Better than expected
Wanted to make a mini-kit out of it, used a TD-9 as the sound module and plugged the pedals into the TD-9 (not the Control Pad).
The bad, mostly fixable:
- hit two pads together, sometimes one won't sound, lower sensitivity helps, less but not gone. All multi-pads I have tried (Alesis, Yamaha, Simmons, Roland) had this problem except the Rolands (SPD-30 and SX). Adding an external snare pad works around the problem.
- double stroke rolls were terrible until I discovered velocity curve 3 (LOUD), great for toms, makes your DS rolls sound great. You lose some low-end expressiveness though, ok for toms, but not quite enough for delicate snare work IMHO.
- MIDI in has no soft thru, only goes up the to computer, MIDI merger needed for more pads.
- I see some slight delay triggering a TD-9, will live with it, not sure if it is the
pad or the TD-9.
- pad sensitivity settings are global, not per kit.
- pads are loud acoustically, we have very low stage volumes, it is on the edge of being too loud. Same is true of all the Alesis pads, performance pad, sample pad.
- Dynamic range is full range MIDI 1-127, sensitivity control is excellent.
It took me a while to tune it, I ended up with low sensitivty (6 out of 20) for cymbal edges (makes swells sound swell). The loud velocity curve 3 for toms, and higher sensitivity for hat and cymbal bows and bells. Once I tuned it I could do delicate expressive work on the cymbals and DS rolls on the toms. Unexpected in something so cheap.
- bounce is ok, less than a mesh head, pads are a bit hard, but playable for rolls which is what counts.
- any pad can be assigned to any MIDI channel or note, performance pad locks you in for example.
- having all the pads close together took a few days to retrain muscle memory. Once I did I could play on it just fine. It got to be a bit addictive acually, having toms so close together made fast multi-tom patterns easier.
Since I was trying for kit replacement I used these pad mappings:
C-B-B-R - Crash, ride bell, ride bow, ride edge.
H-T-T-T - Hi-Hat, Tom1, Tom2, Tom3.
And I added a snare pad down low in front.
Had it about 2 months, so don't know about longevity yet.