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Darren Mathiassen on the Roland SPD-SX

Posted by on 17 September 2013


Darren Mathiassen

on the Roland SPD-SX

Bluff-bred Darren ‘D’ Mathiassen is guilty of rhythmic corruption with several arresting ladies such as Hollie Smith, Bella Kalolo, Iva Lamkum, Sacha Vee, Charlotte Yates, Bebe Deluxe, Lisa Tomlins and NYC based Fredericks Brown with Deva Mahal & Steph ‘Lips’ Brown. Whilst other infamous felonies involve Trinity Roots, Rhombus, Age Pryor, Michael Barrymore and The Nok. He is one of this country’s most in demand drummers so we asked him to take the Roland SPDSX through its paces and here is the result.

Percussive Sampling

The Roland SPD-SX is the successor to Roland’s superb and long standing SPS-S sampler pad. Built specifically with drummers in mind, the SPD-SX is ready to play in seconds, with its great sounding preloaded samples and loops, instantly accessible real-time effects processing and it integrates seamlessly with any kit. We just toured an SPD-SX with Iva Lamkum through South East Asia and the Pacific, running it through some massive outdoor concert rigs and I can honestly say it is sonically better than its predecessor.

For those of you unfamiliar with the SPD-SX, it is a totally customisible sampler instrument that is playable with drum sticks or hands (sticks recommended). You can record directly to it with a microphone or other audio source such as an iPod, load it with your own audio content via USB thumb drive or USB2 connection to your computer. Not just drum or percussion sounds, but anything you can think of, from a snare, to loops, to entire songs. It can be used as a MIDI controller via its USB2 port or standard MIDI ports. It will even record your computers audio via its USB2 port. It is expandable to accommodate external triggers such as a kick, snare, hihat, or foot switch controllers.

For those of you familiar with the previous model and wondering what’s new, or if it has addressed anything on your power-user wish-list? It most certainly has and then some!

Transitioning from the previous model was so easy with the Wave Manager software (PC/Mac). I had all my samples backed up on my Mac, so importing was a simple drag and drop. You can even just drag samples directly to the pads. Or create folders for specific artists or songs so that relevant sounds are easy to find and recall. Once you’re set up, you can backup your system to your computer or USB thumb drive.

Roland have added Patch Chain to the SPD-SX. This lets you set a custom sequence of patches, handy for programing a set-list so you don’t have to scroll through a ton of patches to find the one you’re after. The next patch is always one touch away.

There’s a built-in metronome which is assignable to use any sampled sound. Tempo can be global or patch specific, audible and/or visual.Sounds and/or click can be routed to Headphone Out, Sub Out and Main Out. 

You can play loops from one patch and they keep playing while you scroll to another patch to play other sounds or kits.

The onboard effects are so easy to use, you’ll be doing live mash-ups before you know it.

SPD-SX has a large easy-to-read display and a menu structure that’s insanely easy to use and much more intuitive to get around. 

Making it easy to explore all the powerful new features. This is a killer piece of gear, don’t settle for less, rest assured that Roland have all the fine print covered with this one! You get to create this instrument and it will grow with you for years to come.

Click here to view the Roland SPD-SX