Roland SPD-30 Octapad!

The Roland SPD-30 Octapad is a versatile electronic percussion system and musicians love it, even though it has some limitations.

One of the features I like the most is what’s called phrase loop technology (it’s amazing)…

Roland SPD-30

The Octapad has a total of 50 kits and the MIDI controller / standalone electronic percussion kit will deliver you high quality sounds with exceptional versatility. It is feature packed with 30 multi effects as well as an equalizer to properly mix your sound the way you want. It also has 7 types of ambiance and it even has pitch sweep and muffling effects. Input pads for V-Drum along with an easy to use hi-hat controller allows you to custom build a drum kit right off the bat.

You can also record a maximum of 50 3-layered loops using its Phrase Loop Function. The LCD type display also gives you more convenience during dim venues such as a stage or club because it’s backlit and easy to read. Since it is also MIDI compatible, you can even use it for recording drums for audio production on any DAW software.

It has a total of 8 pads with 4 extra trigger inputs and a total of 8 20-step kit chains. There are over 670 instruments to choose from the 50 kit presets. Each instrument has different parameters that you can customize: pitch sweep, pan, volume, muffling, reverse, tuning, tone color and soft attack. It supports tempos from 40 to 260 BPM and can store up to 10,000 musical notes.

The display is also fairly large with a 60 x 160 resolution backlit LCD. It has a variety of connectors such as phone and output jacks, the external triggers, MIDI connectors, USB connectors and many others. There are also other optimal add-ons such as kick triggers, pad stands, pedal switches and others.

Pros and Cons Of The SPD-30 Octapad.

The Roland SPD-30 has lots of good! For instance, it is very responsive and sensitive to your use and you can even adjust its sensitivity. If you are the type of person who has trouble reading digital displays or often work on a dim environment then the large, backlit LCD is a sure winner feature for you. The sounds give off a rich tone, as expected from most Roland products. The instruments are professional sounding, and you can have even more instruments when you update the software via USB.

This works great for musical accompaniment, on a small venue or in audio production, or song covers. Its versatile set of kit sounds allow you to mix and match the kind of sound you want, which is exactly why you would want to buy an electronic drum set.

I personally love the loop technology for practicing and creating grooves to practice to.

The only few drawbacks known to this drum set is that the Phrase Looper might not work well for many people, since it’s not as versatile as a real Loop Pedal. MIDI clock forwarding is also not that effective. It might also take a toll on your budget. The metronome doesn’t start right away when you activate it, and there isn’t a tempo tap option. You also spend time having to browse the menus rather than just playing your beats and enjoying the music.

Some users might also want to import external sounds and build their own drum kit, but there’s no way to do that. You can import to the Roland spd-sx sampler pad (which I own and love). You also can’t record properly, so it makes this instrument more or less a practice kit or for doing video covers. Buying an external foot pedal for this is also recommended.

With that being said I think it’s worth every penny and then some.

You can even build a small electronic drum kit around the Octapad as seen in the video above. But for the price of all the pieces of equipment you can buy a good mid level electronic kit. But you’ll be missing the added features of the Octapad, and it’s because of these features that it’s a big seller and drummers and musicians love it.

It’s simply a fun instrument to have in your arsenal.

Overall, the Roland SPD-30 Octapad might not be the best electronic drum set there is, but with its sturdy build and classic, tone-rich sound, it’s definitely one of the first when it comes to electronic drums and still considered a gem at most.