One of the best things I love about Roland is their focus on innovation. Every piece they bring on the market brings out the best in the industry.
Let me take you through the features that made me like this product.
What are the basic features of a sample pad?
I know after this, you will be looking to buy the best or the cheapest sample pad on the market to meet your needs. And the best way to do this is by understanding that there are sampling pads for every level of drummer.
Hence, it may not be a great idea to invest in a high-end and costly device as a beginner. You want something applicable but straightforward.
On the other hand, an experienced professional drummer may not find much use with essential features and entry-level pads.
No matter your experience, however, there are a number of features that are common to all pads. Consider the following;
Value for money
Not one likes to invest in something they know is not good enough. It is the same as buying sampling pads.
Now don’t get me wrong on this one. You get what your money can afford. If you are going for a cheaper option, know that there is not much you will get from such.
If you want a top-class sample pad that withstands the test of time and serves you for long, you will have to dig deeper.
But don’t also just buy something because it is cheap. There are few sample pads on the market that are pretty impressive.
What do you want the sample pad to do for? This question takes care of the features issue.
Are you looking for custom sampling, recording, and excellent features? Then find a sample pad that offers this – in this case, the Roland SPD-SX.
I would say velocity-sensitive pads are the best. They are easy to play on.
In other words, you are looking for something easy to work with. Playability means usefulness.
The quality of sound
There is no need to buy something that sounds like crap. The Roland SPD-SX, for instance, is highly recommended for its sound quality and excellent samples.
The sample-box offers a lot more than you could ask for. Hence, this is a perfect example of a great sample pad.
About the Roland SPD-SX
Technological inventions are changing the world on a daily basis, especially in the music realm. Well, there are many inventions, but when it changes how musicians express themselves, everything begins to make sense.
Roland received many requests to produce a kick drum Slurpee machine in 03. The company ignored them and went for something more daring and revolutionary – the SPD-S sampling pad.
And this was a significant turning point for may drummers. And after a long time of dominating the market, Roland upgraded it to the Roland SPD-SX. This is an instrument on its own level. Let’s have a look at its features.
The SPD-SX offers an easy-to-use functionally. It a standalone pad, which means it carries its samples in the built-in memory.
This device has become a favorite for many DJs because it offers more than just a sampling pad. Its controllers and samplers are the best you can get anywhere.
The kit comes with nine pads. Three are the small pads at the top, which can hit with a drum stick.
All these are housed in a sleek all-black finish. It has red lights, the illuminate depending on the range and amplitude of the samples. This feature is quite useful in a stage performance. You will easily ride through difficult monitoring situations.
The LCD menus offer navigations that are pretty basic to work with. You can go through the functionality quickly and change whatever needs to be changed.
In a nutshell, you will love the build of the device. The pads are separate from each other, which eliminates issues with the cross-talk.
There are several things that have been improved on this device. They make it one tool anyone would wish to have in their drumming life.
A vast playfield
I have never enjoyed anything more than I have with the nine-sensitive rubber pads. They come with real-time controls on each. Such dedicated buttons mean you have a better field to work on, concentrating on the settings of individual pads.
It also comes with Roland’s advanced triggering technology. This feature ensures you get maximum accuracy and wholly dynamic performance.
The LCD screen is large enough for the reading of data. With this feature, you can work in any environment and still feel like you haven’t heard enough.
There are companion lights on every illuminates to indicate the status of your pads. This means you can never say you have forgotten to set a specific pad to perfection.
Also, the LEDs remain illuminated, showing which pad is working at the moment. As if that is not enough, the lights will illuminate stronger or lesser to show the audio.
There are red dividers that divide the pad zones. This helps you playing without confusing the sounds.
Better sounds, better functions
There is no doubt that the demands for modern drummers have been increasingly changing. For instance, both drum players and percussions need the incorporation of audio samples in work more than ever.
And the SPD-SX does not disappoint in this. It comes with primary functionality like output routing, dedicated volume functions, Pad Checks, dedicated Sub Out, and many other incredible features.
There are three multi-effects units built-in. You have one master unit and two others you can assign on each kit.
DJs will find this product highly useful with the dedicated front-panel controls. Real-time deejaying has never been easier. You can easily adjust everything using the filter, delay, short looper, and customizable effect.
Wave Manager Software
The SPD-SX comes with and internal memory of 4GB. You can store and carry a whole sample library in this device.
You can create yourself up to 720 minutes of audio. And with the USB ports onboard, let’s just say there is no limit to just how much-customized audio you can upload. Well, unless you run out of space.
However, some users can still find this space not enough. But the external storage should take care of everything else.
You can record your samples for easier use with live performance. And with this, there is nothing much a drummer will need but to make the best use of this device.
The ability to sample
There are many pad instruments on the market. A very tiny percentage can compete with the Roland SPD-SX in terms of functionality.
One of the major features that sets it apart is its ability to sample. I cannot think of another pad that makes loading custom sounds so easy.
All you have to do is stream an mp3 player on the device, activate the sampler, and you are good to go. Hit on each pad as though they are record buttons.
One can deconstruct mp3s into snippets and loops within the shortest time. You don’t even need finger tinkering.
The Inputs and Outputs
There are two analog inputs and outputs on the SPD-SX. It also carries two subs out, a ¼ inch headphone input, and MIDI and USB ins. Also, consider the USB MIDI as the best way to connect your computer.
The footswitch input and two 1/4 inch TRS trigger inputs allow you to give it more pads. Also, you can use two extra Roland PD-85. One is on the left and the other on the right. With these features, you can access the tunes on the pad much easier.
You will also find the malletKAT applicability as a MIDI percussion controller. The computer should take care of everything else.
- The best quality on the market
- Customizable samples.
- Highly responsive pads.
- Sturdy menu and controls.
- Better internal storage.
- Quite expensive.
- External pad inputs are relatively limited.
Since you are here, it means you are looking to upgrade your performance to the highest level. Hence, I don’t expect you would want anything less.
In that case, if you want an alternative, there is only the Alesis Strike Multipad that fits such quality. It comes with every feature you can get with eth SPD-SX. Also, it has a bigger built-in memory of a whopping 32GB. This is the biggest plus it has.
Who is the SPD-SX for?
This product is for those who want to get a little more from their sounds. In other words, I would recommend it for professional drummers. Also, this device has become crucial for DJs.
If you are looking for a way to create as many samples as possible, this may be a great way to get it.
When you watch the SPD-SX in action on this video, you will agree it is indeed a product like no other. Even though Strike MultiPad as a similar feature, I would recommend Roland for its reputation.