, MPC, etc…). If you’ve enjoyed learning about the Roland TD-27KV, consider subscribing to my weekly newsletter for more reviews and high-quality content to get your music production career to the next level. Thanks for reading, I hope you start drumming soon!