Expanding the Roland TD-11

Expanding an entry-level electronic drum kit is hard, but not impossible using creative thinking. In a series of articles I will describe how to convert a Roland TD-11 kit into a Neil Peart sized kit.

I’m a hobby drummer since several years, having owned three different kits. My first kit was a used Pearl Mapex with a total of 6 toms but only 1 cymbal. It became clear, that the kit was way too big for my abilities, and that a single cymbal wasn’t as fun as my school’s kit that had only 2 toms but three cymbals.

A few years later I bought a TAMA Swingstar 3-tom kit, which I immediately expanded with a second cymbal.TAMA Swingstar

With a move pending from a house to a condo, I recently replaced it with an electronic Roland kit.

I wanted to be able to expand the kit, but didn’t have the €7.000 for a TD-30KV V-Drum Pro Set. So I had to compromise and read up on the alternatives. Eventually, I settled for a TD-11K for €1.000. Quite far from my dream kit, but realistic.

So, what about extensions? The TD-11 came with 3 small rubber tom pads, and two rubber cymbals. The only mesh pad was the snare drum. I had kept my old Pearl double kick pedal and drum throne, which were the only items missing from the kit. Having downloaded the manuals for the kit beforehand, I knew it had an unused crash 2 input that could be used used for a third cymbal or fourth pad.

Quite immediately, I added a dedicated 3-zone CY-13R Ride cymbal and a MDY-25 boom, using the original ride cymbal as a secondary crash in the crash 2 input.

My kit now consisted ofRoland TD-11K with CY-13R

  • 3 Toms: high, mid, low
  • left Crash cymbal
  • right Crash cymbal
  • Ride cymbal supporting bell, bow and edge trigging

At this point, the kit was maxed out in terms of inputs. But, there are some hidden gems in the TD-11 module. In the next article, I’ll show how to add a cowbell using nothing but changing the configuration of the pads. It is even possible to add more cymbals and tom pads than there are inputs!

More reading:

33 Comments

  1. Evert

    Hi Fredrik,

    Interesting post 🙂 I bought my own TD-11K a few weeks ago and I’m actually pleasantly surprised with the possibilities.
    I was wondering about the way you connect the CR-13R. To my understanding, it requires two cables to connect it to the TD-11 module, but from your explanation and from your picture I deduct that you have only connected one, right ?
    How do you get access to the three sensor zones with only one cable ?

    Evert

    Reply
    1. Fredrik Lundström (Post author)

      Hi,

      The TD-11K comes with the additional cable suitable for connection to the CR-13R, in order to use the 3-sensor zones. (And just in case, the CR-13R does actually come with one, too.)

      Reply
      1. Thomas

        Hi!

        Can you help me?

        Sorry for my bad english.

        but, and TD 11? This “3-sensor zone” cable exist?

        I have read in Roland website how to setup a CY-13R: I need connect the “RD” cable to the BOW/EDGE and the “CR2” cable to the BOW/BELL output….

        So, 2 cables for the CY-13R.

        My original kit comes with: 2x CY-8 and 1 x CY-5.

        If I get a CY-13R and use 2 cables…. One CY-8 will “remain” without cable?

        I must think a lot before buy a CY-13… In Brazil, 1 dólar = 4 reais!!!

        Reply
        1. Fredrik Lundström (Post author)

          The 3-sensor zone cable is included in the TD11 kit. It is labelled RDB, and is included in the snake cables. Thus, it won’t occupy the CRASH 2 input, so your “spare” CY8 can be connected to the CRASH 2 input. The CY-13R includes additional cables so you will get enough cables for your intended setup.

          Reply
  2. Larry

    Frederick, I just bought the td 11. I can’t find the article you reference about adding a third cymbal (right crash). Can you point me to the article or provide more information?
    Thanks

    Reply
    1. Fredrik Lundström (Post author)

      Hi, adding a third cymbal is trivial. There is an Crash 2 input on the TD-11, to which a crash can be connected using a standard male-male TRS cable (which is actually included in the package).

