Reviews and Problems with Roland Octapad SPD-30 Digital Percussion Pad
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As good as it gets
progression145, B&H Photo
22 February 2014
Excerpt: I have tried all matter of compact electronic drum. This is hands down the best. If you want more of a sampler, get the SPD-S. If you want a reliable, gig ready, mini-drum set with realistic sounds, get this. Yes, there are many cheaper options out there. But, if you're a serious musician, you get what you pay for. You can augment this pad in a plethora of ways. I use Wavedrum for my snare when playing live. I have used and acoustic snare and hi-hat in the past.
Summary: Despite clever use of keywords like "Phrase Loop" and "USB Memory" and "Audio Input" You will find that the Octapad SPD-30 has NO SAMPLE PLAYBACK OR RECORD of any kind. Fine. It is certainly a rugged input device, and the onboard sounds are excellent... once you re-edit the preset drum kits, most of which are jokes. The so-called "Phrase Loop" is a little onboard sequencer. It's ok. The sequencer has a user interface which seems to be state-of-the-art for 1998.
Summary: I bought this unit to be expressive in live performances and recording percussion loops. It lives up to my expectations. Combining this with my Roland Drum Kit, I soon realized I could use the SPD-30 as a stand alone kit and plug in my kick and I am all set with several expressive drum sets or a full line of percussion sounds. I can carry this in both hands and set up in a little corner and not take up any space.
Summary: well to start with let me say i actually own one so my review isn't based on playing with one in a store. it is true roland stopped short with this machine. roland has too many competing products in my opinion. there could be so much more functionality with the unit if a few things were included from other roland products. that said i will get to what it is. it is just supposed to be a pecussion machine.
Good product but not quite there for the serious musician.
30 October 2011
Summary: The possibilities with this product are many in terms of customization. You can alter (great) sounds and combinations between them. Add a couple of pads and you have a great compact (percussive) drumset. What I feel is that Roland could have spent more time developing the Phrase Loop function. I need to sync the internal metronome to actual music going on around you. As it is now its more for playing around at home alone.
Summary: Well this is a well built product. Good fit and finish, durable, and fairly sensitive. But, the built in sounds leave a lot to be desired. First there aren't that many real drum sounds. I would say more than half of the sounds it has are gimmicky. I would rather have more snare sounds or drum kit sounds. Snare drum and cymbal sounds are very limited. No metal snares are included from what I remember. And it doesn't look like Roland sells any sound add-ons for it.
Summary: I guess the Octapad series has been around for a long time. The SPD-30 is the Octapad's newest incarnation. Obvious features are the LCD display which simplifies pad configuration and editing, a good set of drum sounds, and knobs for controlling edits. There's also a slot for a USB thumbdrive and a USB interface for connecting the SPD-30 to a computer. The pads are almost but not quite playable by hand, more's the pity.