How significant are the differences between white and black Korg Padkontrol?

Hey everyone,

I have a question regarding the Korg Padontrols. I bought (a black) one a few years ago as my sole drum pads, having read all the rave reviews about the pads. I wasn’t aware at the time that there apparently is a difference between the white and black versions. Now I stumbled across the pad sensitivity video on the QfG channel and there he says that the black Padkontrol isn’t very good, while the white one is very usable.

I have since searched the internet for more info on this, but I couldn’t find anything. That video is the only source of this information as far as I can tell. I don’t really want ot buy a different pad-controller (maybe even the white version bc I know the workflow well now) if it turns out that my black pads weren’t too bad.

So, to anyone who might have played on both, how big is the difference? Enough to sell the black PadKontrol and get different gear?

Thank you for any info. I live nowhere close to a music store to test this stuff myself…

Best regards!

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Hey Schaine,

There is no definitive ‘hard’ data on this issue. Personally I have used a white pad kontrol for a long time and then bought a black one, and the pads of the black one were not that great compared to the older white one.

However, I’ve noticed that with many types of pad controllers there are differences between devices. Some launchpads are not as good as other units of the same type, there are huge differences between AKAI mpc/mpd devices of the same type etc.

Sometimes you get a good one, sometimes not. If you feel like your black PadKontrol works for you, you probably got yourself a nice controller and there’s no need to worry about getting another one.

Right now it looks like the Maschine mikro mk3 is a good choice for big, sensitive pads at a reasonable price and not a very big chance of getting a bad unit (there are bad units out there though, so being able to return the unit is always a plus).

As for budget devices, I really like the new ESI Xjam (Or Artesia Pro Xjam). It’s new, so no real info on what the quality control is and how many good vs bad units are out there, but mine was really great and after a firmware update even better! And only $150… not bad.

So yeah… if you’re ok with smaller pads, maybe an xjam for $150 or a mikro mk3 for $250 might make you happy. If you can return the unit you can always try them out.

Hey Robert,

thank you for the quick and thoughtful response! I guess there is no way around ordering a different controller and compare. You are a great help!

Thanks again, have a great day.

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I own the old Korg Padkontrol (white version). Unfortunately I can’t compare it with other drum pads, but I think I have to press the pads quite hard to get a decent sound. As far as I know you can change the velocity curve (1-8). Can someone recommend me a good setting?

Best regards

Hey Bruce,

Not all the Pad Kontrols are created equal. The white one over all is better than the black one, but on my white PadKontrol I also had one pad that I had to press real hard. Luckily it was in a corner with a cymbal so it was fine.
That said, if you’re unlucky you could have one or two bad pads in inconvenient places and at that point there’s not much to do about it.

If you feel the pad response curve is not right (so the way it responds to loud vs soft hits) adjusting the pads is an option, but if it’s simply the softest hit that does not get registered, then in my memory there is no string that actually makes that more sensitive.