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New module?

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  • New module?

    Does Roland plan to put out a new module. I've had an opportunity to do some tracking with the new SRX Drum card in a 5080, and it blows the Vdrums away!! The nuances, sound quality, velocity switching, etc are head and shoulders above the VDrum kits, all in a package that goes for $2200 (5080+Card).

    Why do drummers get charged $5000 for a V-Session when we get "out-sounded" by keyboardist and computer users (Battery by Native Instruments can do 128 layers of velocity switching for $300). Sure the pads and e-cymbals are nice, but when you play back the track, it's all about the sound.

    The 5080 has 8 analog outs, 8 digital outs, 8 expansion slots, room for 128MB of RAM for sample playback, a SCSI port, 64MB of internal sounds, 128 voice polyphony, 32 channels of MIDI, COSM, and Roland's top verbs for $1800. You all know what the TD-10 has and that with the TDW1 clocks in at $1700. What gives? I was hoping for something new at the winter NAMM show, but the only thing they offered was a couple of new colors which aren't really new at all (the original white pads, and the purple concert pads from last year), and a 12' version of the crash cymbal.

    This reminds me of how Digidesign charges high prices, because they are the market leader. Stiff competition from Korg, and Yamaha force Roland to keep the prices on the keyboard products down, but they are definitely sticking it to the e-drummers. The 5080 has been out for a couple of years, and it gives much better drumsounds than a comparably priced, DEDICATED drum module?!?!? The least they could do is give us the technology that they ALREADY HAVE in mass production. I hope someone can assure me of something new coming out soon.

  • #2
    hey bigswole31 -

    you bring up some good points which have been discussed many times on this board. one of the most popular topics on this site is: what is roland's next v-drum module offering going to be and when is it coming?

    there seems to be universal agreement that the srx-board sounds are vastly superior to those that exist in the td modules. but there are those who would point out that you can get even more acoutsic fidelity from a modern sampler and high quality drum samples for even less then the $2000 price tag that you outline. note also that the 5080 drum sounds appear better right out of the box partially to compensate for the fact that they are in fact designed to played from a keyboard and will lack the character of a drum-triggered sound.

    obviously, the td-10 and xv-5080 are targeted bear different target consumers. for $2000 over the price of the 5080 (a v-session can be had for around $4000) you get 3 dual-zone mesh pads, 3 single zone mesh pads (including a kick) pad, 4 v-cymbals, a rack and almost all necessary hardware. to buy that gear seperately would of course be even more expensive.

    in roland's defense, this is a tough nut to crack because this (small) market has such a diverese profile. some people use the vs for practice, while others use them for live gugs. some people use extensive outboard gear to sweeten the sound of their module while others prefer triggering high quality samples from the start and forgo the module all together. and, of course, the amount of money people are willing to pay is a big factor?

    so is a v-drum setup really worth all of that money? i would say it depends on your needs. i had something close to a v-session set up and required that the drums be as close to acoustic drums as possible. after the honeymoon period wore off, i realized that the v's - in their current state - didn't cut it for me. i sold them and instead put the money towards rent for a rehearsal space and a new synth i can trigger from (which i love).

    but as roland continues to offer slightly scaled functionality on existing great products for significant discounts (td-6, xv-5050, etc), i hope they find r&d time and money to raise the bar on their high end as well.


    • #3

      I appreciate your response. I purchased a V-pro kit when they were first released. I've been drumming for over twenty years, and along the way I got into keyboards/sequencing (MPC), singing, songwriting, and production. I bought the V-Drums to enable me to do some "live" drum tracking in my studio, without all the noise and work of miking a live kit. Needless to say, I was disappointed with the sound. They ended up just being a very expensive set of practice pads. So I sold them and used the money to buy a MAC.

      I agree with your assesment of the difficulties of this market, but I still believe that Roland could do much better at no extra cost to themselves or the consumer. The full compliment of pads could be sold minus the brain for around $2000-2500. Add in a modified 5080 that is dedicated to drums. Voila a e-kit for approx $4000. You said yourself that there are cheaper options than the 5080 so that would lower the price. All this using existing Roland technology, therefore, no new R&D would be needed. You could even scale back somethings (half the polyphony to 64 from 128, take out the second set of MIDI I/O, remove the R-BUS and add in the trigger interface, remove one RAM slot, cut the number of expansion slots to 4 from 8), and still you would be light years ahead of the TD-10, and much cheaper if they were honest enough to make the price match what it would take for them to use ther existing hardware and technology...again with no additional R&D needed. Amateurs and hobbyists would have a TON of room to grow into, and pros and performers would have what they need to work...at the same price point that we have now.

      I really think that they just aren't concerned enough to even recycle what they have been using for years in the keyboard world, because the e-drum world has been so lacking for so long, we go ga-ga over the underpowered stuff that Roland DOES release. Instead of making what they COULD make easily, they just make sure that they beat out the competition (Alesis, Ddrum). Simple one-upsmanship instead of truly striving to meet the needs of the customer. Whatever happened to that Roland tagline, "Thinking Ahead"?


