All drummers play drums differently. Some play soft, others play hard. Using different dynamic levels while playing can not only distinguish a drummer’s style, but also has an immediate and audible result on the sound that is produced. Adjusting the sensitivity of electronic drum pads allows you to customize them to fit your particular playing style. For example, if you’re mainly a soft player, then you may want to increase the sensitivity, so the lighter taps trigger more easily. The reverse is also true, by lowering the value you will decrease the sensitivity of the pad. Adjusting the sensitivity is not the same as adjusting the head tension, but rather how the sound module receives and translates information from the pads. In other words, increasing the sensitivity will make softer strokes louder, and decreasing the sensitivity will require a stronger stroke to produce accurate triggering from the pads. Adjusting pad sensitivity is a feature on the TD-15 and other Roland Drum and Percussion Sound Modules.
How is Adjusting Head Tension Different?
Adjusting the sensitivity raises and lowers the response of the pad. Adjusting the head tension is done to adjust the “feel,”and does not affect the sensitivity. With acoustic drum heads, larger heads tend to be less bouncy because they are typically tensioned looser compared to smaller heads. Adjusting the head tension lets you create a more natural feel, as you can have some heads tighter than others. For example, you could have the tension of the first two toms set a bit tighter than the lower floor toms. Some V-Drums users claim that performing fast press rolls is easier on the mesh pads compared to playing on acoustic drums. Also by adjusting the tension on a lower tom pad so it is looser, gives that pad more of the feel of larger acoustic drum , like a 16″ or 18″ floor tom for example. These subtle yet important adjustments do in fact influence the way you will play, as the pads will react similar to their acoustic counterparts.
TD-15 vs. Acoustic Drums…
While you can adjust the tension on an acoustic head, doing so also affects the tuning of the head (of course). With the TD-15, the tuning of the drums is done inside the TD-15 module. Physically adjusting the head tension with a standard drum key on an electronic pad has no affect on the tuning or pitch of the sound assigned to the pad.
TD-15K vs. the TD-15KV…
The TD-15K and TD-15KV V-Tour Series drum sets add professional features to this range of the V-Drums family. Both sets feature 500 expressive sounds and 100 internal kits, plus the SuperNATURAL powered TD-15 Drum Sound Module adds a Quick Edit function to instantly access sound-editing parameters, a separate headphone volume knob, two additional trigger inputs for adding more pads or cymbals, and more. The metronome can even be routed to headphones only, making it ideal for on-stage use. Both kit models are also mounted on the rugged MDS-9V stand and include dual-trigger mesh pads, but the TD-15KV uses slightly larger diameter mesh pads and includes the expressive VH-11 V-Hi-Hat that mounts on a standard acoustic hi-hat stand.
Adjusting the Pad Sensitivity on the TD-15 Step-by-Step:
The sensitivity of each pad can be adjusted in the TD-15 as desired. Increasing the sensitivity value for a pad will make the pad more sensitive to lighter hits. Lowering the sensitivity will decrease how sensitive the pad is when it is hit.
- Press the MENU button.
- Press the cursor down button until the “SYSTEM” icon shows in the display.
- Press the function 3 (F3) button (SYSTEM).
- Press the cursor up / down buttons to select “Pad Settings.”
- Press F3 (ENTER).
- Press F2 (BASIC).
- Hit the pad that you’d like to adjust the sensitivity for.
- Turn the dial to adjust the sensitivity (1-32).
- Repeat Steps 7 and 8 for any remaining pads if desired.
- When you’re finished, press EXIT. The new settings are saved automatically.