Stuff That Works - a review of the Roland SPD-S.


After owning a Roland SPD-S for almost 2 years I have to give it a 9.8, two thumbs up rating. I don't know how I would improve it, but I didn't want to rate it a 10 because nothing is perfect!

After owning it for a couple months, I bought the KD-8 kick pad to go with it. It was well worth the extra money to have the added ability to kick when playing.

They work great together. I am a hobbyist who does some recording (see my review of the Tascam DP 02 here: Tascam-dp-02) and I have an acoustic set of drums. The SPD-S comes in handy for everything from laying down a rock solid consistent beat to build from using it and/or a combination of it and live drums to having some real fun with the sampling part of it. I recently did a custom birthday song for our son and used the pads to spell out his name by sampling (i.e. recording) my voice saying the letters to the different pads - this allowed me to record a pattern and riff on the pattern. It was a big hit.

I would guess that I have only used about 70% of what this little beauty will do - but that being said I would highly recommend it to anyone. The unit has a pretty good range of drum sounds but you can multiply them when you start to play with the various sound efx it contains. That coupled with sampling ability pretty much makes any percussive sound available at your stick tips (or non-percussive sound - you are only limited by your imagination as far as the sampling is concerned).

The Phrase Maker allows you to record a pattern that you can use on it's own or as a foundation to build from. Guess my point is clear - this does a great job for the money - even if you only had it and a pair of headphones you can have a great time.

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