Groovy pad? Erm... this is Austin Texas not Austin Powers! Nevertheless, Alesis have announced the introduction of the Control Pad USB/MIDI Percussion Controller, which they say is a compact and versatile tool for expanding percussion options on stage and in the studio.
The Control Pad would be equally at home as a performance instrument or as a MIDI programming tool for studio recording, giving musicians plenty of capabilities in a percussion control instrument. Packed with features, the controller is also compact enough to be carried under the arm, providing a single source for performing and programming without requiring an entire arsenal of traditional percussion instruments.
The Control Pad includes eight durable velocity-sensitive rubber pads, two inputs for connecting additional pads, two for pedal controllers and one for the up/down footswitch, USB Plug and Play connectivity, and the ability to access programmed setups via MIDI Program Change commands. Customizable pad settings allow musicians and producers to tailor pad sensitivity to their individual playing styles. Each pad can also be individually assigned MIDI channels and note numbers.
In addition to the onboard pads, the new Controller also provides two trigger inputs for connecting external pads. Fully compatible with the Alesis Drum Pad and Cymbal Pad expansion kits, these inputs enable drummers and percussionists to customize their systems and create a pad drum kit that can be carried anywhere with ease. The two switch pedal inputs provide the option of an open and close hi-hat as well as kick drum.
The Controllerâ€™s up/down footswitch input lets players change styles fluidly and quickly. For example, a player can move from an elaborate conga, bongo, and shaker setup to a marimba or trap set in seconds. Similarly, the Control Padâ€™s 20 percussion setups stored to internal memory are accessible via MIDI Program Change commands.
In the studio and live, the Pad is USB plug-and-play ready, integrating perfectly with Mac and PC desktop recording systems. It is USB bus-powered, eliminating the need for an external power supply while connected to a computer. Alesis say that its intuitive interface allows quick editing and easy user setup.
For interfacing with dedicated hardware such as sound modules, samplers, or hardware-based sequencers, the Control Pad provides MIDI input/output connectors, and the AC power adapter (included) powers the Control Pad when it is used without a computer.
Itâ€™s also bundled with BFD Lite software containing professional-quality acoustic and electric drum modules. BFD Lite enhances the Pad's functionality with several features including multi-velocity kits with customizable drum sounds, microphone mixing, and preset grooves. The Control Pad is also compatible with other software such as Propellerhead's Reason, which gives musicians additional sound options.
Alesis Director of Marketing Gregg Stein told us, â€œThe Control Pad USB/MIDI Percussion Controller is a tremendously versatile system expands percussionistsâ€™ performance arsenals requiring a cargo vanâ€™s worth of instruments. With its extensive MIDI capabilities and the ability to seamlessly interface with personal computers, the Control Pad is also a formidable programming tool for highly realistic drum and percussion tracks.â€� Price and Availability
The new Alesis Control Pad USB/MIDI Percussion Controller is expected to ship in the fourth quarter of 2006.