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  #1  
Old 03-18-2013, 04:06 AM
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kbconsul kbconsul is offline
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Default Roland Octapad versus SPD-SX: What to do?

Here's my dilemma: I am playing in a tribute band (Yes) for which I need to reproduce some melodic percussion parts.

I've got artist- and era-specific drums, but I have neither the funds nor the desire to purchase the associated gear for this music (the guitarist bought a Rickenbacker 360 electric 12 string for JUST ONE SONG).

Some of the things I need:

Crotales. Tuned Triangles (seems pretty functionally the same sound as crotales). Tympani. Electronic drums. And a bunch of standard percussion I'd prefer not to pack around.

I've got the gamut of typical assessory percussion; triangle, cowbell (and more cowbell), blocks, wind chimes, and nearly enough cymbals (some would say way too many).

I'm technically oriented, but have not worked with sampling to any degree. I play guitar and some piano, so I can tune sampled sounds where I want them. I also have some decent condensor mics.

I will add some PD-80 or equiv pads to either the Octapad or SPD-SX for the nasty Simmons-type sounds (which I'm sure the Octapad has) and to add a couple of high toms upon occassion..

I don't need to loop (at least for this gig).

If I go the SPD-SX route, where do I find the samples I need (if I don't want to record them)? What would I be giving up/gaining with the Octapad?

What would YOU do?

Thanks in advance for taking the time to read this and for sharing your expertise. I consider it a privilege to be a part of this forum.

Last edited by kbconsul; 03-18-2013 at 04:09 AM. Reason: Always give thanks...
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Old 03-18-2013, 01:16 PM
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richkenyon richkenyon is offline
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Default Re: Roland Octapad versus SPD-SX: What to do?

I too had little or no sampling experience but use the SPD-SX live and for recording. All I tell you is the sampling process is not difficult. The wave editing leaves a little to be desired, but I guess you could edit things on another piece of software first (I don't use anything).

I don't have an Octapad but I would have thought the SPD-SX would be best because it has some really cool features.

In terms of sound sources, you could subscribe to Soundsnap or something or get hold of an orchestral sound module or just search on line. Of course, you can use the SPD-SX to sample direct fro the Yes recording too, notwithstanding Copyright stuff.
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Old 03-18-2013, 02:42 PM
wildbill wildbill is offline
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Default Re: Roland Octapad versus SPD-SX: What to do?

If you're talking about the Roland SPD-30 Octapad, the biggest difference between that and the SPD-SX is that you can't load samples into the SPD-30.

It probably has everything you need in the stock sounds, and you can add a few external pads and foot pedals, but if you need to load samples, you'll have to get the SX.
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Old 03-18-2013, 03:05 PM
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bermuda bermuda is offline
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Default Re: Roland Octapad versus SPD-SX: What to do?

The SPD-SX also has 2gb of sample memory, so it's better suited to larger samples with decay, such as timps, crotales, etc.

No need to use the looping or sampling on the Roland unit, just use it for playback.

You obviously can use a computer, so you can make your own .wav files, it's easy. A lot of people use Audacity (because it's free) but I prefer a more capable program (I use Sound Forge, it's probably already obsolete...)

Good luck!

Bermuda
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Old 03-18-2013, 04:56 PM
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Default Re: Roland Octapad versus SPD-SX: What to do?

Quote:
Originally Posted by richkenyon View Post
I too had little or no sampling experience but use the SPD-SX live and for recording. All I tell you is the sampling process is not difficult. The wave editing leaves a little to be desired, but I guess you could edit things on another piece of software first (I don't use anything).

I don't have an Octapad but I would have thought the SPD-SX would be best because it has some really cool features.

In terms of sound sources, you could subscribe to Soundsnap or something or get hold of an orchestral sound module or just search on line. Of course, you can use the SPD-SX to sample direct fro the Yes recording too, notwithstanding Copyright stuff.
Thanks for the insights; do you use any external trigger pads with the SPD-SX? One other question: I'm a little bit concerned about the location of the control panel. Have you ever accidentally hit it in a live situation? (I'm not terribly concerned, since I never hit mics, but the control is at the bottom of the device, not the side as in the Octapad.)
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Old 03-18-2013, 05:17 PM
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bermuda bermuda is offline
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Default Re: Roland Octapad versus SPD-SX: What to do?

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Originally Posted by kbconsul View Post
I'm a little bit concerned about the location of the control panel. Have you ever accidentally hit it in a live situation? (I'm not terribly concerned, since I never hit mics, but the control is at the bottom of the device, not the side as in the Octapad.)
I was concerned about that on mine when I got it, but I've never had a problem or even come close to hitting it.

