The drum pad controllers market isn’t exactly a synonym of innovation.
This is probably what pushed the innovative hardware and software developer Keith McMillen Instruments to introduce BopPad – in their words “the most advanced electronic drum pad controller ever conceived” — and a Kickstarter campaign. At the time of writing, the campaign has already reached its goal but there’s still 20 days left for you to fund and pre-order the BopPad (starting from $199).
As the first product to come out of KMI Labs , the R&D (Research and Development) division of Keith McMillen Instruments, BopPad is an expressive electronic drum pad for drummers, percussionists, and producers alike. As such, “it advances accurate hit detection via velocity, continuous radius, and pressure sensitivity with a p.d.q. (pretty damn quick) playing surface to die for.”
Boasting a 2.4 millisecond latency, BopPad’s advanced architecture allows for an innovative instrument that ‘sees’ every gesture, hit, or tap to truly respond to the nuances of any percussive performance, perfectly measuring strike velocity from the softest hand-drumming actions to the most brutal percussive assault.
How does it work?
The pad is splittable into four independently programmable zones — Quadrants in ‘KMI speak‘ — outputting MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) notes, velocity, bend, pressure, and location CCs (Control Changes).
The BopPad Editor software — which will be available as a desktop download and iOS app — allows those Quadrants to be assigned to play up to six simultaneous notes with six expressive timbre maps, meaning that BopPad can not only be played like a traditional drum by triggering a single sound from its entire surface but building out a drum kit by assigning a different sound to each of those Quadrants so that a single BopPad can comfortably handle several simultaneous percussive goals.
Last but not least: smoothly varying radial sensing from centre to edge along with continuous pressure response can be mapped to any parameter, allowing for both traditional and experimental playing styles.
Easy to get started, simply plug and play via USB (Universal Serial Bus) with any mobile device, laptop, or desktop computer. Critically, as a class-compliant MIDI device, BopPad works with all music software. Hardware-wise, Keith McMillen Instruments has helpfully built BopPad to travel.
Measuring merely 10 inches (25.4 centimetres) in diameter and weighing in at less than one pound (454 grams), its rugged and portable form factor makes it the perfect percussive partner for on-the-go creativity… coming to stores sometime soon if those previous Kickstarter campaign successes are anything to go by. But, by pledging to back its Kickstarter campaign to the tune of $150 USD (or more), in all likelihood it will be possible to get one sooner at the lowest pricing possible. Pledge today and prepare to play percussion in a way you’ve never played percussion before!
Explore and support the Kickstarter campaign for Keith McMillen Instruments’ BopPad project here.
For more in-depth information, please visit KMI Labs’ BopPad project webpage.