Roland TD-4KP Review

Roland’s TD-4KP is an electronic drum set which is considered to be above the basic entry level kits on the market today. It’s not the cheapest kit out there and if you’re really restricted by your budget or a buying for a youngster, then perhaps you should take a look at the either the TD-1K or the TD-1KV models, also by Roland.

On this page we will look at the features that make this kit a step above the others and also point out some of the flaws that will be of interest to anyone looking to invest in such a drum set. So, is it worth the money? Well, let’s get into the details.

Who should buy the Roland TD-4KP?

The target market for this kit is undoubtedly teenagers with a new found passion for the drums. The TD-4KP offers a compact and quiet alternative a real acoustic drum kit. It won’t break the bank either, so that will suit a lot of parents.

The Roland TD-4KP

The Roland TD-4KP

Drums, Pads and Other Hardware

First impressions of the TD-4KP are that of a very compact and streamlined drum kit. Roland inform us that the ‘P’ in 4KP actually stands for ‘powerful, playable and portable’. Once you have set up the drum rack and mounted the cymbals, it’s clear to see that it covers an extremely small surface area.

In addition to the smaller sized frame, it’s also noticeably light in weight. In fact, the whole kit comes in at around 27lbs which is an astonishing achievement really. This is also great news if you plan on using the kit in situations where it will be moved around a lot, such as to and from live gigs.

The Roland TD-4KP Folded

The Roland TD-4KP Folded

This kit is a five-piece drum set with a snare drum, three toms, a bass drum, hi-hat, crash and ride cymbal. The snare and tom pads on the TD-4KP are all rubber with plastic fittings. The stick response is that typical hard rubber feel that you get with some practice pads.

In this standard TD-4KP, the snare pad is identical to the other three tom pads. Fitting the pads to the rack is plain and simple, and they are moderately adjustable. You should be able to find a setting to suit most builds from kids to adults.

Unlike some higher-end V-Drum pads, there are no rims here, which does take away from the realism a tad.

One significant downside is that the noise generated by the pads themselves is quite loud and this could potentially be an issue if you have neighbors or family friends close by in your living environs.

Each drum pad has what Roland calls a ‘super-natural’ feel. Given the technical limitations of the pads, it is impressive what Roland have managed to do here. Playing at different velocities gives an audible variety of dynamic responses. When applied to the ride cymbal, for example, louder strokes will trigger the ride bell. Playing closer to the edge of the cymbal pad will produce more of a crashy sound. This is possible due to the dual-zoned nature of each cymbal.

In most cases, the drum that gets the most attention from the drummer is the snare. It’s no surprise so that many drummers choose to upgrade their pads for one of the next in line options. Gladly, Roland have made the TD-4KP expandable in this regard, so you can swap out certain parts which you feel are inferior. The snare pad can be replaced with the slightly better PD-8 pad. The PD-8 is also a rubber pad but it is not as noisy as the pads on the stock TD-4KP.

Alternatively, you can opt for either the PDX-6 or the PDX-8 Roland pads which will work with the TD-4 module. These two pads differ in size in that the PDX-6 is 8 inches diameter and the PDX-8 is 10 inches in diameter. Being mesh head drum pads, they offer much less noise and a more natural feel. There is also a much more sensitive trigger response from these pads, which will also be an incentive to upgrade.

But then again, if you are willing to spend more upgrade to a mesh snare drum, then maybe you should take a look at the other kits close to that price range. For example, Roland’s TD-11K comes as standard with a mesh snare head out of the box.

Next we move onto the bass drum. Unlike what they did in the TD-1 series, Roland have designed the bass drum here to be played with an actual, physical bass drum pedal. Gone is the free-floating pedal trigger and in comes an actual pad. This pad is designed to be compatible with any standard bass drum pedal out there on the market.

One downside though is that it is not compatible with any double bass drum pedals. Bad news, if you like your double kicks.

But wait, there’s still hope. Like the snare on the TD-4KP, the bass drum pad can also be upgraded to another of Roland’s pads such as the KD-9. This will provide for the greater surface area required to fit two beaters.

The bass drum pad is connected to one of the drum rack legs. This is a neat solution by Roland and saves even more space in the room. Also if you need to set your kit up in a left-handed style, you can easily shift the pad onto the other side. The kit does produce a bit of wobble when played with sticks or with the bass drum pedal but, don’t worry, it’s sturdy enough to remain in place.

The hi-hat supplied is in the mold of the typical entry-level hi-hat design. It’s a free-floating hi-hat pedal that is connected by a cable to the TD-4 drum module. There’s no hi-hat stand and there is no open and close movement that is typical with a hi-hat top cymbal.

The feel of the pedal is comfortable but nowhere near a real one. Also it doesn’t have the same sense of stability that you tend to get from a proper actual hi-hat stand. Roland have included some extra features such as hi-hat splashing with the heel of the foot which can work as a novelty device.

