Keith McMillen Intros BopPad Expressive Drum Pad Controller

Keith McMillen Instruments today introduced the BopPad – an expressive electronic drum pad controller that offers accurate hit detection (2.4 millisecond latency), velocity, continuous radius and pressure.

The BopPad offers four independently programmable zones that output MIDI notes, velocity, pitch bend, pressure and location CCs:


KMI says that BopPad has an extremely wide dynamic range and measures strike velocity from the softest hand drumming to ‘the most brutal percussive assault’. A robust tuned elastomer surface covers a 10” circle of KMI’s Smart Sensor Fabric, combining traditional feel and expression with modern capabilities.

BopPad Editor Software


The BopPad Editor software will be available as a desktop download and iOS app. KMI is even developing a WebMIDI version, so you can design presets for BopPad from anything that runs a web browser.

BeBop Smart Sensor Technology

BopPad takes advantage of Smart Sensor Fabric Technology from BeBop Sensors, Keith McMillen’s sensor technology company. At the core of BopPad is a single large sensor made from the 8th generation of BeBop’s Smart Sensor fabric.

Pricing and Availability

KMI is funding production of the BopPad via a Kickstarter campaign. This is KMI’s third Kickstarter project, and they have already surpassed their $35,000 goal. The BopPad is available to project backers for $199.

23 thoughts on “Keith McMillen Intros BopPad Expressive Drum Pad Controller

    1. It makes economic sense for KMI to verify that there’s real demand for a product before they invest in producing it. He may be a successful businessman, but he got that way by doing two successful kick starters previously.

      The Kickstarter also makes sense for backers, because you can get a big discount in exchange for taking some risk.

      For people that hate kickstarters, just wait till it’s available and people have reviewed it.

      It’s not that complicated.

      1. I’ve really come around to the Kickstarter concept– and with a trusted manufacturer, the risk is much lower. Rather than finding investors who will make the product more expensive to pay them some profit, the investors ARE the consumers. Also, often new features are implemented based on input from backers.

    2. “Why does this need a Kickstarter? The man runs a profitable business.”

      Because it’s a risky project, even/especially for a small business.

      Nobody’s forcing you to sign up, and it’ll be available to the masses after this run, though I’m sure your helpful concern-trolling isn’t in the interest of purchase to begin with.

  1. While not entirely original, it has a good feature set for a product of this type. I’d prefer something like this to getting multiple pads– but I miss the MIDI din out. Often new tech excludes old connectivity, but it would be useful for my rigs.

    1. Those things are NEVER available. I’ve been wanting to buy some ever since their failed Kickstarter. Either they are vapor, or Danny buys them all. 🙂

    1. The wavedrum has a similar play surface, but seems to rely on audio impulses from a piezo, along with built-in DSP to generate tones. I think it the wavedrum is more expensive and more complex in its functions.

  2. Ok.
    I am in the market for sensitive / responsive hand and finger drum contact surfaces,.

    Korg Wave Drum
    Kat KTMP1
    …. Etc.

    * Will this provide a full dynamic range with hand/finger percussion ?
    * will different size of pads be available ?

  3. Seems cool and should be popular at that price point. But not really unique or as powerful as things others have mentioned: wavedrum, mandala, or AlternateMode (kat). As far as flams and buzz roles? Plenty of the drum systems have able to do that fairly convincingly for a while. Kat has had great aftertouch for ages but at 10x the price. So this should be popular with mostly non-drummers who want a pad option to go next to their Push controller & midi keyboards But drummers generally want something they can lean into and work up a sweat over not a plastic toy feeling thing. And that’s probably the main reason why vdrums are still the most popular choice for most drummers, even though technically they haven’t innovated much in years. They can take a beating and feel like playing drums should. Alternate mode is probably the only other company that gets this because they’re players and users. BTW I would love to see KMI team up with AlternateMode. KMI’s smart fabric tech could be a big improvement over Kat’s FSRs. And I for one would love a giant qunexus or quneo to hit with sticks!

    1. As a controller, this one’s sound is determined by what you are using it to control. If you trigger crap sounds that is what you will get, if you trigger high quality samples, guess what you will hear?

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