Photo: SocialWire Co Ltd
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Roland’s TAIKO-1 is world’s first consumer model electronic taiko drum

By Ben K, grape Japan

In 2017, drum and Japanese music enthusiasts were excited to learn that electronic instrument maker Roland had teamed up with internationally renowned taiko performance art group Kodo on an electronic taiko drum prototype.

Since then, Roland has worked tirelessly to improve the structure of the instrument, reduce its weight and make various other improvements. Finally, these efforts have culminated in a product which is available to the general public. Completed to coincide with the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, here is the world's first shoulder-slung katsugi-okedo 担ぎ桶胴 style electronic taiko drum, the TAIKO-1.

n Japan, taiko drums are used in traditional festivals, at shrines, taught at schools, etc. and are popular throughout the country. However, one of the challenges faced by taiko performers is that the instrument can be difficult to carry around due to the size and weight of the main body. Another issue is the loudness of the performance, which limits places to practice. Finally, depending on the environment of the venue, professional performers are sometimes unable to bring in large drums.

(A large nagado-daiko 長胴太鼓, also known as odaiko 大太鼓 or miya-daiko 宮太鼓)

Photo: Social Wire Co Ltd

The "TAIKO-1" faithfully reproduces the unique timbre change of Japanese drums. Using Roland's technology, a variety of sounds can be produced in response to the position and strength of the hitting surface. Beginning with the katsugi-okedo taiko, the TAIKO-1 can produce sounds of different Japanese drums, hyoshigi 拍子木 wood clappers and other percussion instruments.

Photo: Social Wire Co Ltd

Roland's proprietary mesh material on the striking surface reduces sound so you can practice without bothering anyone. In addition, the body can be disassembled for compact storage and easy transportation. It can also be powered by rechargeable nickel-metal hydride batteries (8 x AA), allowing you to play any time and anywhere.

Photo: Social Wire Co Ltd

You can see the TAIKO-1 in action in the promotional video below:

The TAIKO-1 is expected to go on sale in summer in a limited lot of 1,000 units. It currently has an open price tag.

For more information on the TAIKO-1, see Roland's product page on their website here.

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© grape Japan

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Wonderful if people can practise without disturbing those nearby. Why limit production to 1000 units though? Imagine if Steinway had shut up shop after making 1000 pianos. Makes no sense.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@JonathanJo: "Why limit production to 1000 units though?"

The consumers will test and report the defect in the initial model. Later the company will manufacture the next version of the same. This saves cost for the company, keeps the brand name alive in the market and builds the hype for every upgrade that follows. Have you forgotten how Apple has been draining out money from consumers pocket for several years now? Gone are the days when the product is made to near perfection before being commercialized for sale. These days semi-defective product is as good as the final product. In modern business consumer perception matters, facts don't. And this perception can be controlled/monitored via various social media and online shopping platforms.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

lol, Apple doesn't limit their products to 1,000 units and don't "test" things on their customers! They have things the most mature by the time they release it and is why they're so successful, because it's been vetted many many times to close to initial perfection as much as possible.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

An interesting electronic version of the okedo daiko. I suppose it can be used as a nagado daiko as well.

Currently there is also another electronic daiko it's already available with a fixed price tag.

It'll be interesting if there's a user comparison between the two products.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There are not limited to 1000 unit for the overall production ever. It's the 1st year EXPECTED production/sales (We are in 2021 and It was released on 15th January).

It's a music instrument, not an iPhone! Production comes with demand.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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