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  #1  
Old 12-28-2009, 06:53 PM
joeneau joeneau is offline
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Default spd-s/spd-20

Hi there, i appreciate there may well be threads cover this but i'm really confused at the moment,

could some one please clarify the main difference between a spd-s and a spd-20?

I'm looking for something that i can use the built in trigger pads for for interludes and maybe sub drops for a live setting and also something that i can attach acoustic triggers or roland trigger pads to, to add electronic percussion to my set up.

Is this what the spd-s is for? i can get a second hand one for 200? is that a good deal?
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  #2  
Old 12-28-2009, 08:02 PM
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Shedboyxx Shedboyxx is offline
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Default Re: spd-s/spd-20

Hey Joe,

I own an SPD-S so I can speak more to that model than the SPD-20. However I know a litlle bit about the 20 from reading up.

The quick answer is that both units will do what you want. They both have on board sounds, trigger pads, effects, can be triggered from pads or acoustic triggers have MIDI in and out and share some other features.

The main difference is that the SPD-S is a sampling pad and the SPD-20 is not. That means that although the SPD-S has on board sounds, you can add your own. That's accomplished by either by attaching a microphone, instrument, CD player, iPod, etc. or by using a compact flash memory card and reader to copy from a computer to the unit. The card then stays in the unit to add storage space for sounds and loops. The latter is especially recommended since the built-in memory is limited.

As an example, I'm creating loops using Stylus RMX as well as acoustic drums with my DAW software (Digital Performer). I'll create WAV files, copy them to my CF card via USB card reader and then transfer them to my SPD-S for playing live. Once the sounds or loops are in the SPD-S, I can use onboard features to tailor the sound even more. Pretty cool.

I believe the SPD-S is the more popular of the two but I have heard others claiming some superior features in the SPD-20 such as MIDI implementation. Again, I don't know from experience.

I'm in the U.S. and got my SPD-S for about $415 shipped a few years ago. Don't know what the exchange rate in pounds would be or whether you have better deals where you are at.

I'd highly recommend you check out some online video clips of Johnny Rabb demonstrating the SPD-S. Johnny is a great presenter and can be very funny but effective in how he presents Roland percussion. Check out Roland's website or YouTube for these clips.

HTH

Jim
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  #3  
Old 12-28-2009, 08:24 PM
joeneau joeneau is offline
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Default Re: spd-s/spd-20

Hey Jim,

thanks for taking the time to answer, thats really helped to clarify a lot of points.

I'm sure i've read somewhere that the spd-s only has 2 inputs for external triggers? is that correct? If so that seems very limited...surely theres something on the market that has more trigger inputs? however my initial guess would be that the spd-s compensates by allowing you to import your own samples as you described?

I appreciate this is a really juvenile question but for some reason i can get my head round the concept... could you explain briefly to me about MIDI files and therir relevence in this context?

again, i appreciate your time in answering this for me...I've just checked out the youtube videos aswell and they were really useful!
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Old 12-28-2009, 09:31 PM
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Default Re: spd-s/spd-20

Your welcome Joe.

First off, to compare feature differences, here are two helpful links:

SPD-20
http://www.rolandus.com/products/pro...00&ParentId=61


SPD-S
http://www.rolandus.com/products/pro...37&ParentId=61
(this one has Johnny doing an electronic hillbilly thing...funny)

Check out the specs on each and that should help in clarifying trigger inputs, etc.

Re: MIDI. Ready for MIDI 101?
Here's a decent description of MIDI from Wiki (my emphasis)

"MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface), pronounced /ˈmɪdi/) is an industry-standard protocol ...that enables electronic musical instruments such as keyboard controllers, computers, and other electronic equipment to communicate, control, and synchronize with each other. MIDI allows computers, synthesizers, MIDI controllers, sound cards, samplers and drum machines to control one another, and to exchange system data. MIDI does not transmit an audio signal or media it transmits "event messages" such as the pitch and intensity of musical notes to play, control signals for parameters such as volume, vibrato and panning, cues, and clock signals to set the tempo. "

A MIDI file is just a set of instructions. It tells a sound production unit what to do with a sound(s). You know those old player pianos with a roll of paper telling the piano what to play? A good (albeit slightly flawed) analogy is to think of a MIDI file like a high tech piano roll.The MIDI file tells the piano what notes to play and when to play them. It is much more sophisticated than that but that is the basic idea.

