If you’ve been considering diving into the world of hybrid drumming but thought it cost more than it was worth, think again. Roland has released the TM-1 (I assume TM stands for Trigger Module) which gets you started for under $200.
Pair the Roland TM-1 with any of their RT series triggers or use the TM-1 with any compatible Roland trigger pad to add a whole new range of sounds to your acoustic drum kit.
The TM-1 is a floor module with two switches that you control with your foot, similar to what many guitarists use.
What’s Built into the TM-1?
There are 30 pre-loaded sounds and 15 kits already inside the TM-1. You can add up to 30 more sounds using the (Windows or Mac) software that works with the module.
You get a USB cable (type B) to connect the module to your computer for editing sounds.
All this is programmed into the unit that weighs about 1.25 pounds and measures roughly 6 inches wide by 3.75 inches wide by almost 2.5 inches high.
The TM-1 is battery-powered (battery included), but you can also get a DC adapter separately.
Total Control of the TM-1 Is Yours
As you might expect, Roland gives you all the control of your sounds that you could possibly want. Knobs on the top of the module include Sensitivity (SENS), Pitch, Decay, and Level.
You get switches for changing kits, muting, and (on the back) selecting power source. There is also a button for selecting the various modes within the unit.
Also on the back side, besides stereo headphones, output, USB, and DC jacks, there are 2 trigger input jacks. You can set these to either mono or stereo.
How Do I Get Started?
The TM-1 is really quite simple to setup, but if you want help, Roland has a series of excellent videos that shows you exactly what connects where. They also show you the basics of using the built-in software and how to work with the Editor on your computer.
As of this writing, major online retailers are accepting pre-orders for the Roland TM-1, but by the time you actually read this, they will probably have them in stock.
So if you are an acoustic drummer who has been thinking of going hybrid, I think you should seriously consider ordering a Roland TM-1 today.