Looking for a pad controller with polyphonic velocity and aftertouch.

Hello everybody! I am looking for a pad controller to play drums with and use it as a keyboard.
But i would love after touch and decent velocity sensitivity but my price limit is 100 bucks, so that makes it a bit tricky.

My best bet looks to be a McMillan K Board.

I would love to use the a Arturia Beatstep, because it is a sequencer too. But i think the after touch is global, is that correct?
Because if that is wrong, this controller would what i want.

Then there is the Korg NanoPad2 but this has no pressure sensitivity.

Also the Akai MPD218 which costs the same as the beat step and has less features.

That would be the lot, i excluded everything that is not “name brand” since i suspect those will have worse software support.

Any feedback and recommendations would be very appreciated!

I have a beatstep and i really like it. I’m super bad at finger drumming, but it also goes well with rack, or in the Daw, to control parameters with the knobs . I didn’t even know the pads had aftertouch lol, but i think it could suit you. I’ve also heard very good things about the Kboard, and kinda been wanting one for a while :slight_smile:

Thanks for the reply!
I think in i gotta get a KBoard anyway, in the future.
But for now i rather have some pads.

Could you maybe have a look if the after touch is polyphonic?
That would be awesome! Some reviews say yes, some say no.

I will try to see later today, i’ll tell you once i found out :slight_smile:

Awesome! Thank you, very much appreciated!

There is one for cheap on eBay, that i got my eyes on.

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Have you gotten around to it yet? :slight_smile:

I’d be the same but a beatstep is not the best for finger drumming you really have to hammer the pads!

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beatstep is not the best for finger drumming you really have to hammer the pads

my m-audio is the same way, so I can’t recommend it. figured I’d mention it before someone looked at them and thought, “wow! pads! wonder if those are any better?”

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Looks like the Original beatstep has no aftertouch… Just like you i found some reviews mentionning pressure, but i couldn’t get aftertouch working, and also there is no reference about aftertouch in the midi control software neither the Manual

Same experience here. Light touches dont register sadly. Seems to be a common problem with inexpensive pads.

Push2 has aftertouch, which is pretty good and with adjustable sensitivity. But no poly aftertouch AFAIK

It falls slightly out of your price range, but I’m pretty sure the Launchpad (Pro?) has poly aftertouch, as I’ve seen them used as controllers for a Deckards Dream or Kijimi before. Not sure about velocity capabilities though

Yeah the Launchpad Pro Mk2 has poly aftertouch. It’s a fun device to play with, though the pad sensitivity is slightly lacking so I find that I have to push them a little bit harder than I want to. It’s not terrible by any stretch.

I’ve heard that the newer Launchpad X (which also has poly aftertouch, iirc) has better and more sensitive pads that rival some of the more expensive pad/grid controllers out there, but I haven’t tried it personally. The only downside of the Launchpad X over the Pro Mk2 is less buttons for DAW control, but I’d take better feeling pads over that any day. At $150 it’s a bit above @peterfwg’s price range though.

The new Pro Mk3 (probably) has the newer, better pads, all the DAW control, as well as the new step sequencer–but it’s like $350 USD so it’s probably out of the question.

So, I’d recommend checkout out the Launchpad X as the best option of the three.