What’s the difference Roland TD-11 and TD-15 electronic drum kits?


Hypothetically, let’s say you’re a planet-straddling, snakeskin-booted, Ray-Banned rock god who wants it all and wants it now. Choosing your Roland V-Drums kit is a no-brainer. It’s got to be a gleaming Roland V-Pro Series TD-30: the holy grail of electronic kits, delivering infinite tone, playing like a dream and easily assembled by your tech while you watch from the Wembley soundboard.

TD11 vs TD15Contributed by Roland UK Team

But now let’s say you’re a deadly serious semi-pro, or a working musician with one anxious eye on the budget. You’ve paid your dues, pounded the circuit and graduated through a slew of old-school wood-and-skin drumkits that just weren’t capturing the sound in your head. You want a kit that won’t end up mothballed in the attic, lets you channel everyone from Bonham to Cobham, offers forensic tone-tweaking, hones your chops, and hops seamlessly between jams, gigs, recording and practise sessions.

If that sounds like you, friend, then pull up a drum stool. We can’t all be rock icons, but the Roland V-Drums range doesn’t do elitism, and in 2013, the razor-edge technology of the flagship TD-30 filters into two lower price points, in the form of the V-Tour Series TD-15 and V-Compact Series TD-11. Here’s a rundown to help you decide which one to get onto your riser.

What’s the difference between models?

The TD-11 is available in two variants. First up is the more economical TD-11K, featuring 8” rubber tom pads, a dual-trigger mesh V-Pad snare and CY-8 dual-trigger cymbals with choke capability.

The TD-11KV raises that spec with all dual-trigger mesh-head V-Pads, alongside two dedicated V-Cymbals in the crash and ride positions.

Likewise, the TD-15 also has two incarnations, with the TD-15K using all-mesh PDX-Series V-Pads and dedicated V-Cymbals, while the TD-15KV adds the VH-11 V-Hi-Hat, fitted to an acoustic hi-hat stand for truly natural performance. (Hi-hat stand is not supplied).

Across the board, new sensing technology powered by Roland’s SuperNATURAL ‘Behaviour Modelling’, means the TD-15 and TD-11 play like ‘real’ drumkits, not like science projects.

Check out our guide to V-Drums SuperNATURAL technology and how it works.

TD-11 vs TD-15 Module

While both the TD-11 and TD-15 modules may share looks and similar features, the TD-15 has few aces up its sleeve;

  • More instruments and kits
  • Built-in FX processor
  • Kit Chain function
  • Quick Edit function
  •  Illumination Ring with click sync
  • More inputs for additional pads/triggers

TD-11 Module

TD-15 Module

SuperNATURAL Technology? Yes Yes
Number of instruments 196 500
Number of kits 50 (25 Kits/25 User kits) 100 (50 Kits/50 User kits)
Kit chain function No Yes
Instrument Editing Parameters Head Tuning, Muffling, Snare Buzz, Snare Strainer, Tone Colour, Volume, Pan Head Tuning, Muffling, Snare Buzz, Snare Strainer, Tone Colour, Volume, Pan
Quick edit feature (Tuning, Muffling, Snare strainer) No Yes
Ambience and Effects Ambience (10 types), 4-band equaliser Ambience (10 types), 4-band equaliser
On board ‘FX’ engine No Yes (10 multi-FX such as compression, saturator, distortion and more)
Song player with internal songs Yes (38 installed + 14 on supplied CD room) Yes (38 installed + 23 on CD)
Internal click (metronome) Yes Yes
Route click track through headphones only? No Yes
Internal coach and timing check Yes (Time Check, Quiet Count and Warm Up’s) Yes (Time Check, Quiet Count and Warm Up’s)
Quick Record function Yes Yes
USB Memory back up? Yes Yes
USB Song player (.wav/.mp3 files) Yes (.wav/.mp3 files) Yes (.wav/.mp3 files)
USB Wireless Connectivity Yes Yes
USB Audio recording Yes (Stereo L/R) Yes (Stereo L/R)
MIDI In/out Out Out
Number of Auxiliary Trigger Inputs 1 2
Auxiliary ‘Mix In’ Input Yes (3.5mm Jack) Yes (3.5mm Jack)
Illumination Ring with click sync No Yes

Is the TD-11 or TD-15 the right kit for me?

The TD-11 is amongst the most affordable kits in the V-Drums range, while the TD-15 justifies its higher price point with a fistful of additional features for the gigging drummer – but both kits share a common concept and many of the same killer features. Powered by the game-changing SuperNATURAL technology unveiled by Roland in 2012, the TD-11 and TD-15 are a playground for tone junkies, with a drum sound module (aka ‘brain’) that offers a library of expressive sounds and kit models, simulating the tone, touch and dynamics of history’s greatest drums in minute detail.

Sound possibilities with the TD-11 and TD-15 modules

You’d never play a drumkit straight out of the box, and accordingly, both the TD-11 and TD-15 offer infinite scope for tweaking, with players free to tailor parameters from pitch and decay to snare tension, swap in a virtual maple snare or set the virtual room ambience anywhere between bathroom and stadium. On this front, the TD-15 raises the spec sheet over the TD-11 with a Quick Edit feature for on-the-fly adjustment, alongside deeper tone-shaping offered by the onboard FX engine (allowing compression, saturator, distortion and more).

Perfect your drum playing

Doubling as your own live-in drum tutor, both the TD-11 and TD-15 include the Coach exercise programme for building chops and polishing skills, plus the Quick Rec/Quick Play feature that allows instant recording, playback and self-assessment. And when the band aren’t around, you can play along with a range of professionally recorded backing songs, using the USB port for data backup and playback of your favourite MP3/WAV files. Here, the TD-15 offers more onboard songs, and also features an Illumination Ring on the module, syncing with the click for a visual element while playing live, or responding dynamically to the attack of your beats.

Bolstered by the V-Tour Series TD-15 and V-Compact Series TD-11, the V-Drums range has something for everyone. Decide on your needs, consider your budget – then hit your local dealer and give ’em some stick.

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Created by Roland V-Drums specialist Simon Ayton, these patches were designed using the internal factory sounds and many of the techniques covered in the TD-50 guide. Enjoy exploring the possibilities!