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Old 03-18-2013, 07:25 PM
Blackstone Blackstone is offline
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Default Re: Roland Octapad versus SPD-SX: What to do?

I have both the 30 and the SX. The SX is what I bring out gigging with my acoustics. To answer your question about externals. I use all four externals throughout the kit. I trigger the kick with an rt10 and it works so well I don't even mic the kick anymore.

Rich.... you're right about sampling on the SX isn't difficult at all. But there is a pretty good learning curve to the SX if you've never dealt with electronics or sampling. (where as the spd 30 is plug and play.). I just learned a trick on another forum on how to edit waves on the SX so they loop correctly without needing a computer edited wave. If you need it I can share. I don't mean to hijack this thread tho.

One more thing to consider KB is amplification. This is something I overlooked when I first got into electronics. You're going to need a good PA and a very good monitor or in ears.
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Old 03-19-2013, 10:52 PM
New Tricks New Tricks is offline
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Default Re: Roland Octapad versus SPD-SX: What to do?

I had zero experience with sampling or recording an I managed to figure out a way to record and trigger samples on the SX.

I'm not sure where to find samples you are looking for. I've never looked because I create, record and playback things like keys/synth/horns as backing. A search for wav files should give plenty of results.

I do all my work on a computer and transfer the wav files to the SX. It seems a lot more simple than trying to maneuver thru the SX. I use Mac's Garage band because it was free and easy.

And, since you are tech savvy, play guitar and some keys, you are light years ahead of me.

I haven't hit the controls on the SX and that's saying a lot because I have been playing it left handed and I aint left handed.

I recently added external pads on the right side of my kit and they are a lot easier for me to hit......but there are only 4 available inputs. I am considering hacking into it to get access to all the pads externally.

Also, some of the sounds you are looking for may be available on a standard E drum module but that's another wad of ca$h and you would want to hear them for yourself to see if they were what you are looking for.
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Old 03-20-2013, 01:36 AM
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richkenyon richkenyon is offline
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Default Re: Roland Octapad versus SPD-SX: What to do?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kbconsul View Post
Thanks for the insights; do you use any external trigger pads with the SPD-SX? One other question: I'm a little bit concerned about the location of the control panel. Have you ever accidentally hit it in a live situation? (I'm not terribly concerned, since I never hit mics, but the control is at the bottom of the device, not the side as in the Octapad.)
I have used the kick pad from my TD12 (KD-85) with no problems. Also, I have never hit the control panel, which surprises me too! I've used it a fair bit live & will make more use of it as I get more sounds loaded in.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackstone View Post
I have both the 30 and the SX. The SX is what I bring out gigging with my acoustics. To answer your question about externals. I use all four externals throughout the kit. I trigger the kick with an rt10 and it works so well I don't even mic the kick anymore.

Rich.... you're right about sampling on the SX isn't difficult at all. But there is a pretty good learning curve to the SX if you've never dealt with electronics or sampling. (where as the spd 30 is plug and play.). I just learned a trick on another forum on how to edit waves on the SX so they loop correctly without needing a computer edited wave. If you need it I can share. I don't mean to hijack this thread tho.

One more thing to consider KB is amplification. This is something I overlooked when I first got into electronics. You're going to need a good PA and a very good monitor or in ears.
I would be very interested to hear about the wav editing for loops! Please post it.

I got a Roland PM-30 monitor and really love it. It has detachable wheels so I can take it on gigs, plus detachable extension speakers. Really great piece of gear.
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Old 03-20-2013, 02:51 AM
New Tricks New Tricks is offline
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Default Re: Roland Octapad versus SPD-SX: What to do?

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Originally Posted by richkenyon View Post
I got a Roland PM-30 monitor and really love it. It has detachable wheels so I can take it on gigs, plus detachable extension speakers. Really great piece of gear.
When I first switched to an e kit, I picked up a PM 30 and thought it sounded good.

Now that I compare it to using my PA (Mackie 1530's) , it sounds like hell. If I am playing somewhere without my band, I just take one of the Mackie's along.
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  #11  
Old 03-20-2013, 04:15 AM
Blackstone Blackstone is offline
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Default Re: Roland Octapad versus SPD-SX: What to do?

I found this on mikedolbear.com. These instructions look a little complicated, buts its really not. And it works. I actually don't even use the perform and record function the way it's explained, I use the basic sampling function and it works the same. anyways, here it is.....


Here's a useful guide to create SPD-Sx loops of the perfect length for a set BPM.

