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Rating and Reviews: Korg PadKontrol Drum Pad

Control softsynths and effects, launch loops and video clips -- even your DAW transport. The 16 velocity-sensitive illuminated pads give you visual feedback.

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Korg PadKontrol Drum Pad Customer Review submitted July 28, 2007

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SPOTLIGHT REVIEW
Sound: Well, no sound of course but this thing helps you get the best sound out of your other gear. The pads are very velocity sensitive. I can't understand the reviewers that complain of this thing being too confusing to set up. man, read the manual that comes with it. It's all right there. I was flying with the thing in about half an hour and I didn't even install the editor software - was just using the knobs and buttons to assign controllers. I only found one thing absent from the manual and that was info about how you had to assign the flam and roll features to each pad before you could use flam and roll on the x-y pad. the manual discusses it but fails to tell you that you have to hit the "setting" button first before making the assignment. That's sort of critical. Oh well - ten minutes playing around trouble shooting figured that one out. Truly a simple to use piece of gear if you have any affinity for electronics and computers. It's intuitive. Feature: It does what I would want a midid controller and drum pad trigger to do. And then some. Ease of Use: Simple. Plug it in on a Mac and go. There were five or six pages in the manual to read and I was up and running, assigning pads to midi notes etc. and playing drum kits in Logic Pro. I used a USB hookup direct to the computer as opposed to midi cables into my audio interface. One thing that everyone should know (even though it's written in the manual) Use a powered USB hub with its own auxiliary AC /DC adapter if you're going to power the Korg via USB. When I first plugged the Korg into the hub I didn't have the adaptor in the hub but was just running off bus power. Pads on the Korg seemed to "stick" - in other words, notes wouldn't repeat fast enough and the control knobs malfunctioned and actually ruined pad assignments I had made when I rotated them. Weird malfunctions but easily fixed by just giving the unit enough power. Heck - they warn you in the instruction manual anyway. Quality: It seems solid enough. I love the suction cup feet. It glues itself to my audio desk and even sits on top of my Fatar keyboard controller on either left or right side depending on which hand I'm playing with when I want the extra control. For example I get some sick/expressive bass lines played using the x-y pad and setting it up to modulate parameters in Logic Pro soft synths. Value: I think $200 is cheap for it. I would expect a product like this to be much more expensive. But don't tell Korg that. Manufacturer Support: No not for this product. But I've owned lots of Korg gear in the past. Still use a Triton Classic and even still have a D1600 hard disk recorder which is nice for recording on the road. All are rock solid. The Wow Factor: An instant boost to my productivity and groove making. I really may never need to mic my drum kit again - and I do play drums to in addition to keyboards. That darned x-y pad has also worked miracles for playing expressive soft synths with a keyboard controller. Overall: Well, if you can't tell that I love it already . . .
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"Lotsa "Bang" for the buck!" submitted January 25, 2011

By a customer from aol.com
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Musical Background: guitarist / home recordist
Music Style: rock,experimental,synth music,(instrumental)
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Sound: Since it's a midi controller,it doesn't have sounds, but it's ability to express the sounds you trigger is excellent. You can choose different velocity curves or fixed velocity for each pad,and the x-y pad adds a whole new dimension. They say it's primarily designed for drum triggering, but it's been loads of fun triggering synth modules and soft synths for me so far. I'm not a midi expert, but basic programming seems not too difficult. Program any 16 note scale and do pads or melodies. Great for non-keyboardists like me (guitarist). Feature: It's got enough features to satisfy my skill level, but an expression pedal input would be nice! Ease of Use: Great feel and responsiveness on the pads and x-y, Fairly intuitive programming, even for my basic skill set. I just looked up the midi note numbers for my Roland DR880, and away we go! Wish it had 20 pads though. Quality: Well, this one seems to work flawlessly, but the first one I received did not (false triggers, stuck notes). The nice people at Zzounds took it right back though! Value: Seems like you get a lot of fun for the money. Manufacturer Support: Only had it 2 weeks, we shall see. The Wow Factor: Nice looking unit, good feet for stability. I like the little "light show" when it's idling. Overall: I'm looking forward to exploring the possibilities with the Padkontrol. If it were lost I'd probably get another.
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"Better Midi controller than the AKAI MPC!" submitted October 15, 2006

By a customer from yahoo.com
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Musical Background: Producer, recording engineer, and musician
Music Style: Drum and Bass
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Feature: Very responsive pads which are easy on you fingers. The pads are assignable too. You can even save your different arrangements! Ease of Use: Just hook it up to a midi device and you're ready to go! Value: A little pricy since it is only a midi controller, but it's worth the $. The Wow Factor: Tell me you don't want one. The pads light up when you press them. Overall: It has plenty of useful features, its more responsive than the AKAI MPC, the pads are big enough so that your fingers don't fall off, and its pretty easy to use.
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"Best Pad Controller on the Market" submitted January 19, 2012

