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Roland HandSonic 15 Reviews

5.0 stars based on 0 customer review

Reviews

  • Bob Furlong
    2-16-2008

    The best word I can find to describe my experience with the HandSonic 15 is "musical." I expected it to sound good, being based on Roland's highly successful V-Drums technology - and it does - but the combination of ultra-realistic sounds with the amazingly responsive pads and ribbons adds up to something that has to be played to be truly appreciated.

    Taking the unit out of the box for a coffee-table test drive, it felt substantial even though it only weighs about six pounds or so, and the metal screws around the edge of the pad surface gave the impression that the HandSonic is designed to meet the demands of professional use. I powered it up, plugged in my AKG K 240 studio headphones, and began to tap away. The sounds of this thing, especially when monitoring in stereo, are stunning. It was very easy to scroll through the different groups of sounds, which are arranged at the top right of the panel according to where on the planet they are from. African, Indian, Asian, and many other types of percussion are produced with incredible detail, enhanced by the onboard delays, reverbs and other fully-adjustable effects to place them in context.

    But the thing that really puts this unit over the top for me is the response of the pads, ribbons, knobs and D-Beam. The pads are velocity sensitive, of course, but they also react to being struck towards the edges versus the center, for example, and to pressure applied after a pad is hit. On top of that, there are three Realtime Modify pads on the top left of the panel to control parameters like modulation rate and pitch change. Add in the ribbons and D-Beam, both of which can be used to either trigger sounds or add expression to sounds triggered by the pads, and it's almost impossible to avoid being inspired toward fresh and exciting ideas for both composition and performance. Another winner from Roland, the Handsonic 15 truly takes electronic percussion to the next level.

  • Alan Finkbeiner
    5-31-2007

    As a drummer for many years, I am always a bit skeptical regarding drum substitutes. So I approached the Roland HandSonic HPD-15 with curiosity and a bit of trepidation.

    First off the feel is very important especially regarding a hand drum. To mangle a metaphor, this is where the rubber meets the hands. The HPD-15 has 15 rubber pads. Five of the pads are laid out to simulate the feel of a conga. These pads enable the player to get all the normal sounds out of the drum: muting, open ringing tones, slap, harder slap, bass, and pitching by pushing the middle pad while playing the nearest pads. All of these sounds are constantly in use when playing a conga and the Roland HandSonic nails it, both in playability and sound. The African djembe sound is remarkably similar to the playing experience of the real thing. The middle-of-the-drum bass tones and the high slap are great and, just like the conga sounds, finger strokes come through perfectly

    The HPD-15's 600 sounds are well organized, easy to find, and sound amazing. I am not familiar with playing all the other "ethnic" drum and melodic sounds, but I loved messing around with them.

  • Chad Byers
    12-01-2005

    When I got the HandSonic home and started playing around with it, before reading the manual of course, I was shocked as to how easy it was to use. Navigating through the many super high-quality sounds was a cinch. It was easy to make my own loops by just pressing some buttons until I saw the record light.

    The HandSonic is sonically amazing! The wide range of sounds really blew me away. You've got everything from African percussion to the old 808 drum sounds. I could really see myself using this machine as a creativity starter, since the creative juices really started to flow once I began trying out all the sounds.

    For the true percussionist the HandSonic is not a step down at all. I couldn't believe how true this thing felt when playing the conga sounds. The pads are pressure sensitive, which made it capable of muting my attacks and stretching the tones sharp by pushing on the middle pad. It even emulates the sound if you hit on the rim of the instrument. This is a percussionist's dream for getting all those sounds he's been missing, and it's that perfect addition to any drummer's arsenal.

    The HandSonic will truly improve your sound and your playing. Seeing that every sound in here is already tuned for maximum quality you can't help but sound better which will in turn help you play better in the long run.

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