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COMMENT: Electronic drums

Ronnie Dungan
COMMENT: Electronic drums

The concept may have been around for a while, but if you’re involved in the drum market in any way, you probably will have noticed a rise in the number of electronic percussion pad and drum sampling devices released lately.As with virtually every sector that relies on technological wizardry rather than looks as their main selling points, the latest products in this field have come a long way from some of the early examples. Although the basics of drumming have remained unchanged for generations, drummers of today can finally join their fellow band members in getting all gadget geeky and these products have started becoming a prominent feature on the kits of more and more percussionists.
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Roland and Alesis have both added to the sampling pad category recently with the SPD-SX and the SamplePad, but instead of competing head-on, the two companies have instead opted for very different approaches.Roland describes the SPD-SX as “the most advanced triggering and sampling technology in a sleek, easy-to-use percussion instrument.” The latter part is certainly true and after seeing it in action, the first part of that statement is pretty believable, too. Its audio-capturing features and multi-effects engines take some beating.With the SamplePad, Alesis has gone for a more straightforward, affordable option. It might not match the SPD-SX in terms of performance, but it’s more compact, will hit retail at a much lower price point and still allows users to load their own sounds onto it.What’s more, you don’t have to be a drummer to use one. They are also ideal tools for summoning samples in the studio, or in clubs and if you really master them, you could even tell the rest of the band to ‘do one’ and become a twenty first century one-man band – they really do have a lot to offer. Plus, instruments like these are just extremely fun to mess around on and get creative with, and that’s what making music is all about, right?

Tags: electronic drums , sample-pads

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