The Roland Spd-S Sampling Pad: Phrase Maker
The Roland Spd-S is one of the most versatile and dynamic drum sampling pads on the market. Even after the release of the Roland SPD-SX (the updated version of the Spd-S). The Spd-S can still be found on stage with some of the world’s greatest bands.I think the fact that the Spd-S is extremely easy to use, and now even more affordable than ever, makes it a great electronic drum pad to have on your drum kit.
One of the key features on the Roland Spd-S sampling pad is the phrase maker tool. The phrase maker allows you to temporailty record a pad performance, save that performance, and then trigger it later. I have used the phrase maker to record certain parts of a song at a certain BPM to be able to trigger a verse, chorus, or bridge percussion part.
How to use the Phrase Maker:
- Press PATCH so that it is lit, and then select the patch you would like to play.
- Press and hold PHRASE MAKER so it’s lit.
- Use the + or – buttons to select a desired tempo.
- Scroll to the right and select what note value you want it to quantize to. Quantizing is awesome because it will automatically line up any beats that may be slightly off the click track.
- Scroll to the right again and select your loop length (2 measures of 4 beats each).
- Scroll to the right again and adjust the volume of the click track.
- Play the drum pads to create your beat. Remember that your pads will start recording once you hit any pad.
- Pres the START/STOP button to stop recording.
Now that a phrase has been created, you can save it permanently as a new wave. This process is referred to as “resampling.” Use the following procedure to resample the phrase you just recorded:
- If you are satisfied with your beat, you may press the RESAMPLE button to save it.
- Select your gain structure for the wave file.
- Select Mono or stereo.
- Select grade (how much space it will take up on your hard drive, and also the playback quality.)
- Select an empty slot to assign the wave to.
- Select Resample to save the wave.
- Name your wave.
- Play your saved wave to make sure it all worked!
And that is how you use the phrase maker tool on the Roland SPD-S!
Phrase Maker In Action
To really hear how the phrase maker tool can be used in action I recorded a short demo video of me playing a little drum DJ. I have done this exact process of creating “phrases” that I did in the video above and I loaded them all on to one patch which allows me to select a patch or multiple patches at the same time to create some pretty cool layers of drumming! Some patches are drum fills, and some patches are just some interesting beats. This isn’t exactly the type of drum beats I would create for a percussion part on the verse or chorus of a song, but you get the idea! I hope that this video helps you get more creative with your Roland SPD-S!