SPD in the bag

Monday, 26 August 2019 4:30 pm

The Roland SPD range is probably the most ubiquitous trigger pad on the market, used by electronic and acoustic drummers alike, and regularly seen at gigs around the world.

To date the options for packing these devices have been limited to the Roland CB-HPD gig bag or repurposed solutions like the hardware of camera cases. The only custom case we could find by searching online is from custom instrument case maker SKB, the $159 iSeries case.

After years of travelling with all of his drumming equipment, Australian gigging drummer Simon Kobler got sick and tired of the lack of high quality cases for the equipment that he and so many others like him relied on. So, took matters into his own hands and start designing products specifically to protect this equipment.

The latest offering is the Basal SPD Voyager, a soft case made from neoprene, the material used for mouse mats and wet suits.

For now, there’s only one version – and its fits all SPD models, including the latest SPD-SX incarnation.

The SPD tucks into one end of the Voyager. There are two side panels that wrap around the body, overlapping at the back where they bond with tough Velcro.

One of the unique design aspects is a custom grommet – a reinforced opening which accommodates the pole of the standard Roland mount. This leaves the rod poking out through the neoprene.

Once the two sides are firmly attached, there’s a bottom flap that wraps over them and attached via Velcro to the top of the bag.

Packing a multipad takes a bit of practice – the key lesson being the tension required to keep it snugly covered.

The case comes with a tough, rugged material handle and there’s also a shoulder strap for those who want to free up their hands.

We didn’t bash the bag around to see how well it holds up, but Kobler insists that “neoprene is absolutely the most perfect material for this use; not only does it look great but it is inherently spongey and strong as well as easily folded away when your drum machine is in use”. Is it as protective as the hard-shelled SKB? Probably not, but then you’re not likely to be knocking your trusty multipad around with gay abandon.

In reality, most pro drummers will be packing their SPD into a larger case of some kind, so the Voyager provides a bit of extra protection – and stops your delicate playing surfaces being scratched or dented by other bits and pieces in the trap case or hardware bag.

It’s an elegant solution and extremely well priced (US$69, €61, £54, A$99 plus shipping).

 Of course, the SPD is not the only multipad out there, but for now, it’s the only one which Basal caters for. The Voyager doesn’t fit the Yamaha DTX M12 and is frustratingly just too “short” for the Alesis Strike Multipad – but stay tuned as more models may well be on the cards.