Your favorite drum pads with velocity

i’m looking for some drum pads. don’t really need any knobs or faders. the most important factor for me is quality, velocity sensitive pads with a good feel.

i’ve read that the korg padkontrol has great sensitivity + the flam/roll function with the x/y pad sounds like a clever tool.

the qunexus looks nicely minimal and small. extra points for CV functions…

i like the built in note repeat with swing on the akai mpd pads, but i’ve heard the build quality and sensitivity is meh.


I had an old mpd32(?) can’t quite remember the number. That was nice after doing a pad mod. Can get had quite cheap on ebay now.

the new mpd218 looks pretty nice and i hear the pads are much better than earlier mpd’s. it’s also really cheap.

i have a padkontrol but i wouldn’t really recommend it. the sensitivity of the pads and xy are not that great imo. it also requires a lot of power, so u won’t be able to use it with iOS devices without a power supply or powered usb hub.

Last time I checked, the padkontrol needed drivers, so that shouldn’t be possible anyway.

I like the qunexus very much, not sure I would pick it as the only padcontroller though. It’s great in front of the modular or on the road.

no drivers necessary. i use mine with beatmaker 2.

1 Like

Oh, I stand corrected, sorry! I remember needing drivers for old machine back then when I had one, and mistakenly thought it isn’t class compliant.

The original mpd18 stood me well for 5 years of live shows. The slider knob only just recently fell off. One pad is less responsive now but for a $99 (probably much less now) piece of gear it’s pretty decent.

When it does stop working I will buy exactly the same thing if it’s still available.

not bad!

i’m leaning towards a mpd, with the strip of electrical tape under the pads to increase sensitivity - but the qunexus can be had for $100 and it also has CV. very thin, light, more pads. am i missing something?

thinking a bit more, i suppose the 4x4 grid offers advantages when finger drumming – economy of movement… somewhat easier to remember which sound is where.

Happy with my old M-Audio Triggerfinger (the original one).

I think the physical size of the MPD pads is a really important part of the feel of playing one. It’s a great size to play with either one hand, or two somewhat intertwined. It’s the only instrument I’ve ever felt comfortable playing drums on, moreso than a full kit, and there’s some techniques learnt over time that lend to certain rhythms you typically wouldn’t see otherwise.

Oh - and it has full polyphonic aftertouch per pad! I’ve never truly unlocked the potential of that but for a long time I used a max patch which would allow recording / overdubbing / playback on all 16 pads based on how hard you hit & hold the pad… But I digress!


I picked up a maschine mk1 when they were released and have preferred those pads to many others, both in their software and in midi mode

I’ve always felt kind of meh about my qunexus. Was never very satisfied w/ the feel/sensitivity of it for melodic stuff and I’m with Galapagoose on leaning towards akai-sized pads for drum stuff. Haven’t tried it w/ CV though, that would likely be fun …

I have a quneo and a second-hand mpd32 - both are pretty good but the mpd32 was all but useless before fitting rubber ‘corks’ and upgrade pads. Quneo maybe doesn’t feel as ‘bouncy’ as the mpd with aftermarket pads.

Have been runnning a quneo on linux driving an mfb drum machine with my own midi looping software and find those pads totally fun to play on once quneo is set up right - may end up selling the mpd as it’s rather big and clunky.

Quneo can slip around on the wrong table and make some noise by hitting the pads - mine now sits on a piece of unfinished plywood sitting on a keyboard stand, which works well.

Oh yes - the mpd32 (and 26) had terribly unresponsive pads relative to traditional MPC and the later mpd18 & 24.

oh dear, now I’m thinking I should definitely sell the mpd32 & maybe try out an 18 or 218. Do the later mpd designs also benefit from aftermarket pad upgrade kits?

I put the cork and the extra thick pads on my old one from mpcstuff. Worked brilliantly. Only got rid to buy a 128!!

hey thanks so much, everyone, for sharing your experiences. it looks like the new mpd218 has been getting good reviews on pad sensitivity. nice and compact, too.

i may go for that, though i like the idea of getting something with 5-pin midi… so perhaps ye olde mpd18/24 will be the way to go.

1 Like

Wow. That’s a nice little controller. I have a padKONTROL myself. Have had it for quite a few years. It’s always been good to me but as mentioned it does require a lot of power, takes up a lot of space on my desk. Right now I’m using it mostly as a controller for an MS-20m. Definitely oing to check out one of thes 218’s now.

Never used one, but trigger finger pro has dropped to under £100. Seems a decent price. Nice to have the step sequencer built in.

So did you get an mpd in the end? If so which one? I’m pretty deep into a rig-tinkering stage and thinking about swapping out that ugly quneo for blank pads & a 128 while everything has its guts hanging out…