The first release from Roland’s Future Redefined festival of releases is a collection of four SPD digital percussion pads. They bear a striking resemblance to the old Boss percussion pads of the 1980s, particularly the Dr Pad Drum Synthesizer.
These SPD pads are new and completely different though and seem to require a double colon. There’s the SPD::ONE Electro, Kick, Percussion and Wav Pad. All of them are billed as the simplest way to add these drum sounds to your performances.
SPD::ONE Electro – This is the one with electronic drum sounds, and so will be feast of 808 and 909 noises. It comes with 22 “iconic” sounds in total.
SPD::ONE Kick – It’s a kick drum, a bass drum, but also has a stomp box, shakers, cowbells and more. 22 sounds are at your fingertips.
SPD::ONE Percussion – don’t tell me, 22 realistic percussion sounds right? That’s right, including snare and kick, cymbals and shakers – whole drum kits in fact.
SPD::ONE Wav – This one doesn’t have anything in it. It’s for importing your own samples.
This is all bit weird. Don’t get me wrong, I think they look great, I’m loving the colours, but they are all doing the same thing. It’s called the SPD::ONE and yet there are four of them. They are all capable of importing your own samples, the hardware is the same, they can all be played with sticks, fingers, hands and feet. Why not have one that has four banks, available in a range of colours. You might well buy a couple in order to play more than one sound at a time, but it’s weird that they would restrict you into this kind of narrow focus.
That’s not to say that there’s not interesting stuff in these pads. The “Wav” one, for instance, lets you stack up to 3 samples so you can play three different sounds on the one pad. It also lets you route a sampled click track out of the headphone output for monitoring, so you can stay in time while playing along to an entire sampled track. The others include pitch and effects control and certainly fulfill the remit of adding percussion to your performances with ease and simplicity.
I’m just not sure why there’s four.
More information on the Roland website. No pricing yet. Lots more goodies to come over the next few weeks.