UPDATE 10/12/2011 – Roland has released the Roland SPD-SX Sampling Pad to address many of the issues found in the comment thread of this blog entry.
The Roland SPD-S is a great sample pad, and allows for even the least tech-savvy of us to be able to run it efficiently with ease. It is a great way for a drummer to be able to start incorporating electronic sounds into his or her live setup as well. You can use the SPD-S pad to do what you want in four easy steps.
1) Connect an external audio device via 1/4″ jacks.
2) Hit record, which is started by hitting one of the pads.
3) Play the sample from the external audio device.
4) Hit the pad again to stop the recording.
I have used the Roland SPD-S on plenty of gigs, and it is perfect for all styles of play. I found it extremely helpful on club dates and wedding band gigs, as well as super helpful in the studio. Also, the on-board sounds are of relatively good quality. You can find anything on the Roland SPD-S from regular drum kit sounds to African drums, and even to sounds like that of a cat’s meow.