By D C in Denver, CO
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Overall: I'll be brief. The PadKontrol is simply a pad controller. It doesn't do much else, but it is excellent at what it does and blows the offerings by Akai and M-Audio away. The pads feel great, unlike almost every other brand; Even more responsive and soft feel than Maschine's pads (which I also own for accurate comparison). The X-Y pad and assignable knobs are a great extra. You can setup and change parameters such as pad note assignments with only one or two button presses at all times. Intuitive interface. Bus powered.
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"Missing software and support hurt otherwise good buy." submitted February 12, 2009

By a customer from ericschreiber.com
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Musical Background: Hobbyist
Music Style: Electronic
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Manufacturer Support: Overall, I like the hardware aspects of the padKontrol very much. However, mine did not include the 'bundled' software package. This in itself was not a surprise, and I knew to download, print and mail the 'missing software redemption form'. The form says to allow 6-8 weeks for delivery. After 11 weeks the software had not arrived, so I wrote to support@korgusa.com. I received no reply from them. Today I'm at 15 weeks, and have written to them again. Hopefully this time will yield results, and I'll get the promised software. A paper form seems like a really 1980s approach to this - wouldn't it make more sense to have a website where I could enter my serial number, and simply download the software?
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Korg PadKontrol Drum Pad Customer Review submitted April 20, 2006

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Feature: Very tactile pads. Nice little touchpad. Only two knobs, but everything is easily configurable.
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"Best on the Market!" submitted June 17, 2006

By a customer from earthlink.net
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Musical Background: Hobbyist
Music Style: Hip-Hop/Metal
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SPOTLIGHT REVIEW
Sound: This thing doesn't make sounds, but if you are using a drum program like BFD (which is what I use) or any soft synth you'll be takin' to a new level with the sounds you produce. Feature: I love how the pads light up and the XY pad is the ish! Could use at least 1 more assignable knob, but what would really hit the spot would be a fader. Ease of Use: I would say it is a 10 on ease of use but you would have some serious issues plugging this thing in and not having access to the documentation or the editor software. Quality: Compared to the MPD16 and Trigger Finger, this is awsome. Stays in place and won't budge. Value: Drums weren't meant to be played on a keyboard. Try one of these and find out what you've been missing. Manufacturer Support: Haven't used it, but you can count on Korg. The Wow Factor: You wouldn't think that the pads lighting up would help you play, but it does. You see when you hit one that you didn't intend on hitting as well as reassuring those you did. Overall: I'm very excited. I've been waiting for a pad controller for awhile and wasn't impress with the reviews on the MPD16 or the Trigger Finger.
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"Decent controller..." submitted April 17, 2012

By Carlos V in Englewood, CO
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Musical Background: Semi-pro
Music Style: rock
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Overall: I have a Korg nanopad 1 and used that quite a bit with Session Drummer in Sonar X1. Not a fan of Korgs' software though--had a very tough time getting the Korg librarian to work simultaneously with any other plug-ins. Had to turn it off to use SD and then turn off SD to use the librarian, etc. Would NOT communicate with the computer otherwise. SAME situation with the padKontrol. Actually got it to work mostly correct with the 32 bit version (I have a 64bit system). Very cryptic instructions. Be prepared to invest LOTS of time to get it to play nice with your system....
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"A fantastic product for both your studio and live show" submitted January 16, 2008

By a customer from gmail.com
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Musical Background: Sound Engineer and Samplist
Music Style: Rock, Nu-metal, Alternative
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Sound: Well okay, it doesn't make sound (Unless you count the noise made on the pad) but the velocity sensitive pads are a big plus. Hit the pads harder and the samples are loud. Hit it softly and the samples are soft. Feature: Having 16 scenes is very useful. Having the pitch bend is very cool, I've used it in lots of songs and combining that with the XY pad makes for some pretty funky sounds. I'd have liked rotary encoders instead of knobs though and maybe 4 instead of two. Also what would have been really rad would be letting a CC message set on a pad with a variable parameter based on how hard you hit the pad (like being velocity sensitive) instead if you assign a CC event to a pad it has a fixed parameter. I also like the fact that it lights up when you hit a pad, it looks neat on stage and you can easily tell pads assigned to note or CC events because CC the events' pad stays constantly lit up. Ease of Use: Got home, plugged it into my Linux computer. Picked it up straight away and worked immediately. It's preprogrammed with presets of drum loops. Assigning notes to pads is very easy. Quality: It's plastic but it's very sturdy. I pick it up and play it on stage jumping up and down and everything and it has yet to show any signs of damage. The knobs do feel a bit cheap but they're okay. Value: One of the best products plus I got it at a slight discount - but I would have bought it whatever the price. I'm actually soon considering another one. Manufacturer Support: I'm giving them 10 because I'm assuming it's top notch - just like the product - But i've never needed support. :) The Wow Factor: The pads light up! They have different patterns too! Come on, what more do you want :) It's pretty small too - height wise - i think. and it's very easy to carry on stage and play. The audience love to see it :P - It's those lit up pads :) Overall: If my one broke I would buy another one without much thought. I've looked at the Akai MPD24 and the M-Audio TriggerFinger and while I'd want to buy one of each for different applications both those wouldn't really fit into the way I've been making music with my PadKontrol. The XY pad is innovative as is the extra pedal input.
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"A GREAT MIDI CONTROLLER!" submitted February 8, 2007

