Drum Pad Buying Guide 2023: How to Choose the Best Electronic Drum Pad for Your Needs
What is a drum pad and why you need one
A drum pad is a device that allows you to trigger sounds by hitting its surface with your hands or sticks. Drum pads can be used for various purposes, such as adding electronic elements to your acoustic drum kit, playing percussion instruments from different cultures, creating your own beats and loops, or controlling music software and hardware.
There are many reasons why you might want to use a drum pad in your musical endeavors. Here are some of the main benefits:
Versatility: A drum pad can expand your sonic palette with hundreds or thousands of sounds that you can access at the touch of a button. You can also load your own samples and customize them to suit your style.
Portability: A drum pad is much easier to carry around than a full drum set or a large percussion rig. You can fit it in a backpack or a case and take it anywhere you want.
Creativity: A drum pad can inspire you to experiment with new rhythms, textures, and genres. You can also use it to record and edit your own sounds and loops.
Fun: A drum pad is simply fun to play. You can enjoy the tactile feedback of hitting the pads and the instant gratification of hearing the sounds.
Types of drum pads
There are three main types of drum pads that you can choose from: percussion pads, sample pads, and tabletop drums. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages depending on your needs and preferences.
Percussion pads are designed to emulate the sounds and feel of acoustic drums and percussion instruments. They usually have rubber or mesh pads that respond to your dynamics and expression. Some percussion pads also have built-in sounds that cover a wide range of musical styles and genres.
Percussion pads are ideal for drummers who want to add some electronic sounds to their acoustic kit or play different percussion instruments without having to buy them separately. They are also great for percussionists who want to have access to a variety of sounds in a compact device.
Sample pads are designed to let you load and play your own sounds and loops. They usually have large memory capacity and multiple inputs and outputs for connecting external devices. Some sample pads also have built-in sounds that you can use as a starting point or mix with your own samples.
Sample pads are ideal for musicians who want to create their own custom sound library and trigger it live or in the studio. They are also great for DJs and producers who want to perform live remixes or mashups.
Tabletop drums are designed to simulate the layout and functionality of a drum kit. They usually have multiple pads that correspond to different drum parts, such as snare, tom, cymbal, etc. Some tabletop drums also have built-in sounds that emulate various drum kits and styles.
Tabletop drums are ideal for beginners who want to learn how to play the drums without investing in a full drum set or a drum teacher. They are also great for advanced players who want to practice or record their drumming skills in a small space.
How to choose the best drum pad for your needs
With so many options available, how do you decide which drum pad is right for you? Here are some factors to consider when buying a drum pad:
best electronic drum pads 2023
electronic drum pads for studio and stage
Roland SPD-SX Pro electronic drum pad
Roland SPD-SX Special Edition electronic drum pad
Roland SPD-30 Octapad (Version 2) electronic percussion pad
Alesis Strike MultiPad electronic drum pad
Yamaha DTX-Multi 12 electronic percussion pad
Nord Drum 3P electronic drum pad
Alesis SamplePad Pro electronic drum pad
Roland SPD::ONE Pads electronic drum pads
Alesis SamplePad 4 electronic drum pad
DD40 Electronic Drum Pads by Gear4music
DD70 Portable Electronic Drum Pads by Gear4music
VISIONPAD-6 Electronic Drum Pad by Gear4music
Alesis CompactKit 7 Tabletop Electronics Drum Kit
Roland SPD:ONE Percussion Trigger Pad
Roland SPD:ONE ELECTRO Trigger Pad
Yamaha DD-75 Electronic Drum Pad Kit
Keith Mcmillen BopPad electronic drum pad
Roland SPD:ONE WAV Trigger Pad
Yamaha DTX-Multi 12 Digital Percussion Pad
Silent Drum Practice Pad for snare drums
Double Sided Drum Pad with great rebound
Snare Drum Pad for quiet workouts
Drum Practice Pad with stand and headphones
Electronic Drum Pad with onboard sound storage
Electronic Drum Pad with SD card slot for custom samples
Electronic Drum Pad with MIDI controller function
Electronic Drum Pad with kick and hi-hat pedals
