Alesis Strike MultiPad Review and Ultimate 101 Guide

alesis strike multi pad review

If you are into electronic sample pads and you want to incorporate them in your drum set this would be the right time to do it. I struggled a lot with Alesis pads in the past but this one is something different.

It is the latest addition to the Alesis family released on November 23th in 2018. 

Before this sample pad, Alesis didn’t have strong competitors to Roland or even Yamaha.

Alesis needed to grow experience in understanding the needs of the electronic drum pads.

Alesis Strike MultiPad Review

Price

4.3/5

Same price as Roland SPD SX but newer device

Quality

4.6/5

Much better than electronic pads in the past

Easy of use

3.4/5

Not too complicated when you get used to

Features

4.2/5

Endless possibilities, only few could be improved

We like
  • Large storage
  • Soft pads
  • Lights with many options
  • Large display
We don't like
  • Slow metronome start
  • More complicated interface than SPD-SX

Summary: New age sample pad surely provide a great value for the money. It can be used as mini set, to implement percussion or electronic samples. This is a big step forward in Alesis line of electronic pads however there is a room for improvement like some metronome issues and complexity of the interface.

With this pad, they jump out of thick pads without lighting, low-quality sounds, not usable features. 

Strike MultiPad deserves his place among professional sample pads in 2020

Manufacturers don’t release these kinds of electronic sample pads very often so when they do they are stuck for a number of years. 

With this electronic pad, future of Alesis looks bright.

I will go over all the features along with some pros and cons that Strike MultiPad pad has.

Pads

The sample pad is slightly larger than competitors so te pads are bigger too. 

  • Nine of them
  • Made out of high-quality rubber
  • Soft 
  • They got sensitivity right

Difference between soft and loud hits is noticeable. 

There are various things you are able to do like linking all the pads together so you can play only one pad and get the sounds from all the nine pads. A great feature for a live situation.

If you are playing a fast part and you can reach all the nine pads than you just play one pad and get a diversity of all nine pads.

  • All pads have lights underneath and they have various features also
  • The light goes on when the loop is played and it fades away along with the loop
  • They are the biggest among the sample pads on the market
  • They are multicolor so you can adjust the color by your own preference.

For instance, you can have a set where the Cajon is yellow, cowbell blue and loops are red.

Display

In the center of MultiPad, there is a beautiful 4.3” multi-color display.

  • Larger than competition
  • All the important features are clearly visible so it will be easy to play the pad and pay attention along while you playing the drums. 
  • The screen is additionally reinforced but I would suggest missing it
  • Shows what is assigned to each pad and which pad is active, the name of the kit, tempo, effects, etc.

Navigation through the menu is not the simplest but you get used to very fast

 With an electronic pad this powerful I always expect complexity but on this pad it has sense.

Storage

Among all the quality features Strike MultiPad can also brag about their storage. It is huge in comparison to other pads. 

From percussion sounds up to electronic loops where you can change the effects. 

If by any chance need more space you have an USB slot on the back and one more cool feature you can play samples directly from USB or you can load them into the sampler.

alesis electronic pad rear side

The rear side features

Left Side

On the left side, there is: 

  • An external power input along with the USB slot and audio slot so you can connect a device with a computer. The Multipad doesn’t have his own software but it uses Ableton
  • Next to it are two typical midi inputs so you can use multi-pad to control sounds from a computer or connect it to a midi device. 

You can always use this sampler as a sound card so all the samples can be stored in the computer but played through the Strike Multi Pad.

Center

In the center, we have three sections: 

  • MAIN OUT which supports two channels the left and right. Here you will plug in a mixer, speakers but anyhow this signal goes outside.
  • AUX OUT same as Main out, only for monitors or other output group. The signal, effects or even mix is separated let’s say you don’t want to hear sampler on stage you can easily adjust that in the aux mix.
  • TRIGGER INPUTS  It has four jack inputs. The first one marked as 1 is planned for one zone trigger while the other two marked as ⅔ and ⅘ are planned for two-zone triggers. Let me clear this for you also. In case you have some old pad that sounds the same when you hit the rim shot and the center of the pad it would go into the first jack input.  The other scenario is if you have external triggers that produce one sound when you hit the rim and the other when you hit somewhere else.  Those are two zone triggers and they go into second and third input. The last input is reserved for hi-hat.

As you probably realized this multi-pad can easily be used as a mini electronic drum set. 

You can connect a hi-hat, snare, bass drum and a tom so you can have a full experience of electronic drums while it is more suitable for transport.

Right Side

On the right, there are two sections:

  • AUDION IN serve to connect a source such as a smartphone, microphone, instrument or mixer for recording samples which you can then assign to the pads. The sound from these inputs is also passed to the Main, Aux, or Phones Outputs.
  • FOOT CTRL. section is where you can connect external footswitch so you can change banks, sounds or something else depending on your preferred settings. It is easy enough to change some options with a stroke or a click but a footswitch is a cool option for live situations I must admit.

We have one button on the left and one knob on the right.

  • Power button with which you can turn multi-pad on and off. 
  • Gain volume knob used to control the record inputs signal. If you are using a mic-level input, turn the knob toward the Mic setting. If you are using a line-level input, turn the knob toward the Line settings.

alesis multi pad review

The front side features

The left side

On the left side starting from the top we see three knobs. 

