Midi that goes thwack

kind of the inverse of this thread: Euro stuff triggered by drums (advice wanted)

and an alternate reality of this one: Your favorite drum pads with velocity

i’m on the lookout for a midi drum trigger that i can hit with drum sticks, and ideally plug in a kick and/or hi-hat trigger into.

the obvious candidates are the roland SPD or octapad, but i’m a bit confused about which one i’d actually want if i only want triggers… both seem to be full-fledged sound engines in their own right, and then there’s the potential difference in playability.

i’m not ready to go full-on eDrum kit, though, either, for space reasons.

do any of y’all use these sorts of triggers? which have you tried, and how do you like them?

1 Like

I have an SPD-S (the original one) and it works fine for this, if a bit big. Sensitivity isn’t great, and on par with “generic drum trigger” feel. (as in, many ghost notes go missing, and buzz/press rolls are out of the question).

I think for the most part, most of the octapad-type things will be similar, so it’s really about the features/size.

Personally, I’m quite excited about the KMI BodPad in that it’s compact, is round, can have up to 16 regions (or positional tracking of sorts), and from the looks of the videos, tracks quite well.

I think it has trigger inputs as well.

1 Like

The press rolls and ghost notes things are good points. I wonder if the newer models help any with those.

The BopPad looks super interesting.

Also makes me wonder if the Sensel Morph will hold up to a drum stick…

Most triggers are shit at that stuff (barring the Sensory Percussion stuff), as the underlying technology is quite crude (literally piezo discs under rubber). There’s only so sensitive that can be.

The BopPad looks like a slight improvement, but I reserve judgement until playing with one (I plan on buying one either way).

I’ve gotten reasonable sensitivity out of an MPC/MPD type interface, which I swapped out with “chunky” pads. The aim is a bit tricky since the pads are tiny (relative to sticks/aim), but it was still playable.

Yeah… I’ve considered the DIY approach as well, but then it’s a maddening world of DSP to make it into something to play with the computer.

Is KMI giving any indication of when the BopPad will ship to pre-orderers? There’s nothing on the website about when

1 Like

I had put it in my diary for a few months ago (based on the original Kickstarter). I guess it’s not available yet, so dunno. Hopefully soon enough.

I’d like to see more development of devices like the Korg Wavedrum which do resynthesis of the actual membrane vibrations. It’s way more expressive than any MIDI triggered drums I’ve tried, but the DSP used is probably pretty underpowered compared to what’s available now.


you probably seen these :slightly_smiling_face:

I built this kit a long time ago, not sure if they’re still available. It’s basically just a simple hardware interface to convert piezo triggers to MIDI triggers w/ velocity. It runs on a very simple Arduino sketch so it’s easy to modify: http://spikenzielabs.com/SpikenzieLabs/dkkai.html

1 Like

The main difference between the PD-125 and previous V-Drum pads is that it’s better at differentiating rim and skin hits. I don’t think the actual performance of the mesh trigger is improved that much over past models.


Now that the BopPad is actually for sale, I was wondering if anyone’s had a chance to play around with it yet?


Sensory Percussion looks really good. I really wish they would make Max externals of their software or release an SDK tough


There is Jambé - but it only plays through it’s iOS app - no MIDI out that I can see.

I sent them quite a long email last year with a bunch of questions, and they got back to me quite quickly.

I basically asked questions along those lines, like either being able to use it as a vst inside something else (Max), or at minimum getting OSC out (or something more than MIDI), and they seemed quite keen on keeping it all quite ‘accessible’ with OSC being something quite ‘academic’ as their research turned up.

It’s a shame that they aren’t embracing the programmer types, as that would scoot that waaay up my list of stuff to buy if I could get something more than MIDI out of it, using it in Max.

dug up their response, more promising than I remember (so if anyone wants to shoot them an email about OSC support)

We’re using the standard MIDI protocol (I believe it’s 1 byte). We have considered working with OSC, but in our research have found that it’s mostly used in academia and not much by average users. However if we find there is demand for OSC, we will definitely consider adding it!


I love my wavedrum, but sound design on it is UI hell, and it is a very closed system. No external control and only audio out.

But since I don’t have enough room (or significant other tolerance) for a traditional kit, wavedrum is as close as I can get.

Yea, at least OSC would be nice. Interesting that they seem more focused on so-called average users. I would think that the academic folks (like me!) would more likely be able to afford a $1500 sensor kit!

1 Like

Yeah, if Korg released a Wavedrum with a USB port that let you edit it via MIDI and upload your own PCM samples, I’d be all over that.


i have and so far it’s exactly as advertised. haven’t spent more than a couple hours with it yet though, i’ll keep you posted.

1 Like

Pretty interested in the Boppad as well. My drummer times are long gone and were actually pretty short anyway, but thinking about getting back into more real-life electronic drumming for a new band I’m in. So far the Boppad sounds like the most promising of them all.

Well that does not sound good imho. Every project is different of course, but my bandmate (from the above mentioned band) does have an Oval, which also relies heavily on the iOS app, and it’s a totally epic fail. The iOS app has a lot of lag, even if you connect the iPad with USB (not to mention how bad bluetooth is). It does also have a DIN midi out and USB MIDI, but somehow they failed to consider making an editor for the thing, so you’re stuck with using the notes the developers picked for each pad, and of course everything else is hardcoded as well.
Which just adds one more bit of proof to my theory that “anything that relies on an mobile app to work is likely to not do so”.

This said, on the Kickstarter page they claim:

We plan on having MIDI output when our software is complete. We recognize that some people need this output to control other software applications, and we will work on getting those running with our Jambé app.

anyone tried the bop pad yet?
I’m quite interested what it would be like for a bit of finger drumming … drums, or some handpans. … seems a nice device, compact (ive no drumming aspirations :wink: ). does it feel responsive? connected?

I’ve got a push2, but it does have the feel that im looking for, I also find the ML Soundplane is not quite ‘quick’ enough for percussive use - I’m after something that feels quick, immediate, ‘connected’.