Electronic Drums

KAT Percussion KTMP1 Review

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The KTMP1, made by Kat Percussion, is a 4-zone electronic drum pad. It has 50 built-in sounds such as kicks, snares, cymbals, percussion instruments, and more. 

Its sound can be modified by pitch, volume, sensibility, pan & reverb. The KTMP1 can be played with both sticks and hands and has the capability to incorporate a hi-hat & bass drum trigger. 

Affordable Electronic Drum Pad
KAT Percussion KTMP1 Multipad Drum and Percussion Pad

The KAT Percussion KTMP1 is an affordable drum pad allowing drummers easily add extra percussion to a performance without breaking the bank.

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Table of Contents

Pros

Right out of the box the KAD Multipad includes 50 built-in sounds: 

  • 3 Bass Drums
  • 5 Snares (2 cross stick)
  • 4 Cymbals
  • 4 Bongo
  • 3 Congas
  • 3 Timbales
  • Percussion & Effects 

Each sound can be independently modified by pitch, volume, sensibility, pan & reverb. 

Having such an array of options gives the flexibility to modify the sounds allow creativity to flow and also helps not to carry percussion accessories such as cowbells, maracas, tambourines & jingles. 

One of the most powerful features of the KTMP1 is its MIDI capability. The Kat Pad can be use a MIDI controller via USB to play drum & percussion sounds using any VST. 

It does work both for PC and Mac and most impressively on iPad/iPhone which is the way I have been using it. 

Priced at $129.99 (sometimes under $100) makes the KTMP1 the cheapest option to add electronic sounds to your drumset or an alternative to an electronic drumset. 

The small size makes it appealing to working drummers who need handclaps, tambourine or basic sounds needed for gigs. 

Cons

It is very easy going point out all the features missing in the KTMP1 when compared to a Roland SPD-SX or Yamaha DTX-Multi12, it is also hard to remember that the KTMP1 is a small fraction of any of them. 

Just for context the Rolands SPD-SX retails at $699.99 and the Yamaha DTX-Multi12 is $599.99 in comparison to the Kat KTMP1 which costs $119.99. 

In my experience, the KTMP1 has 3 major flaws. 

Dated sounds & lack of internal/external memory

Without a doubt, the sounds are dated, in comparison to free VST and even GarageBand (macOS & iOS) there should not be a reason why internal sounds dated. 

It does not mean that they are not useful but they leave a lot to wish for. To overcome this shortcoming the KTMP1 can be used as a controller via USB to play any VST. 

The lack of internal or external memory via USB flash drive or memory card is the biggest one for me. 

Limited Play Zones

Acknowledging it is only a 4 zone pad, being able to have multiple scenes allows drummers to be more efficient at the time of a gig. 

A Bit One-Dimensional

Currently, the KTMP1 feels very unidimensional and, to a point, limits creativity since every time you change any of the pads sounds, it is like starting a new scene again. 

The only way to get the sounds back is by keeping very accurate notes of your setting and program them each time… and who’s got time for that?

Add Ons

The Kat Percussion KTMP1 can also be the smallest electronic drumset. Kat Percussion offers 2 external trigger/controllers for the KTMP1. 

KTKP1 Bass Trigger

The first one is the KTKP1 bass drum trigger. Following the KTMP1 small design, the KAT bass drum trigger is the smallest bass drum trigger I have ever seen. 

It’s design change the trigger position downward which can be played with an inverted tennis ball beater included in the box. The feel of the tennis ball hitting the rubber pad is different (you decide if good or bad) but certainly cuts down on the volume. 

KTMP1 can also use other brands of bass drum trigger, such as the Yamaha KP65 Kick Drum Tower. But for space and portability, the Kat Kick Pad1is a wonderful option. 

KTCH1 Hi-Hat Controller

The second pedal Kat Percussion offers is the KTHC1 hi-hat controller. Just like the Kick Pad the hi-hat controller integrates seamlessly with the KTMP1 giving you the option of programming open, close and chick hi-hat sounds. 

Function wise is not as reliable as all other Kat Percussion instruments since occasionally false triggers open or close sounds. 

It can reduce the amount of false triggering by reducing the sensibility on the Kat Multipad setting but I would also have preferred to have some sort of control tightening or loosening the spring tension. 

Overall

Using the Kat Multipad in combination with a Kick Pad and hi-hat controller brings value and functionality to the KTMP1. 

Will we ever see a KTMP2? It is fair to say that the KTMP1 needs a refresh, it looks, feels and sounds dated. KAT Percussion released new products during NAMM 2020 such as a new electronic drum set KT-200, a new line of MalletKat and the KTM1 drum module. 

All new line up of Kat products include most if not all of the upgrades I would like to see in a KTMP2 which hopefully is on the works. 

Here are some features I would like to see: 

  • New Rubber Pads
  • Updated Sound Library
  • USB input
  • Metronome 

About the Author: Harold Agosto is a drummer & music educator based in New York City. Harold is the host of the podcast Drums: En Español (available on all major podcast platforms), the only drumming podcast in Spanish. Also, his YouTube channel offers gear reviews, tips & best practices for drummers and drum lessons.

Staff

Contributions from Drumming Review Staff are from drummers and percussionists with a variety of different backgrounds, both professional and amateur. Interested in making a contribution? Click on 'Contact Us' at the bottom right of the page.

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3 Comments

  1. Thanks for the review. If you are using the kick drum pedal, does that free up one of the pads (effectively giving you 5 sounds) …or do you have to leave the kick drum assigned to one of the four pads?

  2. The plug in kick and hihat trigger pedal allows 2 extra sounds equalling 6 total, and includes the additional hihat tones of open or closed, so the hihat trigger has dual tones.

  3. “NICE PADS for sticks or hands, but severely limited MIDI”

    The MIDI plug is for output only, and the only signal it sends is 0x99 (NOTE_ON). None of the control knobs or buttons will produce any MIDI output other than the 4 pads and 2 foot pedals themselves.

    The USB-D plug can both send and receive, but again, the only MIDI signal it responds to is 0x99 (NOTE_ON).
    You can indeed trigger the KTMP1 internal sounds from an Android smartphone, but ONLY for the 6 notes that are currently configured onto the 4 pads plus 2 pedals. And unfortunately, the only way to choose those 6 notes is to manually press the up/down “SELECT” buttons on the unit.

    The 0x99 (NOTE_ON) signal DOES include the velocity volume, but there is no aftertouch, breathing, reverb, or any other parameters either transmitted or received by the KTMP1. Refer to the last page of the 10-page User Manual for a complete “MIDI Implementation Chart”. It’s not super obvious, but it does spell out that NOTE_ON is the only MIDI message that KTMP1 can send and receive.

    The unit does not send or receive 0x89 (NOTE_OFF) messages, so every 0x99 (NOTE_ON) with Volume of 1-127 is immediately followed within 2 milliseconds by a 0x99 (NOTE_ON) of Volume 0. To end the note.

    Also, be aware that the unit has no memory, so every time you turn it on you have to press buttons several dozen times just to get it going with the sounds you prefer. It takes me 46 button presses. And if you don’t touch it for about 5 minutes, the unit automatically shuts off and loses your settings! Then you have to stop everything and press several dozen button presses all over again, to get the sounds setup again. ENORMOUS PAIN, every time you sit down and turn it on. MIDI control change messages have no effect, so you have to enter your entire sound configuration manually by hand every time you turn it on just to get started.

    If all your samples and drum sounds are already working on your computer, tablet, or smartphone, then the KTMP1 can trigger 6 of those sounds with a simple NOTE_ON message through either USB or MIDI-to-USB cable. Nothing more.

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