  • MAIN, to control the main output to goes to the front of the stage. 
  • AUX is used to control the volume of monitors you plugged into jacks on the rear side. 
  • PHONES volume knob used to control the volume of headphones you plugged in. Very straight forward and similar to some other sample pads on the market. 

The three most necessary volume knobs are just at your fingertips.

In the sections below you can see three buttons. By the way, buttons, are really quality made out of rubber and they feel good although it is a little bit harder to press them.

electronic drum pad for drummers
  • KIT FX controls the effects like EQ, delay, flanger on a specific kit 
  • MST FX is a main effect edit button and controls effect on the main output. So, for instance, if you add a delay on some kit through KIT FX you are going to hear it only on that kit but if you add a delay on the MST FX button you will be able to hear it on all kits. This is the main difference between the two buttons. 
  • When you press the PAD CUE button you will be able to audition sounds to the headphone outputs only When active, the button led will flash on and off, and any pads triggered will be routed directly to the headphones without interrupting the main audio output.

Underneath there are three buttons marked as A, B, and C. While pressing this button you can select the active bank of assignments for the A-Link Encoders. 

If you press and hold one of these buttons you will be able to edit the encoder assignments for that bank.

On the bottom of the left side of this sample pad, there are two knobs enhances with background lighting. These knobs can be assigned to control pad parameters or FX parameters. 

In simple words, you can do some DJ stuff on loops with these knobs. When the loop is played you can control filters, effects or whatever is assigned.

electronic drum pad

Display options

Let’s go to the center of this pad. We already talked about display let’s see what the buttons underneath are for. We see 6 buttons who control options written in the bottom of the screen or above them. 

FEEL uses to adjust the passive side of the sample pad. Whether all hits are going to be loud however you hit the pad or dynamic will be adjusted to be the same as the hits of the pad it’s up to you. From here you can control threshold, curve, sensitivity, etc. 

  • CONTROL button, here you can adjust what, if any, control function will be performed when the pad is triggered. In simple words pad controls. So, for instance, some pads can be used as a tap tempo, panic button to stop all sounds at once, to turn the click on and off, etc.
  • OUTPUT controls the output level of effects applied to the kit whether it is audio output routing for the pad, trigger or footswitch. the MIDI note that is sent when a pad, trigger or footswitch is pressed. 
  • LIGHT button controls colors on the pads so you can assign a color to a pad or a sound.  Lights can go from dim to bright when a sound is triggered.  Also, they can do the same depending on the volume. They can move from left to right and back based on the length of the sound or be in relation with a click and flash along with it.
  • GROUP button determines the pad group settings. You can either trigger multiple pads or adjust how the pads in the same group are triggered. Should they be triggered randomly or by order, it’s up to you. The point is they can all play at the same time as a loop or you can play one pad and hear samples combining.
  • COPY button used to open the Pad Copy menu in which you can copy and paste the pads all around the Strike MultiPad.
best sample pad

The right side

Next to a screen on the right side of the sample pad starting from top we see two buttons who control the metronome. 

  • With the BPM button, you can bring up the metronome menu and select a proper time signature or speed. 
  • CLICK button is used to play the click. 
  • KNOB on the right side of the sample pad is used for menu navigation. You can scroll through menu or edit some features by pressing this button.


PERFORM button controls three pages: Pad View, Trigger In View, and Foot Control View. You are able to switch between the kits with two large + and – buttons on the right.

  • PAD VIEW shows information about all nine pads. Here you can control the lights.
  • TRIGGER IN VIEW shows exactly the same info as pad view but for the external triggers.
  • FOOT CONTROL VIEW  shows the same information as Pad View but for the four Foot Control Inputs instead of the pads. 

Let’s check the last section on the pad. Here we have 8 buttons. I already mention the + and – button. 

  • SAMPLE button, it accesses the sample mode where you can make samples from USB, audio input like a phone or directly from sounds you have on the pad.
  • PANIC button, a very important feature for live situations. If something goes wrong by pressing this button all sound will be stopped immediately.

The last four-button belongs to the EDIT section. 

  • KIT button is used to view a list of kits and to edit kit level settings. 
  • PAD button edits pad level settings, such as RGB lights, pad response, and output routing. Global settings are edited through the UTILITY button.
  • SOUND button is used for editing or browsing throughout the internal sounds or used to import your own samples.

Check out full guide on how to setup Alesis strike multipad.

Check out this amazing video review of Alesis Strike Multipad !!!

Conclusion

Alesis Strike Multipad position itself as one of the best electronic sample pads on the market in 2020. Although it is produced in late 2018 we still don’t have his inheritor. 

This is one of the 3 best sample pads currently on the market. They removed all the flaws from the past and really made and significant impact on the market of multi pads. I can’t wait to see what fill future bring for Alesis.

The main competitors of this electronic pad are Roland SPD-SX and Yamaha DTX Multi 12 and in comparison, Alesis Strike Multipad truly offers more.

It’s the newest and most modern electric pad with enormous possibilities.

This pad has everything that one modern pad deserves. Now it only remains to hold the test of time like SPD-SX.

I’ve gone through so many forums, videos, and reviews of this pad and most of the guys who use this pad are satisfied with it.

Look at this way, it has very similar options like SPD-SX with a larger screen, more memory, and internal sounds.

The only thing I am not sure about is how reliable is the interface of Strike multipad. For now, it looks fine, there been some complaints on a metronome not starting right away and similar bags, which can be removed with the firmware update.

I guess if Alesis succeeds removing some of the bags with firmware then this electric pad would a product without competition.

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