Alesis Controlpad–Hooray for Christmas!

music gear for electronic drumming

One opportunity / challenge when you’re kitting out in the autumn on a hobby project is that you can ask for stuff for Christmas. IF you can find stuff that has a gift sized price tag, that is. That IF is the challenge.

The only likely candidate on my wish list was the Alesis Controlpad, with hi-hat and kick pedal triggers can be added to it.

I started looking for compatibility specs on hi-hat and kick triggers. There’s nothing mentioned on the Alesis site regarding interoperability. I could hope ANY apparently correct trigger might work but I’ve been around tech for 25 years and I know such an assumption is a dangerous one.

I start looking around to try to find out how electronic drum triggers work, only to discover that such information is not clearly explained. After a consult with a local music vendor electronic drums expert, it does turn out that pedal triggers all run to the same interface.image

I ended up going with the Roland FD-8 hi-hat pedal trigger, but the fun was in the bass drum trigger. I choose a low profile unit, the Roland KD-7, which had a low profile (perfect for my office recording setup) and just hooks up to any standard bass drum pedal. Choose one that suits your taste (the Pearl P-120 was my choice).

I’d like to think the trip to the music store to pick all this stuff up was fun for my wife, kids and other relatives who went in to make it happen.

P.S. The Controlpad included BFD Lite, a great software drum kit that is well worth getting the expansion – but it seemed to insist on an ASIO audio driver – so you’re not set to go with this unit without a sound interface that supports ASIO. More on this later.