Roland SPD-SX PRO: Ultimate sampling pad that raises the bar
Roland releases a new level of sampling pad in the SPD-SX PRO. With a bunch of road-tested professional enhancements for the most demanding gigs.
This is not a reinvention of the sample pad genre, rather it takes everything Roland has learned from the SPD-S and SPD-SX and builds upon it. The SPD-SX PRO has all the features of the SPD-SX, but Roland has ratcheted up the instrument with a range of user-requested features and enhancements. This should be good.
While the form and look of the PRO is very similar to the SX you will notice the larger screen and the move to customisable RGB trigger lighting. The 4.3-inch display is bright and detailed, giving both easy navigation and clear viewing in dark performance spaces. The LEDs surrounding each pad make it clear exactly where each pad is and what it’s for.
On the back, the connectivity has evolved to turn it into a whole drum kit. You can add up to eight individual triggers or additional pads, and there’s a dedicated input for hi-hat or expression control. Along with the stereo output, there are four direct mono outputs. The pads themselves have been improved with advanced trigger technology, increased sensitivity and less crosstalk. This particularly applies to the row of three edge pads along the top.
The internal storage has been increased to 32GB and comes with 1550 high-quality samples formed into 200 kits. Resolution has been bumped up to 48kHz. A dedicated Windows/Mac app handles all the sample management and deep kit editing. There’s now an inbuilt metronome and a 16-step pad sequencer. You can capture real-time performances and assign them directly to pads. You’ll also discover an onboard effects engine with four effects in parallel and side chaining.
Not just for pros
It feels like Roland has developed the SPD-SX into the product it was destined to be. It’s moved beyond being an add-on to a drummer’s range of tools into becoming an instrument all by itself. I really like how you can add a hi-hat and kick drum trigger, turning it into a mini kit, or how you can build sequences and then sample performances back onto pads. It becomes a centre of loop production but where sticks are king. For the professionals, you get all the enhancements you need for a better augmented live performance.
At a little over a grand, it’s a fair bit more expensive than the SPD-SX so this is definitely a top-tier version rather than a replacement for the original. But did they miss anything? Let us know in the comments.
- Roland SPD-SX Pro : Roland
- Roland SPD-SX Pro connections: Roland
- Roland SPD-SX Pro: Roland
- Roland SPD-SX Pro: Roland
Just wondering why they didn’t go to 24 bit.
Will there be a SPD-30 (Octapad) PRO soon?
Roland launched spd sx pro sampler without tempo up down function you can’t use like a sampling pad ,,,,spd sx is better than this ,,,wrost product