Roland electrifies Taiko

Friday, 7 February 2020 2:34 pm

They did it with the cajon, now Roland has turned to a traditional Japanese percussion instrument, launching the TAIKO-1 Electronic Taiko Percussion, a portable electronic taiko drum with a versatile range of Japanese percussion sounds.

As a Japanese company, Roland has always maintained a strong desire to contribute to its country’s historic taiko culture by helping bring the dedication and artistry of traditional Japanese music to a wider audience, the company says in a statement.

TAIKO-1 infuses the classic taiko experience with the benefits of modern music technology, making playing Japanese percussion more fun and accessible than ever before.

Over a million people in Japan play the taiko, and the instrument’s popularity is spreading around the globe. However, the giant sound, large physical size, and regular maintenance needs of taiko drums make them impossible for many people to play and learn. Professional taiko performers face challenges as well, as the drums are hard to carry, costly to ship, and difficult to amplify in some venues.

The new product has been developed in co-operation with Kodo, Japan’s world-renowned taiko performing arts group

TAIKO-1’s physical design is based on the katsugi okedo daiko, a popular taiko drum carried with a sling over the shoulder. But the modern digital sound engine expands the instrument’s range much further, providing a large array of taiko percussion sounds at the touch of a button, plus the ability to import user WAV sounds via USB.

The new instrument is fitted with mesh heads and dual-zone trigger technology with positional sensing, providing wide tonal range and full dynamic response.

The Roland TAIKO-1 is expected to be available in July 2020 for $1,500.