MIDI pad controllers are the essential component of various modern producer’s tools, with some even replacing the keyboard. They are no longer used just for triggering clips and samples or tapping out beats because they are now fully used as practical instruments in their own right.
They allow you to record and compose melodies, basslines, and chords. You can also find out that they have powerful sequencers that can be utilized to trigger music software and other hardware. This article discusses what you need to consider when buying the best MIDI pad controller.
How you can buy the best MIDI pad controller
As you can think about every bit of equipment on the market, it can be hard to find the best controller because it all depends on how it fits your style. You see, MIDI pad controllers usually serve the same key function, so you need to focus on the major aspects of each one that can improve your workflow.
Ideally, if you desire to have a basic drum pad controller, you should avoid buying something that has a steep learning curve and CV/gate control. This is because these can only slow down your creative process. Instead, you can choose the MIDI pad controller that provides the most for your budget, workflow, style of music, and studio setup.
The features to consider when buying a MIDI pad controller
It’s easy to think that many MIDI pad controllers perform in the same way by sending MIDI messages. However, the truth is that these controllers have some major functional variations that you need to consider before buying them.
Firstly, you need to figure out whether or not you should have velocity sensitivity in your MIDI pad controller. This means you should determine whether or not your controller pads can sense how hard you press them.
This is a feature that you need to have at all costs, especially if you desire to have expressive playing of drum grooves or melodic parts. But if your priorities are clip-launching and step-sequencing, perhaps this is a feature that you can afford not to have.
Another feature worth considering is the customizable and back-lighting color coding of the pads. While this may appear like an aesthetic feature, meaning something intended to make you look great, it can also play a significant function. Here is the deal: if you intend to use it live, then the ability to color-code controls can make a difference when you’re on stage with unpredictable lighting.
As you can see, when choosing the best MIDI pad controllers, there are various features worth considering besides the pads themselves, such as screens, rotaries, and many more. Hence, you should always decide exactly what you want in the MIDI pad controllers to achieve your goals, and then figure out how each device can help you do this.
When it comes to the studio or live performance, moving back and forth between the computer and your hardware can slow your workflow, so you need to have MIDI pad controllers to create seamless studio jam sessions and live performances.