New Alesis multi-pad launched

Tuesday, 20 November 2018 4:14 pm

It looks like the venerable SPD-X/Octapad lines finally have real competition (besides the ageing Yamaha DTX M12), with the Alesis Strike MultiPad electronic drum pad already on store shelves.

The new multi-trigger unit, launched without the usual e-drum hype, boasts a class-leading 32 GB onboard hard drive, a full-colour screen and custom RGB lights.

Alesis is claiming that the Strike MultiPad is the most powerful percussion pad on the market. In addition to the large hard drive, it will have over 8,000 samples and loops, nine rubber pads and the ability to load samples with a USB thumb drive.

Besides the nine pads, the unit has three external trigger inputs (one mono, two stereo), a hi-hat input and two dual footswitch inputs.

The MultiPad is on sale at $699, which makes it $100 cheaper than the run-out SPD-SX and $200 less than the special edition SPD-SX.

While digitalDrummer is waiting for a review unit, contributor Tobias Hunke (aka AbletonDrummer) shared his first impressions on our Facebook group, having discovered the new instrument in a music store in the US.

Here are some impressions from his review, which he admits was written from the perspective of an Ableton user rather than as a stand-alone drummer:

“The (instrument) makes a quite stable impression, still mainly plastic like most of its competitors (except a few like the drumKAT and NordDrum 3P), but the pads have a really nice feel and rebound.

I was able to compare the playing feel to SPD-SX, Octapad, DTX 12, Alesis Pads and a few other e-pads and I have to say the Strike MultiPad felt the best,   but this is obviously very individual and depends on playing style and technique.

“The overall handling of presets is quite well executed – the LCD screen and the UI makes sense and, for me, was more accessible than all other e-drum stand-alone pads which I have used so far. Of course, there are things which would take a little bit of time to understand and fully explore in detail – but if you are used to the SPD-SX, for example, you should find your way around very quickly.

“One interesting thing is the A + B sample function for every pad – meaning you can have two samples per pad; they could play together or alternate between the two in different modes.

“On the MIDI side of things, Alesis Strike MultiPad is very similar to the Roland SPD-SX: that means you have a nice translation of velocity, you can adjust threshold and sensitivity, you get different velocity curves to pick from and you can set a pad to a fixed velocity as well. What I really like about the pad is that you can adjust the colour of each pad and, of course, when you send MIDI notes from Ableton Live to the pad, they will blink, giving you visual feedback cues.

“I wasn’t able to receive a MIDI clock from the Alesis Strike MultiPad,so I guess it is not sending one. It will receive a MIDI clock with some limitations, e.g. only up to a certain BPM (I think it was 280 BPM).

“What makes the Alesis Strike MultiPad stand out from its competitors is that you get 32 GB onboard storage and you get a nice coloured screen where you can edit samples and loops. It has an inbuilt audio looper and a few more special features like various trigger inputs, etc.

“There are a few things I like about this pad which makes it a great competitor to the SPD-SX (and other similar products out there) for drummers who want to use this as a MIDI controller.”

Tobias’ full review can be found here.