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Drum pads for midi input

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I am more than happy coming up with midi drum parts bit sometimes get fed up putting them in on a keyboard. I know there are all sorts of pads out there with sounds on board but all I want is a set of dumb pads to use as a cotroller keyboard. I could spend 250 on an Alesis Sample Pad Pro but would rather not!

Any thoughts?

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Have you contemplated building them yourself? Many moons ago I saw a DIY project on ze innerwebz, and guess there's a lot of it about these days.
Some building experience and some soldering experience, and it should be a fairly simple and cheap project.
 

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If you're happy with small pads for finger drumming, you've got options from around £45:


Akai LPD8 (also has knobs!)
lpd8.jpg.e962528eb7d4ecc56c7a9d376e50a0ff.jpg
Korg nanoPAD2

nanopad2.jpg.3be339fd9bc9d2fce8bad9111d4e0cfd.jpg

 

But if you need something large/sturdy enough to be hit with a drumstick, things get unexpectedly pricey - especially for an all-in-one solution. You can buy a spare drum pad for an electronic kit (or do a DIY conversion on a practice pad), but you'll have to pay through the nose for a drum "brain" that converts the electrical pulse from the pad into a MIDI signal. If you're up for some soldering and programming, you can build one yourself using an Arduino or similar.

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12 hours ago, owen said:

I am more than happy coming up with midi drum parts bit sometimes get fed up putting them in on a keyboard. I know there are all sorts of pads out there with sounds on board but all I want is a set of dumb pads to use as a cotroller keyboard. I could spend 250 on an Alesis Sample Pad Pro but would rather not!

Any thoughts?

I think that you find, that once there is enough processing power to do the trigger to MIDI conversion (especially if you have programmable velocity curves and different rigger regions), the ability to generate sounds comes virtually free, therefore most manufacturers put them on. It's only very old (and usually quite limited compared with modern versions) and some very high end systems that don't have sounds built in.

Do you already have something that you can use as pads (a drum kit)? In that case you could make your own piezo triggers and just get a module that does the MIDI conversion - you don't have to use the built in sounds.

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1 hour ago, MartinB said:

If you're happy with small pads for finger drumming, you've got options from around £45:


Akai LPD8 (also has knobs!)
lpd8.jpg.e962528eb7d4ecc56c7a9d376e50a0ff.jpg
Korg nanoPAD2

nanopad2.jpg.3be339fd9bc9d2fce8bad9111d4e0cfd.jpg

 

But if you need something large/sturdy enough to be hit with a drumstick, things get unexpectedly pricey - especially for an all-in-one solution. You can buy a spare drum pad for an electronic kit (or do a DIY conversion on a practice pad), but you'll have to pay through the nose for a drum "brain" that converts the electrical pulse from the pad into a MIDI signal. If you're up for some soldering and programming, you can build one yourself using an Arduino or similar.

That Korg is shite.

 

Happy to recommend an Akai MPD218 

16 pads and easy to use.

 

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1 hour ago, BigRedX said:

Do you already have something that you can use as pads (a drum kit)? In that case you could make your own piezo triggers and just get a module that does the MIDI conversion - you don't have to use the built in sounds.

I did exactly this a number of years ago - I used an Alesis D4 and some homemade triggers built into some cheap drum practice pads.

 

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I actually have an Alesis D4 sitting here doing nothing but ideally I would like a unit that I can tuck away and pull out for those special occasions where everything is in one place. Also, my soldering skills are such that the only way I can tell which end to hold on my soldering iron is that one end hurts more than the other.

It looks like a 2nd hand Alesis Control Pad is the way to go. But not this one https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Alesis-USB-Midi-Percussion-Control-Pad/193558597102?hash=item2d10fdcdee:g:uHQAAOSwlZNeyqZ8 ""Alesis USB/Midi Percussion Control Pad. Condition is Used. No wires included". Could there be a more obvious way of saying "this is nicked"?

As usual, thanks all :)
 

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14 minutes ago, owen said:

I actually have an Alesis D4 sitting here doing nothing but ideally I would like a unit that I can tuck away and pull out for those special occasions where everything is in one place.
 

Well, I can sympathise....I remember the spaghetti I had to put up with !

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On 13/07/2020 at 11:42, fretmeister said:


Akai LPD8 (also has knobs!)
lpd8.jpg.e962528eb7d4ecc56c7a9d376e50a0ff.jpg

Just ordered one of these, to do double duty as a finger drum pad and a DAW controller. Will report back in the reviews section in a week or two when I have had a proper play.

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Budget option - Alesis PercPad (about £70 new) - 4 velocity sensitive pads, can be extended with kick and hi-hat triggers/switches. MIDI out but no USB.

160223295040002f1.png

Alesis ControlPad - 8 velocity sensitive pads, can be extended with kick and hi-hat triggers/switches. About £100 used form eBay, but tend to be bashed up with stick marks! MIDI and USB outs.

controlpad_top_lg.jpg

I went for a Cubeat (I paid £40 used off eBay) - 6 velocity sensitive pads plus kick and hi-hat switches (not velocity sensitive). Looks like a toy but is in fact a class-compliant device. USB only. Unfortunately there is an issue with note lengths that requires a work-around when recording to a DAW.

preview.jpg

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I just use an Akai MPK Mini (1st generation). Simple pads, knobs and a 2 octave keyboard in one. Works a blinder for me so far and could probably be bought used for 30 - 40 quid.

If you want to hit things with sticks that's a different story... This might still be available (no affiliation): 

 

Edited by Bigwan

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