By a customer from yahoo.com
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Musical Background: Recording Engineer/Active Muscian
Music Style: EVERYTHING!
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Sound: well. it doesn't have a sound from it. so the quality of the sound depends on which software you use. i currently use garageband and am using RM IV for drums and samples. Feature: tons of midi control features. the X && Y pad makes for some really cool sounds. as long as you have the software/plug-in to run it Ease of Use: my computer did all the setup for me as soon as i plugged it in. and it was a breeze from there. but keep in mind i have expirience with this stuff Quality: SUPERB!!! its held up through my slamming. and even the lights still work! Value: should be a bit cheaper. but deff. worth it Manufacturer Support: havent needed it yet The Wow Factor: very sexxi product. looks awesome when in sleep mode. the pads do random lighting up and its just awesome! Overall: GO FIND ONE!!! can play drums Keyboard sounds ANYTHING YOU WANT!!!
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"Awesome product...get it!" submitted October 15, 2007

By a customer from douglasjmoore.com
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Musical Background: Independent Artist
Music Style: CCM, Rock, P&W
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Feature: Great features. I like the light up pads. The pads have a great feel. I love the XY pad. Ease of Use: I had to read the manual before I figured out how to program it but after that it was a breeze. Quality: Knobs are plastic. Case is plastic, but still solid. Other than that everything else is great! Value: Worth every penny. I use it all the time and it is still running awesome. The Wow Factor: If I lost it, or broke it, I would get another... Overall: I use this all the time and will continue to do so as long as I am able to. It makes playing drums a lot more realistic than on a keyboard.
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"PadKontrol is a Dope piece of gear, it makes beat productions and sample triggering too easy!~ Also it works good on stage beca" submitted April 13, 2006

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Musical Background: HIP HOP, Expert Level DJ
Music Style: HIP HOP, TRIP HOP
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Sound: Teh PadKontrol does not make its own sounds however, I rate it high here because the X-Y Pad gives you all kinds of control for beatmaking and sound control. Feature: It comes with all you could want from a sample pad MIDI controller. Ease of Use: Easy Install, no problems at all! Quality: It is plastic, but so is the MPD16 and Trigger Finger. Value: For $200, I like it better than my Trigger Finger because of the X-Y Axis Pad, but both are tight products and i do not want to knock M-Audio because they made this whole genre interesting again, th Akai MPD 16 Sucks, and this takes what M-Audio did one step farther. Manufacturer Support: Not sure The Wow Factor: I LOve it Get One! Overall: Like I said, I love it!
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"Headache to setup but pretty good overall" submitted December 28, 2006

By a customer from atk.com
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Musical Background: Reactive Musician
Music Style: Everything
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Sound: The sound is great Ease of Use: It took me a while to figure out how to even get it to work. Like one of the guys reviewing this product, there really any instuctions to set it up and the instruction that they do give you is kind of misleading. If you are a Mac user, the easiest way to find out what port that your padKontrol works on is to go to your recording software, I use Ableton Live 6, i went to the preference in the scroll down menu in the upper left. Go to the MIDI portion where you can select your control surfaces. Choose a port for your input. Your input port will be the same for your output port. After you select one, try to use your padKontrol to see if it works. If it doesn't try the other port. This is how I did it. Mine uses port 2. You can also see if your computer is even reconizing your padKontrol by going to your applications folder, then your Untilities folder, then selecting the MIDI Setup. Once there then click on the MIDI Tab and if your computer reconizes it, there will be an icon with "padKontrol" underneath it. I hope this helps a little. I'm reciting this off the top of my head so if you have anymore probs. let me know. I've been able to use my padKontrol to bring in my music at different times, use the touch pad as a fader,and also to use it as a keyboard when using Korg legacy and synth devices. I have not been able to use the drum kits yet though. Quality: The quality is good for now but I haven't found out how to do drum beats with it yet, so it could be alot better when I do find it. They should at least give you a full drum kit that you can use. Value: Its a pretty good price. I'm still debating if the Trigger Finger is better but its a good deal once you learn how to get it to work. Manufacturer Support: I've looked online and on their website and I can't find any support what so ever. The only way to get any support is to go on blogs or chat rooms that discuss these type of products. The Wow Factor: It has some cool affects when you touch the kepad. If you're a DJ or you work in dim recording studio its pretty cool. Overall: Overall its a good product. Especially if you have recording software. It works as a synth ,as well if you have that type of software which makes it alot easier to remember what keys to play than a keyboard.
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"Korg delivers features but misses completely on quality" submitted February 27, 2006

