Using the Roland SPD-SX Sampling Pad Live – Ryan Jenkinson


Wouldn’t it be great if drummers could get advice from professional drummers.

Don’t get too excited – we’re not about to give out phone numbers of our artists! But what if they could take the time to explain to us mere mortals what the professionals do, and show us how it’s done? Watch Ryan Jenkinson, drummer with Reverend and the Makers, V-Drums demonstrator and Roland artist, as he shares some inner-secrets of the professional drummer’s world. Contributed by Roland UK Team There’s lots of talk about hybrid drums (electronic + acoustic percussion together) right now and what it can do for you. Listening to the drummers out there though, we know that it can feel intimidating to build electronics into your playing. But with a little knowledge, it couldn’t be easier. If you want to go hybrid, one of the easiest ways is to use an Roland SPD-SX sampling pad. As well as being able to load your own sounds or songs (or any audio for that matter), it also has on-board percussion sounds from acoustic to electronic samples. Because the SPD-SX has nine velocity sensitive pads (sounds are played quieter or louder depending on how hard you hit the pad), you can simply stand the SPD-SX next to your acoustic kit and you’re a hybrid drummer! You’ve got the power to play extra sounds, or connect your acoustic drums to the SPD-SX with drum triggers to layer or play acoustic and electronic sounds together.

“Ryan Jenkinson shows how to create a hybrid drum kit”

How the professionals are using the SPD-SX

Watch a band at a gig, festival or on TV these days and the SPD-SX is a familiar sight. Normally sat beside the drummer, this compact black and red pad is rapidly becoming an essential companion for pro-drummers. But what are they doing with it? Chances are they are doing one of the following (or even a combination); – Playing their own sounds or the built-in sounds to trigger extra instruments or percussion sounds. They’ll hit a pad on the SPD-SX, or hit a pad connected to the SPD-SX to do this – Running a backing track with a click track. This isn’t the band miming to a song, they’re just playing parts of the song they can’t play live, such as string sections or percussion loops – Triggering from their acoustic drums. By connecting the SPD-SX to their acoustic kit with acoustic drum triggers, every time you play the acoustic kick and snare drum, a sound from the SPD-SX will play or ‘trigger’ along with it. In this case, they are probably triggering the kick and snare sound taken from the album track, so you get the feel and look of live drums, along with the exact sound from the record When on tour with his band Reverend and the Makers, Ryan Jenkinson is doing all three at the same time!

Backing tracks and click tracks with the SPD-SX

So, how are the drummers playing these tracks and how are they playing in time. In the first two videos in a four-part series, Ryan takes the mystery out of the backing track and the click track and shows you how you can do this for yourself. It’s simple to do, and very useful once the lights go down and the gig begins.

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Created by Roland V-Drums specialist Simon Ayton, these patches were designed using the internal factory sounds and many of the techniques covered in the TD-50 guide. Enjoy exploring the possibilities!