Old 10-19-2021, 09:45 AM   #1
kirk1701
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Default Drum pad controller

I have an original Minilab controller with 8 velocity pads.

I'd love to lay out my various Kontakt drum libraries on it. I've never been able to figure out how to do that.

I will say while the pads feel okay, the knobs have started to get that weird dry sticky feeling. Gross.

I'm open to replacing the hardware if there's one that works better. I'm looking at Presonus Atom or Maschine Mikro if the price is right. I'm not a "beat maker." I'm just looking for an easier way to program drum parts.
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Old 10-20-2021, 01:14 AM   #2
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Do you play drums at all? As a somewhat experienced semi-pro drummer for most of my musical life, who is reasonably comfortable with e-drums (played e-drums in a band), I'd pick -any- major brand pad kit -or- reasonably MIDI capable off-brand pad kit over any finger drum setup. I would even definitely pick something like a Roland Octapad (Cadillac option, you could really put something quite capable together around one of these) or off brand large format multipad over finger drumming. I might even pick a single pad solution... nah lol. I'd find a way to get an Octopad or such.

If I -had- to finger drum, I probably wouldn't look farther than my Korg NanoPad 2, which has 16 large-ish (maybe an inch?) pads in an 8x2 format. I have fairly large hands and I can get 2 fingers on a pad comfortably, which I think I would want to do if I was to finger drum.

Also, consider just mapping the kit out to a keyboard, I've seen YouToobers that seemed to be able to get a result that way.

But ugh. Especially for rock, you're a rock guy basically, yah? I'm not a particularly subtle rock drummer but the, as a drummer would say, "4 limb" interaction between HH and/or ride, snare, and kick is how you make a rock groove groove.

But yah, on the other hand do your thing with what ya got and good on ya. It's all so much better, by orders of magnitude, aka game changers, than anything that came before. I recall tapping out Corea's "Spain" part by part on my Alesis WTF1000 (sorry, can't remember the model lol, it was famous tho, ok boomer lol) and being totally stoked with the result, which was beyond primitive by modern standards.

Speaking of "Spain"...



LOL Weckl's such a dick. Nobody should be that good at anything. RIP Chick.
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Old 10-20-2021, 10:45 AM   #3
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Not a drummer. Guitars and keys mostly. I can't imagine a sample pad is so difficult to use. The pricing between the stick and finger pads isn't too different.

I have done the keyboard finger drumming thing, but I always end up adjusting velocities manually. I'm wondering if I can be a bit more precise with a sample pad controller.

I do play a lot of rock, but I also do a fair amount of blues and jazz. I play all the anciliary percussion as well.
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Old 10-20-2021, 11:59 AM   #4
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... anciliary percussion as well.
...which recalled to mind this:

https://www.roland.com/us/products/handsonic_hpd-20/

...definitely a Cadillac finger drumming solution. Anyway, good luck!
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Old 10-20-2021, 01:12 PM   #5
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The AKAI MDP218 is great, I favor that over my expensive NI Maschine MK3 FWIW - The AKAI is plugged into my DAW, the Maschine is in a box in the closet.
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Old 10-20-2021, 04:33 PM   #6
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The AKAI MDP218 is great, I favor that over my expensive NI Maschine MK3 FWIW - The AKAI is plugged into my DAW, the Maschine is in a box in the closet.
That's very good to know. Komplete Kontrol is cool, but I doubt I'd ever use it.
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Old 10-20-2021, 05:03 PM   #7
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That's very good to know. Komplete Kontrol is cool, but I doubt I'd ever use it.
The final straw was that the MK3 has physical a MIDI output but there is no way to send MIDI notes from the pads directly to that output, not even in MIDI only mode. It must go through the computer and back via USB, then the MIDI out. You'd think that can't be true but after two days of trying, NI support concurred they did such a IMHO dumb thing.

I understand what they were trying to accomplish but there should have been an option to route it directly.
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Old 10-23-2021, 03:37 PM   #8
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The final straw was that the MK3 has physical a MIDI output but there is no way to send MIDI notes from the pads directly to that output, not even in MIDI only mode. It must go through the computer and back via USB, then the MIDI out. You'd think that can't be true but after two days of trying, NI support concurred they did such a IMHO dumb thing.

I understand what they were trying to accomplish but there should have been an option to route it directly.
The issue for me with many of these hardware systems is they're designed for electronic music. The internal logic is entirely different to what we fossils would consider proper logic.
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Old 10-23-2021, 06:58 PM   #9
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Have this nanopad, supposedly for drums, but never use it. Find it strange to tap on something for drums and indeed there is this rubbery feeling to it. Rather like program the midi and tweak with the velocities, usually quick enough, unless it is some intense orchestral percussion which I sparsely use.
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Old 10-23-2021, 07:49 PM   #10
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The issue for me with many of these hardware systems is they're designed for electronic music. The internal logic is entirely different to what we fossils would consider proper logic.
A bunch of years back I got an Akai MPD26, which I used just today in a solar power experiment,

https://sclkssl.ssl.hwcdn.net/66/img...205_810928.jpg

and it was geared primarily for people who do "Beets", which I don't do, but I've set mine up so I can play it like a set of drums. Since I also have a midi keyboard connected with a damper pedal, I have setup REAPER track templates for desktop drum kit that uses the damper pedal for kick, and lays the pads out sort of like a drum kit would be setup.
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Old 10-31-2021, 09:56 AM   #11
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A bunch of years back I got an Akai MPD26, which I used just today in a solar power experiment,

