In this article, we answer some frequently asked questions about the Alesis SampePad. We also cover basic troubleshooting, including sample file formats, and memory management.
Frequently Asked Questions
- How much can I load onto the pads of the SamplePad?
- Where can I find a free audio utility that can export 16 Bit Mono WAV files?
- What type of sample file formats are supported?
- The SamplePad displays an ‘Invalid Format’ error when trying to read one of my samples. What should I do?
- Can I connect the SamplePad to my computer to transmit MIDI notes into DAW programs or instruments?
The SamplePad has 5 assignable locations: 4 pads, and the Kick trigger input.
The amount (in MB) of samples that can be loaded on to a pad or pads at once will vary depending on what you have assigned to each location. The unit has a maximum total sample memory of 14MB. Some of this memory is used to handle management of the playback, meaning that 14 MB of samples cannot be accessed all at once.
I’ve included some specific combinations of possible sample load sizes below:
- 3.1 MB (±500B) on each of the 4 pads at once with the INT 001 CLAP assigned to the Kick location.
- 3.2 MB (±500B) on two of the 4 pads at once with the INT 001 CLAP assigned to the other 3 locations.
- 2.0 MB (±500B) on each of 5 locations at once.
- 8 MB (±500B) on one pad with the INT 001 CLAP assigned to the other 4 locations.
If you are creating samples yourself, you may have difficulty finding an inexpensive/free audio editing application capable of exporting mono files. Below are links to a couple of free utilities that you can use to create properly formatted files for use with your SamplePad:
- Audacity 2.0 for Mac or Windows is a free utility which can export compatible 16 Bit mono files. Note that mono export capabilities were just added in the new 2.0 version. Check out 2:14 the video below for a walkthrough on converting files form Stereo to Mono using Audacity:
- Free Audio Converter is a free Windows utility which can export compatible 16 Bit mono files.
The SamplePad requires 16 Bit Mono WAV files, and supports sample rates of 48, 44.1, 32, and 22 kHz.
The SamplePad displays an ‘Invalid Format’ error when trying to read one of my samples. What should I do?
If you have difficulty loading a particular sample file, it may be that…
- The sample being used is not in the correct format.
The supported file type is 16 Bit Mono WAV. 48, 44.1, 32, and 22 kHz sample rates are supported.
The most common error is to attempt to use stereo samples.
- The sample file itself is corrupt or was not encoded correctly by the software that created it.
We created a sample by recording into a Tascam handheld recorder as 16-bit, 44.1KHz Mono WAV file. We then copied the recorded file to the computer, and from there copied the file to another SD card for use in the SamplePad. When the SamplePad tried to read the file, it displayed an Invalid Format error. It seems that in this case, the recorder did not encode the file as needed.
We used the Free Audio Converter utility to re-encode the file into another 16-bit, 44.1KHz Mono WAV file. This new file loaded into the SamplePad and triggered perfectly.
- (Mac users only) The SamplePad is seeing Invisible Files Created by the Macintosh OS.
The Mac OS operating system creates invisible files on any card, drive, or volume. One invisible file is created for each visible one. The invisible files will have the same name as the original, but will begin with "._". For example...
Origial File Name
Mac Invisible File Name
These invisible files will be visible when read from the Sample Pad, and the Sample Pad will display Invalid Format when the SamplePad attempts to load them.
- Ignore the invisible files, and skip over them when looking for samples to load from the card.
- Use a Windows PC to load the files. The invisible files will not be created on a PC.
- Use a Windows PC to delete the invisible files created by the Mac.
- Use a free utility such as CleanDisk for Mac to remove the invisible files on the card from your Mac.
Yes. The SamplePad transmits standard MIDI messages from its MIDI OUT port. Any program capable of handling MIDI will recognize and respond to these MIDI messages the same for any MIDI devices.
If you have a MIDI interface for your computer, such as the Alesis iO2 Express, or the Alesis USB-MIDI Cable, you can connect the MIDI Output port on the SamplePad to the MIDI Input port on your interface. With the interface connected to the computer (and configured to work with your software), any strikes on the SamplePad will be transmitted as MIDI notes into the software or virtual instrument on your computer.