How Do I Load Samples Into the Roland TD-20?

By Simon Foden

Updated September 22, 2017

The TD-20 stores all the sound data for a Roland V-Drums kit.
i Ethan Miller/Getty Images News/Getty Images

The Roland TD-20 is a percussion sound module designed to function with Roland’s V-Drums series of products. When you strike one of the pads on a V-Drums kit, the pad sends an electronic charge to the TD-20, which assigns a sound to that charge. Users have access to a range of authentic, synthesized and electronic preset drum sounds. They also can load drum samples to create a personal library of sounds. You can load samples onto the TD-20 memory using a flash card.

Load the samples onto the card. The method for doing this varies according to the sampling device you use. If using a hard-disk sampler, you typically press “Data” and scroll through the menu until you reach “Back Up.” Select “Memory Card” or “Flash Card” as the back-up destination. If you are using a software sampler, insert a blank flash card into the “Micro SD” slot on the front of your computer. Drag the sample sound files from the folder in the software program onto the icon for the flash card.

Insert the compact flash card into the the flash card port on the rear of the TD-20.

Press “Copy,” which takes you to the “Copy” screen. The flash card light will illuminate at this stage, indicating that the TD-20 recognizes your flash card.

Press one of the buttons from “F1” to “F5” depending on how you want the sample to function. The choices, from “F1” through "F5," are “drum kit,” “drum instrument,” “percussion set,” “trigger bank” and “drum chain.” For example, if you want to load a sample of snare drum and use it as part of an existing preset kit, select “drum instrument.”

Select a “Copy Source.” The copy source in this case is your flash card. Use the cursor, “Value” dial or “+” and “-” keys to select “Flash Card” as the copy source.

Select a “Copy Destination.” Use the cursor, “Value” dial or “+” and “-” keys to scroll through the options. The options appear on the control screen as illustrations, words and numbers. For example, to assign the sample to the snare pad on the kit, select the illustration of the drum, then select “snare.” To assign it to a cymbal, select the illustration of the cymbal, then select a number to specify which cymbal.