Alesis have been changing the face of electronic percussion over the last 18 months. Their new lines of innovative, affordable and easy to use electronic drumkits, sample racks and portable sample pads have been winning the hearts of consumers worldwide. The Alesis SamplePad Pro hit Australian shores in July 2015 and was an instant success. The unit offered a huge range of features, was slick looking, easy to use and affordable. 2016 has seen the release of the Alesis SamplePad 4. This 4 pad version of the SamplePad Pro is a compact and powerful tool that makes it even easier for musicians to enjoy unlimited sound potential live and in the studio. Last week mine arrived. The phrase “good things come in small packages” sprang to mind straight away. I took the unit out of the box and was immediately impressed by the compact, sleek and modern looking unit. It felt solid, but not heavy.
The SamplePad 4 was well labelled and gave me a clear idea of the unit’s capabilities as soon as I took it out of the box. Straight away I noticed that the unit had an SD card slot, USB and MIDI in, trigger in, L/R mains, separate volume controls for the main and headphones out and a simple screen and four-button interface. It looked great and easy to use. I was excited to start exploring. I turned the unit on and was immediately taken by the dynamic blue LED lighting, which looked great and would certainly help for use in a dark setting. I flicked through the 10 preset kits and found everything I would expect in percussion and electronic drum sounds. The samples were clear, well recorded and could be tuned for pitch and reverb. The pads were responsive to different touch and stick velocities. So good!
The next step was to connect it to my computer, get my own samples onto it and configure my own user kit. I did this all without looking at the instruction manual once. I’m happy to say it was easy. The SamplePad 4 plugged directly into my Mac via USB, and allowed me to drag and drop my samples onto the SD card through an easy to use interface. No formatting of SD cards, no dicking around with file types and no complicated sub-folders. The whole process took less than ten minutes, it was intuitive and user-friendly.
The SamplePad 4 is a powerful tool, and suitable for musicians who are looking to expand their sound potential. This awesome offering from Alesis makes it easy for people to customise, perform and play music that is truly unique and innovative. I was blown away by how easy the unit was to use, and the quality and consistency of their sounds. The Sample Pad 4 gave me the impression that it had unlimited potential to help me realise my sound. A solid, fun and completely affordable offering from the team at Alesis.
For more details on the range of Alesis products, head to www.elfa.com.au.
Hits and Misses
Well recorded sounds