Roland Handsonic HPD-20 Review

Roland Handsonic HPD-20

Key Features

  • Electronic hand percussion pad
  • 850 Expressive instruments included
  • SuperNATURAL Sound Technology
  • 13 Velocity/pressure sensitive pads
  • Import your own WAV samples via USB
  • Powerful multi-effects engines

95/100

The Roland Handsonic HPD-20 is the most advanced electronic percussion pad on the market. Featuring SuperNATURAL technology, it is a powerful and versatile instrument that boasts 850 highly expressive sounds.

Roland Handsonic HPD-20 Review

The Roland Handsonic HPD-20 is an exceptional electronic percussion instrument. The sounds are incredibly authentic and it feels unbelievably responsive to play thanks to the SuperNATURAL engine.

The HPD-20 is designed to respond and react just like a real percussion instrument. It is ultra sensitive and responds to 13 individual silicone pads on the surface with dampening and choke functions.

To play, this electronic drum pad offers an incredible level of expressiveness. There are 850 included instruments, and the Handsonic also has the ability to import up to 500 custom WAV samples via USB flash memory.

In this Roland Handsonic HPD-20 review I’ll be taking an in-depth look at the sounds, features, build quality and playability of this electronic drum pad to determine if it’s a winner!

Roland Handsonic HPD-20 Ratings

Sounds

Features

Build Quality

Playability

Value

Sounds

The first thing we’re going to take a look at in this Roland Handsonic HPD-20 review are the sounds. Right out of the box I’m seriously impressed. The HPD-20 is used by all the pros and for good reason- this thing rules.

The Roland Handsonic HPD-20 comes with 850 pro quality instruments installed that are instantly accessible and ready to play.

There is an enormous library of percussion instruments from around the world as well as traditional drum kit sounds and electronic drums.

Included you receive a tremendous range of sounds. It has percussion from everywhere in the world. You’ll find percussion from Latin America, Africa, Asia, Caribbean, Middle East and many more parts of the globe.

Of course the Roland Handsonic HPD-20 comes equipped with a range of western drum kits and orchestral percussion including timpani, xylophone, marimba, vibraphone and more.

Additionally it also comes with a huge array of electronic drum sounds that work perfectly for hip-hop, trap music, house music, R&B and lots of other styles of electronic music.

The SuperNATURAL sound engine is ultra realistic. It responds to every single nuance and dynamic exactly as if it’s a real percussion instrument.

The HPD-20 can accommodate for up to 500 WAV samples for bespoke performances. With either your own samples or the on-board sounds, you have the ability to use the powerful built-in effects and editing features to shape the sounds to your liking.

Features

The Roland Handsonic HPD-20 is perfect for percussionists looking for a versatile and compact instrument that can replicate authentic tones for live performances.

In addition to having over 850 ready to play sounds to suit all different musical applications, it also takes advantage of powerful multi-effects engines that offer incredibly detailed sound-shaping options, from chorus and echo to intense effects such as distortion, filter and bit crush.

The real-time modify knob allows for an insane level of adjustment and sound manipulation for individual sounds by altering the pitch and level of effects whilst playing. Plus the in-built reverb and EQ effects can be applied to a full kit to polish the sound overall.

The HPD-20 has a bunch of added cool features including additional trigger inputs that allows for a hi hat controller, kick trigger and additional snare drum pads into the dedicated jacks. This is actually very useful, and it allows for even more flexibility for performances.

I also like the Quick Rec function that’s included. It captures performances with the hit of a button and export recordings as WAV audio to a connected USB flash drive.

Build Quality

As you would expect from Roland, the build quality of the unit is exceedingly high quality. Everything feels substantial and premium quality.

The rubber pads are spongy, and they feel softer than typical rubber pads. Which is great for hands and fingers after long performances. Although they are soft they still feel really solid.

I found the design of the unit to be really clean and intuitive. The menu is simple to navigate and it’s easy to choose and assign new sounds.

Scrolling through the sounds and menus is easy which means it’s not going to be complicated even for complete beginners.

This really is an awesome piece of kit. It’s super compact and lightweight whilst still offering an insane amount of sounds and features. Despite its small size it is very robust and solid. It can certainly be relied upon for gigs and touring.

Playability

Hands on, the Roland Handsonic HPD-20 is supremely playable. The 13 isolated rubber pads are super responsive and they just feel great to play. As mentioned before, the rubber material is soft and forgiving for long sessions.

Roland’s highly acclaimed SuperNATURAL sound engine does not disappoint. It responds like a real instrument would. From delicate rolls to advanced polyrhythms and rim shots, the Handsonic pad is remarkably realistic.

The 13 pads are velocity and pressure sensitive, allowing it to respond similarly to real hand percussion instruments such as a congas or a cajon.

The incredible library of sounds available makes the HPD-20 such a blast to play, especially all the world percussion instruments that are really inspiring and unusual.

Having such a wide variety of sounds at your disposal really aids with musical creativity and it allows you to think about adding percussion in new and exciting ways. The Handsonic HPD-20 is a fantastic tool for any type of musical performance.

Value

Whilst the Roland Handsonic HPD-20 is within the realms of affordability for most advanced drummers, it does carry a fairly premium price tag.

Considering what you get in terms of sound, performance, reliability and build quality however, it offers good value for money.

The HPD-20 is a first-rate electronic percussion pad that comes equipped with a huge library of authentic sounding instruments. I would consider the Roland Handsonic to be fairly priced overall.

Verdict

The Roland Handsonic HPD-20 delivers on all fronts. It is the most advanced hand percussion electronic drum pad available bar none.

With over 850 realistic sounds at your fingertips you’ll feel inspired to explore a world of new sound possibilities.

For drummers and percussionists looking to dive into electronic percussion this is the most versatile, compact and realistic sounding machine on the market!

What Comes In The Roland Handsonic HPD-20 Box?

  • Roland Handsonic Pad
  • 850 Built-in instruments
  • Power unit
  • 2-Year warranty

Roland Handsonic HPD-20 At A Glance

Pros

  • 850 Authentic instrument sounds
  • Extremely solid build quality
  • Ability to store custom WAV samples
  • Versatile, engaging and inspiring to play!

Cons

  • Very little - besides the price tag
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