Within this article, we will do a full Roland Octapad Review.

We will cover all the pros and cons of this product as well as:

  • Built quality
  • Usability
  • Sound quality
  • The current value of this unit

In the end, you will have enough information to decide if this unit has all the features you are searching for, or if you should search for some other alternatives on the market. 

What is Roland Octapad SPF 30?

The Roland Octapad SPD 30 is a high-quality electric drum multi-pad, designed for percussionists and drummers. This device is only for playing and it doesn’t have the option to import samples. 

It’s a flat box with 8 rubber-covered pod triggers. It also has a display and programming controls, and all that is fitted in a small package that can be easily carried anywhere.

Because of its characteristics, it can be used on its own, or as an addition to your electric or acoustic drum kit.

The main features of the Roland Octapad SPF 30 are:

  • This unit has 670 instruments divided into 50 (99 with version II of the firmware update) drum kits
  • Instrument parameters such as volume, pan, reverse, pitch sweep, tone color, soft attack, and others
  • Multi-effect editor
  • Phase loop function with 50 preset phrases  
  • It has an input for the hi-hat controller, four dual-trigger inputs 
  • USM and MIDI connection for computer
  • Indicator lights

Built quality

The build quality is very good and the device itself is very solid and gives the impression of durability. 

The pods are well made and can take some intense drumming, and right from the start, this unit will last for many years. 

The unit has a modern design, and it looks good as it plays. It is very compact and carrying it around on gigs should not be any problem for drummers. 


The Octapad comes with so many features which drummers and percussionists need in a practical sense. The unit is preloaded with 50 to 99 (version II) kits that cover a wide range from modern to traditional drum sounds, percussions, melodies, and sound effects. If all that is taken into account, this device should cover all the needs of a drummer and percussionist, either in the studio or for live performances.

This is very important if we take into consideration the fact that this unit doesn’t have the possibility of importing or recording your custom sound samples. Therefore, the built-in drum presets will be the starting point of all your custom sounds. 

The compensation for this deficiency is the fact that Octapad has a very powerful multi-effect editor. Using this editor and sound parameters all the ones that exist in this unit can be customized. You can use options such as:

  • Tuning
  • Muffling
  • Attack
  • Peach sweep
  • 30 types of internal multi-effects
  • Equalizer
  • Limiter
  • 7 ambiance types

If we consider those options, it is clear that the tone options on this device are almost limitless.

The Octapad SPF 30 has a phase loop function. You can record your custom loops, and play along with them. Before you start recording your loops you have to choose the measured length, and you are good to go. You can record multiple layers, one on the other, which makes it very fun and practical for beginners. But, there is no way to seriously edit your loops, except by adding effects, so this function is limited.  

The SPD 30 has the Roland advanced V-drum triggering technology. The pads are separate units, well isolated with complete cross-talk resistance. 

The pads are very sensitive and able to register a slight difference in your strike. This instrument is making excellent differentiation between light and hard strikes, which gives a better feel to the drummers while playing live, and offers them the possibility for more dynamics while playing. 

The Octapod has four dual-trigger inputs, a kick, and a hi-hat controller. With the external pads, it can be used as a mini drum set which can be used as a real-time recording kit. 

Sound quality

With so many built-in instruments and so many possibilities for experimenting with different parameters and multi-effects, we can say that the Octapod has a wide range of tones which should be enough to cover pretty much everything. 

The sound quality of the pre-loaded sounds and instruments is superb and something that pros will be satisfied with. When it comes to tone, this device has been designed with great attention to detail and is therefore very useful in all its potential applications. 

Value of this unit

This device belongs to the category of high-quality professional instruments. Tone quality, numerous possibilities for individual settings, phase loop option, and numerous expansion possibilities make this device very useful in the studio and live situations.

Also, this device is made according to the highest manufacturing standards, from high-quality and durable materials. If you invest in its purchase, you can be sure that it will last a long time and that it will serve you very well.

According to the impressions of users who already own this device, it has two weak points:

  • High price
  • No way to record or import additional samples or sounds

Even if this device has many good features, the fact that it can’t record custom samples is still a big minus because there are devices from a lower price range that have this feature.

This can be a very important fact for those who can shell out a large sum of money and buy this device. Also, something like customized tones and samples is very important for professional drummers. A device that is sold at a high price and is declared a high-quality device for professionals should also have the ability to sample and play backing tracks. 

Another important thing to think about is the fact that it is necessary to invest a lot of additional resources to purchase additional equipment, such as kick pedals and a hi-hat controller. If you have plans to use this device as a mini electronic drum, be prepared to invest a decent amount of money in it.

In conclusion 

This Roland Octapod SPD 30 is a well-made unit that is designed to satisfy musicians at the pro level. It has many good tonal and instrumental options that should be enough to satisfy the needs of the drummers and percussionists.

With the extensions, it could be used as the mini electric drum kit, or it can be used as an addition to your electric or acoustic kit. 

The unit doesn’t have the option for adding your custom samples and tones, so if this is important to you, you will have to consider some other device. 

The biggest problem with this device is its very high price. There are many other options on the market at a lower price. If price is an important factor for you, then you should pay close attention to everything this device offers compared to the competition.