The Strike Multipad has been a significant step up for Alesis in the world of electronic drum pads. In fact, it’s their first pad that has been taken seriously as a competitor to the Roland SPD-SX.
This is for good reason. This pad actually has far more features than the Roland SPD-SX and the interface is superior. It has onboard looping which even brings in some of the features that we’re used to seeing from the Roland Octapad, though doesn’t perform quite as well as the latter.
This pad is a significant step up from the Alesis SamplePad Pro. To say that the Multipad is better than this is an understatement! We discuss the differences between these devices later on in the article.
The most prominent features of the Strike Pro Pad are:
- Sampling capability: Not all electronic drum pads actually allow for custom sampling. The Alesis Strike Multipad has some great sampling features, including the ability to load via USB or sample directly into the device via the audio inputs.
- Lots of input and output options: drum pad and trigger inputs, foot controls, audio inputs, MIDI outputs.
- Great display: The display on this device looks absolutely fantastic. It’s one of the best of any sample pad we’ve seen. The buttons and knobs on the bottom of this pad make the user interface much better, with less navigating through menus needed on-the-fly.
- Looks cool: This sample pad looks great. It’s quite a step up from the Alesis Sample Pad Pro.
The Strike Multipad vs Other Electronic Drum Pads
Check out our popular article on the best electronic drum pads to learn more about the alternatives.
Storage and sound
It includes around 7000 internal sounds, which include both melodic and percussive sounds. It has 32GBs of internal storage for you to load custom samples. You can import these by USB.
It also allows for an external SD card for additional storage. The LED screen has a very nice user interface to navigate through these.
Inputs and Expansion
4 back inputs allow you to expand this into a mini electronic drums set. This includes a hi-hat input. Foot control inputs allow you to hook in a footswitch to control the onboard functions of this sample pad.
There are also audio inputs that allow you to record into this sampler. You can use the knobs to control exactly where you want the start and endpoints of the loop.
Audio and MIDI Interface
The Strike Multipad includes USB MIDI and Audio Interface, and standard MIDI pin connections (input and output).
Therefore you can use this to trigger external drum racks and samples from music software on your computer. This is a standard feature on most electronic drum pads.
The Strike Multipad has some phrase looping features, though it comes with a few quirks and limitations (lack of a quantize function, tempo changing after recording, and general sequencing control (muting, deleting, queueing up loop changes) that we’re used to on the Roland Octapad).
Though I can’t criticize Alesis much in this respect of full sequencing control of phrase looping features, as this could clog up the interface of the pad and make it difficult to use.
There are lots of standard effects available. The hardware knobs here are a great feature because it can be very awkward to perform and tweak effects live without them.
There is the main output as well as phones, so you can monitor while also sending an audio signal to a PA or amplifier. There are volume knobs on the front to control both of these.
The lights are very interesting on this device and they actually look really cool. Flashing lights let you know that the pad is engaged in a loop. The straight lighting shows the timeline of the loop as it’s running. A very impressive feature indeed!
The colors of the lights are also adjustable. This feature isn’t particularly important for most, but it’s nice to have.
What’s the difference between the Alesis Sample Pad Pro and the Alesis Strike MultiPad?
There are many differences between these pads. In general, the build quality is far superior on the Alesis Strike Multipad. It’s a pro option, whereas the Sample Pad Pro was honestly at a more entry or intermediate level.
If you want to learn more about the Alesis SamplePad Pro, check out our more detailed hands-on article here.
The Price: The Strike Multipad is a lot more expensive than the Sample Pad Pro!
The Alesis SamplePad Pro does not have the looping functionality that is present in the Strike Multipad.
The SamplePad Pro allows for custom sampling to be loaded via USB, but it doesn’t have the wide live audio input sampling features that the Strike Multipad has.
Effects and user experience: The SamplePad Pro has a relatively basic interface, which means that you spend more time navigating between menus. The Strike MultiPad has a much more interesting interface, with better hardware buttons and knobs. The Strike MultiPad also has a lot more effects and the ability to tweak them all on-the-fly.
There are other differences between these two devices, but those are the main ones that come to mind.
The Strike Multipad vs Roland SPD-SX
It’s a difficult decision to pick between the Strike Multipad and the Roland SPD-SX. Although the SPD-SX is getting a bit dated at this point, it is an ultra-reliable pad that countless musicians around the world rely upon. It’s also very easy to use.
The Strike Multipad on the other hand simply has better features, so if you’d like to spend more time sinking your teeth into these, then it very much could be worth getting the newer Strike Multipad.
It’s very much a matter of preference which one you go with.
Alesis are entering the electronic sample pad market with a serious contender. If you want to check out alternative sample pads then check out our popular article on the best electronic drum pads.
The Strike Multipad will no doubt be out of the price range for many, but it’s great to have another option to add to the competition. The entry of this device might also spark some more innovation from Roland and Yamaha in this area.
Images – Courtesy of Alesis
1 thought on “Alesis Strike Multipad Review – Is It Worth It?”
Had mine for about a week and am already disappointed by a few important things (to me)
1. No quantize/snap function for loop recording either during recording or playback
2. When you start recording a loop, you have to wait for a 1 bar count-in. I much prefer the Roland SPD-s process which arms record and gives a click, but doesn’t start recording until you actually strike a pad.
3. Would love to have a “live record” loop function (similar to Wavedrum Mini or the latest Roland Handsonic) where you are able simply and quickly record a phrase without having to set up tempo or bar length etc.. Great for capturing “on the fly” loops in real time.
4. Cannot match sampled loops to clock/tempo sync (like in Ableton). Loops only play back at tempo recorded
5. No ability to have sampled loop phrases start playback on the nearest beat/bar etc… If you don’t hit the pad exactly in time you loops will be out of sync.
6. No way to sync FX such as delay to clock/tempo
7. Can’t mute loops/tracks
Why can’t someone just come out with a drum pad hardware version of Ableton Live????