The OCTAPAD SPD-30 digital percussion pad from Roland puts hundreds of instrument sounds from around the globe and 50 different kits at the tip of your drumsticks. The portable unit features eight isolated trigger pads, multi-effects, and external trigger inputs for onward connectivity to such things as digital hi-hat and kick controllers. Also on offer is the ability to overdub on recorded loops in real-time and backup tracks to USB memory.

The life of a working drummer can't be an easy one. Even for rehearsals the cumbersome, often heavy rig or kit has to be transported from A to B and back again. Before hitting a beat, a significant amount of time is spent on setup, tuning and tweaking and then there's the dismantling afterward! Imagine if you could carry around over 600 different drum and percussion sounds and 50 different kits in something no bigger than a small widescreen television.

Say hello to Roland's new OCTAPAD SPD-30.

As well as access to all those instrument sounds and kits, the SPD-30 also offers numerous parameters and effects to play with including muffling, tone color, pitch sweep, ambience, limiter and 30 types of multi-effects. Roland claims that the unit's eight rectangular pads have a "natural and responsive playing feel." This quality is thanks to the company's most advanced V-Drum triggering technology, each pad being an independent, isolated unit which incorporates crosstalk rejection.

To the right of the pads is a large, bright backlit LCD display for choosing options and navigating menus. Amongst the wealth of features at a player's disposal is Phrase Loop recording that allows real-time (up to three part) overdubbing on recorded loops. Pads can be chained together or a hi-hit/kick pedal setup can be connected using four included external trigger inputs. There's also MIDI and USB connectivity, hi-hat control and a footswitch jack.

The OCTAPAD SPD-30 is shipping now for a manufacturer's recommended retail of US$799.

View gallery - 5 images