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Best MIDI Handdrum Controller

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  • Best MIDI Handdrum Controller

    Hey folks,

    as a composer and not a drummer, I've been looking forever to find a MIDI controller that lets me play organic percussion sounds (mostly out of Kontakt Libraries) with the most possible precision in terms of velocity. I'd love to play those rhythms with my fingers, as I am not trained in playing with sticks.

    From what I've seen so far, I found that these contenders seem the best out there. But maybe I am missing something?

    - Roland HDP-20 (Does overall pretty much what I am looking for, however the surface doesn't feel that good and the velocity response when playing very gentle is not as sensible as I was expecting)
    - JamKAT (couldn't test this one, but I am very concerned if this could be the one to go for? They say it has the best velocity response for any MIDI Finger Drumming device out there)
    - Korg WaveDrum (This feels EXACTLY like what I am looking for, you could even stroke the surface gently and the device responses the right way, but unfortunately it doesn't support MIDI... )
    - Keith McMillen Bop Pad (tried this one as well, but the velocity response seems very weak compared to the HDP-20)

    I hope one might have some good suggestions for me or knows how the JamKAT compares to the other contenders.

    Best regards

  • #2
    zendrum

    very expensive. very good

    check john enrich on youtube using bfd3 on zendrum for dynamics
    Roland TD9 (KD8, FD9), Yamaha DTX Multi12 (KT10, HH65, TP100), Zendrum EXP (Stompblock) || Scarlett 6i6 > imac; 2i4 >macbook || Superior Drummer 3, Logic || Yamaha HS7s, Yamaha DBR10, ATH-M30x || DIY compact a-kit, Mapex Meridian, Zildjian Ks, some As and Sabians and ... || youtube

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by jackodrum View Post
      zendrum

      very expensive. very good

      check john enrich on youtube using bfd3 on zendrum for dynamics
      Wow, I wasn't expecting something like this. Thanks a lot for the tip!
      Like with the JamKAT, I would love to have the opportunity to test one of their products. Unfortunately, you cannot find them in regular music stores...

      I've seen that you got the Zendrum EXP. Can you tell how it reacts on lower velocities? For example with the Bop Pad I've had the issue that when playing super gentle, I wouldn't get any response at all. And when increasing the pressure, the first velocity value I would get was about 20, then when increasing pressure again just a tiny bit, the next possible values would be around 30, and so on. This is a problem when working with well crafted sample libraries, because they cover the entire range between 1 and 127 and I think what really makes the samples sound real are these tiny nuances in dynamics.

      Comment


      • #4
        Sensory Percussion. These are quite different from anything and seem very expressive. You can play them with fingers and scratch on them and stuff. Kind of like the wavedrum. But they do support midi. They need a drum to attach to but almost any drum will do. https://sunhou.se/

        A cool demo overview:
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-ZjyOigJnY

        You might take a deeper look at Alternate Mode - I have a Malletkat and I love playing it with my fingers. It's really sensitive and supports aftertouch.

        I've played their Trapkats and Drumkats over the years too and they're also excellent and very sensitive. I haven't tried a the jam kat but based on the quality and playability of the other devices, my expectations would be high. The owner is a FT player.

        Alternatively, you could use a cheap Keith McMillan USB device and just trigger drums with your fingers. QuNexus, QuNeo or any kind of button grid thing like a LaunchPad.

        There are other more far out midi controllers like Buchla Thunder, Linnstrument, etc that also are good at expressive finger drumming. Improvements in Midi MPE bode well for finger drumming.

        This MPE type device is cool and via overlays you can configure it for diff purposes. I was impressed when I demoed it and am sorry I didn't buy it for the event sale they were having at the time. https://sensel.com/pages/the-sensel-morph

        This is fairly new and similar. https://www.play-joue.com/?gclid=Cjw...hoCcOkQAvD_BwE

        I love the idea of a zendrum - always wanted one. But I really prefer to hit things with sticks!!
        Last edited by wolfereeno2; 05-06-20, 07:29 PM.

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        • #5
          Another expensive option is the ATV a-frame.
          DTX700, A2E Dixon kit, Yamaha cymbals, FSR HH
          Kit Pix http://vdrums.com/forum/album.php?albumid=613

          My new venture, HiEnd Speakers. : voglosounds.com

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          • #6
            Originally posted by curry36 View Post

            Wow, I wasn't expecting something like this. Thanks a lot for the tip!
            Like with the JamKAT, I would love to have the opportunity to test one of their products. Unfortunately, you cannot find them in regular music stores...

