Digital hi-hat and other goodies

Wednesday, 14 April 2021 8:11 am

It’s been four and a half years since Roland launched the TD-50 module with its redundant USB input.

Well, that USB slot is no longer just a phone charge source! At last, there’s a digital hi-hat to accompany the digital snare and ride.

The VH-14D is an inch bigger than the analogue hi-hat it replaces, but also boasts a thinner profile, greatly improved sensitivity and positional sensing to detect if you’re playing the left or right hand side of the cymbal.

Like the CY-18D, it also features the touch mute, as opposed to the edge pinch.

The long-awaited hi-hat is one of a number of new products just announced. Among them is a new TD-50X module already optimised for the digital hi-hat. But owners of the old TD-50 (and the TD-27, for that matter) won’t miss out as there will be software updates that unleash the new digital capability.

The updates will also deliver the new sounds and new editing functions found in the X module.

But wait, there’s more …

When Roland launched the VAD line of acoustic-shelled e-drums, many questioned why it was powered by the mid-range TD-27 module rather than the flagship TD-50. Clearly, there was an economic motivation behind that decision – saving a few bucks to bring down the overall cost of the kits. But it’s clear from the strong sales that price was not big deal, so Roland has now paired acoustic shells with TD-50X brains in the new flagship VAD-706.

Not only does the new top-of-the-line kit get the top module, it also gets a shell makeover, now boasting all maple construction (eight plies) and a painted finish – as opposed to the wrapped six-ply poplar shells of the lower range shells.

And, as many requested when VAD made its debut, there’s not just one finish. In fact, buyers can choose from clear or three colours – black, red and blue.

 digitalDrummer will include a review of the new kit and the module updates in a future edition, but on paper, it looks like the world’s biggest e-drum company has ticked all the boxes with the new products.