      Reply
  3. Larry

    Frederick, thanks. I ordered another cy-13r today. I have the Roland MDS-4v stand with my TD-11. It appears from the picture that is what you have as well. Can you please confirm that the MDY-25 is the right boom and it will work with the cy-13r on the MDS-4v stand? Thanks for all your help in getting me set up.

    Reply
    1. Fredrik Lundström (Post author)

      Hi,

      Yes, I have an MDY-25 as well. In fact, the pipe diameter of drum racks seems more or less standardized, so basically any clamp probably works.

      Reply
  4. Eric

    Fredrik

    Just bought the CY-13R. Gonna use it as the ride ofcourse. I put my CY-8 which was the ride before in the crash 2 output and the CY-13 is the ride now but i dont have 3 zones right now? The bell doesn’t work?!
    Can i use the RDB cable for the bell? Tell me how you did it? Tnx!

    Reply
    1. Fredrik Lundström (Post author)

      Hi!

      Yes, connect the RDB cable to the CY-13R. You also need to change the pad setting for the RD pad to CY-13R in the System/Pad Settings menu of the TD-11.

      Reply
      1. Eric

        Tnx!

        Reply
      2. Juan Ayala

        How can you change the Rd setting to Cy13 setting in the module TD11

        Reply
        1. Fredrik Lundström (Post author)

          In the System->Pad Settings menu.

          Reply
  5. Chris Trionfo

    Hi Fredrik,
    Great articles, thanks so much. I’m new to the TD-11, not very technically oriented, and the manual is not great. I just want to confirm the the Crash 2 input will accept either a second crash or a fourth drum pad. I’d like to add a 4th tom. If that is possible, does it need to be a PD-8A pad or something else. Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Fredrik Lundström (Post author)

      Yes, the Crash 2 can be used both as tom or crash on the TD-11. I use a combination of PD-8 and PD-8A pads on my TD-11. All currently available pads and cymbals except the VH-13 hi-hat works on the TD-11. There are some limitations, though: Rim shots are disabled when a mesh pad (PD-128S, PD-128, PD-108, PD-125BK, PD-105BK, PDX-100, PD-85, PDX-8 or PDX-6) is connected to a crash, ride, hi-hat or kick input. But: cymbal edge shots are possible for both PD-8 pad and cymbals on all inputs except the kick input.

      Reply
      1. Chris Trionfo

        Thank you very much!

        Reply
  6. Nick

    I must not be understanding correctly plus I have a little different issue. I have the TD-11 set but I just bought PDX6 mesh heads and was going to use the rubber pads as an extra tom and two extra cymbals. I thought that using a Y-cable in the crash 2 would play two different pads but can only get one to make sound. I assume from reading other posts and comments that I can’t use the rdb cable for the regular rubber pads. How would I go about getting sound to all 3? The y cable says ring (red) and tip (black) if that makes since to you.

    Reply
    1. Fredrik Lundström (Post author)

      Unfortunately, it is not possible to use a regular Y-splitter to connect two pads to one input. The cable must contain a resistor between the two of the inputs. I don’t remember the specifications from the top of my head, but I believe it’s supposed to be 10 kOhm (possibly, 100 kOhm) between tip and ring. I’ll have to find my old notes when time permits.

      Edit: I’ve found my notes: It is 100 kOhm. I’ve also written an article on how to create a drum splitter cable.

      Reply
      1. Nick

        I found that a a normal stereo to 2 mono is no good lol. Would you recommend using drum splitters stuff. It says it’s good for td11 but didn’t know if anyone had actually bought from them. I’m taking the other cables back and may order if they don’t have what I need.

        Reply
        1. Fredrik Lundström (Post author)

          I haven’t tried their cable, but my guess is they’ll work.

