Alesis Sample Pad Pro Review 2020
As a welcome step-up from their initial small surface Sample Pad, the Alesis Sample Pad Pro crept into the market, which had some drawbacks with its 4 pads. The Pro design sees it doubled, offering more room for users to build interesting beats and still has a small footprint in storage.
It has a nice blue LED's minimalist layout. It is arranged at the very top with 2 rows of 3 large pads (6 total) and 2 smaller, corner mounted pads on the left and right that give off a rim shot vibe. On the sides of the machine, the dials are tucked away to keep them out of the way of harm.
With its additional pads and comprehensive preset account, it is now a viable contender for a cheaper alternative to dominating the market by the Roland and Yamaha, which comes with a heavy price tag.
The menu is again simplistic to navigate, but for some more experienced users who would prefer a few extra buttons, this was considered a major gripe.
The product name is a bit misleading because it can't actually sample on the fly. It does have an SD card reader from which you can access stored samples, even if you needto pre-create / download them.
The Sample Pad Pro is pretty well-made, and while we prefer the bounce on the Roland's pads, it does a pretty great job to answer.
They have good sensitivity that can be dialed in and out of meaning, you can play with fair expression that makes it feel less synthetic than some cheaper options out there.
However, the sensitivity is a bit of a double-edged sword, the velocity response is the very thing that should help it triumph over other budget models and put it in tune with the premium brands.
It should be able to reproduce the nuances of how it is played, but if you turn it up too much you can get a lot of crosstalk between the rest of the pads, making the response to the velocity somewhat useless for a live situation. Firmware updates have been made to reduce multi-trigger / crosstalk problems.
If you use it as a midi interface, of course, then I hope you should dive right in and delete any unnecessary triggers afterwards.
Other reported problems are loading delays when switching from kit to kit, which is inevitable and the pads themselves give off their own sound as they are being struck.
Personally, we think it's a bit pedantic, it certainly doesn't overshadow the sound reproduction and it's a non-issue again, monitoring through its headphone output, so you'll just hear the digital sound.
You can also use the Hi-Hat Kick Pedal input to hook up 2 additional external pads or triggers that can have a switch or trigger setup.
Alesis Sample Pad Pro 2020 Review
+ 8x trigger pads that are sensitive to speed.
+ The navigation menu is simple.
+ The dials are protected.
+ 200 sounds of percussive instrument.
+ 10 separate drum kit set-ups ready to play.
+ Unlimited Class 10 SanDisk 16 GB Ultra SDHC memory card reader.
Input Kick Pedal and Hi-Hat Pedal.
+ MIDI IN and OUT ports, 1/8 "aux inputs, 1/4" stereo output, 1/4 "headphone output, and an additional foot switch control jack.
+ All cables provided for monitoring as well as a set of dynamic Samson headphones.
+ The layout is easy to use.
+ Different choices for I / O.
+ Extensive built-in sound bank and 500 MB of sampled sound download.
- A few crosstalks.
- Switching between kits is slow.
For whom is it appropriate?
In view of the crosstalk problems, we should probably say that this is better suited for a novice and particularly for those who wish to use it for the needs of production. It just doesn't play as authentically as some set-ups of synth / hybrid drum and any flourishing might trigger anywhere else.
It is also an ideal solution for those whose budget will not extend to a premium pad as it offers some superb features that despite its minor flaws, lower-priced models are unable to compete with.
Why We Like It
It is a versatile device that is easy to set up and use, the additional online content is great and while there are better pads on the current market for those of you who want to be able to play with ornamental rolling freedom etc, they will charge you an extra 4 or 500 bucks for the privilege.