Hey, I’m new at finger drumming and practicing for a few days here. I just finished Grooving & Improving, Section 1, Lesson 1. I’m an experienced musician and also a producer, so this comes pretty easy to me, and I really enjoy practicing until my fingers hurt (thanks for the “how to not get injured” video btw, I needed that). I’m absolutely loving the quest for groove! Very inspiring, innovative, well structured, and I can’t wait to do all the lessons.
In the past few days I’ve been practicing on an old MPC Element 4x4 pad controller that I already own. It really sucks in terms of pad sensitivity and I want to buy a new controller. Now my question is - should I go with a 4x4 or an 8x8 controller?
I read all the discussions here and it seems that 4x4 is more recommended, because the pads are bigger (more intuitive, less accidental hits), and there isn’t too much choice so the variations come from playing. I get that.
On the other hand, I don’t like to be limited. In 4x4 you always have to drop a lot of things a drum kit can do, and then if you need them I guess you would have to use a different preset/bank or something, and that just seems cumbersome as opposed to just have one big layout that does everything, and master it.
From the videos I see here, 8x8 still seems very playable.
I enjoy imagining myself as a professional finger drummer recording/performing session player (is that really a thing yet?) and find myself in situations where I don’t know in advance what sounds I need. For example, I’m in a rehearsal or a recording session, trying to come up with a drum part for a new song, and I want to try some stuff on the spot, like a cowbell for example. How would that work in a 4x4 setup? Isn’t it better to just have all the options layed out for you?
To be more specific:
How significant is the difference in playability between large pads and small pads? I haven’t tried 8x8. Is it really that much harder?
How do you keep your options open on a 4x4 setup? You save many presets and switch them on the spot?
Anything else I should consider in deciding between 4x4 and 8x8?
What are the latest gear recommendations for 4x4 and 8x8? I want very good pads, and I don’t need a full standalone production system, unless they invented something that can load drum plugins without needing a computer.
If I understand correctly, with 4x4 it’s probably better to go with the Maschine Mikro MK3, and with 8x8 it’s either Launchpad Pro or Launchpad X (which one is preferred?)
Thanks for the help and thanks again for this great platform!