Is the Roland TD9 drum module better than the TD11 and TD15? What features does it have that seem to stand out from any other module out there?
I found myself wondering about these questions a few weeks ago. And it is because I had seen many conflicting reviews about the module.
Value for Money
- High-end features
- Good quality new sounds
- A good hi-hat control pedal
- It lacks USB port connectivity
Hence, I went ahead and ordered the electronic drum setup, just to be sure.
Well, let’s just say Roland understands how to make drummers smile. This simple and yet very intuitive drum kit delivered performance beyond expectation.
Of course, it’s not 100% perfect as it comes with its own flaws, just like any product out there. But it’s better than what I have seen with most kits at this price range.
In this review, we will try to answer the questions above and more. In the end, you should make a more informed decision.
Roland TD 9 Kit
When the TD9K V-drums kit I had ordered arrived, I was excited to try out its features. One this is clear, that Roland has done a great job to improve the kit. With Roland, you will always get the best electronic drums as well as accessories.
This also means the costs have been increased.
TD-9K is an important kit. As a mid-range kit, it offers the strongest competition in the world of electronic drums.
It assumes a significant setup with a useful hi-hat holder. And if you are not satisfied, it allows you to slice in others to make your ideal configuration.
The new TD-9K kit seems to have a lot on its shoulders since it has to prove better than its predecessor. It comes with new sounds, quick play features, play-along songs, and a bunch of drum kits.
There are many kits on the market already that offer high-end features. Flagship kits like Roland TD- 20K V-drums and Yamaha DTXtreme are sailing in the deep ocean.
However, it is simple kits like the TD-9 that sell.
Built to deliver a mix of high-end features and affordability, this kit throws in everything a mid-range product can offer. It comes with wonderful editability and functions that make drumming feel more real,
With the TD-9K, you get a simple yet highly effective rack system with new cymbals arms and a hi-hat holder. It also comes with a mesh-head snare pad to boot.
The rack holds things together very well. Simple, and yet superior with everything Roland stands for.
Another improvement is a ball-and-clamp design that allows flexibility for positioning. Also, the mesh snare delivers real audio backing songs better than other kits in this price range.
Nevertheless, you will be dealing with smaller trigger pads on the snare.
You can also enjoy the new Scope function, which improves accuracy and timekeeping. It will not frustrate you either.
No matter the e-drum set you get, it is always the module that seems to matter a lot. And in this case, the TD-9 is not different. It comes with everything you need to enjoy the full functions of an e-kit.
As a mid-range kit, expect the TD-9 V-drums to miss some nice features found on the more expensive kits. The most significant cut is on the hi-hat setup.
It now comprises the FD-8 trigger pedal tied to a little CY-5 pad. It is a bit less real but still works better in delivering the best tones. The FD-8 is one of the best triggers for the brand.
In terms of compatibility, the Roland TD9 is working with the Roland VH-11 hi-hat found on the TD-12. This means upgrading will not be a problem.
No matter how good you think an electronic drum kit is, it’s only its performance that works well. The TD-9K performs much better than any kit at this range would provide.
You would enjoy working with this module. It comes with a host of strong sonic features. The preset kits are quite impressive.
The hi-hat control pedal works well. You can apply it to the quick record feature to create different songs and patterns.
Changing the kits is as simple as dialing the data wheel to choose between a 15-inch or an 18-inch kit. It is the same for bigger and smaller kits together.
Useful EQ and effects give you the best tone you want.
Concerning response, the kit does a satisfactory service by emulating real drums, especially the hi-hat. Combined with nice kit sounds, the mesh snare is extremely sensitive, enough to mimic a real feeling.
As a package kit, the TD-9K is a real deal for any drummer. You cannot train your left hand with an acoustic kit or use entertaining backup tracks. This is another area where the TD-9 is a winner.
Even though the snare trigger pad is a bit small, it’s still very useful.
Metalheads always rise over the clunky guitars of heavier tunes, but this kit allows you to play with ease. And since you can plug a USB stick to playback MP3 files. This kit will deliver you everything good in an electronic drum setup.
The TD-9 e-drum module is a mid-range solution that was discontinued in 2012. Hence, you cannot have a new one, yet it’s still one of Roland’s best modules.
Hence, if you want this module, search from the second-hand market. It costs between $250 and $350 depending on its condition.
The TD-15 has replaced this module as an upgrade, but it is also out of production.
