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Roland HandSonic as a multi-pad addition to an e-kit

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  • Roland HandSonic as a multi-pad addition to an e-kit

    I've been intrigued by the Roland HandSonic HDP-20 for quite some time to use as a hand drum for small acoustic gigs. I have an electronic kit that at times I wished had a multi-pad available to trigger various percussion sounds from time to time. Since the HandSonic can be mounted on a stand and has a few larger pads, would this be able to serve as a multi-pad addition to my kit as well as a hand drum? In other words, are there any issues playing it with sticks, at least the four large pads in the middle? My other option would be to get an Octopad for my e-kit but that doesn't seem very conducive to hand drumming. Any thoughts?
    Roland TD-12, Pearl DRX-1 tom and snare pads, Roland PD-8 pads for cymbals, DW pedals and stands, Pearl and Gibraltar hardware

  • #2
    Roland recommends that sticks not be used on the Handsonic.

    I may move up to the HPD-20, bought an HPD-10 last Monday and will start using it, along with a KD-9 and a Boss momentary contact switch, with two acoustic guitarists this week. I'm coming to appreciate that this is a very serious and versatile instrument. Below are some comments from another forum about my first week with the Handsonic.
    I'm sticking with two kits for now, the Pot Drum (Udu) and a conventional drum kit. The first thing I picked up on was hitting multiple pads simultaneously with my fingers. for instance when hitting the snare pad I can not only vary the tone by where and how sharply I hit the pad but can vary it by combining the snare with the cross-stick, tom or bass pads. Striking the snare pad strongly with one finger while tapping another pad or three lightly with other fingers of the same hand is sometimes easy and sometimes challenging. It's a whole new world. I love the Pot Drum but was confused at first as to why three pads had the same tone. Going into edit I tuned up two of the pads and applied some muffling. Then I copied the kit, #18, to the #19 slot and tuned everything way down. Playing with two guitarists this allows me to "seize the low ground" which is perfect for many tunes while #18 is perfect for others. I can easily shift between the two differently tuned Pot Drum "kits" during a song by hitting a single button.

    I'm still just scratching the surface but there is much more potential here than I realized when I bought this and I think it will be my principal instrument in the trio, even for gigs to which I bring a "real" drum kit.
    Handsonic 10 with KD-9 kick pad and Boss FS-5U
    acoustic kits:
    '96 Pork Pie custom lacquer '93 Slingerland emerald green lacquer
    '79 Gretsch walnut lacquer '65 Slingerland red satin flame


    • #3
      As Sequimite stated, you should not use sticks on a Handsonic. You can use mallets, however.

      That said, I absolutely love my HPD-20. I have so much fun showing up at open mics and other small venues with it. It shocks people how amazing it sounds like a real full kit, and it's a blast to play! Who among us drummers don't constantly alap on things, from our thighs to the dining table? Put that to good use and give it a shot.
      Pearl Mimic Pro, eDRUMin 10, ATV aDrums, DIY Conversion kit, Roland Handsonic HPD-20, EFNOTE 5, SD3, Porter & Davies Throne