Choose the loop BPM you want, and the number of bars to loop.

Calculate the loop length you need in seconds:
1 beat (in seconds) = 60/BPM
1 bar = 4 beats

Then in samples:
Length of loop in samples = Length of loop in seconds * 44,100

Set the BPM by selecting "Menu" then "Kit" then setting "Kit Tempo".

Go to "Perform % Record" mode and create your first loop sample while playing to the Click.

Select "Menu" then "Pad", and highlight the name of the loop sample you just created.

Select "Quick" then "Wave Start/End", then select "End".
You now choose the End point using the large Plus and Minus buttons. You can zoom in and out using the Right and Left buttons respectively (using the Up and Down arrow buttons zooms in and out on the wave amplitude). Set the cursor at the sample number you calculated before, then press "Enter".

Select "Quick" again then "Wave Truncate". Follow the screen instructions to carry out the action.

Your loop is now exactly the length you need to loop perfectly at the BPM you originally chose. Now every time you add more sounds to the original loop (or even effects), recording will stop at the end of the sample automatically, and the loop will always stay the correct length no matter what you add to it.

It looks complicated on paper, but it is easy once you practice - trust me! You get the button pushes memorised and create loops in a few minutes. Great fun, and very creative.
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Old 03-20-2013, 04:31 AM
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kbconsul kbconsul is offline
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Default Re: Roland Octapad versus SPD-SX: What to do?

Thanks for the great info! You guys are golden! I was leaning to the SPD-SX and I think that's the way I'll go. I'm assuming the reliability of the Roland is up to par.

As for speakers, for my practice room I'll run the pads through my Klipsch speaker system for now but I'm thinking Yamaha DXR10 or DXR12's for monitor, or the QSC K10 or K12. I've heard the K10's with subs and they blew me away, and I've been told the Yamaha's are better yet.

Any gigs we play out will have to have a full out FOH system just to cover the insane amount of keys in the material (and monitors to match). Keys guy has a Hammond XK3c two manual, Moog, Korg Karma, another Korg, Nord Lead and some midi controllers going into some gear I don't recognize. If I can get him in a good mood I'll hit him up for some samples...

Thanks again, gentlemen. I'll be checking back and giving a report once I make the move on this...
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Old 03-21-2013, 05:38 PM
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richkenyon richkenyon is offline
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Default Re: Roland Octapad versus SPD-SX: What to do?

Quote:
Originally Posted by New Tricks View Post
When I first switched to an e kit, I picked up a PM 30 and thought it sounded good.

Now that I compare it to using my PA (Mackie 1530's) , it sounds like hell. If I am playing somewhere without my band, I just take one of the Mackie's along.
I should point out that my PM-30 is just for me. The actual sound of the SPD-SX goes straight to the desk & through the full=range Mackie P.A system we carry.

Oh, and thanks a lot to Blackstone for the sample tip. I am going to try that!
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Old 03-21-2013, 09:12 PM
Blackstone Blackstone is offline
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Default Re: Roland Octapad versus SPD-SX: What to do?

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Originally Posted by richkenyon View Post
Oh, and thanks a lot to Blackstone for the sample tip. I am going to try that!
No problem. It works. If you have any problems let me know and I'll talk you thru it. Once you do it a couple times its real easy and only takes a few seconds to edit them exactly.
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Old 05-19-2013, 04:46 PM
yonibarash yonibarash is offline
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Default Re: Roland Octapad versus SPD-SX: What to do?

I have a question please...

Is there no way to loop live (on the fly) with the spd-sx?
You can do that only with the octopad?

tnx
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  #16  
Old 05-20-2013, 07:12 PM
Blackstone Blackstone is offline
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Default Re: Roland Octapad versus SPD-SX: What to do?

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Originally Posted by yonibarash View Post
I have a question please...

Is there no way to loop live (on the fly) with the spd-sx?
You can do that only with the octopad?

tnx

No. You cannot create loops on the fly with the SX like you can on the spd30 and spd-s. No sequencer on the SX.
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Old 05-21-2013, 07:48 AM
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spides666 spides666 is offline
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Default Re: Roland Octapad versus SPD-SX: What to do?

I bought the SPD-SX when it first came out and sold it a couple of weeks later...I had such a s**t fight getting .wav files onto the damn thing I gave up. I have worked in I.T for 15 years so I like to think I know my stuff and I couldn't get this to work at all.

I bought it to trigger backing tracks and now I just use a Macbook Pro!

Horses for courses, it doesn't come with that many sounds straight out of the box...
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