Alesis Sample Pad Pro Review

In recent years, Alesis has come up with excellent drumming equipment. These include electronic drum sets and sample pads with remarkable features and prices. Luckily enough, the Alesis Sample Pad Pro is not an exception. With it, there is no limit to your sonic creativity.

This full blown electronic drum kit is a step-up version of the initial Alesis Pad. Unlike its previous model, the Sample Pro comes with a professional Alesis sound design, featuring eight rubber pads. With these, it delivers more scope for a more exciting beat making experience.

There’s still more to this all-in-one percussion instrument than its simple design. As we dive deeper into this review, I’ll let you judge that for yourself. Let’s jump right into it!

Percussion and Sample-Triggering Instrument

Things we liked

Straightforward to use
Extensive output/input options
200+ versatile pre-loaded sounds
Convenient SD card slot for custom sampling
MIDI capability
Lightweight and compact
Attractive design 

Things we didn’t like

Cross-talk issues
Somewhat slow when switching kits
Occasional sensitivity issues

Alesis SamplePad Pro Review 

Can you even find a decent sample pad at less than $500? The Alesis SamplePad Pro 8 pad is an all-in-one percussion instrument that knows no bounds. This pro 8 pad percussion and sample triggering instrument promises much at a surprisingly reasonable price tag. It is one of the most affordable drum pads out there.

Firstly, this product comes with eight drum rubber pads. You’ll find six on its main face and the other two on each top corner, for instant access during performance. All the pads are velocity-sensitive and hence will detect subtleties as you play.

Secondly, this pro 8 pad percussion and sample triggering instrument includes 200+ built-in kits, drum, cymbal and percussion sounds. The sounds come in an array of 10 factory preset drum kits for instant access during performance. As such, this electronic drum kit sample is a must add-to-cart for beginners.

Also, the unit supports external sampling as it comes with an SD card slot. It also features kick drum and hi-hat pedal inputs. The pad’s design and appearance are also notable. It has a unique blue LED illumination.

The Sample comes with stereo outputs l, r, 1/4-inch headphone outputs, and a 1/8-inch stereo aux input with level control.

Who is the Sample Pro Pad for?

With its cross-talk issues in mind, I would recommend the Sample Pro to a beginner. Also, it makes an excellent studio icon. In other words, it suits a drummer who only intends to use it for production purposes.

Alesis Sample Pad Pro conection

Then again, the Sample Pro is an ideal pick for a tight budget. It’s not a premium pad but has several premium features absent in other low-budget drum pad models.

Another key feature of this instrument Alesis is its compactness. Besides, it’s lightweight to boot. Because of these features, it’s effortless to carry around. It is thereby an ideal choice for drummers who move or travel much.  

What is in the box?

  • The SamplePad Pro
  • Power supply adapter
  • User guide
  • Safety & warranty manual

Key Features of the Sample Pro Pad


The sound-quality of Sample Pro is pretty much impressive, thanks to the Alesis sound design team. It features over 200 carefully-crafted drum, cymbal and percussion sounds. Not only are the sounds realistic but versatile as well. Plus each sound offers individual access to key variables, such as panning, pitch, and reverb for customized control.

Even more impressive, this sample pro boasts an SD card slot for loading additional sounds and custom kits. It’s also worth mentioning that you can use an SD card that is as big as 32GB.

You can take advantage of the card and make storage of up to 20 kits and 512 sounds per 32GB SD card. With such a sound potential that knows no bounds, there is no limit to your sonic potential and creativity.

The onboard sounds include ten full drum kits and several electronic drum sounds. Besides that, it also features even tuned percussions, impact sounds, and synth pads to boot. All these sounds prove to be handy, especially for beginners. 

Experienced drummers, however, may need to load and trigger extra drum loops and samples. For that reason, this sample pro is reliable even in a live performance environment.

It’s also possible to alter the sounds to your preference. Other than reverb, you can also adjust their pitch, panning, velocity, and more.

Design and Functions

Courtesy of its excellent features, the Alesis SamplePad Pro 8 pad is very striking. It is ideal for supplementing an acoustic drum set with electronic drums. Apart from loading extra samples, adding pads and pedals is straightforward on this kit.


The sample pro has trigger inputs for two additional drum pads plus its initial eight velocity-sensitive dual-zone pads. It also has a kick drum pedal jack and a hi-hat pedal jack. The drum pedal jack provides both switch and trigger options. Contrary to the switch and trigger options, the hi-hat pedal jack can be set for either switch or variable operation.

