If you are highly interested in electronic sample pads and you’ve been thinking about including them into your drum set, this may be the right time to stop being lost in your thoughts and go for it.
I had struggles with the Alesis pads in the past, but this one is on another level – something completely different.
This sample pad is the latest addition that the Alesis family introduced us to, released on November 23rd, 2018.
This particular one finally helped Alesis to compete with Roland or even Yamaha.
Alesis Strike MultiPad Review
The price is approximate to Roland SPD SX, but you get a newer device.
Way better than the previous electronic pad models.
Not too complicated when you get used to
Endless possibilities, only few could be improved
Should I buy Alesis Strike Multipad?
Alesis Strike MultiPad is considered a good investment, and it’s definitely worth the money.
This device is, without question, a step-up for the Alesis line of electronic pads and next to Roland SPD-SX the best electronic drum pad in 2021.
There’s still some room for improvements but this device offers great value for money.
Stay with me to find out why!
Putting this pad on the market, they showed they have more to offer than thick pads without lighting, low-quality sounds, and useless features.
Strike MultiPad deserves its 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 around for several years.
Having this electronic pad, the future of Alesis looks brighter than ever.
I will check all the features, along with the pros and cons, that the Strike MultiPad has.
The Alesis Strike MultiPad is slightly larger than the competitor ones, so the pads are also larger.
- Nine velocity-sensitive pads
- Made out of high-quality rubber
- With sensitivity accuracy
If you hit the pads differently, you’ll notice the difference between soft and loud.
There are various options you can do with this MultiPad, like connecting all the pads. If you choose to play one pad, you’ll be able to get sounds that are programmed in all nine.
Anyhow, this is just one of the many remarkable features that this MultiPad has to offer.
If you can’t reach all the nine pads – while playing a fast part – group them into one, and get diversity from all nines.
It gives you a stable feeling while performing live.
All the pads have RGB lights underneath that come with various features.
The light goes on when the loop is being played, and along with the loop, it fades away.
They are the biggest amongst the sample pads on the market.
You can adjust colors by your own preference.
For instance, you can set your pad to have yellow lights while playing Cajon, blue for cowbell, and red lights for the loops.
In the lower center of Alesis MultiPad is a 4.3″ multi-color display.
It’s the largest amongst the competition
All the features are visible. It’s not so hard to use the pad along while playing the drums.
The display is double-reinforced.
The screen shows which pad is active, the name of the kit, tempo, effects, and others.
You can easily navigate the menu, although at first glance it may seem confusing, you get used to it quickly.
With all the quality features this MultiPad has, it also comes with large storage.
If you compare it with other pads, you’ll see how amazing this one is.
Internal memory storage is 32 GB
6 GB of content with internal pre-loaded samples and loops.
More space comes with the USB slot on the back, where you can play samples directly from the USB stick.
Things to know before buy
Design – with nine LED indicators that also function with loops, you will get twenty different colors and several different modes to display on each pad.
Storage Drive – if you are a type of drummer who likes to have a lot of custom samples for your gig, this one will give you 8000+ preloaded samples with 32GB of internal memory!
Looping Functionality – record your performance and overdub up to sixteen measures! Thanks to looping samples from inside the unit, you can also loop sounds from the audio input on the back of the unit, allowing you to plug in anything you want – microphone, mixer, keyboard, guitar, etc.
A + B Sample Function – this is a new function that other multi-pads are not likely to have. This is allowing you to have two samples linked to one pad. Alternate between the two or simply play them together.
The rear side features
The left side
The left side has an external power input, power button (for switching MultiPad on and off), USB port, audio port, and two midi inputs that allow you to connect the device to a computer – to transfer audio and MIDI files with any software.
There is no need for driver installation. Software that comes with MultiPad are copies of Ableton Live Lite 10 and Protools | First.
You can always use this sampler as a sound card, so all the samples are often stored on the PC but played through the Strike MultiPad.
There are three sections in the center of this pad:
MAIN OUT, which supports two channels – the left and right. Here, you plug in a mixer and speakers. Anyhow this signal goes outside.
AUX OUT is the same as Main out – only for monitors or another output group. The signal, effects, or even mix are separated, and if you don’t want to hear a sampler on stage, you can easily adjust that in the aux mix.
TRIGGER INPUTS are basically four jack inputs. The first one, marked as 1, is for the single-zone trigger, while the other two, marked as 2/3 and 4/5, are for the dual-zone triggers. To be precise, if you have an old pad that sounds the same – no matter where you hit it (rim shot or center) – you will use the first jack input.
When you have external triggers that produce different sounds, you will use second and third inputs. The final input is for the hi-hat.
By now, you have realized that this MultiPad can be used as a mini electronic drum kit.
Connect a hi-hat, a snare, a bass drum, and a tom – so you can fully experience electronic drums, and it’s more convenient to transport.
The right side
As you may see, there are:
AUDIO IN, which is used for connection to other sources – such as a smartphone, microphone, instrument, or mixer to record samples that you can assign to pads. Sound from these inputs is also transmitted to the Main, Aux, or Phone outputs.
FOOT CTRL – is a section where you can connect to an external footswitch – to change banks, sounds, or anything else, depending on the settings you want. The footswitch is a great option to have in live situations if you ask me.