            I've seen that you got the Zendrum EXP. Can you tell how it reacts on lower velocities? For example with the Bop Pad I've had the issue that when playing super gentle, I wouldn't get any response at all. And when increasing the pressure, the first velocity value I would get was about 20, then when increasing pressure again just a tiny bit, the next possible values would be around 30, and so on. This is a problem when working with well crafted sample libraries, because they cover the entire range between 1 and 127 and I think what really makes the samples sound real are these tiny nuances in dynamics.
            they’re sensitive. i don’t know what the lowest velocities triggered are but people talk about it being the most sensitive ‘hand-drum’ midi controller u can get - that could just be community ‘loyalty’ tho - i’ve never tried the other options out there. check the fb zendrummers group - small and very supportive community. i use it with sd3 and get a broad dynamic range. if i have time over the weekend i’ll check velocities in sd3 - can’t promise but will try
            Last edited by jackodrum; 05-07-20, 10:53 AM.
            Roland TD9 (KD8, FD9), Yamaha DTX Multi12 (KT10, HH65, TP100), Zendrum EXP (Stompblock) || Scarlett 6i6 > imac; 2i4 >macbook || Superior Drummer 3, Logic || Yamaha HS7s, Yamaha DBR10, ATH-M30x || DIY compact a-kit, Mapex Meridian, Zildjian Ks, some As and Sabians and ... || youtube

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by jackodrum View Post

              they’re sensitive. i don’t know what the lowest velocities triggered are but people talk about it being the most sensitive ‘hand-drum’ midi controller u can get - that could just be community ‘loyalty’ tho - i’ve never tried the other options out there. check the fb zendrummers group - small and very supportive community. i use it with sd3 and get a broad dynamic range. if i have time over the weekend i’ll check velocities in sd3 - can’t promise but will try
              That'd be great. If you can not manage to test it, I will check out the zendrummers group. ​​

              And for the other tips, the ATV a-frame looks really amazing! Reminds me a bit of the Korg Wavedrum. I can believe it would be a joy to play this thing, however it doesn't seem to support MIDI, which is important for me.

              Also, Sensory Percussion looks very interesting. Could be indeed a good solution for me.

              Not so sure about those MPE devices with silicone surfaces though. I have already testet the Keith McMillen Bop Pad and I own the Seaboard from ROLI, and they are not the optimal choice for precise dynamics. Still better than an average MIDI Keyboard for sure, but there must be more.


              Right now it seems like either the Zendrum, the JamKAT or Sensory Percussion could be it. A pitty that it's so hard to test them..

              Comment


              • #8
                Hi mate.

                There's a video here that will give you an idea of the sensitivity.
                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x37_rO7lH5U

                There's an explanation in the video details.

                Excuse the dreadful playing. I struggle to find enough hours to practice on my kit so the zendrum suffers

                Videos to check out to see how it can actually be played:

                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mPyiCk1MgZc

                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CPlItm19ano

                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qzz9LdYhT14

                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DiWzfnX22aU

                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jAZShtnjb74&t=2s
                (this last one, you need to go to the end to hear him play)

                The community is very supportive and active.
                Roland TD9 (KD8, FD9), Yamaha DTX Multi12 (KT10, HH65, TP100), Zendrum EXP (Stompblock) || Scarlett 6i6 > imac; 2i4 >macbook || Superior Drummer 3, Logic || Yamaha HS7s, Yamaha DBR10, ATH-M30x || DIY compact a-kit, Mapex Meridian, Zildjian Ks, some As and Sabians and ... || youtube

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by jackodrum View Post
                  Hi mate.

                  There's a video here that will give you an idea of the sensitivity.
                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x37_rO7lH5U

                  There's an explanation in the video details.

                  Excuse the dreadful playing. I struggle to find enough hours to practice on my kit so the zendrum suffers

                  Videos to check out to see how it can actually be played:

                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mPyiCk1MgZc

                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CPlItm19ano

                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qzz9LdYhT14

                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DiWzfnX22aU

                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jAZShtnjb74&t=2s
                  (this last one, you need to go to the end to hear him play)

                  The community is very supportive and active.
                  Hey man, thanks a lot for your effort to make this video. Also with the other videos you posted, it shows indeed how much expression lies in this instrument. Oh man, I didn't want to spend that much for a controller but from what I've seen, this is what I need!

                  Could you maybe do me a last favour? It would be very interesting to see the MIDI values that are coming out of this. If you could just record 30 seconds of a snare buildup where you start as soft as possible and then slowly try to rise the intensity until you reach the max. And post a screenshot of the resulting MIDI. That would be great!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by curry36 View Post

                    Hey man, thanks a lot for your effort to make this video. Also with the other videos you posted, it shows indeed how much expression lies in this instrument. Oh man, I didn't want to spend that much for a controller but from what I've seen, this is what I need!

                    Could you maybe do me a last favour? It would be very interesting to see the MIDI values that are coming out of this. If you could just record 30 seconds of a snare buildup where you start as soft as possible and then slowly try to rise the intensity until you reach the max. And post a screenshot of the resulting MIDI. That would be great!
                    hi mate. unlikely i’ll be able to do this anytime soon. you can get a good idea of the velocities in the vid i made - have a look in the description of the vid for details. between that and all the vids online you get a good idea of the sensitivity. good luck
                    Roland TD9 (KD8, FD9), Yamaha DTX Multi12 (KT10, HH65, TP100), Zendrum EXP (Stompblock) || Scarlett 6i6 > imac; 2i4 >macbook || Superior Drummer 3, Logic || Yamaha HS7s, Yamaha DBR10, ATH-M30x || DIY compact a-kit, Mapex Meridian, Zildjian Ks, some As and Sabians and ... || youtube

                    Comment

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