      • #4
        "...but I still believe that Roland could do much better at no extra cost to themselves or the consumer."

        Sorry, but this belongs in the I Want A Miracle section. It's a bit much for a wish don't you think? I mean we are talking about Roland aren't we? Give more and charge the same? The Roland CEO would have a heart attack if he heard that.

        You say "technology exists and no new R&D would be needed". But to use it, all they need to do is... "Add in, scale back, take out, remove, add in, remove, cut, and still you would be light years ahead of the TD-10 and much cheaper if they were honest enough to make the price match what it would take for them to use their existing hardware and technology...again with no additional R&D needed."

        I've been working in factory management (high volume to high tech) since '73 and owned a small business for 6 years. The above would cost a boatload of money. I think we're talking more than connecting the red wire to the blue wire here. They charge what the market will bear, not what is fair.

        "I really think that they just aren't concerned enough to even recycle what they have been using for years in the keyboard world, because the e-drum world has been so lacking for so long, we go ga-ga over the underpowered stuff that Roland DOES release. Instead of making what they COULD make easily, they just make sure that they beat out the competition (Alesis, Ddrum). Simple one-upsmanship instead of truly striving to meet the needs of the customer."

        WOW! Just when I thought you were smoking some high grade stuff you come back to reality and preach it like it is. As long as the majority of consumers are willing to settle for that AND continue buying what is offered, that's what will continue to happen.

        "Whatever happened to that Roland tagline, "Thinking Ahead"?"

        Keyword "tagline". The only place it is used is in their PR.

        Hi bigswole31. Welcome to the board. This kind of post is a bit out of character for me, but... the urge struck. Consider it part of the initiation. I just have this philosophy that business exists to make money and market forces should prevail, at least when the commodity isn't a necessity of life or a monopoly. Sprinkle in some healthy competition, work in the greed of both the consumer and the business and things start happening. I know most of "us" look at music as necessary for survival, but alas, I've been assured that the world could survive without e-drums (I'm still not sure if I believe it).

        I don't blame business at all for what you comment on. When the majority of people refuse to pay those inflated prices, the Rolands of the world will give us more product for less money. It really is that simple. The rest of us will have to be satisfied with some cheese to go with our whine. I've been waiting for the V-cymbals prices to drop. They are overpriced and I won't pay it. The price isn't dropping and I don't Vcymbals. If I were to come into a little mad money, I wonder how long I can resist buying them? I wouldn't be too shocked to find I am part of the problem.
        Kit Pic 1 Kit Pic 2 Kit Pic 3... And FOR SALE I have: 3 PD-9's, MDS-10 purple rack w/cables/pad and cym mounts. See classified posts for details or PM me.


        • #5

          Thanks for the welcome.

          I do realize that there would be some cost as retrofitting components that were not originally designed to work together would take some effort, but I am sure you do see my point. Roland would not have to develop any new technology to get this working. Everything (COSM, triggering, sample playback, expansion slots, 24-bit DACs, sampled data already in Roland's proprietary compressed format, MIDI, high polyphony sound engines, etc) has been in use in their products for years; therefore the only thing they would have to work out is configuration issues. It's more than connecting the red wire to the blue wire, but it is much less than creating brand new technology and building from scratch. Besides, Roland has proven that they are quite adept at repackaging and recycling their technologies. Look at their latest offerings: a D-beam from this unit, the sequencer from that unit, a reader for our sample libraries, a little COSM, and presto, our brand new XRV-820 thingamabob for the low, low price of $2002.

          Sure, I know that they all just want to make a profit, and if they can get away with selling less for more, then they will. The thing is, I believe that groups like this forum are just the one's who can put an end to it. The squeaky wheel gets the grease!! I think we SHOULD vote with our money, and use the internet to make our opinions known. Instead of just talking to each other, how about joining together and emailing Roland...not just a couple of us, but all of us.

          I just came across this site, but I see that there have been thousands of posts. How about each of us emailing Roland and telling them what we would like to see, and what we would be willing to pay...let them know that we are aware of there existing technologies/products and their price points, and that a module that would service our needs WILL be purchased if priced comparably to the other markets, but not if they try to use their current edrum pricing model as a platform for future gouging (ie We gave you a great set of triggers and a less than stellar module for $4000, so we'll give you the same pads and a technologically current module for $8000!). What company would ignore thousands of or even hundreds of customers of such a high ticket item? The problem is we won't unify. We have time to talk to each other, but we won't say these same things to the one's who can make it happen.

          Before anyone tells me to practice, what I preach, know that I already have and will continue to do so, but it takes more than a complaint here or there. I am not trying to incite a mob to email bomb Roland, but I am trying to encourage fellow consumers to use what they have to make difference in the products that are made available to us. We all seem to like the triggers for the most part, and there is competition in the trigger market, but as long as they feel no pressure to make a module that can at least compete with the sonic drum capabilities of the keyboardists and computer users, we will always get yesterday's edrum sounds at today's prices.