By a customer from moku.org
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Musical Background: Long-term Hobbyist
Music Style: Industrial, Electro, Folk
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Sound: The included drum samples are great, if limited. After that, you are on your own. But there is no shortage of great drum kits out there. Feature: Lots of features. X-Y touch pad is very well implemented. Dedicated control buttons for controlling how the unit functions. Ease of Use: Install and go. The USB interface makes it super easy to get started. Quality: The very worst of "Made in China". The entire unit is cheap plastic. It even looks cheap with the fake chrome. The one I got was not even level and rattles when you hit a pad. And the pad themselves are not up to par with an Akai MPC. Korg has great features with the padKontrol but the quality is not there. Value: I rate the value as a 1 as the quality is so low. The price is higher than the Akai MPD16 and the quality is lower. Korg's product should be priced around $99 based on quality. Manufacturer Support: The software worked just fine. The unit worked just fine. Haven't needed support as I will likely return the unit and wait 6-12 months for the fixed version. The Wow Factor: It's just not worth a few bells and whistles to have a cheap plastic pile on the desk. That rattles if you use it. Overall: The Korg is going back to the dealer and being replaced with an Akai MPD16. Or I may even spend more money and get a Roland HandSonic.
2 of 9 people (22.22%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"Korg padKontrol" submitted March 10, 2006

By a customer from yahoo.co.kr
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Musical Background: Hobbyist
Music Style: Hip-hop
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Sound: It can't make sounds directly, but you can make all sounds by samples of computer. If you don't have any samples, you can use bundles. Bundles are various and very good. They are in one of DVD. Feature: X-Y pad is really nice!!! You can adjust your own values for "Roll speed and Expression" and "Flam Volume and Interval." You also can adjust your own velocity for each pad and your own knobs. Almost all things are better than Akai MPD16 and Trigger Finger at features. Ease of Use: It was really easy to install driver and programs, although I'm not good at English. BUT, its main program, padKontrol Editor Librarian, is complicated to beginner. I'm still confused the algorithm and the mechanism between a software and a controller. Quality: It's plastic, but the other pads are plastic, too. If it's not plastic, it would be too expensive as pad contoller. Totally, the quality is good. Value: It's just $200 with X-Y pad and better design than the others! Overall: I'm not good English, so some grammers might be wrong. I'm using it for making Drum-looping and for arranging samples!
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"HUGE P.O.S." submitted December 26, 2006

By a customer from sbcglobal.net
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Musical Background: Songwriter, Musician, Small Home Studio Recording
Music Style: Hard Rock
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Sound: Unknown- it won't Kontrol anything. Feature: Unknown- can't get it to do a thing Ease of Use: How do some of you say it's easy to use??? 2 nights x 3hours and not ANY progress. Even on the Korg web page on "Step 1," it says to "click on the .dmg file" Well.... There ISN'T a .DMG file!!! Quality: Hard to say, since it appears to be a $200 paperweight. Value: Sheesh. Manufacturer Support: As previously stated, the web site isn't helpful. Apparently I'm an idiot, so why does everybody write as if we all understand everything about MIDI ??? Instead of telling you to turn on a port, which is sometimes called a bus (thanks, Mr. techno-writer!), you might wanna consider telling me just HOW to friggin' turn that dang port on! No tech support ph# that I can find. "Now look to see if port 2, which is labeled as port A, is set. NOT port 1 which is B. Trigger by C#5. The Wow Factor: It sure looks cool. Sure wish I could get it to so something, anything! Stay away unless you are into MIDI or enjoy expensive, frustrating mysteries. Overall: It's going back tomorrow. I don't care what the software agreement sez. Can't anybody walk me thru this damn thing???
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A guarantee so solid, you never have to worry about price when shopping at zZounds

We'll beat any price
Simply click the Seen it for less? link next to the gear you want or call us at 800-zZounds (800-996-8637)
Got a coupon from another site?
Use it with us - we'll beat those prices, too!
Find a better price after buying from us?
No problem. We'll refund you the difference for 45 days, so you'll never regret buying from zZounds.

You'll still get the trustworthy service you've come to expect from zZounds, without paying more for your gear!