The Sample Pro includes stereo outputs l, r, 1/4-inch headphone outputs, MIDI and USB functions. The sample also features a 1/8-inch stereo aux input with level control. With this, it facilitates quiet individual practice.

Build Quality

About first impressions, the Sample Pro is very compact and lightweight. Considering its size, it is a surprisingly capable piece of kit. Since it’s very portable, it’s an ideal drum pad for any gigging drummer.

Another notable feature of the Sample Pro is the design. It boasts a black finish. Besides, it includes active blue LED illumination that lights up when playing the trigger pads. 

The drum pad’s layout is impeccably clean with a clutter-free modern design. Don’t expect to find many knobs and dials.

Everything on the Alesis SamplePad Pro 8 pad feels sturdy enough. Unfortunately, its pads may lack a premium-quality feel. However, unlike high-end samplepad models with better build quality, it’s more affordable.

In summary, the sample pad’s design is striking and functional, as well. The menu interface is straightforward to use. Assigning new pads, changing sounds, and loading your samples is also a breeze.


As for playability, the Alesis SamplePad Pro is everything you need in a samplepad instrument. Other than being versatile, it also includes a vast array of features. 

Its eight isolated rubber pads are highly responsive and fun to play with. They then boast dual-trigger sensors. So even before inserting drum triggers or electronic pads, you already have sixteen sounds.

The pad’s triggers are accurate, and they deliver decent sensitivity. Again, the Sample Pro is relatively lightweight. It hence doesn’t offer the most excellent playing response. And, in some way, it may feel slightly clunky and hollow. 

But despite all that, the pads meet most drummers’ expectations. They also have an excellent response to different drumming dynamics. 


Unlike competitive counterparts, this SamplePad is highly affordable. With its expansion options and an array of features, its value for money is incomparable. 

In all honesty, its price tag is less than half that of some rival models. Take the Yamaha DTX M12, for instance. 


Alternatives to the Sample Pro Pad

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Downsides of the Sample Pro Pad

Like every other unit, the Alesis SamplePad Pro has its drawbacks. Let’s check them out.

Most drummers find the unit to have cross-talk issues, and I couldn’t agree more. Sometimes, you may hit one pad but end up triggering another. 

Well, that can be more problematic if you are using long samples such as bass lines. Cross-talk could play or stop such sounds at the wrong time.

Alesis, however, updated the unit’s firmware to eliminate the problem. And fair enough, the firmware did handle the issue to some extent. 

But some drummers still report cross-talk issues, especially after increasing the pads’ sensitivity. In such a case, try avoiding the specific problematic pads. 

In comparison to high-end rivals, the Alesis SamplePad Pro isn’t excellent in detecting subtlety. At times, it even feels quite clunky.

It is a fine drum SamplePad for drummers who play basic drum beats. However, for fast playing, this drum unit may disappoint.  

Loading Time
The loading time is an issue only if you are using large external samples. The drum tends to take much time when switching different kits. 

This issue can be quite a hindrance, especially during live performances. But enough planning should make it a non-issue. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I load samples into the Sample Pro Pad?

Loading samples is straightforward and direct through an SD card. But when loading sounds from your laptop: press and hold the top and left buttons. Then go down the menu to reach the “Load samples via USB” option.

How do I update my Sample Pro Pad?

1. Visit the Alesis’ downloads page to download the latest Sample Pro firmware version.
2. Add the LSDP_UPD.DAT file to your SD card’s root storage.
3. Insert your SD card into the Sample Pro Pad.
4. Press and hold down the Cursor Left and Cursor Up buttons, then power on the unit.
5. When “Press any key to update…” comes on, press any of the unit’s cursor buttons
6. When “Update Success! Restart” comes on, press the power switch to switch off. Then press it again to switch on the unit. Confirm the new firmware version on the screen.  


Like every other Alesis products, this pro 8 pad percussion and sample triggering instrument is a worth-it piece. It is an ideal entry-level drum sample with an excellent level of versatility. And unlike most models, it delivers massive creative freedom. 

There are hundreds of professionally recorded in-demand sounds in short samplepad. The Samplepad Pro has trigger options for the hi-hat pedal inputs, the kick drum inputs and jacks. It is also very user-friendly, thanks to its straightforward controls.

Even so, it’s not the best drum samplepad out there. But it does come close to some high-end counterparts. Thanks to its innovative, top-notch features.

What makes it even more impressive is the extremely reasonable price tag. Open an Amazon business account today and enjoy free shipping on all your orders!

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