          • #6

            I trust that your statement, "Make these points everywhere. Create inertia or accept the status quo" means that you can be counted on for help in this.

            I agree with the fact that it would incur some cost to make the module that I mentioned, but let's face it: the cost would be minimal. They've repackaged V-Drum technology twice already (TD-8, TD-6). They have repackaged their various keyboard technologies many times. The sliders on the TD-10 were the same ones that are on my XP-80, and various other 'boards, which means that many of the same parts are in use. They have already developed a very functional and responsive OS for their percussion products. The only thing that they would have to integrate is better converters/outputs (which they are already using on their current products ie 5080, VS-recorders, etc), at least 1 RAM slot (which would not be hard to integrate and would allow for an endless sound library), and a few more expansion slots (which they pioneered and have mastered since the JV series of synths and the VS-recorders) to make a future-proof module at a reasonable cost.

            Selling new tech at old prices is nothing new. Many manufactures heavily discount old tech and introduce the new tech at the price points that were vacated. Apple does it. Korg does it. Why not Roland? Because we let them get away with this crap. We should be charged a fair price for the technology (ie a dedicated drum module with all of the features of say a 5080, BUT halved shouldn't cost as much or more than a 5080 just because their LAST drum module which was nowhere close costs $1400).

            Yes, compared to the keyboard market we are small, but are we insignificant? Could the TD-10 have been lowered in price to fill the mid-market and the time, energy, and money spent in making the TD-8 and TD-6 been used to develop the above mentioned module for the pro players at a similar cost to the present TD-10/TDW-1 combo price point? If you not only think that this could of happened but SHOULD have then let's let Roland know.

            Also, I would like to say that I too would buy into a smaller company who made this type of functionality for a reasonable price.

            P.S. I am very impressed with the forum members who have responded to this thread. You have expressed your views in a mature fashion, and believe me that is not the norm on the 'net. I am glad I found this site. Now let's get cracking on the Roland communiques!! :-)


            • #7
              what i find to be the biggest shame is that a smaller player hasn't yet found the capability to unseat roland in the e-drum space ... or at least give thema run for their money. lord knows it would not be that difficult to do.

              i'm optimistic, though, that as newer and better electronic drum products come available the size of the market will continue to increase and will pave the way for more opportunity and invention. a whole universe of acoustic drummers and more is their oyster, and it's clear that many more people are interested in v-drums today then were a decade ago.


              • #8
                Originally posted by digitsone:
                what i find to be the biggest shame is that a smaller player hasn't yet found the capability to unseat roland in the e-drum space ... or at least give thema run for their money.

                ..... shhh, maybe someone is...

                Outboard gear: Focusrite Compounder, Drawmer MX-30, BBE-482, Aphex C-104, Behringer T1951 4-Band Parametric Tube EQ, Lexicon MPX1, Mackie 1402-VLZ, (Crown K2 amp & Cerwin Vega V-253 speakers = 1600 watts @ 4 ohms continues power, peak at 3000 watts) and Sony MDR-V700DJ headphones.


                • #9
                  Seems like a revamped Space Muffins 0.0 module could be a contender...

                  And yes, I do wonder what type of module Hart could come up with if he so desired to go down that path...
                  E-drums: TD-20, RT-5S triggers on snare/toms, KD-7s, VH12, CY-14Cs, CY-15R, Pintech splash.
                  A-drums: Zickos (amber) w/ all Zildjians.


                  • #10
                    I said it before, and I'll say it again: This has been the most enjoyable forum that I have ever been on...no needless flaming...just a mature sharing of opinions.

                    I spoke to a Roland tech support guy. He informed me that Roland has NO method by which consumers can voice their opinions, desires, complaints (surprise, surprise <heavy sarcasm with a a Gomer Pyle twist). He went on to say that ALL of the decision making is made in Japan, and the American arm is basically distribiution and support only. He actually agreed with me when I gave a detailed feature to price comparison of their e-percussion products to their keyboard and recording products and said that such concerns had been expressed internally at Roland USA; nevertheless, he said unless the parent company decides to make a move, things will always be this way.

                    I think this is pretty sad, personally. After taking a look at Roland's current product offerings, I see nothing BUT recycling and repackaging of their technolgy. Take a look at their keyboard products and notice how ALL of them say "using the acclaimed sound engine of our flagship XV5080...", even though all of the post 5080 lot has been scaled back to 64-voices and less expansion slots and I/O. They are making new cases, and removing features (ie sample playback) but the guts are the same. Why aren't they doing the same for the drum module? Because they obviously don't see a need.

                    So what are you guys doing to get your pro level edrum fix? What gear are you using? How do you combat the timing delay from triggering through MIDI for those who go that route? Do you guys even feel that delay? I sure did when I tried it through my computer a few years back. Do you just use your interface to get your playing recorded into a sequencer and then swap the sounds after the fact? Let's share the info, and show those cats overseas that we will get creative if we have to, but we won't settle for less when it comes to our (expensive) products.