You create a performance based MIDI file using a controller (such as an SPD-S, or a MIDI keyboard) communicating to some kind of unit that has sequencing abilities built in. This can be a hardware unit like an Akai MPC series workstation or using a software program on a computer that has MIDI hardware attached.

Where it may be confusing is that unless you are using a pure controller (like a DrumKat or an M-Audio keyboard controller) a MIDI instrument may have the MIDI controller (has MIDI In/Out/Thru with keys or pads) sound source and sometimes sequencing abilities all built in to the box. Some Roland, Korg, and Yamaha keyboards have all these features and function as stand alone units.

The SPD-S does NOT have the ability to create, perform or store a MIDI file internally. You can use the pads to create a MIDI file on some other sequencer - but not within. Same with the SPD-20 I believe. Yoiu can also use the SPD units to trigger other sound sources via MIDI without ever using the internal sounds. That's what I did when I created loops with Stylus RMX. I picked some sounds from Stylus RMX and while my SPD-S unit was hooked up via MIDI ONLY to the computer, triggered those sounds from the pads. I could do that just to trigger sounds and hear it through headphones or an amp. But I did more. I triggered the sounds while running a MIDI recording session in DP. Then I had a 'performance' to play back (remember - piano roll). The MIDI performance was just telling the Stylus RMX software what notes to play, when to play them, how loud, etc.

From DP I could export a MIDI file that could be used with any sequencer to play back the performance. That sequencer could be triggering sounds on any sound source. The MIDI file did NOT bring the Stylus RMX sounds with it.

Now. Not to confuse you but the SPS-S has the ability to create an audio performance like a loop (not MIDI) using whatever sounds it has internally as well as on a CF Card. The feature is called Phrase Maker. It only works on sounds it has available. NOT MIDI. It does not create a MIDI performance. The audio becomes another onboard sound to be triggered.

Download the SPD-S manual to read about it.

I'd try to immerse yourself in MIDI resources on the web. The main thing to know is that a MIDI file has no audio and that an audio file (like a WAV or mp3) does not have any MIDI info.

HTH

Jim
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Old 12-28-2009, 10:53 PM
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harryconway harryconway is offline
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Default Re: spd-s/spd-20

Quote:
Originally Posted by joeneau View Post
i can get a second hand one for 200? is that a good deal?
I picked mine up used for $350, so I'd say yours (soon to be, maybe) is the going price.
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  #6  
Old 12-28-2009, 11:02 PM
joeneau joeneau is offline
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Default Re: spd-s/spd-20

Thanks again for your help Jim, i definately think the spd-s is what i'm looking for, and one of the guys in my band is very good with cubase ect so I should be able to get some great little samples on there.
I just hope that the response time is quick enough that i could use an external trigger pad asigned with a sampled hand clap for example...live, and in time with the rest of my kit.
I'd probable use to external pads, one with a electronic hi hat sound and one with an electronic snare, to use live amongst the rest of the kit.
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Old 12-28-2009, 11:18 PM
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Default Re: spd-s/spd-20

Quote:
Originally Posted by joeneau View Post
......a sampled hand clap for example...live, and in time with the rest of my kit.
......one with a electronic hi hat sound and one with an electronic snare....
The SPD-S already has handclap sounds in it, as well as hi-hat and snare sounds. And it has "effects" settings that you can (one) turn on and off, and (two) manipulate the factory sounds to a point that they're almost unrecognizable "as" factory sounds. An external trigger is not going to get you "quicker" response time, just add more equipment to what you have to carry. I'd use the 9 on board triggers before adding externals.
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  #8  
Old 12-29-2009, 12:39 PM
joeneau joeneau is offline
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Default Re: spd-s/spd-20

Yeah sorry, i didnt mean would the external triggers have a quicker response time, i ment would they be just as quick.

I was just thinking about extra triggers because they could be placed in different locations around the kit, but yeah your right it might be best to see how it feels working with just the spd-s first. thanks!
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