In most electronic drum kits, the real test is the hi-hat, so it’s no surprise that the TD-4KP struggles here. For beginners or those who are relatively new to drumming, this might not be a big issue. But for established drummers, used to the intricacies and nuances of acoustic hi-hat playing, it’s hard not to be slightly disappointed. The pedal can of course be reassigned to any selection of samples so if you like to play left foot clave then this can be easily accommodated.

The overall playability of the TD-4KP is not amazing. It’s quite clunky in response and quite noisy when played at any volume. Ideally, this is not what you want in a V-Drum set-up.

This drum set does not come with certain essentials such as a bass drum pedal or drum throne. You will have to supply your own here. The fact that Roland have chosen to forego such inclusions shows what the makers and designers had in mind when they conceived of the TD-4KP. This is a drum kit that appeals to the inner city musician who takes public transport everywhere and is always on call. You could in theory wake up, have a practice session, fold up your kit, take the bus to the studio for more playing, fold the kit up and head to a gig that evening. It’s a nice idea by Roland and will surely be music to many drummers’ ears. Where the drum set falls down though is in playability and sound quality. The sounds are just not very good and ultimately that resigns this product to a convenient practice tool.


Moving onto the TD-4 drum module, we find it has some novel features. As well as the 25 drum kits included on the module, you also get the capabilities to save your own.

One strength of the TD-4 brain is that it offers a multitude of different options to customise your own drum kit sounds. You can alter sounds in a variety of ways, from pitch to sample length, and even introduce a bit of muffling if you want a tighter drum sound.

Another feature of the module is the ability to add effect such as reverb to each drum kit. This can vastly change the overall sound of the drum kits on offer – sometimes for the better, other times for the worse.

The kits on the TD-4 are varied and cover most styles from the usual Rock and Pop acoustic offerings to the more experimental digital styles like Techno.

Take a listen to the TD-4KP sounds here:

Overall, the sounds that come with the TD-4KP will satisfy most players but they do tend to grow old. There just isn’t the quality you’d associate with mid to professional level electronic drum sets. Again if you want to upgrade here, you can purchase the superior TD-11 drum module from Roland and it will hook up and play just fine with the current pads and cymbals.

Notable Features

Included in this kit’s module is both a quick record function and a coach function. The quick record allows you to record your playing, note for note, at the touch of a button. The coach function is a collection of exercises produced by Roland to improve your playing and increase your timing. Such exercises use various methods such as metronome training and accuracy to give instant feedback as to how you are doing.

As is typical with most mid-range electronic drum kits, you can hook up the TD-4KP to your home computer or laptop. It’s fully compatible with Mac and PC and has a variety of connection options.

There’s MIDI through USB should you wish to capture the raw data. Or you can take an audio output straight from the TD-4 module and record that way instead. It works with all the major digital audio workstations (DAWs) out there and installation is quick and easy.

The TD-4KP answers the prayers of drummers who have long been wishing for a small yet functional electronic drum kit. In this respect, the TD-4KP works wonders. Being so lightweight, and with the ability to fold up for storage in nothing bigger than a closet means that this drum set will be popular for many out there.

It even fits into a specially designed carry case designed by Roland, should you wish to fork out the extra cash. Certainly if you’re a drummer who is constantly on the move and you want an adequate solution that will allow you to play almost anywhere and at any time, then this kit may be what you’re looking for.


The main selling point of the TD-4KP is that it’s both compact and light. It’s easily to setup and fold away and this will save room in many a bedroom.


Expanding the TD-4KP is something that most players will feel the need to do at some stage. Unfortunately this means more spending and a higher overall cost, which may mean you’d be better looking at other kits such as the TD-11K in the long run.

Other Kits You Might Consider Instead

Take a look at the Alesis DM Lite for a very competitive alternative to the TD-4KP. It’s considerably less expensive than the TD-4KP new and is great value for money. It’s slightly larger than the TD-4KP but holds up in build and sound.

The Bottom Line

With the TD-4KP, Roland have created an electronic drum kit that is perhaps the most lightweight full size kit ever produced.

It has some neat features built into the TD-4 drum brain that will aid and assist budding drummers on their journey to stardom. The quick record and playback options act as an invaluable feature to capture new beats and solos that might otherwise be lost.

The coach function is well designed by Roland and has some solid exercises that focus on the fundamental aspects of what is important in drumming.

Taking the sound bank into account it maybe a step short of what is required for real professional drummers to make a gig and secure that gig. That said, the fact that it is so easily folded away will please many.

On top of that the noise output from this drum set is not even close to the decibels emitted from a regular acoustic drum kit and that will be a godsend to many parents and neighbors with wannabe drum heroes about.

On top of that the noise output from this drum set is not even close to the decibels emitted from a regular acoustic drum kit and that will be a godsend to many parents and neighbors with wannabe drum heroes about.

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