The Best Pad Controller For Finger Drumming (2024)Jun 13, 2023
If you're looking to get into finger drumming, the one thing you'll need is a pad controller. In 2024, there are a ton of options available, and it can be overwhelming to know which one to choose. This guide will give you a definitive answer to the best pad controller for finger drumming in 2024.
Most guides of this type will just list 5-10 of the most popular pad controllers, and compare them based on their features. If you're a music producer and you're looking for a controller that has many different functions, then this can be helpful. However, you won't learn anything about the usefulness of these controllers that you couldn't learn by reading their product pages on Amazon.
If you want to learn actual finger drumming, how to use a pad controller to play realistic drums with your fingers, you know that only one function matters: the pads themselves.
When looking for the best finger drumming pad controller in 2024, you need something that has the highest quality pads possible.
The pads need to be highly responsive, easy to play, and also easy to program so you can control your drum software of choice.
The Best Pad Controller For Finger Drumming In 2024
In my years of experience playing and teaching advanced finger drums, I've found that the very best choice for a finger drumming pad controller right now is the Maschine by Native Instruments.
I personally have owned no less than 6 different Maschines over the years, and they always perform extremely well.
They're durable, they last a long time, and most importantly, the pads are the highest quality I've ever seen on a MIDI controller.
The unit that I personally use and recommend right now is the Maschine Mikro MK3.
I've also used the full-size Maschine MK3, and if you want additional software control features or just a larger controller, that's a great option as well.
The pads on these controllers are the very best I've ever played. They respond very well to light touches, allowing you to perform precise dynamics and ghost notes in your finger drumming.
A lot of pad controllers have problems in this area, and if you want to play realistic drums on the pads, most of the options available can't really compete with the Maschine pads.
It's also important to take the price into consideration. While the Maschine Mikro isn't technically a budget choice at $269, it's absolutely worth it.
Think about it: if you wanted to start playing drums, you'd need to buy an acoustic drum kit.
The absolute cheapest, lowest quality kit you could buy would cost AT LEAST $400, and it wouldn't sound very good.
Over time, you'd also need to spend hundreds of dollars on replacing your drum sticks, drum heads, and cymbals.
Obviously, being a drummer is expensive!
But compare this to finger drumming: if you spend just $269 once, you can get your drum software for free, and you have basically a top-of-the-line drum kit setup that will last you YEARS.
In my opinion, it's much more worth it to spend that extra money up front and have the highest quality pads that you can get, which will support you as you keep learning and getting better for years ahead.
The Best Budget Pad Controller For Finger Drumming
However, if you aren't certain you want to get into finger drumming and just want to try it out, you can't go wrong with the AKAI MPD218 as a cheap budget option.
A lot of people wonder if they should invest in a standalone pad controller, such as the Maschine+ or the MPC One.
The problem with these controllers for finger drumming is that they won't be able to run drum software, so you'll still need to connect them to a computer for realistic finger drumming.
They're great as samplers and music-making machines, but for playing real drums on the pads, you need a MIDI pad controller that can control a drum emulator software on your computer.
That's why you can't go wrong with the Maschine Mikro MK3. It's the perfect balance of affordable, programmable, and high quality that just can't be beat.
Watch this video to learn more about the best pad controller for finger drumming in 2024: