If you read my blog articles you might know that I am a big Roland V-drums fan and I pretty much like everything Roland made in terms of electronic drums. Except one little detail: The sounds.
Roland modules do still generate an unrealistic synthesizer 80’s sound. The only way to fully enjoy Roland V-drum kits and their awesome functionalities, is chaining the module to a computer to use it with drum sample software like EZdrummer2.
That means you have to switch on your laptop every time you want to play. This can be very annoying in an everyday situation where you really only want to play for 5 minutes.
The alternative is either coping with the bad Roland sounds, or using a 2 Box Module. The problem with the 2Box Drumit5 is: It is orange… (Just a joke!). The 2 box module provides real drum sounds, but hihat and ride cymbal are not as realistic as the Roland VH-11/13 and the known 3 way ride (CY-12/15R) in combination with a V-drums module. So you loose the play feel.
The drum module that offers a good playing feel, looks good and has realistic sounds all in one is simply not existing. Until now…
The ATV Cooperation is founded by Mr. Ikutaro Kakehashi the former founder of Roland, who believes that new and better electronic musical instruments need to be created for the future. This company invented a revolutionary electronic drum module called: aD5.
This module is compatible with not only all Roland kits/pads, but any kind of trigger pad from major manufactures. I scent there is Roland like technology inside the module, since it supports the 3 way ride and 2 zone crashes, which is a known feature from several V-drums kits too. The big revolutionary difference is the possibility to use real drum sample sounds, directly triggered by the module. It seems like you can store and upload your own drum samples from whatever database to the SD card of the aD5.
So you can play better sounding kits, similar to EZdrummer2, with the module only. No PC is required, there is no latency and the sounds are balanced with your gear.
How many pads can be connected?
- TOM 1,2,3
- HI-HAT + CONTROL
- RIDE (3 Zones)
- AUX 1 (2nd Crash)
- AUX 2 (4th Tom or Splash)
That shows the aD5 is made for standard middle class setups. All pads except Aux 1/2 are connected via multi-connector (similar to Roland TD-11, 25). MP3 player input, headphone out, an additional stereo out are standard outputs known from almost all electronic drum modules.
The USB connector ensures the usability as Midi converter, in case you want to connect this module to a PC and trigger Superior Drummer 2.0 for example to record Midi. The module does not have a Midi out, which would be unnecessary anyway. Who uses a Midi cable if there is a USB? The really interesting out/input is the LAN connector.
I am not entirely sure, but I think that this connector can be used to link 2 aD5 modules. In case you want to build a huge metal drum kit with 2 brains and 20 pads. But this is only me assuming this function, it is only a guess.
What I also like about the aD5 itself, is the look. Finally a good looking e-drum module with an aluminium housing and no strange children colors. This module is compact and its clean design makes it fit every drum set. Well done ATV!
The costs of the ATV aD5 will be 815€ ex. VAT according to ATV Europe.
Some questions are still unrevealed and will make me stay awake at night:
- Does the module support positional sensing?
- Is the LAN connector there to chain 2 of them together?
- Can I trigger 2 zones at the tom pads?
- Can I use my own drum samples?
Please keep in mind that this article is not a review. It is only speculative and opinion based. I have not tested this module so far.