M-Audio Trigger Finger Pro Review

The latest episode of Sonic State’s Sonic Lab is a review of the M-Audio Trigger Finger Pro, an MPC-style MIDI controller.

Host Nick Batt takes a look at the new MPC-style MIDI controller, introduced at this year’s NAMM Show


The Trigger Finger Pro is a portable, 16-pad (4×4 configured) instrument with onboard sequencing. The Trigger Finger Pro draws from its predecessor’s performance pad roots, but features significantly improved hardware design and additional features.

The Trigger Finger Pro comes with Arsenal – a virtual drum machine app that can be used within your DAW or standalone. Along with AIR Drums and Hybrid 3 plug-ins, Trigger Finger Pro includes 8 GB of ready-to-play sounds, loops, one-shots with content from Black Anomaly, Prime Loops, Toolroom Records, and more.

It also offers an onboard step sequencer and hardware MIDI out, so you can use the Trigger Finger Pro to sequence hardware synths in sync with software beats.

The Trigger Finger Pro has a street price of US $399.

More details on the Trigger Finger Pro are available at the M-Audio site & Nick Batt shares more of his thoughts on the new controller at the Sonic State site.

16 thoughts on “M-Audio Trigger Finger Pro Review

  1. This is a great piece of kit. A few slight niggles here and there, but ultimately really fast to set up and intuitive to use, plus a standalone hardware 64 track 64 step sequencer! Works great with iOS too.

  2. No midi input disappointing also to using a keyboard for real time recording, maybe at least a usb keyboard would work ?
    I assume sequences can be polyphonic ? Also no mention if sequences can be different lengths , and different number of steps for polymeters/polyrythmns .
    I was hoping this might be a poor mans performance handy Cirklon , but sequencer doesnt seem quite that advanced.
    However , for the cost of 3 Arturia beatsteps , you seem to get functionality of 64 ? Beatsteps , so its a good price from that point of view .
    My interest is for a hardware sequencer , so computer software/soundsets is a distraction of their efforts for me though.

  3. I’d buy this if they just had a little different design. I don’t need the whole software package. Bud I’d definitely need a midi input to use it as a sync slave as a stand alone. This device could be really great if it could be a standalone midi sequencer like my cirklon. I’d could use it for sequencing all my drummaschines like the Jomox or even with a modular. Together with the cirklon that would be the centre of my whole setup. But I definitely don’t need another midi controller with tons of loops and software. That’s just not my taste.

  4. You can sync it over usb, which is not ideal, but passable for my needs. Each sequence is monophonic, but it is easy to create polyphonic sequencer by playing them across multiple tracks with the pads. It really shines as a midi controller, whether or not you use the sounds it comes with (I tend to not, and still find it incredibly useful). The pads are also really good quality, and the sequencer is solid – if a bit basic. That said, it is really quite a bargain if you happen to need an all-round controller that is far less tied to its innate software that things like Maschine. It’s pretty well made, and intuitive while still having a shed-load of customising options. If they added the ability to record what you play in over the usb (you can trigger the pads over usb, so should be easy to do), ability to adjust the step length individually for each track, and the ability to customise the screen readout (or better – an option to tie the sliders/dials cc assignments to each pad), it would be a perfect bit of kit.

    1. why not use the software . i have just brought machine studio with lots of expansions for Kontact including r3v ,aeon rhythmic,envolve …but the software still intrigues me on trigger pro as for the hardware is it any easier than machine you have to ask yourself as native instruments unit is a lot more money. if this unit runs seamless with live 9 i am happy plus it has the added bonus of more lights which is nice

  5. Arsenal works a bit like novations auto map, but better – you load a instance of arsenal in each track that you want to have control over with the trigger finger, and tell each instance what you want the sliders and pads and buttons and dials to control. Then when you change tracks in your daw, the trigger finger changes to match whichever instrument you are now on. So four instances would mean you had four tracks in your daw automatically assigned to the trigger finger pro.

    1. Why do we need something 1/6th of the price of a LM-1? Well, because we are not all rich. And because this is really very different in almost every way to a LM-1. As far as “another one of these things” goes, I can’t name a single alternative that incorporates high-quality pads, bi-directional midi with customisable led feedback, a standalone 64 track step sequencer, iOS compatibility, makie/hui/cc control, a solid internal clock, and all for £300. The nearest thing that approaches this is one of the Elektron boxes, which are a lot more money, or a full-size maschine or spark, and neither of them are anywhere near as customisable, nor are they standalone.

      1. Rich? That was just really dumb. My point is.. its a drum machine. Plenty more bells & whistles for sure. I’m not saying you shouldn’t run out and buy one (what are you, rich?) if thats what you want, I’m just saying the world doesn’t need another drum machine. It doesn’t advance anything. Just another consumer, throw-away item. JMO.

  6. I’m absolutely not interested in connecting this to a computer, so the software extras aren’t particularly compelling, though I’d probably goof around with them. I’m not using a DAW or Ableton, so I don’t care about controlling software with it. And MIDI in for me also isn’t all that critical because I’d be using it as the master. What I really want is a stand-alone sequencer with an interface as easy as the Korg ESX/EMX series, and this looks like it could be that. And with the dirt-cheap MPX8 and MPX16 from Akai, it would seem to nearly replace the Korgs and with a little more flexibility. Too bad it’s only 4 bars instead of 8 like the Korgs, but it seems more flexible in other ways. Much cheaper than an Electron Octatrack, and with far fewer critical rotary encoders, which are notoriously flaky these days. I won’t buy gear very dependent on rotaries since most companies skimp and use cheap mechanical ones instead of optical ones, and the cheap ones start going flaky in 6 months to a year. It looks to me I can use the sliders on the Trigger Finger Pro instead of the rotaries for my needs and avoid that problem. BOTH my Korg ESX and EMX have a flaky data knob, the only rotary encoders on the beast, and check the reports of flaky encoders on the Electrons. Avoid rotaries like the plague…

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