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  • best pad controller for my BB

    I'm looking to purchase a small affordable drum pad controller. do any of you have a favorite? right now im looking at the korg nano pad. Was really hoping to find one that has an arpeggiator / chromatic mode too.

  • #2
    We have a Korg NanoPAD that works nicely. I recommend the configuration utility and changing the layout so that the pads more closely match the screen. There is no arpeggiator, however.

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    • #3
      I like the Atom Controller from Presonus. The pads feel great, does rolls, chromatic mode and is cheaply priced. I use Studio One as my DAW though so I get all the functionality in the box and a really great pad controller for the BB.

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      • djsnowbadger
        djsnowbadger commented
        Editing a comment
        I have an Atom arriving in a couple of days but I was wondering, how does the pad note mapping line up with the BB? Can you also use the Atom's pads to trigger sequences?

    • #4
      Originally posted by Ferrum View Post
      I like the Atom Controller from Presonus. The pads feel great, does rolls, chromatic mode and is cheaply priced. I use Studio One as my DAW though so I get all the functionality in the box and a really great pad controller for the BB.
      Thanks for the recommendation. I was a little hesitant to go with the Atom because some said the pads weren't sensitive enough, but it still sounds like a good buy and I'm not that picky about pad feel.

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      • Ferrum
        Ferrum commented
        Editing a comment
        Pad feel is up to each individual. To me they are a little "stiff" but they feel sturdy and durable so I like that. I think they are around the size of an MPC but I could be wrong as I sold my MPC Live almost a year ago. It's so cheap you can't really go wrong in my opinion but again, I sue Studio One as my DAW so I get the full functionality of the device when I hook it up to the computer so that's another reason it's a keeper for me.

    • #5
      Originally posted by Ferrum View Post
      I like the Atom Controller from Presonus. The pads feel great, does rolls, chromatic mode and is cheaply priced. I use Studio One as my DAW though so I get all the functionality in the box and a really great pad controller for the BB.
      Hey man, what capabilities does it have in standalone use? (without a computer)

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      • Ferrum
        Ferrum commented
        Editing a comment
        You get the drum pads, keys mode and note repeat which is a lovely feature. I can't run down the full list right now off the top of my head. I have not tried mapping all of the controls to MIDI CC for the BB so there's more to offer. You may want it to do a lot more than what it can do now but for the price, form factor and features it offers I like it but Studio One is my DAW so I get full functionality and intended use in the box. I have a Beatstep, Keystep, QuNexus as well that offer their own features and have their own place.

    • #6
      Ferrum thanks for the info... been eyein the Atom for a while and now that I’ve learned about a pretty major bug in the keystep’s firmware I’m in the market for another controller to use with the Blackbox.

      can you use the atom’s pads to play chromatic notes - does it have a scale mode?

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      • Ferrum
        Ferrum commented
        Editing a comment
        Yes it has a scale mode to play keys on. The layout for the keys is similar to the keys layout on the Pioneer Squid.

    • #7
      Originally posted by Ferrum View Post
      I like the Atom Controller from Presonus.
      I am thinking I might pick up the Atom for studio use, can you tell me if the Black Box and Atom can run from a battery, I have a feeling the power consumption for all those LEDs will require more power than a battery can provide?

      Thanks

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      • #8
        Originally posted by Spectromat View Post
        I am thinking I might pick up the Atom for studio use, can you tell me if the Black Box and Atom can run from a battery, I have a feeling the power consumption for all those LEDs will require more power than a battery can provide?

        Thanks
        yes. a battery pack will power them both.

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        • #9
          Thanks, that's good to know.

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          • #10
            Has anyone tried the Akai MPD218? According to Aaron the MPD226 doesn't power up.

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            • djsnowbadger
              djsnowbadger commented
              Editing a comment
              I just ordered my Blackbox today so I haven't had a chance to try it with my MPD226 yet but the MPD226 has a low power mode that you invoke by holding down the UP (^) cursor button while pressing the power on button on the back of the unit. It sends less power to the LED display so it's less brightly backlit and you lose the lighting for the pads. Might also need to use the MPD226 editor program to create a MIDI mapping template that corresponds to the BB. I'll try this out when my BB arrives and see if I need to create a template or if one of the generic presets on the MPD226 works. The MPD218 has a similar low power mode that you invoke by holding down the Note Repeat button while plugging the USB into the external device. This is also how those two devices are able to be connected to the newer iPads that will otherwise tell you they can't provide enough power to the MPDs when you try to connect them (for use with the Beatmaker 3 app, for example).

          • #11
            The Akai MPD226 probably needs an external power supply to work properly. Also, the thing is huge and doesn't make much sense with the blackbox. The blackbox is smaller than the space used for the 4x4 grid of pads.

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            • #12
              I use the MPD226 and it works like a dream most of the time. However that power issue does occour from time to time for me. I just turn the controller off and on a few times and it eventually works again. I love that is has an internal clock and tap tempo but I'm considering getting an atom or something else smaller after reading this forum a bit

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              • #13
                Going to try my Kieth McMillen Quneo this week. I haven't used it with BB yet, but I have loved using it as part of my live and recording rigs.

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                • visionmusic
                  visionmusic commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Quneo works great, powering off the BB powering off a USB power brick. I'm working on a custom preset, which I'll share on these forums soon.

              • #14
                Originally posted by Borgbilly View Post
                Going to try my Kieth McMillen Quneo this week. I haven't used it with BB yet, but I have loved using it as part of my live and recording rigs.
                Please let us know how it works out. I was thinking of picking one up myself. Can you map pads to specific midi channels on the QuNeo without the use of a computer? Or if you do have to use a computer to configure it, can you then disconnect it and it will save your settings and let you apply them to the BB? Thanks!

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                • visionmusic
                  visionmusic commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Gotta use the software- computer to config.

              • #15
                Has anyone here tested a QuNexus with this? I'm wondering if blackbox can deal with the QuNexus channel rotation feature per note.. so we can get each voice with it's own pitch bend for maximum expressive control of the samples etc..

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