          Reply
  7. Brent Gibbs

    Hello,

    Just stumbled across this website. I own the TD11 and I am not technically advanced. Always used acoustic drums. I really enjoy practicing on this.. but not sure about some things. For the ride cymbal that comes with the set.. I want a “ride sound” “Edge sound” and “Bell” Or just a ride and bell sound on the same pad. How do I achieve that with what it came with? Its really frustrating me.

    Reply
    1. Fredrik Lundström (Post author)

      Hi, the included cymbal does not have a bell sensor, so it cannot be used to generate three distinct sounds. You will need a three-zone ride cymbal, such as the CY-15R or CY-13R.

      Reply
  8. David

    Just want to say thanks to you and this site.
    The information is invaluable.

    Tonight, I managed to add the CY-13R and move one of the CY-8s to Crash 2.

    I struggled a bit thinking that the CY-13R wasn’t working for the Bell input. After a while I found out that you need to hit it pretty hard. 😉

    Thanks for the info.

    Reply
    1. Fredrik Lundström (Post author)

      Thanks for the feedback!

      Reply
  9. Keith

    Hi, fredrik, could i check during the upgrade ofthe cy-13R crash with the MDY-25. do we still need to get the Roland CYM-10 Cymbal Parts Set for the upgrade?

    Or the parts already comes with the cymbal ?

    Reply
    1. Fredrik Lundström (Post author)

      No, you do not need the CYM-10. All you need is any kind of cymbal stand. The rest is included in the package.

      Reply
  10. Bruno Genaro

    Hello Fredrik,

    I have the Roland TD-11K. I noticed that this drum set already comes with the RDB cable that I’m not using.

    I bought a CY-12C (Crash) and plugged into the RDB but it does not work. If I tried other cables on the CY-12C works fine.

    My question is, should I plug-in the CY-12C into the RDB cable or should I buy a new cable and use the CY-12C on the CRASH2 input? Any ideas why my RDB cable doest not work?

    What are the differences between the RDB and CRASH2 input?

    Thanks

    Reply
    1. Fredrik Lundström (Post author)

      The RDB cable can only be used with a CY-13R or other ride-type cymbal pad. It is only used to enable the bell-part of the ride.

      You shall use the CRASH2 input instead, which can be used with any kind of cymbal pad. Although named CRASH2, that input can also be used with any kind of drum pad as well. Any stereo-type cable can be used if it wasn’t included in the package.

      Reply
  11. Laura

    This is wonderful info, thank you! A question for you- what is the name of the second cable, or a way I can identify it to buy it? I’m going to buy a cy-13r second-hand and it comes with the arm and mounting accessories, but I guess I need another cable in addition to the RD2 that’s already on my set. Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Fredrik Lundström (Post author)

      Hi and thanks for asking!

      The CY-13R is to be connected to the RD and RDB cables which are in the snake from the module.

      That means, that your old CY-8 that you used to connect to the RD cable, must be connected to the CRASH2 input instead.

      The CY-13R normally comes with two male-male stereo cables for connection to modules that don’t have a snake (i.e. older modules or high-end modules), so you should ask for them as well, thus you can use one of them in order to connect the CY-8 to the CRASH2 input. If you can’t get the cables from the seller, you can buy any suitable stereo cable at your favorite music store – BUT: one end should be angled, otherwise it may not fit. I would personally recommend a molded cable rather than a cable that can be disassembled.

      Enjoy your new purchase!

      Reply
      1. Laura

        Oops, yes I meant RDB cable. Ok great! Looks like I’ll have to get an angled cable. Thanks!!

        Reply
  12. Chain

    Hey so If I put a pdx-8 in the crash2 input on my td-11 will I be able to use the rimshot and center ,like making it a piccolo snare ?
    Thanks and awesome site and info !!
    Chain

    Reply
    1. Fredrik Lundström (Post author)

      Yes. All inputs are dual-trigger and work the same.

      Reply

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