GAIN – Last but not least important is the gain knob. The gain volume knob controls the record inputs signal. In a situation where you’re using the microphone level input, turn the knob toward the microphone setting. On the other hand, if you’re using a line-level input, turn the knob towards the line settings.
The front side features
The left side
Starting from to top you may see three knobs:
MAIN, with which you control the main output that goes to the front of the stage
AUX, which is used to control the volume of monitors – they are plugged in the AUX OUT, at the back of the device.
PHONES – this is a volume knob that is used to control the volume of the headphones you’re using.
As you can see, the three most necessary volume knobs are just within your hand’s reach.
What we see next, looking from top to bottom, are three buttons: KIT FX, MST FX, and PAD CUE.
Pressing them might be a bit harder, but they are made out of quality material, so don’t worry about breaking them.
KIT FX button controls the effects such as reverbs, delays, flangers, and others.
MST FX button is the one that affects the overall output of the pad. If you add delay on a certain kit through KIT FX, you’ll hear it only there, but if you add delay with the Master effects button, you’ll hear it on all kits. That is the main difference between these two which you need to know.
PAD CUE button is tremendously important in a live setting. When you press it, it allows you to hear your sounds (loops/samples) through your headphones. Each triggered pad will be routed directly to your headphones without interrupting the main audio output.
Right under the effect buttons, there are three other marked as A, B, and C – which are called A-Link Bank Buttons. By pressing these buttons, you select the active bank of assignments for the A-Link Encoders.
If you press and hold one of these buttons, you can edit the encoder assignments for that bank – A is for coarse adjustment, B for medium, and C for fine adjustment.
At the very bottom are two knobs, also known as A-Link Encoders. These knobs enhance with background lighting, and they can be assigned to control pad parameters or FX parameters.
This is a feature every DJ would say it’s a top. When the loop is playing, you can control filters, effects, or whatever else is assigned.
Display options - The Centre
Right at the bottom edge in the center of the front part is the Display. It’s already mentioned above in the text. Now, we will pay more attention to it in detail, precisely to six Function Buttons.
FEEL button is used to adjust dynamics for the pad. With this one, you are controlling the sensitivity, curve, and threshold. The fixed level is just another setting that should be off if you prefer the pads and triggers react to your playing dynamics.
CONTROL button is for editing the control mode for each pad. Which control functions will be performed when you trigger the pad – such as tap tempo, panic button to stop all sounds at once, click on/off, etc. Another setting is to see whether or not the sound will play.
OUTPUT has three parameters. The first one is Audio Output, which determines if the audio is routing for the pad, trigger, or footswitch. Secondly, Kit FX determines the level of effects applied to the kit. Lastly, MIDI Note Output determines the note when pad, trigger, and footswitch are pressed.
LIGHT button controls assigned colors on the pads. They go from dim to bright when the sound is triggered. They move from left to right and back, based on the length of the sound. They represent a signal meter for the volume level and so many other things.
GROUP button has some things to offer. You can trigger multiple pads, where each kit has 16 sync groups, and then you can determine how pads in the same group are triggered – pads can mute each other, they can play in successive order or randomly, or they can play all at the same time, up to nine of them that are in the same group.
COPY button is opening the Pad Copy menu in which you copy and paste the selected pads in the MultiPad.
The right side
Starting from the top, there are:
BPM button brings you the menu where you can select a proper time signature or speed.
CLICK button will flash at the current BPM when it’s on, and it will play to the assigned audio output.
KNOB serves as the main tool for adjusting the settings. Scroll through the menu and edit some of the features you find wanting to change.
PERFORM button has three pages of performing view – Pad View, Trigger In View, and Foot Control View. Press Kit Select buttons (- and +) to select a kit.
PAD VIEW is the default view when Alesis Strike MultiPad is on. It shows the information about all nine pads.
TRIGGER IN VIEW shows the same information as Pad View, but for the four external triggers.
FOOT CONTROL VIEW also shows the information as previous two, but for the four Foot Control inputs.
Moving one, we have:
SAMPLE button, with which you’re able to access the sample mode and make samples using USB, audio input – like a phone – or directly from your pad’s sounds.
PANIC button is a number one feature for live occasions. If anything goes wrong, your sound will stop immediately by pressing this button.
The last ones on the list belong to the EDIT section.
KIT button lets you view a list of kits and edit their level settings
PAD is used for pad level settings – such as RGB lights, pad response, and output routing.
UTILITY is for editing global settings and backing up user data.
SOUND button is for editing and browsing through internal sounds or to import your own samples.
Check out this amazing video review of Alesis Strike Multipad !!!
Some may not agree with me, but if you’re a drummer on the go, this may be the right choice for you.
Especially because Alesis Strike MultiPad is placed as one of the best sample pads on the market this year. You can’t go wrong with it.
Releasing this product made a significant impact amongst the multi pads.
If you compare it with the competition – such as Roland SPD-SX and Yamaha DTX Multi 12 – Alesis Strike definitely offers more than enough.
Don’t be an overthinker. If you are looking for something that will improve your skills, consider investing in this one.
It’s for sure one of the 2 best sample pads currently on the market.
Take into account that they could have done some things better, but as our technology is evolving each year more and more – and the competition is fierce – I have no worries that Alesis will surprise us, once again, with something as stunning as this.