Electronic Drum Pad with multi-effect engine
Electronic Drum Pad with customisable LEDs for each pad
Electronic Drum Pad with high quality playback and durability
Electronic Drum Pad with realistic drum sounds and world music instruments
Electronic Drum Pad with pad-sensing technology from V-Drums
Electronic Drum Pad with net energy gain from nuclear fusion experiment (just kidding)
Electronic Drum Pad with velocity-sensitive drum pads
Electronic Drum Pad with training and game functions
Electronic Drum Pad with headphones and sticks included
Electronic Drum Pad with lightweight and portable design
Electronic Drum Pad with tabletop velocity-sensitive drum kit for children
Electronic Drum Pad with 570 drum voices covering a variety of styles
Electronic Drum Pad with 1,277 drum/percussion voices and effects
Electronic Drum Pad with 10 inch electronic drum pad in a compact and rugged design
Electronic Drum Pad with 22 realistic drum sounds from kicks, snares to cymbals
Electronic Drum Pad with 22 sounds from fat snares to crisp claps and cowbells
Electronic Drum Pad with 12 samples or stereo backing tracks triggerable
Electronic Drum Pad with Multipad Clamp and Module Mount
Electronic Drum Pad with percussion pads, sample pads, and tabletop drums
Features to look for
When comparing different drum pads, you should pay attention to the following features:
Size and number of pads: The size and number of pads affect how much space you need to set up and play your drum pad, as well as how many sounds you can trigger at once. You should choose a drum pad that fits your available space and your desired sound range.
Sensitivity and responsiveness: The sensitivity and responsiveness of the pads affect how well they capture your dynamics and expression. You should choose a drum pad that has adjustable sensitivity settings and responsive pads that feel natural and comfortable to play.
Connectivity and compatibility: The connectivity and compatibility of the drum pad affect how easily you can connect it to other devices and software. You should choose a drum pad that has multiple inputs and outputs, such as MIDI, USB, audio, etc., and that is compatible with your preferred music software and hardware.
Storage and memory: The storage and memory of the drum pad affect how much data you can store and access on your device. You should choose a drum pad that has enough internal storage or external memory slots to store your sounds and loops.
Effects and editing: The effects and editing of the drum pad affect how much control you have over your sounds and loops. You should choose a drum pad that has built-in effects, such as reverb, delay, distortion, etc., and that allows you to edit your sounds and loops on the device or on a computer.
Best brands and models
Here are some of the best electronic drum pads that you can find on the market today:
RolandSPD-SX ProThe Roland SPD-SX Pro is a professional sample pad that offers 16 GB of internal memory, 16 velocity-sensitive pads, 10 inputs and outputs, built-in effects, and easy integration with music software and hardware.
AlesisStrike MultiPadThe Alesis Strike MultiPad is a versatile percussion pad that offers 32 GB of internal memory, 9 velocity-sensitive pads, 5 inputs and outputs, built-in effects, a looper, a sampler, and a 4.3-inch color display.
YamahaDTX-Multi 12The Yamaha DTX-Multi 12 is a compact percussion pad that offers 64 MB of internal memory, 12 velocity-sensitive pads, 5 inputs and outputs, built-in effects, a sequencer, and over 1200 sounds from various instruments.
How to use a drum pad effectively
Once you have chosen your drum pad, you need to learn how to use it effectively. Here are some tips for setting up and playing your drum pad, as well as creating and editing sounds on it.
Tips for setting up and playing
To set up and play your drum pad properly, you should follow these steps:
Position your drum pad: You should position your drum pad in a way that is comfortable and ergonomic for you. You can use a stand, a mount, or a table to place your drum pad at the right height and angle. You should also make sure that your drum pad is stable and secure.
Adjust the settings: You should adjust the settings of your drum pad according to your preferences and needs. You can change the sensitivity, volume, pan, pitch, etc., of each pad individually or globally. You can also assign different sounds or functions to each pad.
Use pedals: You can use pedals to control some aspects of your drum pad, such as switching sounds, starting