Yo what’s good fam!
Today I’m back with another review, this time I’m finally getting a chance to check out the Trigger Finger Pro from M-Audio.
Let’s just jump right in
What is the Trigger Finger Pro?
It’s an updated version of the original Trigger Finger pad controller, with a lot of new features.
The first many will notice is the step sequencer along the bottom of the unit, which can be up to 64 steps (4 bars) and works via MIDI to trigger any software or hardware you may have connected.
There’s also the large LCD screen, 4 banks of 16 RGB pads, plus a set of 4 knobs, 4 faders, and 4 buttons that is also 4 banks deep.
It also comes with a huge suite of software that also offers some integration with the controller including the ability to wrangle all your plugin presets into one central location.
- features: 16 RGB pads, 4 assignable knobs, faders, & buttons, 64 step sequencer, large display, Mackie/HUI
- connectivity: USB, MIDI out
- price: $199.99
- product page: http://www.m-audio.com/products/view/trigger-finger-pro#.VOyQcPnF-So
So what’s the bottom line?
There’s a couple of ways to look at this controller.
When it was first released the software aspect was a huge focus of the marketing and product demos. In my opinion, the software is the weak point of this product. The Arsenal software just feels clunky, and I’m not sure what the benefit would be of having all of your VST patches in the Arsenal browser, which looks more like a drum machine than anything else.
Also, while I loved the Anomoly kits inside of AIR Drums, it’s a double layer plugin, so if you want to edit any sounds you have to open the plugin’s interface from within Arsneal, even though it looks very similar to the Arsenal interface. I would have loved to have AIR Drums as it’s own separate plugin with full control from the Trigger Finger Pro, as far as I can tell it’s installed inside the Arsenal directory and is meant to be an “internal” device. You could try to grab the plugin file and move it as needed, I couldn’t get that to work though, and if it did I’d imagine you really only get the instant control of plugins when they are loaded through Arsenal.
So in the aspect of the whole “production station” thing, I don’t think it lives up to the hype. The software and how it operates is just too clunky and cumbersome. Also, even though you can browse kits/patches from the hardware, that too is really basic.
However, as a MIDI controller/pad controller, it’s excellent. The build quality is really solid, the pad response feels good, you get 4 banks of pads as well as the other controllers, and it’s SUPER flexible. You can have each bank setup to control things differently, and your knob, fader, and button controls can all be set individually.
Also DAW integration works well thanks to Mackie/HUI and it comes with built in templates for many popular DAWs including Pro Tools, Sonar, Steinberg, and Digital Performer.
Overall I give the Trigger Finger Pro 4 out of 5 subs, the software leaves much to be desired but the hardware controller aspect really shines.
I would have loved to see some built in templates for different popular plugin instruments like Battery, BFD, and other drum plugins.
It’s super flexible and the step sequencer works great, it’s really easy to setup and works with anything not just the Arsenal software.
If you consider the price ($199) and the quality of the controller I think it’s definitely a no-brainer for someone looking to add a flexible pad and daw controller to their setup.
You can pick it up from spots like musicians’s friend, sweetwater, and many others
Leave a comment below and let me know what you think