Gear Reviews

V-drums V-Pro Set

Electronic Drums



The winner of numerous product awards, including the 1998 TEC Award for “Outstanding Technical Achievement for Musical Instrument Technology,” V-drums ranked first among all the products shown at the NAMM International Music Market, according Music and Sound Retailer’s who named the instrument “Product of the Year.”

At just over a year old, the V-drums are consistently used by the likes of premier drummer Ricky Lawson, Omar Hakim (most recently, while performing with Madonna, as she opened up the 1998 Grammy ceremonies, and last year’s MTV awards), and renowned L.A. session player John “J.R.” Robinson.

Retailing at $4,995, V-drums proudly boasts of having “no competition” in this field. Most extraordinary to consumers is that V-drums sound and, when struck, feel like authentic acoustic drums. The patented mesh-head pads can be adjusted for varied tension, and have an electronic sensor sensitive enough to detect taps as light as brush sweeps, unlike many of their other synth action-oriented counterparts made of gum rubber. Therefore, drummers never have to compromise their playing technique or expressiveness.

While the mesh-heads themselves are silent, allowing for wee hours practice time with virtually no disturbance once headphones are installed, the accompanying percussion sound module with volume control resonates over 600 drum sounds, storing in its memory some 50 drum kits, and 54 melody instruments, including piano, bass, and guitar (compare keyboard patches). Its built-in programmable sequencer and backing sequences allow for playing along to different sounds and can be used for direct hard disk recording.

Within the 600 drum sounds, the icon-based system allows for any select drum of choice (concert bass drum, timpani, snare drum, steel drum, etc.); depth adjustment (e.g. one-inch deep drum, vs. a 20-inch deep drum); muffling; and environment manipulation, such as drum sounds as heard in the bathroom, theater, or garage, etc. Further, within that exclusive environment, the walls of the room can be altered from plaster, to wood or glass, etc.

In short, due to the number of sounds at their disposal, V-drums have all the advantages of the electronic medium, giving drummers the same advantages and opportunities that other musical groups have long enjoyed. What’s more, one doesn’t need a studio to perform these functions in –merely a place to sit and a pair of drumsticks.

Roland Corp. US, 7200 Dominion Circle, Los Angeles, California 90040-3696;

Recently on Ink 19...