Is the TD-9 better than the TD-15?
On the one hand, it may seem that the TD-15 is much better. But on the other hand, the TD-9 has all the features of a high-end kit, which puts it on the same level.
Basically, the main difference is that the TD-9 does not have a USB port. The real audio backing songs and internal features are almost the same.
Even though the TD-11 and TD-15 drum modules have additional instrument editing and practice functions, there is not much difference with the TD-9.
Both modules seem to have identical triggering and pad compatibility. They are all compatible with Roland’s VH-11 hi-hat.
Note also that the TD-11 comes with one less trigger than the other two.
Besides, the TD-9 also carries a unique feature that was included on more recent e-kits from Roland. For instance, it has a MIDI input that triggers an internal Percussion Set. This means you can connect it to a second slave module to expand your kit.
In other words, having a Roland TD-9 percussion set mean you have a high-end trigger ability. Expand your kit if you wish to until you have everything you need.
Features like Percussion Set and MIDI are normally associated with flagship drum modules. They are on the TD-12 and the TD-20 brains. Newer mid-level modules like the TD-25 do not have this feature.
For this reason, it would be wise to connect a TD-9 than the TD-11 and the TD-15 on your drum kits.
The most important aspect of any V drums or any electronic drums is mostly the module. It is this piece that assures functionality for the kit.
And in this case, the TD-9 sound module itself has it all. It features a wide selection of sounds and a friendly interface with a record and quick play function for customization.
You get 520-odd play-along sounds from 49 preset kits of different types. It’s also packed with 50 songs that keep you from the metronome boredom.
As the sound module is a mid-range product, it does not have all the features you would expect from higher-end kits. You can add many new sounds.
Besides, you will not even remember the restrictions placed on the TD-9K with its price point. It is a beautiful piece that contains a wide range of features.
The quick record and playback features allow you to create a variety of songs and patterns.
Some preset kits are better than others. It has a setup for every setting, from warm and poky jazz set to the standard V-Tour Studio.
This company has always understood the need to offer top-quality features with its kits. And they have done so in this old module too.
As you may have expected, the electro kits are quite convincing. The 808 and 909 are all designed to give you a good experience. There is a bunch of new sounds as well.
You can edit each kit separately as you would like. Unfortunately, there is too much button-pushing before you get to the required setup. But there is nothing too complicated.
The simple interface on the module is another feature that should attract most users. You can navigate through every setup and kit without struggling.
Use the EQ and effect to modify your sounds. The sound module does not have a ‘kit mixer’ on the front unit. Nevertheless, you can use the on-screen mixer. It might not be as quick as on-stage changes, but it works just fine.
Fun and friendly
Unlike some modules you may have seen around that have small screens, the TD-9 features a large backlit display. It also features oversized buttons and controls, making it easy for you to navigate.
It is one of the most user-friendly, icon-based user interfaces you will ever get. This makes editing sounds and customizing your kits fast and fun. It’s still useful even without USB connectivity.
You get to play along with real-audio backing to build an excellent musical experience.
It comes with “Quick Record” and “Quick Play” functions that let you record and play back solo drum parts. Or, use this to listen back to drum parts played with backing songs.
The ability to create different songs and patterns is what makes electronic drums interesting.
Use a special connecting cable for a fast, clean, and easy connection to the trigger pads. You may not use the USB on these electronic drums, but that should not be a big issue.
The more than 99 onboard drums kits are more than what you would need at any given moment. This means you can use the module for live playing, home recording, and silent practice.
Roland TD-9 Manual
The Roland TD-9 V drums are easy to use. It comes with straightforward features that you can use to create your music.
If you find it hard, consider referring to Roland’s TD-9 manual. It can either be found with the module or searched online. You will not miss this manual.
Besides, there is a lot of information out there on how to connect electronic drums and create new sounds.
• High-end features
• Good quality new sounds
• A good hi-hat control pedal
• It lacks USB port connectivity
You may not be able to connect and use the USB on your PC through a direct USB cable, but the TD-9 module will not fail you. It has stayed one of the best choices for many drummers all these years and continues to serve many.
It is not expensive, which is another factor that makes it popular. The hi-hat control pedal also gives it more use.
The only thing I found disturbing with the Roland TD-9 electronic drum is its software update. It is the only e-drum module that costs money to update. Not many would pay for this.
Nevertheless, no other module gives such a performance as the Roland TD-9.