A Roland SPD-S Sampling Primer

Let’s Sample It!

While resampling a sound with effects is similar in concept to resampling a loop made with Phrase Maker, the button pushes are a bit different. Starting in Patch play mode, press the RESAMPLE button. The display will prompt you to “select scr pad”; hit the pad with the effected sample/loop you want to resample. The START/STOP button will light up and the SAMPLE button will flash red. Next, press the flashing SAMPLE button, which will glow steadily and the display will read “select dest pad.” Hit the pad where you want the newly created sample to be assigned. The display will read “Resample Stby,” and START/STOP button will begin flashing. Press the START/STOP button once more and the effected sample or loop will play one time to create the new sound file and then prompt you to write the file. You can rename the file at this point if you wish (Fig. 7). Press the flashing ENTER button and the file will be saved to memory. There you have it, a completely new sample file. The fun doesn’t have to end here. You can repeat this process over and over, resampling the newly created sound with another effect, creating yet another sample, and on and on till your heart’s content.

Best For Last

There is one SPD-S function that, in my mind, justifies its entire purchase price. It is the Sync Tempo function tucked away anonymously amongst the Patch Common settings. With this single-page function, you can create magic. It brings to the table the ability to take loops of differing tempos and instantly change their tempo up or down to that set in the Sync Tempo page. This is all without changing the original pitch of the loop — simply brilliant.

Individual loops within a patch can have the Tempo Sync turned on or off for each pad. You do this under page five of the Pad Control settings; much the same way you can turn on and off the effects switch for each pad. This feature comes in handy when you have created a set of loops for a song and someone gets the bright idea to change the performance tempo. In the past you’d have to do some creative work to change the tempos. Now, all you have to do is enable Tempo Sync on the desired pads and set the new tempo in the Sync Tempo window, under the Patch Common menus. Roughly, tempos can be increased up to about 20–25 percent, and decreased to about 10 percent of their original tempo. (Increasing the tempo is technically easier to do.) I can’t begin to tell you how awesome this is — it makes me giddy.

This tutorial should give you a solid foundation with the SPD-S, but it by no means covers everything it does. Keep exploring.

Mike Snyder is a freelance drummer, percussionist, clinician, and e-drum guru based out of Portland, Oregon. He can be reached through his web site,


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