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Any Roland SPDsx users?

Posted: Sun Jul 31, 2022 1:58 pm
by Unicorn Warrior
Looking at possibly getting a drum pad/trigger thing for gigs that are scaled down/small/and or do not necessarily require full kit.

I particularly have also been intrigued with drum machine sounds of the 80s lately.

Another reason is due to logistics and life, our band isn’t always able to get together in its entirety. Sometimes we’re asked to play sets on the fly and I was wondering what your experience was with using backing tracks on it?

Anyone enjoy these? What’s particularly good about them verses others? I’m a Roland fan through and through, but it’s got a bit of a hefty price tag. Is it worth it compared to others on the market?

Re: Any Roland SPDsx users?

Posted: Mon Aug 01, 2022 2:27 am
by Futuron
Not an answer to your questions, but I nearly bought one on the weekend (they seem to be back in stock lately). Bought pedals instead. Will probably get one later this year to broaden the sonic palette

Re: Any Roland SPDsx users?

Posted: Mon Aug 01, 2022 6:02 am
by Rob
Unicorn Warrior wrote:
Sun Jul 31, 2022 1:58 pm
Is it worth it compared to others on the market?
Totally. At the time, the SPD-SX was really in a league of its own. These days, there are some pretty nice alternatives, but they all see to be trying to catch up to the new standard set by the SPD-SX. Mine get used at pretty much every drum gig I play these days.

As stand-alone drums, they're really not that bad, but I'd probably at least add foot triggers/pedals for the kick and hat sounds. But even without that, with the right playing, you could totally drum a show with just the pads. They're small enough to be compact, but still big enough to play easily. The top-mounted "crash" rail pads provide additional triggers without taking up extra space. It's got on-board MIDI to sync to and trigger other devices, all the built-in classic Roland sounds you'd expect, and inputs for hardware triggers. All the controls for velocity, volume, pan, etc. to make the sounds respond exactly the way you need.

Depending on your setup, you could have a very scaled-down drum set, and still be able to trigger 9 (from the pads) or more (from the triggers) samples or backing tracks per bank, in addition to your actual drums/cymbals. I think it comes with 16 banks of genre presets to get you started, and then it has another 32 or 48 user banks to load up with whatever you want via SD card. It's a very intuitive interface, but there's also a Roland SPD-SX app that makes loading/assigning specific tracks/samples to specific pads/triggers super easy.

On some of our songs, I'll put ambient stuff on a couple different tracks (like crickets at night, or wind blowing, or some ethereal synth pads) on the top pads that I don't need to hit. Then I'll trigger a rhythm track with some accents that I can hear and play along to. Then I'll live drum (either on the pads or on the actual drums) along with that. It's a fun hybrid setup that gives you everything you love about a real drum kit, plus a HUGE palette of any sound you can sample to fit into your live performance.

As someone that has a lot of little detail-sounds in their music, they've been a lifesaver for me to be able to reproduce those songs live. If any of the above sounds even mildly useful to you, then I think you'll really like them once you dive into their potential.

Re: Any Roland SPDsx users?

Posted: Mon Aug 01, 2022 1:50 pm
by NBarnes21
Been a while since I've used mine but they're sort of the industry standard when it comes to triggering things live or layering samples on real drums. Super easy to load your own samples in and set up patches. Really cool if you add some external triggers and pads too. I have a KD-7 kick pad as well as kick and snare triggers that go on my acoustic drums and that gives you a lot of options. You can play a purely sample based beat using the KD-7 and built in pads, or trigger something like 808s and claps on kick and snare when playing acoustic drums. Backing tracks work well too, you can make it so only the drummer hears the click in headphones and he just counts all the tracks off if you have an 8 count at the top. It's a lot simpler and less involved than using an Ableton rig but also obviously more limited in what you can do.