Synth Site: Roland: SPD-20: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.1 out of 5
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Mattias a hobbyist user from Copenhagen writes:
It's a TOY. It's not a real drumset. But it's a GOOD TOY. Let's say:

You can use it for MIDI-recording and playback. You can use it for recording a piano, via MIDI. You can change all the toms from Vintage to Rock in a "Snap". You can choose between a Chinese Cymbal or a Gong or a splash, included in the price!

I've expanded mine to a drumset. 4 inputtriggers:

1 Hihat 1 Hihat Pedal 1 BassDrum 1 Snaredrum

And I've even got 4 cymbals and 4 Toms in a set I can play in a Volvo!

Not to mention beating along al night not bothering the neighbours!

A minus is the flexibility: The SPD20 is strictly rythm. When that is said the plusses are:

1) Build in effects. 2) Design your own drumset by the week 3) Play classical, jazz, heavy, Flamenco - on one set. (Not to mention all the handinstruments) 4) Easy to use, easy to design new sounds. 5) The Midi is a part for iself.

It's got in/out and you can sequens on one (A) bank while you fill in/play on the other (B).

Leave alone all the force that MIDI manipulating includes as a plus.

This Drumset has:

10 Drums (items) containing 700 sounds that are Pitchable, Duratable, Effectable.

The Pads have a nice feel, and a good backstroke, the Rims on the PD 7 and the PD 9 need a little ekstra exercise, but if you're an expierenced drummer, there should be no problems in learning to master the alternate cyberset!

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Thursday-Mar-29-2001 at 08:18
Dan Snellenbarger a professional user from United States, CA writes:
I went with Roland because I have one of their keyboards (XP-30), and the price is right. I agree about the patch selection. It can take a few minutes to scroll thru to get from a "reverse" sound to a "snare". Also, if you accidentally touch a pad or trigger and don't realize it while you're programming, you've just messed up your program a bit. To protect myself with this problem, I use sequencer backups and keep handwritten notes. I have also noted patches I don't like and use them as backups (copy). Other than that, the unit is very responsive and flexible. The layering is also very useful and I won't play without it! I just purchased mine 2 days ago, which shows how easy it is to learn. I added it to my kit last night and the band gave it rave reviews, as well. If I had to recommend ONE thing, it would be to have a great amplifier and a monitor behind so you can hear yourself in live situations. Will have a photo of how I integrated it into my kit on my site (

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Friday-Feb-02-2001 at 11:30
lorin a part-time user from USA writes:
Me again. I just wanted to clear things up...the MIDI is NOT confusing, it's just the manual. Heres the deal - it has a basic MIDI channel which you can set to anything, but is default to 10. However, each pad can send on a different channel if you'd like. So I guess it is multitambral, althoughthe manual says nothing either way.

Also, there is NO MIDI out.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Thursday-Jan-11-2001 at 19:00
lorin a part-time user from USA writes:
The best electronic drum sounds I've ever heard next to a V-drum setup. You can really FEEL these sounds...the kicks are so real you can hear the head of the kick drum being struck. Awesome impact. Beautiful can actually gradually build up a splash cymbal. Lots of weird sounds too - many of them inspirational. The ease of mixing and matching new kits is a joy.

The hand percussions are fun to play (with your hands), and sounds great. It's nice to have 8 (or more!) conga tambres to choose from.

You can assign two sounds to the same pad, and velocity differences will trigger either sound! You can also connect "rimshot" v-drum pads and assign rimshot sounds to the "rims", and others to the inside ofthe drum!

You can set all kinds of external inputs to it. It also has a function called patch expand that will allow you to play it with General Midi files...and of course you can create your own GM drumsets.

Hella cool, but the MIDI setup is kinda confusing (like most older Roland products).

909, 808, CR78, R8, Acoustic, Indian, African, Sound Effects, Voices!!! and more. Effects too.

Nice unit, and playing it is better than therapy :)

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Thursday-Dec-21-2000 at 19:21
John Schur a hobbyist user from Pittsburgh, PA USA writes:
Over all, I like the SPD20 a lot. It has shortcomings however: It would be nice to have a numeric keypad for patch selection. it would be nice if the rhythmic loops would sync to midi. It would be nice if the unit responded to CC#7 (volume). Sounds are great however and the thing seems to be well built. Very playable!

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Thursday-Mar-16-2000 at 21:04
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