Roland Introduces SPD-SX PRO Sampling Pad

Roland today announced the SPD-SX PRO Sampling Pad, the new flagship model in their long-running SPD series.

The SPD-SX PRO offers customizable trigger LEDs, increased audio outputs and trigger inputs, massive onboard memory and more.

The SPD-SX PRO features nine pads with Roland’s latest sensing technology, including three shoulder pads with revised sensor structures for increased sensitivity when the instrument is mounted at a shallow angle.

In addition, improved crosstalk protection throughout prevents accidental triggering of other pads.

Pad-dividing trigger LEDs increase visibility on stage and help players organize kit setups. Custom colors can be assigned to any of the horizontal or vertical LEDs. Colors can be renamed and combined with tags to group kicks, snares, backing tracks, and other sounds for easy identification. The horizontal LEDs can also be set to light in various ways to suit the performance application.

The SPD-SX PRO’s interface includes a 4.3-inch color LCD and hands-on controls with backlighting for easy operation on stage. The LCD provides access to deep parameters and shows essential info such as A/B layers, WAV sample names, sample playback progress, and more.

With 32 GB of internal memory, the SPD-SX PRO holds nearly 44 hours of crystal-clear 48 kHz/16-bit stereo audio. Users can load 48/44.1 kHz WAV, AIFF, and MP3 files with varying bit rates, and the SPD-SX PRO will automatically convert them to its native audio format, simplifying the process of importing sounds.

Features:

  • Nine pads with Roland’s advanced trigger technology, including six large pads and three top-row shoulder pads
  • High-visibility, horizontal and vertical LEDs with multi-color customization
  • Increased shoulder pad sensitivity and improved crosstalk performance
  • 4.3-inch color display for easy navigation and viewing during performance
  • Import 48/44.1 kHz (16-/24-/32-bit) WAV/AIFF files and MP3s (32–320 kbps) with automatic conversion to 48 kHz/16-bit upon loading
  • Stereo main output, four direct mono outputs, balanced for easy mixing on stage
  • Connectivity for up to eight external individual triggers/pads (four stereo triggers or eight mono triggers with Y-cables)
  • Dedicated SPD-SX PRO App for Windows/Mac for easy importing, managing samples, and deep kit editing
  • 32 GB of internal storage for samples, backing tracks, and click tracks
  • Input for hi-hat or footswitch expression control
  • Connect hi-hats, kick, and snare for a ‘mini drum kit’ setup
  • Up to 200 kit patches (43 erasable preset kits and 157 user kits)
  • Over 1550 pre-loaded, high-quality samples and sounds
  • 16-step pad sequencer function
  • Onboard effects engine with up to four effects in parallel, plus side chain with output routing
  • Built-in click/metronome
  • Create in real time by recording performances as WAV files and assigning them to pads

Availability & Pricing

The Roland SPD-SX PRO will be available in the U.S. in October for $1,199.99.

15 thoughts on “Roland Introduces SPD-SX PRO Sampling Pad

    1. Congratulations, you have, in two sentences, completely shown your ignorance of the item in question and the people that it’s made for. Foot meet mouth.

      1. 🙂 Reading the lines: it’s for pad users who have noticed some crosstalk and prefer full colour screens. And for drummers wanting to take responsibility for backing tracks and recording? To be honest, and I’m sure you’ll elloquently correct me, I’ve not seen too many of them in the wild.
        Roland triggering is already first class so, unless they’re fixing their own bug, there’s little added joy in that department even though it makes it to 2 bullet points.
        Electronic drums sound artificial when they don’t have multiple velocity layers and round robin. If that’s your aesthetic then good for you. Personally I’m more your Samplerobot the hell out of Chromaphone type of guy.
        If you can’t build your own presets as good as the inbuilt ones (and I believe those inbuilt ones do have multi samples) then it’s a wasted opportunity. I braved Roland’s crazy alphabetical instruction manual page in order to check its ‘deep editing’ capabilities, but the manual hasn’t been added yet.

        1. To be fair, this new SPD has a function where you can play a sequence of several samples with one pad, essentially giving you round-robin style sample cycling. I’ll probably buy it for this reason alone. It’s not ideal but it achieves the same effect.

      1. Yes and no.
        If you’re playing a backing track and triggering 4 pads, you’ve potentially got quite a lot of noise adding up during the tails and quiet parts, especially if the pads are playing 2 layers simultaneously.
        And isn’t this touted as a recorder too? Able to sample directly into the pads….at 16bit.

  1. With drum, 24 bits would be best for the additional dynamic range and impact, but having used 16 bit samplers for ages, I know that 16 bit isn’t terrible.

    Having ample velocity layers is really important– If Sonic is correct that there are only two, that’s an almost criminal omission– especially with all that sample memory.

    Weirdly, there aren’t many current options for hardware sampler modules with flexible velocity & key-range keymaps– much less ones with decent DSP/synth capabilities. An iPad with AudioLayer (app) might work. However, you would need something that handles the high-hat CC thing (i.e., morphing closed/half/open continously, “pea-soup” “foot chicks” etc.). That could be a pretty complex app in and of itself.

    Probably having the pad & trigger thing and a laptop with Kontakt would be more powerful. But then you get into a pretty complicated rig. There is something appealing about the self-contained system, but yea, two velocity layers?! Sheesh.

  2. In my opinion, Yamaha’s aging DTX M12 is still the gold standard when it comes to extensive features. Unfortunately, I’ve not seen anything rivaling it that also provides more robust sample layering per pad. Roland makes excellent percussion equipment but has lagged behind others in the advanced sampling and layering department for years. This is a nice update, but I have to agree with others. Not sure how this displaces existing offerings from them or Alesis.

  3. I wonder if they fixed the issue that the original SPD-SX is essentially unable to beat-sync with an external clock. And that it is also unable to send MIDI clock itself makes it unusable for live usage with other beat-synced stuff (arpeggios, sequences, hard tremolos/stutter/lfo/gate type of effects). Having the internal metronome of on SDP-SX to start and stop in sync to MIDI Start and Stop would be very useful. And of course to have any triggered sequences to “snap” to the closest, say, 1/16 beat.
    This video demonstrates the problem https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MGCsFKX6y0c. One has to press start on the metronome precisely on time to have it synced to the beat (not just the tempo), where as other gear (say an arpeggiator in a synth) would “snap” this to the closest (or so) actual beat if one presses slightly off-beat. I am very curious to know if Roland has actually implemented this.

  4. I think the moment they put 8 outputs on one these they will have a classic instrument. Such a great product but not enough outs for studio production given its polyphony and specifications.

  5. Looks pretty sick to me! A little pricey, but a nice feature set and nice upgrades. The hi-hat, trigger, and new editor make this thing very appealing. Maybe Santa will hook me up this year!

  6. Rune and stub’s comments have a lot to do with why I ended up mostly working in the box. Output count is as close as your next track and timing options are hanging from the trees like clusters of grapes. I’m puzzled by the odd omissions as well, because my Roland gear has always been a welcome rock. (Pre-USB, anyway.)

    I know manufacturers read the bulletin boards SOME, so I seriously wonder how much more it would have cost to add even just 2 more outputs and fix the timing aspects mentioned. They have great demos by players like Ed Diaz, but they keep missing vital points desired by serious players. That’s a poor way to encourage a repeat customer.

    One good experience can = several more purchases, but one that’s bad enough can send them elsewhere for several years. That fickle-market thing cuts both ways. If a new tool fails the test over 3 aspects you needed most, it often heads for some 3rd-world trash heap. Repeat after me and Pink Floyd percussionist Nick Mason: “My carbon footprint is terrible.”

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