In this article, we will show you an honest review of the Alesis Sample Pad Pro, which is an all-in-one percussion instrument and sampler that features 8 responsive and velocity-sensitive pads.
There are a large number of drum sample pads on today’s market, so it is not easy to judge whether it is wise to invest more or less money in the purchase of these products.
At the end of this article, we will show you whether Alesis Sample Pad Pro is worth investing in and whether you will potentially satisfy all your needs with this unit.
What is Alesis Sample Pad Pro?
Alesis Sample Pad Pro is an electric drum pad instrument that can be used as a percussive instrument or as a sampler unit for backing tracks.
It has a significant number of pre-loaded sounds and samples, and the possibility of adding your custom samples, which makes it very usable.
The unit can be used on its own or as an addition to your electric or acoustic drum kit.
The key features of Alesis Sample Pad Pro:
- This is a complete electronic percussion rig
- It has 8 velocities sensitive, single-zone pads
- 200 or more percussive sounds
- 10 built-in drum kits
- SD card slot for more sounds and samples
- Kick pedal and hi-hat pedal input
- Two additional inputs for drum pads
- USB, MIDI connectivity, and headphone jack
We will make a review of Alesis Sample Pad Pro:
- Built quality
- Sound quality
This unit is surprisingly lightweight and compact. It’s small in size and portable, which makes it a very good choice for gigging drummers who don’t want to carry a lot of gear. The unit is also sturdy like other, much more expensive units on the market.
The product has a modern design and it’s finished in black, but it has blue lights which are turned on as you trigger the drum pads, so it is visible even if played in dark conditions.
When it comes to dials and knobs, SamplePad pro is very simplistic. It has 4 buttons, three knobs, and a small blue display, and all of it is made of high quality and gives a feeling of good usability.
Alesis Sample Pad Pro comes with more than 200 individual drums and percussion sounds that are pre-loaded in the unit. Those sounds are high quality, and they are a solid material for somebody who is entering the drum pads world.
The unit also has an SD card slot and it can read cards up to 32 GB. The SD card can be used to extend the variety of sounds on the unit by loading your custom sounds and samples. Because of this Sample Pad Pro could be used just as a loop-playing device as an extension of the regular drum kit. The SD card option makes it very usable and gives it limitless potential for sound versatility and additional use as a sampler.
Also, the unit has 10 full drum kits pre-loaded. Those are of decent quality and are fully adjustable by the unit interface.
It’s very easy to navigate through the menu system, although there are only four buttons that can be used for navigation. The interface is simple, and it’s very easy to swap between kits, sounds, and samples.
Loading new samples and sounds also come very easily. The SamplePad has to be connected to the computer, and the sample-load option has to be selected. To be read all the sounds need to be loaded onto the SD card, so the SD card must be inserted. The SD card will appear in your OS of choice.
When it comes to playability, this device has a few downsides. The biggest criticism of the users is related to the pad’s sensitivity, cross talk, and output volume.
The pad’s playability and sensibility are decent, but in comparison with more expensive alternatives from Roland or Yamaha is a little bit of a duller feel, and it has a little bit less feedback. Playing ghost notes or fast rolls could be an issue. If we consider this, this unit is much more for some basic playing or simple drum beats. The sample pad is not so reliable for faster transitions and more complex rhythms.
An issue that is always mentioned if we talk about Sample Pad pro is cross-talk. Hitting one pad can trigger another, and in a live situation, this might lead to disaster. The biggest problem is if that happens with pads that are used to launch samples. The cross-talk could stop or start the loaded samples at the wrong time.
Alesis recognized this problem as very important and after some time provided a firmware update that solved this problem for many users. The problem is solved by the new update reducing the sensitivity of the problematic panels. Also, one way to combat this problem is to not use problematic panels.
Some users are complaining that the output volume on this unit is weak when it is connected to a mixer. When that is the case, the volume for the channel where Alesis is connected has to be put to the max, which can lead to noise.
Alesis Sample Pad Pro might not be at the level of products that are considered to be premium quality, but on the other hand, it costs half of their price. Despite its small price, the unit offers a lot.
The fact that you can load more samples in it with the SD card makes it usable even for pros, but on its own, the Sample Pad offers much more than other units in the same price range.
If the budget is important and you are searching for something chipper that can do the job, this unit is a perfect choice. If that is the case you will be able to find a solution for all the problems that this unit is known for, and just make it work for you.
The Alesis Sample Pad Pro is cheaper than all the other units that are considered to be usable. That is a significant attribute that works in his favor.
The unit is sturdy and offers 8 pads that are packed in a usable design. It has a possibility for pads extension, bass drum, and hi-hat pedals. It has an SD card slot that can be used for sample playing and extension of the sound base, which puts it in the higher range of drum pad units.
Unfortunately, the unit has problems like pad sensitivity, bad output volume, and cross-talk which is the most significant problem. Still, if you are limited in budget you won’t find anything that has all the features like Sample Pad Pro in that price range. If you buy this unit, you will find your way to live with those problems, and still, use all the good sides of it.
If we take all these things into consideration, we can say that Alesis Sample Pad Pro is worth the money. It might not be for the pros that need premium quality gear, but it is a good choice for the ones that are entering the world of drum pads, and the ones that are limited with a budget.