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  #1  
Old 12-20-2012, 03:21 PM
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Chromium Chromium is offline
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Default Sampler Pads for V-drum kit

Hi All,

Lookin' for opinions again. I want to buy a sampler/sample trigger unit for my v-drum kit.
I don't really want to 'play' the pad as a kit, but to capture, loop, and playback samples live and trigger pre-recorded effects. I suppose the built in sounds may come in useful too on occasion.

I mostly want to be able to create stuff in my studio, load it into the unit and play it back, things like lead guitar solos that will allow our guitarist (we're a trio) to record earlier and me to trigger during performance... possibly even as long as a backing track for a full song.

Considering... Roland SPD-SX, Octopad SPD-30 or Yamahas DTX-Multi 12.

Firstly am I missing any potential candidates?
Are those in the list suitable for what I want to do?
Would any of you using these or with experience of them care to comment?

Many thanks for indulging me.
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Old 12-20-2012, 03:49 PM
Blackstone Blackstone is online now
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Default Re: Sampler Pads for V-drum kit

The SPD SX (or SPD S) is what you're looking for. I use the SX for pretty much what you're doing and I love it, it works great. Easy to use(there is a learning curve, but it's simple once you know what you're doing.)

I also have the SPD30. This doesn't import samples(unless you get into midi, but now you're bringing a laptop to gigs). Not sure you want to go that route. I wouldn't.

The Multi 12 can only play short samples(like 4 seconds long), and doesn't hold any more than 64mb's worth of samples so that probably won't work for you. But if you're going to run Midi this would work for you as well.

you are missing some candidates(cheaper ones too) but I have no experience with them. Alesis Sample Pad for one.
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Old 12-20-2012, 04:55 PM
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bermuda bermuda is offline
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Default Re: Sampler Pads for V-drum kit

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Originally Posted by Blackstone View Post
you are missing some candidates(cheaper ones too) but I have no experience with them. Alesis Sample Pad for one.
The SamplePad is terrific! It's extremely easy to use, and the best deal going for just playing your own samples - $200!

But with that price comes some limitations - there are only 4 pads plus a pedal/trigger input, the sample must be mono (how many drums or percussion instruments are in stereo?) and the ram is pretty small, only 14mb total sounds. It's great for drum hits and the like, but playing a really long sample, like a whole backing track, would be difficult without using a lower resolution .wav (which it will accept.) Still, it holds almost 3min of mono samples at CD quality (16/44.1)

The SPD-SX's strong suit is its 2gb of ram. It will play up to 3 hours of stereo CD quality .wavs. It also has 9 pads and 4 pedal/trigger input, has internal effects and some sample looping functions, and is also sampler, although I'm not sure who uses hardware samplers these days. And, it's $800.

There's a curious drawback to the unit though, which is the ability to change a sample's pitch on playback. Seems simple enough - the Alesis does it - but the Roland needs to make a copy of the sample with the desired new pitch. That is, changing pitch would be a "destructive" function, where the Alesis changes pitch as a function of playback, and is "non" destructive. Perhaps not a big deal, you're not likely to run out of ram for having a few duplicated samples, but just one of a few things they missed.

I have both of the above units, and had also considered the Yamaha, which does indeed have some sample length and ram drawbacks. The Roland is definitely the most capable among them, but the Alesis is the best choice and value for playing drum/perc hits & sfx that don't exceed about 3 minutes. I use the Roland on the road, and the Alesis in the studio.

There is talk about an upgraded "pro" SamplePad, will see what they have at NAMM! :)

Bermuda
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Old 12-20-2012, 06:20 PM
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Chromium Chromium is offline
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Default Re: Sampler Pads for V-drum kit

Thanks guys... your help is awesome and invaluable!

It looks like it's probably the SPD-SX then. Yamaha and Octopad are off the shortlist now for all the reasons described in your posts.

The Samplepad looks interesting too Bermuda, I'll look that up as well.
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Old 12-20-2012, 07:53 PM
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Default Re: Sampler Pads for V-drum kit

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Originally Posted by Chromium View Post
The Samplepad looks interesting too Bermuda, I'll look that up as well.
It's perfect for straight-ahead sample playing, and I should mention that the sounds are pannable to a stereo out, so you can take 5 mono samples - a kit let's say - and spread them from left to right. There are also 8 presets with 5 sounds each, so it's pretty capable for simple to intermediate applications. And it's extra easy to use, the "instructions" are pretty brief, definitely wouldn't take more than 5 minutes to figure out, even if you had no background in electronic hardware.

Truth be told... I had a hand in developing the pad (and its predecessor, the PercPad.) There were already complicated, non-drummer-friendly software solutions for triggering custom sounds, or V-drum modules geared to drummers, but that only played their internal sounds. I advised that there needs to be a mutli-pad unit where you load in your own sounds, assign them to pads, hit the pads, and play the sound. Really, it just needs to be that simple.

In keeping the cost down, some sacrifices were obviously made and it wasn't quite as capable as I would have liked in order to use on the road, but it was darn close! And I believe they're expanding the capabilities so more pros will warm up to it (not that they're having problems selling these!) The fact is, for everything the Roland does, I only use the sample playback. No sampling, looping or effects for me. So it was actually kind of expensive and over-qualified to do what I wanted - play samples!

But, right now, the Roland is the best option for a pad that triggers stereo samples, without getting into software, which means having not only a pad, but carrying a laptop and audio/midi interface as well. A standalone unit is definitely the smarter, less complicated, and less expensive way to go.

Bermuda

Last edited by bermuda; 12-20-2012 at 08:26 PM.
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Old 12-22-2012, 10:46 PM
New Tricks New Tricks is offline
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Default Re: Sampler Pads for V-drum kit

Agreed. The SPD-SX is exactly what you are looking for. I've been using it for about 6 months now..




Quote:
I mostly want to be able to create stuff in my studio, load it into the unit and play it back, things like lead guitar solos that will allow our guitarist (we're a trio) to record earlier and me to trigger during performance... possibly even as long as a backing track for a full song
A couple of things from my experience.

1. Guitar player will probably want to record the rhythm parts and play the lead live.
2. Playing a full backing song leaves no room for human error. I use short segments because, something will go wrong.
3. Use one pad as a kill switch. Record nothing and install it.
4. The left hand seems to be the best for most triggering. Sometimes you have to bump the recorded part back a couple of beats for a delayed start.

There is a learning curve but, believe me, if I can figure it out, anybody can.

Last edited by New Tricks; 12-22-2012 at 10:58 PM.
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  #7  
Old 12-23-2012, 01:17 AM
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Chromium Chromium is offline
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Default Re: Sampler Pads for V-drum kit

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Originally Posted by New Tricks View Post
Sometimes you have to bump the recorded part back a couple of beats for a delayed start.
Thanks for your posting, really helpful. But can you elaborate on that statement I quoted above, as I don't understand. Do you mean I have to trigger it late or record it with additional 'padding' at the start or something?
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Old 12-23-2012, 09:28 PM
New Tricks New Tricks is offline
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Default Re: Sampler Pads for V-drum kit

Sorry. I don't read/write music so I have to explain it in primitive terms.

Example:
I trigger everything with my left hand which is also my snare hand.

Typically, my snare hand is occupied on 2 and 4 so, if a particular segment note needs to start on 2, I just record it starting on 2 and hit it on 1.

Basically, you just bump your recorded segment forward 2 beats.
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  #9  
Old 01-26-2013, 12:22 AM
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Default Re: Sampler Pads for V-drum kit

Thanks for the input everybody. I did end up getting the SPD-SX and currently building up a library of samples and material within it.
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