I love a good kickstarter campaign and Keith McMillen’s Bop Pad is no exception. More and more often, music tech companies are using kickstarter campaigns to generate funding and buzz for their latest products. So I’ve watched Keith McMillen’s Bop Pad from kickstarter to NAMM and finally to market.
Bop Pad is a versatile little drum pad. It’s 10 inches in diameter. It uses Keith McMillen’s ultra sensitive smart fabric as a surface. It has one simple USB connection on it that allows you to connect it to your computer, MPC X / Live or iOS device right out of the box.
Bop Pad has an available editor in 3 different flavors, Windows, OS X & Web editor (my editor of choice). The editor allows you to change a gang (midi channel, bank select, program change, strike sensitivity, gain, sensitivity, full volume change, velocity override, curve) of info and customize yourBop Pad to your needs. The editor also allows you to create, save, upload and download presets to / from the Bop Pad.
Bop Pad is divided into 4 quadrants that look like pie slices. Each of those can be programmed to play up to 6 notes at the same time. Each quadrant has a continuous control value (CC#) along the radius of the pad from 0-127. This makes for a ton of flexibility and dynamics control when playing the Bop Pad.
Keith McMillen Instruments also offers aBop Pad Mount that allows the Bop Pad to be mounting to a standard cymbal stand. This makes it really easy to incorporate the Bop Pad or multiple Bop Pads into your drum set up.
So, how’s it feel? Whats the sensitivity like? I’m happy that you asked. It’s a very comfortable and satisfying surface. I’m just as comfortable playing on the Bop Pad by hand like bongos as I am playing with sticks like drums. The sensitivity can be adjusted as mentioned above but I had no issues with its settings right out of the box.
In use, for a beatmaker like myself, the Bop Pad comes in handy for adding that very human feel with swing and a bit of drunken master sauce. I use my one lonely only high hat in the same way. The difference is with the Bop Pad I don’t need to mic it and because it’s a USB device I can use it to interact with my modular eurorack system, my sampler, my drum machines and anything else that is midi compliant.
In conclusion, I’d recommend Bop Pad for anyone wanting to add that live played drum element or anyone wanting to give themselves a little something out of their norm to trigger any number of sources into their beats. That said, Bop Pad costs $199 so its one of those things that you may not know you want or need until you have it. So be sure that this is that thing, that missing element that you are looking for. I for one leave it connected to my MPC X and use it almost daily to trigger my rig.
Be sure to click the post image above to see the live review on theBop Pad . Be sure to subscribe and follow for more dope reviews to come.