Drum Pad vs. MIDI Keyboard Comparison: What’s the Difference?

drum pad vs mini keyboard

If you are wondering about the difference between “drum pad vs. mini keyboard,” you are in the right place. Let’s read this article to get valuable info!

Drum Pad vs. MIDI Keyboard: Comparison Table

We believe that the modern musician’s world is great as it offers various choices. Musicians can choose from a wide range of instruments.

They even have even more options for digital instruments, such as drum machines (pads) and midi keyboards. Let’s learn more about these instruments through the following comparison table.


Drum Pad 

MIDI keyboard

  • Features square buttons (pads) that allow you to simulate a drum set electronically
  • It is typically a piano-style electronic musical keyboard.
Designed for
  • Designed to be able to hit out your beats more efficiently.
  • Allow you to input notes into musical devices or computers.
  • It may or may not feature sounds on its own.
  • Train your rhythm naturally
  • Keep time when playing loud or soft
  • Master beat continuity
  • Stress-free simplicity
  • It is affordable
  • Beautiful, eye-catching design.
  • Smaller file size
  • Better sound quality
  • Quicker and easier playback capabilities
  • Not made for music practice, made for composition and production.
  • More expensive
  • Less portable

Drum Pad vs. MIDI Keyboard: What’s the Difference?

It’s time to analyze and discover the difference between mini keyboards and drum pads.


As the name suggests,  the MIDI keyboard comes with keys that look like piano keys. When you press a key, you will create midi signals transmitted to the external source.

On the other hand, a drum machine (pad) features little square rubber pads, and you can press these pads using your fingers.

In most cases, midi signals will travel to an external source similar to the one above. After that, your computer will translate these signals into sounds.


You can use drum machines and MIDI keyboard controllers in various ways.

The MIDI keyboard is used to create melodic lines and chords. The drum machine (pad), on the other hand, is used to create individual sounds and beats.

Drum Pad vs MIDI Keyboard: What Is the Best Choice For You?

Drum machines are devices or instruments with square buttons (pads) that allow you to simulate the drum set electronically.

These machines typically feature built-in samples that users can tap and play and make their percussive rhythms quickly and easily.

Hip-hop artists typically utilize these devices in creating beats from scratch and for sampling purposes.

The  MIDI keyboard is an instrument or device which may or may not feature its sounds (depending on whether it is a keyboard or a controller with MIDI).

This device will allow you to input notes into musical devices or computers.

Most composers and music producers typically use the MIDI keyboard.

They use this device to make music production easier when talking about coming up with chords, notes, key melodies, etc.

Drum pads and MIDI keyboards are helpful for both composers and those who need to play drum pads (or keyboard).

The drum pad will be a must-have item for big fans of drum machines. Besides, the MIDI keyboard also plays an essential role in your next gig or studio.

Besides that, it’s essential to look closely at devices’ specs before deciding.

Also, you need to choose a model that fits the budget, room space, and the number of keys you usually play or need in your studio (your performances).


Can you use a MIDI keyboard as a drum pad?

The answer is no for a regular MIDI keyboard.

However, many keyboards these days come integrated with drum pads, making it ideal for those who want to play drum pads and keyboard.

These hybrid devices are a must-have for big drum machine fans who need a MIDI keyboard for their studio or next gig.

Should I Get Midi Drum Pads?

Hip-hop artists typically utilize these devices in creating beats from scratch and for sampling purposes. Therefore, if you are interested in beat making, you can’t go wrong with this device.

Is the Midi Controller Better Than a Keyboard?

The MIDI keyboard is excellent for performing and practicing. It is easy to connect, and it typically features headphones output if you want to practice your music silently.

On the other hand, a MIDI controller is great for triggering one-shot sounds or making beats or drum loops.

If you don’t have a MIDI keyboard, you will have difficulty trying your ideas.

You will draw in all of the notes using your mouse and then press the “play” button just to see what ideas sound like.

Are Drum Pads Worth It?

Yes. Especially if you cannot play on an acoustic set for any reason. They are designed to replicate the feel of an acoustic kit but with far more flexibility.

The recording capabilities, sound expansions, and ability to play through headphones should make drumming a pure joy, and having fun is what drumming is all about.

Is It Worth Getting a Midi Keyboard?

Yes. It is worth owning at least a MIDI keyboard in a home studio. It will be easier for you to record the MIDI part played on a keyboard, which is more accessible than entering them on piano roll editors or on-screen keyboards.

Are Midi Keyboards Suitable for Beginners?

If you are a beginner at learning the piano, you can’t go wrong starting out with a MIDI keyboard. This device will save space and provide you with portability.

Beginners do not need anything extravagant. Yet, they also want something functional and not challenging to use.

Is a Midi Keyboard the Same as a Piano?

Most MIDI controllers feature cheaper keys than digital pianos. Moreover, they typically do not come with any external speakers like digital pianos are.

Also, MIDI controllers range in size, whereas most digital pianos feature 88 keys.

You need software if you want to set up your MIDI keyboard with piano sounds.

You can control Some beginner lessons and software with a MIDI keyboard, and you can do so within a browser.

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