The TAIKO-1 uses a mesh surface rather than hard rubber to recreate the flexible feel of a drum’s skin without the loud noises. Each side of the drum has two zones that trigger different sounds — the center produces deep staccato hits while the edges create long, higher-pitched notes. And as with most electronic drums, the velocity of a hit determines the volume and pitch of the resulting sound. A sample library of traditional taiko drums comes with the TAIKO-1, but you can add your own lossless audio samples, too. The drum will help you tighten up your rhythm with plenty of on-board backing accompaniments and timing practice tracks.
The TAIKO-1 will be out in July and will cost $1,500. That sounds like a lot, but a traditional taiko drum of the same size and style — even when made and shipped from within the US — can cost more than double that. For those who don’t play taiko, the instrument could seem like a one-trick-pony. But for enthusiasts, this digital version of the traditional instrument is probably an exciting proposition.