Roland SPD-30 Octapad Review

In this Roland SPD-30 Octapad review, I will give you a detailed breakdown of the components and methods used to create a portable electronic drum kit that works great for live performances and recordings. You can also use this as a poor man’s V-Drum setup, where you’re able to assemble components as you go.

Roland SPD-30 Octapad Features and Functionality:

  1. Portable electronic drum set – the SPD-30 is small, compact, and can accommodate up to 4 additional inputs such as a kick, snare, hi-hat, and ride. It offers similar functionality (96 pre-recorded kits, looping) to TD-11 V-drum kit without the hassle of having to set up and break down an entire rack.
  2. Trigger samples (such as taiko) using a drum pad instead of a MIDI keyboard – each of the pads on the SPD-30 as well as the additional inputs can be programmed to trigger any MIDI note. Connect the SPD-30 to your computer via USB, open your DAW, and program the pads on the SPD-30 to play the MIDI notes you want.
  3. Sequence natural sounding rhythms using MIDI. MIDI is great because it can be easily manipulated, but playing rhythms on a MIDI keyboard makes it hard to make all the dynamics and ghost notes sound natural. This electronic drum kit setup gives you the best of both worlds.

I used the CY-12 Hi-Hat Pad, which is unfortunately out of stock at both Amazon and Musician’s Friend. I’ve included a link to the VH-13 which is the updated version. Please note I haven’t actually been able to test this particular component.

Use an amp like the Roland Cube if you’re busking or performing at a small venue.  At larger venues, you will probably want to go directly into the PA via direct box.

Putting It All Together

  1. Set up the SPD-30 Main Module on the Roland PDS-10 Stand.
  2. Clamp the SC-LRAC Mount to the PDS-10 Stand.
  3. Attach the PDX-8 Snare Drum Pad to the SC-LRAC Mount.
  4. Clamp the SC-SLRM Mount to a standard cymbal stand.
  5. Attach the CY-12 to the SC-SLRM Mount.
  6. Replace the MDY-12 Cymbal Arm with the arm of a standard cymbal stand.
  7. Attach the CY-8 Cymbal pad to the MDY-12 Cymbal Arm.
  8. Connect all the pads to the SPD-30 Main Module using the Hosa GTR205R cables.  The cable connecting to the CY-8 must be a right angle cable due to the layout of the pad.
  9. Connect the SPD-30 Main Module to the Roland Cube Amplifier using the Hosa STP203 cable.

I hope you enjoyed this Roland SPD-30 Octapad Review and Compact Drum Kit build.  Please feel free to write if you have any additional questions!