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Alesis SampleRack. Why oh why.

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  • Alesis SampleRack. Why oh why.

    When I first saw the Alesis SampleRack (shown on the Alesis web site as a new product this year, but actually released in 2014), I thought... okay, finally, someone is listening! For those unfamiliar with it, the Alesis SampleRack is a single space rack module that includes trigger inputs and sample playback. You can load samples onto the SD card and the unit includes an external, user accessible SD card port on its front panel. Even better, the SD card is accessible through the unit's USB port so your computer doesn't need to have a card reader and you don't need to remove the card. Also, there are MIDI ports on the back panel, of course. Great, I thought... well, until I saw the following in the manual:

    "Velocity Layers. You can load up to 2 samples (referred to as Layers) per trigger input."

    WTF? Two sample layers? I fail to understand why companies continue releasing products that are essentially obsolete before they hit the market. I'm not talking about a little obsolete. Heck, when affordable samplers first entered the market (think back thirty years and think Emulator II), these machines had more than two sample layers. So WTF? Drum sample libraries are DOZENS if not HUNDREDS of layers, or did Alesis not realize this? Complete fail Alesis. Argh!
    Last edited by TangTheHump; 02-18-15, 05:25 PM.

  • #2
    Target users: like the SPD-S\SX, Roland TM-2, Sample Pad etc., for Addons Acoustic Drum or Edrum expansion only, and at this price 199$ don't expect too much, this device is for triggering specific use, like the Roland TM-2, low cost solution to trigs sound live or at home without computers and expensive external drum module and stuff like these..You can still use this module to trigs VST without paying 500\1000 $ modules.

    You can use it like the Roland TM-2, Hybrid with acoustic as well, sound on the acoustic drum as Element, snare layer, tom, bass drum this is what is useful live, trigs Fx, percussion and loops, at this price, it has a bit more potential then the Roland Tm-2 which have only 2 trigs stereo. This replace the D4\DM5\DM5 PRO with custom sound.

    With all this, Roland is selling the Spd-Sx at about 799$ and the Alesis Sample Pad Pro is 299$ and Alesis Sample Rack with 9 triggers 199$ and Roland Tm-2 with 2 triggers, even if Spd-Sx is superior with sampling and time loading, many users don't want to buy expensive units for triggering fx or hybrid stuff these Alesis product will accommodate those target players with lower price.

    Ps: You can still use this unit as a drum kits, but expect machine gunning, well, I can still heard plenty of machine gunning with TD module as well!
    Last edited by Chris K; 02-19-15, 03:10 AM.

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    • #3
      Chris K,

      Thanks for filling in the background on the Alesis SampleRack. I didn't realize it's such an inexpensive product. It's the rack version of the pad. Now it makes more sense. Oh well. I had hoped it was something much more. Thanks again for filling me in.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by TangTheHump View Post
        Chris K,

        Thanks for filling in the background on the Alesis SampleRack. I didn't realize it's such an inexpensive product. It's the rack version of the pad. Now it makes more sense. Oh well. I had hoped it was something much more. Thanks again for filling me in.
        No problems, yes Rack version http://www.alesis.com/samplerack of the Sample Pad Pro http://www.alesis.com/samplepad-pro, can be useful at this price but not really as a main Edrum device.

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        • #5
          I think the bigger problem for this target market is that there is ONLY 2 outputs. How is that going to work live?


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          • #6
            Originally posted by latzanimal View Post
            I think the bigger problem for this target market is that there is ONLY 2 outputs. How is that going to work live?
            It can still works, for hybrid stuff no need , TM-2 have only 2 as well, you can buy 2 device if you need, another 16 dual triggers+ 2 single triggers and 2 hihat and 4 audio outputs. Remember it has MIDI IN\OUT .
            Last edited by Chris K; 03-04-15, 02:21 AM.

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            • #7
              I agree with Chris. When you do the math, at the $199 price point buying two makes sense if you need more outputs.

              It's still hard to fathom why they didn't add a couple of outputs and charge a little more, but what the heck? It's maybe wasteful from a manufacturing and environmental standpoint, but a still good deal if you buy 2 if you need more outputs.
              ATV aDrums & aD5, Pearl Mimic Pro & DIY, eDRUMin 10, Agean R-series Silent Cymbals, Roland Handsonic HPD-20.

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              • #8
                For those of us triggering VSTs, this presents a very interesting option. I do wish the Sample Rack had two or three more inputs, though. Since it already has a HH control input and a kick drum trigger input, the remaining trigger inputs allow for: snare, 3 toms, HH, and three cymbals (ride, crash, crash). I'd like at least one more for my 3rd crash.

