Roland SPD-ONE Percussion Pads – Are They Worth It?

Roland SPD::ONE

7.7

Value for Money

7.0/10

Features

5.5/10

Ease of Use

10.0/10

Sound Quality

9.0/10

Playability

7.0/10

Pros

  • Simple and easy to use
  • Very lightweight and compact
  • Great build quality

Cons

  • Only one playing surface
  • Very limited features
  • A bit pricey
  • Only WAV version supports custom samples

Roland has been a big player in the percussion pad market for many years. Their pads have generally been ‘multi-pads’ with many different functions. The SPD-ONE offers something new.

The various models of the SPD-ONE were brought out to fulfill a small number of functions but do them very well. As a result, they’re smaller, easier to use, and cheaper than full multi-pads.

The Roland SPD-ONE range of pads are on the market for about 4 years now and musicians use them quite frequently, particularly drummers, singers, and bass players, as well as music producers.

The SPD::One comes in four different versions: Electro, Percussion, Kick, and WAV pad. The first 3 have a bunch of internal sounds to choose from, whereas the WAV pad allows you to load your own custom samples.

  • SPD::ONE Electro focuses on drums sounds
  • SPD::ONE Kick is intended to be used as a stomp box (playing with your feet).
  • SPD::ONE Percussion is for percussion sounds (no major surprise there!)
  • SPD::ONE WAV allows you to load your own samples (how you name the file dictates how the sample is used, either one-shot, loop, phrase loop. You can also define if it’s mono or poly).

The version that you should go for very much depends on your needs.

Different Versions of the Roland SPD-ONE

Roland SPD-ONE Electro (SPD-1E)
Easy access to iconic drum sounds.
Roland SPD-ONE Kick (SPD-1K)
Great for use as a stomp pad (playing with your foot).
Roland SPD-ONE Percussion (SPD-1P)
Percussion-focused sounds.
Roland SPD-ONE WAV (SPD-1W)
Load your own custom samples.

Design

If you are familiar with Boss guitar and bass pedals, you will instantly notice that these pads closely resemble those popular units. A massive pad and four analog knobs for easy adjustments are something that looks more like a guitar pedal and that is for a good reason.

These pads are designed to be played not just with hands and sticks, but with your foot as well. Therefore, Roland has decided on the proven design of its sub-brand, famous for very high build quality. The pads also stick to the ground extremely well.

Each model features the same connectivity features as well, which are rather simple. Of course, there is master output, as well as a phone jack.

A good thing about these pads is that you can run them on either adaptor or batteries. Finally, you will notice a USB port from the left side, so you can connect the unit with your computer for MIDI connectivity or for importing samples in the case of the SPD-ONE Wav pad. In the same area you can also notice two small knobs for adjustment of the pad sensitivity.

Roland SPD-ONE Electro Features

One of four SPD-ONE models is called Electro and its name speaks for itself. This is a perfect unit for all those lovers of vintage drum machines. Inspired by the legendary 808 and 909 drum machine models, it delivers a whole plethora of legendary tones.

Thanks to super-convenient knobs, you can easily tweak all these sounds. As I’ve mentioned, this is a simple device, very user-friendly. There are not things like scroll menus, patches, programming, etc. – just a couple of physical knobs.

In the SPD-ONE Electro, one of the knobs is dedicated to tuning function. The Tuning knob allows you to easily adjust the pitch. Also, there is an FX knob, which allows you to toggle between delay and reverb.

Finally, the last knob is the same in all units, reserved for volume control.

Roland SPD-ONE Kick Features

The SPD-ONE Kick is next in the line. You can count on the same overall design. Actually, the only physical difference between the four units is in color, apart from the WAV pad, where the knobs have different functions.

In terms of sound, this model definitely has a lot to offer. It is designed to be played with the foot. Therefore, you can count on typical bass drum sounds. The first knob lets you choose different sounds. There are ten types in total. Most of them are various types of acoustic bass drums. There is also one electronic bass drum, as well as a Cajon bass.

Additionally, the unit offers a few percussion sounds that are usually played with feet, such as hi-hat chicks and ankle jingles.

The second knob is the same as in the Electro model. This Tuning knob gives a lot of additional options for getting a variety of different sound characteristics which can completely change the color of a certain sample.

Of course, an FX knob is here as well. In this particular model, you can toggle between reverb and distortion. It is a cool feature that, once again, allows you to play with the tonal characteristics of each sample.

Unfortunately, you can’t use these two effects simultaneously.

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Roland SPD-ONE Percussion Features

The SPD-ONE Percussion offers a bunch of percussion-based samples. Some of them are typical rhythmic sounds like cowbells or tambourines. Also, there are special sounds like handclaps, timpani, gong, open and closed hi-hats, triangle, wind chimes, and much more.

Of course, this selection is reserved for the first knob. The rest of the knobs are the same as on the Electro pad. The second one is the Tuning knob, which in this particular case allows you to adjust the pitch of your pad, in accordance with your set.

If you want to add a bit of specific flavor to a certain sample, there is the third knob. Just like on the SPD-ONE Electro, it lets you toggle between reverb and delay. Once again, these two effects can’t be used simultaneously, but that shouldn’t be taken as a drawback in this case.

Of course, the last knob is for volume controls.

Roland SPD-ONE WAV Features

In the SPD-ONE lineup, the WAV is definitely the most distinctive unit. Despite the familiar look, it works on a quite different principle. While the other three units are common electronic drum pads, this one is rather a playback machine.

This is the only model in the SPD-ONE lineup that allows you to import files. Also, the importing process is very simple.

Because of the simplicity of the actual device, you cannot change the way the sample is played on the pad directly. You need to organize this beforehand by changing the file name. If you want to load a sample as a one-shot, then you need to add “_m” to the end of the file name before loading.

Therefore, you need to be a little organized, and it certainly decreases your options a bit once you have everything loaded, but it’s all in the name of simplicity!

Best_Electronic_Drum_Pads

Verdict

The Roland SPD-ONE models are great electronic drum pads. Their strongest point is the simplicity of use, which makes them perfect for anyone who has just entered the world of drum electronic drumming.

Each unit offers a whole bunch of quality tones. On the other side, the pads are very sensitive and allow lots of dynamics in play.

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Mike O'Connor

Drumming has been my passion for over 18 years. I play quite a few different genres and I really enjoy experimenting with hybrid kits that blend acoustic and electronic drums. I love all things drumming!

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