Roland TD-1DMK Review

Owning an acoustic drumset requires living in a place where you won't disturb anyone. This could be neighbors, housemates, and even a local business below your apartment. Unless you have a home where you can minimize noise, it's best to get an electronic drumset.

Roland's TD 1DMK has been the solution for apartment dwellers like us here at American Songwriter. If you're in a similar situation, this is a great set until you can have the acoustic set of your dreams!

Below we'll go over our staff's experience with the Roland TD 1DMK drumset and why we're fans of it.

Having the best electronic drumset at home will allow you to practice more often and will even keep housemates happy since you can play with headphones and completely skip the amp. It'll be one of the best investments you'll make as a new drummer.

roland v drums review

The Roland TD-1DMK drumset is one of the best entry-level beginner drumkits. It's a 5-piece electronic drum set. It comes with the following:

  • Mesh Snare Pad
  • 3 Tom Pads
  • Bass Drum Pad
  • 2 Cymbal Pads
  • Hi-hat
  • TD-1 Sound Module

Roland included everything beginner drummers would need, but what makes this drum kit stand out is that Roland is known for their accuracy, meaning, if you buy a cheaper alternative you may notice lag. You want to hear your drum pads and cymbal pads as soon as you hit them.

Roland has truly paved the way for electronic instruments. Roland was founded in 1972 in 1972 by Ikutaro Kakehashi in Osaka, Japan. Roland has made significant contributions to the music industry and has played a major role in the development of electronic instruments.

Roland has been well-known for their electronic keyboards and synths. Many of our favorite bands and artists have incorporated a Jupiter-8 synthesizer in their music.

Since then, Roland has been a household name for musicians. If you're looking to invest in the best of the best, consider Roland's synths, drum machines, MIDI controllers, and electronic drumsets.

Pros

  • Easy to put together
  • Beginner-friendly
  • Realistic sounding
  • Compact (Just enough space for large rooms)
  • Expandable

Cons

  • Separate pedal & throne aren't included
  • Need lots of storage cases if you take it apart to prevent losing small pieces

What to Consider Before Buying

While this is one of the best beginner electronic drum kits, keep in mind that it's going to be more pricey than cheaper alternatives. You get a quality drum kit, but it may feel like a huge investment if you don't use it a lot. The price differentiates, and you can often find it on sale for about $550-$650, but that's a lot of hard-earned money.

Make sure this is for those truly committed to practicing often. If you're looking for a fun drum kit to play every now and then, consider a cheaper kit from Alesis or Donner for under $300-$500.

Also, think about the type of electronic drum kit this is. The Roland TD 1DMK is a great beginner electronic drum kit, and may not be the best pick for an experienced drummer or a professional drummer that wants to expand their electronic kit with much more tom drum pads and an extra cymbal pad.

This is absolutely a good electronic drum kit for beginner drummers and intermediate players who want an authentic playing experience but don't want to pay over $2,000 for a different Roland kit. You can still take advantage of the MIDI capabilities, but it may not be a great pick for professional studio recording.

Cool Features & Benefits

What makes this beginner kit special is that it has a built-in metronome with adjustable tempo and timing settings. Totally up to you to use it, but it'll come in handy if you need it. You're going to love recording to hear yourself play.

The drum module is pretty simple looking compared to many pricey kits, but you have all you'll need as a beginner -- an output for your headphones, phone, monitor, and a USB for your laptop or other devices. Recording covers will be a blast.

There are also 15 preset drum kits that all sound unique. Playing around with them is fun! You'll feel like you're on a different kit each time you switch it, perfect for sounding like you're in a rock band or playing some EDM tunes.

There are also 10 drum exercises. These are great if you're taking a break from lessons!

roland v drums review
Photo Courtesy Allison Johnson

Want to Read More About Drums? See the Best Cajon for Rock Here

roland v drums review
Photo Courtesy Allison Johnson

A cool feature I like is that the cymbal pads move when you hit them. I play rock music and bass and crash together are pretty common there. I definitely get excited when I see the crash move a bit after hitting it. It makes me feel like I'm on an acoustic kit!

Testimonies

sweetwater review (You can't go wrong with these) sounds great, easy to put together, and records

It looks like drummers are finding the Roland TD 1DMK to be a nice pick for recording!

sweetwater review (great for beginner or seasoned player to practice)

If you're looking to drum without disturbing neighbors, this is a great quiet practice kit. If you live upstairs in an apartment or house make sure you get a drum rug to minimize noise.

(Especially double pedal drummers.) The drum pads have a light tapping nose, nothing that would bother someone in the next room.

sweetwater review (great sound & great feel)

The sound and feel make this kit worth every penny.

Alternatives

Donner DED-80 Electronic Drum Set

Donner's entry-level kit is a great alternative. It's about half the price of Roland's TD-1DMK kit. It doesn't allow for expansion like Roland's kit, but the sound quality is good.

It has over 180 built-in sounds and many drummers think it would be best for younger children learning to play or to use as a travel practice kit. Roland's build quality is superior compared to it.

We do like that Donner's kit is very affordable and compact though. So, if you have a little one around 8-10 years old consider this pick as their first kit. It does include Melodics lessons which is an online platform to learn drums.

The DED-80 drum kit can be connected to DAW software via the USB MIDI interface. You can also use headphones for silent practice, and the drumheads are also mesh and quiet.

Alesis Drums Nitro Mesh Electronic Drum Kit

You can also increase your budget with the Nitro Mesh Kit from Alesis. Alesis is another popular brand for electronic musical instruments.

They are also well-known like Donner for creating affordable electronic instruments, especially entry-level ones. They have a kit that has 3 tom mesh pads, 3 cymbals (ride, crash, and hi-hat), and a mesh snare pad.

The affordable electronic drum kit features 60 built-in play-along tracks, a sequencer, a metronome, an aux input, and a performance recorder help to hone and develop your drum skills.

There are 40 ready-to-play classic and modern drumkits, 60 play-along tracks, and 350+ acoustic kits and electric drumset sounds to play with. There are also helpful learning tools -- you get 60 free virtual lessons from Melodics.

We would definitely pick this over the Donner kit, but for $120 more, you could also play it safe with the Roland kit if you're looking to prioritize brand reputation. Especially if you're taking the craft seriously and plan on using the kit through intermediate playing.

Final Verdict

The Roland TD-1DMK kit is the best beginner-friendly drum kit for new drummers. They're going to find this drum kit to be useful throughout their early learning days and throughout their intermediate playing. Once you have a good feel for the basic drumming skills, you can have fun with recording capabilities.

The sound and accuracy are perfect, the feel is the best we've felt playing drums. Between Roland, Alesis, and other kits, the Roland TD 1DMK kit feels more realistic. It sounds incredible and the size feels like it'd be great for most drummers.

You can expand the drum kit if you'd like to. Overall, Roland isn't lacking in any department when it comes to quality electronic drum kits.

**All products are independently chosen by American Songwriter editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission.

Photo Courtesy Sweetwater

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