https://sclkssl.ssl.hwcdn.net/66/img...205_810928.jpg

and it was geared primarily for people who do "Beets", which I don't do, but I've set mine up so I can play it like a set of drums. Since I also have a midi keyboard connected with a damper pedal, I have setup REAPER track templates for desktop drum kit that uses the damper pedal for kick, and lays the pads out sort of like a drum kit would be setup.
That's very cool. I'd be interested in remapping my damper pedal to trigger kick samples. I'm not sure how I'd do that.
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Old 10-31-2021, 10:45 AM   #12
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That's very cool. I'd be interested in remapping my damper pedal to trigger kick samples. I'm not sure how I'd do that.
It's a JS plugin called Damper Kick Pedal. I have mine set to velocity 64 and note 36. You just place this plugin before your drum plugin. The only drawback is the kick will be recorded as damper pedal, so to edit the kick you edit damper pedal events.
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Old 10-31-2021, 03:12 PM   #13
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It's a JS plugin called Damper Kick Pedal. I have mine set to velocity 64 and note 36. You just place this plugin before your drum plugin. The only drawback is the kick will be recorded as damper pedal, so to edit the kick you edit damper pedal events.
Did you try midiconverter3 by pizmidi, you could convert your cc to notes, then recording midi output in Reaper (not midi input). Good luck.

Oh no, just record output, it should work immediately I guess. Because if you hear your kicks, it means those events are there already. Just record the output.
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Old 10-31-2021, 04:39 PM   #14
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Did you try midiconverter3 by pizmidi, you could convert your cc to notes, then recording midi output in Reaper (not midi input). Good luck.

Oh no, just record output, it should work immediately I guess. Because if you hear your kicks, it means those events are there already. Just record the output.
I figured there was a way to either capture during recording or convert with something after, but I just play the part and let it ride. The drums on this were played on the pads of the mini keyboard in the pic, and the kick was played with the damper pedal. The drums are a one track, one take, recording.

https://www.soundclick.com/music/son...ongID=14334357

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Old 11-01-2021, 02:36 AM   #15
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Have this nanopad, supposedly for drums, but never use it. Find it strange to tap on something for drums and indeed there is this rubbery feeling to it. Rather like program the midi and tweak with the velocities, usually quick enough, unless it is some intense orchestral percussion which I sparsely use.
I have and use a expanded Roland TD8 e-kit and a Korg Nanopad (the original one) & generally wind up doing most of my drumming on the nano these days.

I am not a good enough drummer to put anything much more than basic kick snare and hi-hat down on the Roland & I can do that just as well & just as quickly with the Nano now that I am used to it.

I have also used/owned Alesis drum setups and several other makes that belong to friends & my conclusion is that unless you are actually able to play drums reasonably well, or want to learn properly, any of the budget drum pad thingies are "good enough".
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Old 11-01-2021, 06:29 AM   #16
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I have and use a expanded Roland TD8 e-kit and a Korg Nanopad (the original one) & generally wind up doing most of my drumming on the nano these days.

I am not a good enough drummer to put anything much more than basic kick snare and hi-hat down on the Roland & I can do that just as well & just as quickly with the Nano now that I am used to it.

I have also used/owned Alesis drum setups and several other makes that belong to friends & my conclusion is that unless you are actually able to play drums reasonably well, or want to learn properly, any of the budget drum pad thingies are "good enough".
What kind of music do you create with it?
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Old 11-01-2021, 10:20 AM   #17
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I don't think it's necessary to play the entire kit in one pass. I will only ever track kick and snare together, hat and cymbals, then fills. A Nanopad may not be a bad idea if it's easily mappable.
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Old 11-01-2021, 10:25 AM   #18
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I don't think it's necessary to play the entire kit in one pass. I will only ever track kick and snare together, hat and cymbals, then fills. A Nanopad may not be a bad idea if it's easily mappable.
A Nanopad or even something with only four pads would be good enough to record multi-pass like that. The one pass recording I did was with only eight pads.
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Old 11-02-2021, 08:52 AM   #19
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I don't think it's necessary to play the entire kit in one pass. I will only ever track kick and snare together, hat and cymbals, then fills. A Nanopad may not be a bad idea if it's easily mappable.
It works ok, but sometimes there are still these laptop latency/asio issues. So drawing the drum notes by hand, seems sometimes just as quick. But it depends on mood as well. Though, it is excellent for orchestral pieces with lots of large drama drums which require a lot of velocity changes, in contrast to most electronic music.

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Old 11-02-2021, 10:32 AM   #20
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What kind of music do you create with it?
A huge selection of different stuff.
Currently working on bass & drums for a Caribbean album, but I cover country, r `n b, rock & roll, old school jazz, blues & soul. I have also done a fair bit of funky drums, too.
BUT remember I am not a drummer, so no miracles here.

The main thing is, if you can visualise the necessary groove, it should be pretty easy to whack in the basic feel & then add any necessary tweaks by mouse if you have to.
As far as the orchestral percussion is concerned, I beta tested a massive orchestral percussion kit for Toontrack a while back & it`s worth remembering that most orchestral drummery is almost always played by a team of percussionists playing together, not a musical octopus.
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Old 11-02-2021, 10:57 AM   #21
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it`s worth remembering that most orchestral drummery is almost always played by a team of percussionists playing together, not a musical octopus.
Hehe, I always got to play whatever I wanted in Orchestral Band, so I'd pick stuff like the gong where you count for one hundred and sixty seven measures before taking a swing.
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