Keith McMillen Instruments’ BopPad now available

Hardware and software developer Keith McMillen Instruments has announced availability of the BopPad, their smart sensor electronic drum pad controller.

BopPad is a USB-powered expressive electronic pad controller for drummers, percussionists, and producers. The controller 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 (control changes). KMI says that BopPad’s architecture allows the instrument to ‘see’ every gesture, hit, or tap, measuring strike velocity from the soft hand drumming to vigorous ‘brutal percussive assault’.

This new video showcases the expressive capabilities of BopPad:

A sturdy tuned elastomer surface covers a 10” circle of KMI’s Smart Sensor Fabric, combining traditional feel and expression with modern capabilities. This video humorously demonstrates the “sturdiness” of the instrument:

A Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign for BopPad was announced in summer 2016, was funded, and blew through its stretch goal before the campaign wrapped up.

With the production version of BopPad, Keith McMillen Instruments has integrated full MIDI five-pin DIN hardware compatibility via its own MIDI Expander, enabling BopPad to be used in a standalone capacity with external drum machines, hardware synths, or rack effects by providing power and connectivity.

Pricing and availability. BopPad retails for $199 USD and is available to purchase from authorized Keith McMillen Instruments dealers or directly from KMI via their webstore.

More information about BopPad is on the Keith McMillen Instruments website.


16 thoughts on “Keith McMillen Instruments’ BopPad now available

      1. How was your experience with their support? Any unit can fail, the test is how well they back up their products with support.

        Did they send you a new one or repair it for some reasonable rate?

      2. hey Starthief,

        That sounds odd, it definitely shouldn’t have died on you like that. If it failed within a year it would still be under warranty, did you reach out to our tech support? If you haven’t yet I would recommend contacting us at so we can take care of it for you.

        Thanks and All Best,
        The KMI Team

      3. really? I carry a kboard with me all the time and never had an issue, spilled stuff on it dropped it, etc – because I use it during my lunch break

  1. One thing that’s a little problematic about the 4-slice pizza, is the shape of the zones and how much precision is required near the center. If you it it in the very center do you get all 4 sounds, or is it down to micrometers which sound you’ll get?

    Otherwise, it seems like a good concept. Are there examples with it being used with a kick pedal? I wonder if it could last that kind of beating.

    1. hey stub,

      You can set up the BopPad to play up to 4 zones or you can have BopPad play in unison mode, where all 4 zones play the same sound (and you still have a CC value along the radius).

      We’ll see what we can do to get a video of a BopPad being used with a kick pedal. Maybe even a double bass drum pedal if we can find one around the office =)

      Thanks and all best,
      The KMI Team

  2. I made an early bird purchase, which arrived over a month ago. I set my BopPad up just to use as a simple snare in BFD3 along with my DrumKat (very sweet setup btw — much more ergonomically like an actual kit than just the DrumKat). Anyway, I was amazed at the sensitivity of the pad and I was really excited to play on it. Unfortunately, the third time I used it my BopPad stopped sending and receiving midi. After a number of emails with tech support (very friendly and helpful, if somewhat slow), I was issued an RMA. I was told that a small number of BopPads have had a chip failure issue.

    I’m looking forward to receiving a new unit that hopefully won’t fail. I am a little worried to hear that there have been “a small number” that have this same issue though. Given that these have a 1 year warrantee, I’m wondering what that will mean if my chip gives out after a year. I guess I’ll just have to wait and see…

    1. Hi Fiz,

      Thanks for supporting BopPad with your early bird purchase!

      As for the chip failing, a few affected units made it through Quality Control without being caught. Those units are being replaced and the problem has been taken care of at the roots, so there won’t be a reason to worry that your BopPad is going to fail in the future.

      Thanks and all best,
      The KMI Team

      1. Tom, thanks for the reply. It’s great to hear the issue is fixed. I’ll chalk my chip failure up to bulletproofing the BopPad and assume that it either won’t happen again, or if it does that KMI will take care of it.

        As you are aware, this BopPad is a huge innovation for drummers. I hope it takes off in a big way so that KMI will consider adding a full on Bop Kit to its arsenal. (Hey, I can dream, can’t I?)

    1. They should have done the drive over and test as one shot. I’m calling Bull$#!+

      I’m not saying it can’t survive a drive over, I’m just saying probably it didn’t.

  3. Digging these perforated Zildjian cymbal & hat in the video. See it for the first time actually.

    Is it a new trend or something I missed being non-drummer?
    What are the pros & main selling point?

  4. Like I said at discchord…


    I have been looking for an alternative to a Korg- Wavedrum, Roland- HandSonic, KAT Percussion- KTMP1, and another similar round shape pad still in development for years which I forget the name, and have been thinking of making my own hand pad system based on acoustic sensors and an Arduino for MIDI conversion.

    With Boppad the gap between each pad is too small, making it too easy to tap the next pad by mistake.
    The radius of the circle should be 1~2 cm bigger to add a 1~2 cm gap of separation between the pads.

    Generally a ’rounded square’ shape would be more practical to use I think.

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