Roland has announced the TAIKO-1 Electronic Taiko Percussion, a portable electronic taiko drum with a versatile range of Japanese percussion sounds.
As a Japanese company, Roland has always maintained a strong desire to contribute to its country’s historic taiko culture by helping bring the dedication and artistry of traditional Japanese music to a wider audience.
Born and made in Japan, the groundbreaking TAIKO-1 infuses the classic taiko experience with the benefits of modern music technology, making playing Japanese percussion more fun and accessible than ever before. Completed to coincide with the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Roland is proud to introduce TAIKO-1 and share their passion for Japanese drums with the world.
Japan’s taiko drumming tradition has been deeply woven into the country’s culture since ancient times. Over a million people in Japan play the taiko, and the instrument’s popularity is spreading around the globe.
However, the giant sound, large physical size, and regular maintenance needs of taiko drums make them impossible for many people to play and learn. Professional taiko performers face challenges as well, as the drums are hard to carry, costly to ship, and difficult to amplify in some venues.
In 2017, Roland partnered with Kodo, Japan’s world-renowned taiko performing arts group, with a vision to free taiko players from these obstacles and expand the creative possibilities of taiko music. Backed by decades of development knowledge behind leading products like V-Drums and the ELCajon EC-10, TAIKO-1 brings the power and convenience of Roland electronic percussion to taiko enthusiasts everywhere.
TAIKO-1’s physical design is based on the katsugi okedo daiko, a popular taiko drum carried with a sling over the shoulder. But the modern digital sound engine expands the instrument’s range much further, providing a large array of taiko percussion sounds at the touch of a button, plus the ability to import user WAV sounds via USB. Roland’s legendary mesh heads deliver authentic playability, with dual-zone trigger technology and positional sensing providing wide tonal range and full dynamic response.
TAIKO-1’s mesh heads also offer acoustically quiet performance for practicing anytime and anywhere, something that’s impossible with a traditional taiko drum. Users can plug in headphones and enjoy big, dynamic taiko tones with barely a whisper heard by family members and neighbors.
Traditional ji-uchi backing patterns are available for timing practice and performance accompaniment, while built-in Bluetooth allows users to stream backing music and lesson content wirelessly from a smartphone.
TAIKO-1 can be quickly disassembled, making it easy to carry in a small vehicle or on public transportation. Users can play for up to five hours on eight AA rechargeable Ni-MH batteries, with no need to fuss with external power.
And by connecting TAIKO-1’s audio output to a wireless system such as the BOSS WL series, they can roam the stage with no cables to get in the way.
The Roland TAIKO-1 is expected to be available in July 2020 for $1,500 USD.
More information: Roland