Alesis Sample Pad 4 is the younger brother of the Alesis Samplepad Pro. This little sample pad has only four pads and as such is intended for people who want a more compact setup.
It can be used for both studio recording as a MIDI trigger in DAW’s or in live gigging settings. The main benefit about this unit is its price. In this article, we’re going to give you a quick review of this little pad.
The SamplePad 4 has a metal casing with 4 rubber pads (two large ones and two smaller ones).
The pads itself are rubber and have dual–trigger inputs. They also come with nice LED lights underneath the pads, which light up when you strike the pad, so you can have a visual aid as to which pad you have played in the dark. This is really handy for live playing and looks nice.
The pads are very similar to the Alesis SamplePad Pro. They are pretty responsive to play, but you don’t get the sensitivity of high-end pads (such as the Alesis Strike Multipad, Roland SPD-SX, etc).
On the Samplepad 4, you get 2 large pads (that you hit with the tip of your stick), and two smaller pads at the top (that you usually hit with the shoulder of your drumstick).
Almost no sample pads are completely quiet. If you’re looking for a very quiet home practice option, mesh pads on an electronic drum set are usually far quieter.
Sound and I/O
There are two outputs (main and phones) that you can connect to the Samplepad 4 at once. So you can connect to an amplifier/PA, while also hooking in your own set of headphones for monitoring.
The sound quality is decent and it is generally what you would expect from a sample pad.
Samples can be played in different ways:
- Loop mode – Hitting a pad will start your sample in a continuous loop.
- Mono mode – Hitting a pad will stop the current sample and start it again.
- Poly mode – Multiple samples of the same type can be triggered. Hitting a pad will not stop the current sample and layer another one over it.
This sample pad has its own library of sounds but the great thing is that it has an SD card slot for your own custom sounds.
SD cards up to 32GB can be used to expand the library of the Samplepad 4, allowing you to add your own sounds to the pad and use it how you need it. You can use any sound you like and with the unit, you will get free software for sample conversion – just drag the samples you want to it and it will convert them to format the pad uses. The SD card system itself is really easy to use as it’s made to be a plug and play system. You just plug the card into the slot and choose your samples from the onboard menu and voila!
Apart from that, you get the power output, USB output for connection with the computer and trigger output. With USB connection you can use this as a MIDI controller for your DAW’s (a very useful option).
The SamplePad 4 is made to be really easy to use. It’s great for beginners that are starting out with sample pads or for more advanced users who just need something small to use when they need it.
If you’re a beginner looking to spread your horizons this is a perfect starting point. You can learn basics with Alesis Sample Pad 4 and use it even later on as a backup or added sample pad when playing. It’s ok for taking on the road as it’s pretty sturdy, but if you’re constantly touring, it’s probably worth investing in something a bit more high-end.
If you’re looking for more advanced options, we would recommend checking out our guide on the best electronic drum pads.
The main selling point of this product is simple: its price. With this price, The SamplePad 4 is really affordable for anyone looking to get a sample pad, whatever they might use it for
Even those this is quite a cheap unit, you’re still getting decent quality, sturdy, entry-level pads.
Alesis SamplePad 4 is a great low-end buy for anyone looking to get an entry-level sample pad. It’s small size and compact build make it perfect for anyone wanting a simple piece of drum pad hardware.
If you don’t like the on-board sounds, you can easily connect an SD card to load your own custom samples.
If you have a bigger budget and are looking for more features, be sure to check out our guide on the best electronic drum pads. However, if a simple set of pads is all you want, the SamplePad 4 might be for you.