Roland TD-07DMK review: What is it?
The TD-07 series bridges the gap between Roland’s entry-level TD-1 series electronic drum sets and its mid-level TD-17. The DMK setup is the most affordable of four available hardware configurations, each one powered by the Japanese company’s latest sound module, the TD-07.
This modestly sized drum-brain is packed with a surprising spread of features, some of which were previously out of reach at this price point. These include Bluetooth audio playback, USB audio for easy recording to a computer, 50 kits (25 preset and 25 user), 143 individual instruments, inbuilt FX and coaching functions.
The 8-piece kit features double-ply mesh on the 10” snare and 8” tom pads, alongside 10” cymbal pads for the hats, crash and ride - all of which are mounted to a compact steel rack. A clever rubber bass drum pad secures directly to the frame which is not only a real space saver but also helps to ensure a rock solid pedal feel with no risk of the all-too-common sliding bass drum. The small pad even has enough room for two beaters which is great news for double bass drum pedal users. The included hi-hat control pedal is lightweight and features a slim brushed steel footplate. If you haven’t worked it out by now, the TD-07DMK is effectively Roland’s TD-01DMK kit, upgraded to include the new TD-07 module.
It’s also worth noting that an upgrade to the TD-07KV configuration will get you a stand-alone kick tower and larger 12” crash and ride cymbals. This trend of larger pads continues through the ‘KX’ model and ultimately the ‘KVX’ which boasts standalone 10” hi-hats, a 12” snare and triple-zone ride.
Roland TD-07DMK review: Performance & verdict
Unboxing and assembling the kit is relatively trouble free and despite a little extra time getting the toms exactly where we want them, everything is sitting pretty in no time at all. This is due to the tom mounts being located atop each post of the central H-shaped part of the rack, limiting movement slightly when compared with larger crossbar style rack systems.
In terms of playability, the TD-07DMK does not disappoint. The mesh heads perform as expected and thanks to the tension adjustment, each drum can be dialled in for optimum stick response. It’s worth noting that the large plastic rim and outer rubber rim of Roland’s PDX pads result in the actual mesh playing surface being reduced. For example, the PDX-8 snare pad features an 8” mesh head but measures a total of 10” in diameter. We’re not exactly sure what the rationale behind this is but there are no complaints here as the small pads are perfectly satisfying to play.
The larger snare pad also features separate sounds for the rim which enables rimshots or cross-stick samples to bring an extra layer of expression to the kit. Each of the cymbal pads is also dual-zone (bow and edge) while the toms are single-zone. The cymbals perform well despite their petite size (10”) and can be positioned easily thanks to their ball-joint boom arms. They can also be choked by squeezing the edge which is always a welcome touch.
One slight gripe would be the lack of bell trigger on the ride cymbal, although we appreciate that some sacrifices must be made at this price. This is no deal breaker though as there is a handy setting within the module that allows the ride edge to trigger the bell sound - and it works surprisingly well. There’s also the option to expand the TD-07DMK by upgrading to a triple-zone cymbal pad (bell/bow/edge) and repurposing the existing CY-5 pad as a second crash.
The TD-07 module’s preset kits include a mixture of rock, metal, pop, studio, reggae, jazz, electronic, percussion kits and many more. As is usually the case with Roland, the recorded samples are of a high-quality and when combined with the satisfying physical response of the pads, keeps us coming back for more.
Despite a gratifying playing experience out of the box, the TD-07 also offers a surprising amount of customisation for those who like to delve a little deeper. This includes the ability to change and move virtual microphones, alter room ambience and experiment with a range of effects. These are welcome features for a kit of this size and at this price range and mean you can design some fantastic sounding kits.
If you’re specifically shopping for an electronic drum set for beginners, there’s plenty on offer with this kit. For starters, the module comes fully loaded with training tools to help newcomers improve their timing and tempo, and for those who like to jam to music, the TD-07 module is geared up with Bluetooth to connect to your smartphone or tablet so you can play both streamed music and the kit through your headphones. This functionality has been around for a few years now, but it’s great to see it landing at this price point.
Roland TD-07DMK review: Hands-on demos
Roland TD-07DMK review: Specifications
- Module: TD-07
- Module features: 50 kits (25 preset), 143 instruments, built-in FX, room and mic simulator, USB audio, Bluetooth, 5 Coaching Modes – Time Check (easy), Time Check (hard), Quiet Count, Auto up/down, Change-up
- Hardware: Snare, PDX-8, 10-inch (dual zone); toms, PDX-6A, 8-inch (single zone); cymbals, CY-5, 10-inch (dual zone - bow and edge only); kick, pad attaches to stand
- Stand: Four-post stand
- Contact: Roland