                However, since I'm using a TD-11 for VST control (at a street price of about $500, though I bought used), I could simply buy the Sample Rack Pro and the Sample Pad Pro for the same price! But, I'd have
                11 inputs total (The TD-11 has 9)
                MIDI IN (Nice! The TD-11 doesn't have that)
                PLUS the 6 pads of the Sample Pad Pro.
                PLUS the ability to import sounds

                In terms of accessing my computer, I have two options to run both into the laptop,
                1) USB from rack unit to computer plus MIDI from pad unit to rack unit. OR,
                2) Since I have a Mac, do a MIDI aggregation and send both via USB to the computer on independent USB inputs.

                As long as the triggering and user interface are simple to use, I'm in. Perfect VST triggering system for me! All for $500 (Maybe a combined street of $400 in a few months?)
                ATV aDrums & aD5, Pearl Mimic Pro & DIY, eDRUMin 10, Agean R-series Silent Cymbals, Roland Handsonic HPD-20.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by jpsquared482 View Post
                  PLUS the 6 pads of the Sample Pad Pro.
                  -The Sample Pad Pro have 8 surface Pad, 6 pad + 2 edge, all velocity switch sound A+ B for each pad, + one external dual zone pad + one external single zone pad, + kick+ on hihat, total of 12
                  -Sample Rack 8 dual trigger + kick + Hi-hat total of 10

                  Originally posted by jpsquared482 View Post
                  As long as the triggering and user interface are simple to use, I'm in. Perfect VST triggering system for me! All for $500 (Maybe a combined street of $400 in a few months?)
                  Probably


                  Maybe the Sample Rack PRO will have 4 output who know, now it is the Sample Rack..
                  Last edited by Chris K; 03-04-15, 03:28 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Chris K View Post

                    -The Sample Pad Pro have 8 surface Pad, 6 pad + 2 edge, all velocity switch sound A+ B for each pad, + one external dual zone pad + one external single zone pad, + kick+ on hihat, total of 12
                    -Sample Rack 8 dual trigger + kick + Hi-hat total of 10
                    Not that it matters much, but from what I understand, the "Hi Hat" input is for the controller, not the pad, so that's a total of 6+2+3=11 total trigger inputs.
                    ATV aDrums & aD5, Pearl Mimic Pro & DIY, eDRUMin 10, Agean R-series Silent Cymbals, Roland Handsonic HPD-20.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by jpsquared482 View Post

                      Not that it matters much, but from what I understand, the "Hi Hat" input is for the controller, not the pad, so that's a total of 6+2+3=11 total trigger inputs.
                      For sure, HI-hat is a controller, but I was refering as you said "PLUS the 6 pads of the Sample Pad Pro", it is 8 with the 2 edge pad.

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                      • #12
                        Good point, Chris. I didn't notice those two extras up there until you pointed them out. Good to clarify. If I pick one up, I'll be sure to do a review here.

                        JP
                        ATV aDrums & aD5, Pearl Mimic Pro & DIY, eDRUMin 10, Agean R-series Silent Cymbals, Roland Handsonic HPD-20.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by jpsquared482 View Post
                          Good point, Chris. I didn't notice those two extras up there until you pointed them out. Good to clarify. If I pick one up, I'll be sure to do a review here.

                          JP
                          There is a little review here:

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                          • #14
                            Though I'm unfamiliar with this particular unit, I'm often left wondering why non-material items are intentionally crippled. The layering issue (or lack of) is essentially a firmware thing. And to say "well it's cheap so that explains it" is missing the point in my opinion. We're accustomed to "lite" versions of software apps that are missing key features, not because it requires less energy, but because it encourages an upgrade. I get that, as developers are attempting to recoup their programming investment. However I don't see this philosophy translating very well to firmware. Ins & outs and physical jacks cost money, and that's your logical upgrade path.

                            But to implement such a critical limitation seems rather unfair, like dangling a wax carrot before a hungry mule. Granted programming is a tedious, time consuming task requiring great skill and understanding, but correct me if I'm wrong... Once you have Layering implemented at all, would it not be analogous to just adding 4 more columns to a spreadsheet once the formulas are written?

                            I like Alesis' gear for the most part, but they seem to really miss the mark on things that could be truly useful.

                            Regards,
                            Brian Jackson

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                            • #15
                              Great point, Brian. If they had only made 8 or more layers instead of 2 they would have had a real gem.
                              ATV aDrums & aD5, Pearl Mimic Pro & DIY, eDRUMin 10, Agean R-series Silent Cymbals, Roland Handsonic HPD-20.

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