Choosing the Best Midi Drum Pad

Written By Alla Levin
January 13, 2020
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Choosing the Best Midi Drum Pad

One of the greatest inventions that music production has ever seen is the technology known as midi. This is an acronym for Musical Instrument Digital Interface.

This simply describes a protocol that makes it easy for different devices to interact, sharing information with great ease. You can read about it here.

This technology has affected music production more than any other. In fact, most of the innovations we see today are off-shoots from it.

There’s hardly any studio you will walk into today and not see a number of midi instruments.

It, however, does not end in the studio as we now have midi instruments that feature significantly on live stages and performances. One of these is the midi drum pad.

What is a Midi Drum Pad?

At first glance, you will be tempted to think that they are electronic percussions. Yes, they can be used as electronic kits, but just the same way, you can play drums on a regular midi keyboard.

A midi drum pad will play any sound that is routed to it.

The difference is that the playing areas are bigger and you can actually play them with sticks as well as with hands.

Yes, you will likely see them being used mainly by drummers or beatmakers, but they can serve a whole lot of purposes.

Actually, you will only be limited by your creativity and ability to use it.

If you are a music producer, a performer, or even a DJ, you may find that this piece of equipment can offer you so many options that will totally elevate your performance, making you really stand out anywhere and anytime you perform.

In this article, we will be focusing on showing you how to ensure you pick an instrument that will really serve you.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Midi Drum Pad

When you step out to get yourself a new midi drum pad, there are a few factors you need to consider to ensure that what you finally end up getting will indeed serve the purpose for which you got it.

Let’s look at a few of these consideration factors.

Size

These pads can be used in many different ways. You can use it as a stand-alone gear, a mobile gear, or even as a part of a drum setup.

Depending on how you intend to use it, how big or small it is maybe an important issue to consider.

For a mobile musician who will want to have the gear they can easily carry around, something portable and easy to carry around will be preferred.

Decide how you intend to use your instrument and then, based on this, choose the right size.

Power Supply

Another important factor to consider is its power source. This is also very important, especially when considered alongside how and where the user intends to use it.

If you will be using it on stage and in the studio or any other places where you can easily access power supply, then having it connect to the mains, either through an adaptor or directly, will not be an issue.

If, however, you intend to use it practically any and everywhere, you will like to prefer something that will provide mobile power options. Make sure you take a close look at this before making your decision.

Connectivity

Every musician understands the importance of having the right connectivity options, especially these days, that there are so many options. The fact is that you need as many connecting options as you can get.

It does not matter if you do not need all the options today; you just might find yourself in a situation where one option you never thought you would need will become useful.

Some of the options you should ensure your device supports include: MiDi output, Aux, TRS (in and out), USB, and pedal input.

Touch Sensitivity

This is one thing that can affect how much expression you can muster in a musical performance.

At the most basic level, it will allow you to play around with dynamic levels, increasing the volume and decreasing the same simply by adjusting the intensity with which the pads are hit.

Aside from the above, one great touch-related feature in midi instruments is what is called “After Touch.”

You can learn more about this feature in this video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0cIrCDnoURQ.

There’s no doubt that this feature can open up immense possibilities for your creative palette. You may, therefore, want to look out for a device that offers this feature.

ControlsChoosing the Best Midi Drum Pad

Controls help you take charge of your equipment. The more control you have over your device, the easier it will be to make it do whatever you need it to do. You should, therefore, ensure you choose a device that offers you enough controls.

Ease of Use

Aside from having enough controls, you also want those controls to be easy to use. You do not want any equipment that will require too much by way of getting up to speed with using it or be generally difficult to use.

A Few Recommendations

Now that we have taken some time to look at some important factors you should consider when choosing your drum pad, we will now conclude this article by looking at a few top brands you can immediately start looking at.

Akai

This is one brand that truly stands out in this niche. It offers a number of options for different levels of performers. You can trust products from this brand. A few of these include the Akai Professional MPD218 and Akai Professional LPD8.

Korg

Korg is another brand that is well respected in the music industry. It also offers some good options like the Korg nanoPAD2.

Alesis

This brand has no doubt gradually but steadily warmed itself into the hearts and collections of many musicians. One product you may want to try out from this brand is the Alesis SamplePad Pro.

Novation

Novation is a newer brand that is making strong statements in electronic music. It is clear that this brand knows what it is about. This can be seen in the quality of its products, one of which is the Novation Launchpad.

Conclusion on Choosing the Midi Drum

Choosing the midi drum pad that is right for you can be a bit confusing, especially given the number of products that are in the market today. To be sure you find the right one, you may have to try a few.

More importantly, though, you need first to understand what this instrument can do for your performance or production, and then from this, you can decide what exact features you need for your setup.

Once you know this, you can easily find the one that is right for you.

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