For the longest time I was wanting to purchase a sample pad that could play lengthy audio files and yet be simple to use and easy on the wallet. After much research, searching websites, forums and video reviews I finally pulled the trigger and purchase the Alesis Samplepad...and I got to tell you...its AMAZING!!
First, lets start with the specs. The unit has 25 internal sounds, they are:
2 Finger Snap
3 Cowbell High
4 Cowbell Low
5 Triangle Muted
6 Triangle Open
8 Wind Chimes
13 Studio Shaker
14 Live Shaker
15 Electro Tom Hex
17 Conga Slap
18 Conga Open
19 Electro Kick 8
20 Electro Kick 9
21 Electro Kick Hex
22 Electro Snare 8
23 Electro Snare 9
24 Electro Snare Hex
25 Electro Crack Hex
Some of them are pretty decent too.
It supports SD cards up to 32GB. You can configure up to 8 different KIT's. While there is no limit on the length of the sample (per-say), there is a 14MB (internal) maximum per kit. Meaning the unit doesn't play the samples from the SD card, it actually uploads them from the SD card to the 14MB (internal) memory which does take a rather long time. I estimate about 2 seconds per MB...for example, if you use a sample from an SD card that is 6MB it will take about 10-12 seconds for it to load. (see video below). Also the only way to stop a sample that's in progress is either to push the TUNE & SENS buttons together or to switch sounds/kits.
Specs - Continued
There are 4 different setting options (buttons)
- TUNE which changes the pitch/speed of the sample
- SENSE which sets the sensitivity of the pad
- REV which adds reverb to the sample
- LEV which is the volume control of the pad/sample.
It also allows you to add 1 external trigger pad and supports MIDI.
That's pretty much it. Like I said its real simple.
Finding Sounds you Need and Converting them
I use www.freesound.org to get most of my samples. They have a HUGE database of sounds. Its a free site (they do accept donations which I recommend). All you need to do is setup a FREE account and....download WAY!!
I made the following video showing you the above mentioned site and also converting the wav file (using Audacity) to be compatible/playable with the pad.
Using SD Card
This function was the MAIN reason I purchased this unit. My band uses several audio intro's that are quite lengthy, from 30 seconds to 2 minutes. I needed a unit that would allow this. Even with the 14MB limit I didn't run into any issues. The largest sample we use is about 8MB so that leaves about 6MB for the other 3 pads (4 if you are using an external pad as well).
Below is a video I made showing many of the samples I created.
The next project will be to use this unit to actually trigger/play recorded parts (Theremin, horn, keyboard, etc) during our live gigs. I am real excited to see how far I can push this unit. Please stay tuned!!
Feel free to leave questions or comments below