ddrum originally made its name in the hybrid/electronic game, and for 2022 it's making a firm comeback to the market with the NIO Percussion Pad, an electronic drum pad offering drummers an affordable way of going hybrid with its own library of sounds, plus the ability to import user samples.
The nine-pad NIO takes a similar layout to the Roland SPD-SX and Alesis Strike MultiPad, while simultaneously tipping its cap to the brand’s Swedish origins with its name.
There’s 2x3 rows of square pads, plus a row of thinner pads at the top edge, while the control panel is kept minimal with 11 function buttons, a rotary encoder and headphone volume control.
Internally, the NIO includes over 550 drum and percussion sounds, arranged into 30 presets with slots for a further 20 user kits, but thanks to the inclusion of 512 MB of storage, user samples and loops can be imported into the NIO for playback.
As well as the sounds, the NIO features FX, reverb, EQ and a limiter per-kit, plus tuning, muffling and pan control editing functions per-pad. There’s also a built-in MIDI recorder for capturing and looping your playing, and on-board metronome.
To the back of the NIO are the connections, offering two stereo trigger input sockets for adding external triggers or pads and two footswitch inputs which can be used for a hi-hat and bass drum pedal or (as with the trigger inputs and on-board pads) configured as switches for controlling the NIO.
There’s further connectivity a master L/R output, master volume control and headphone output (although these seem to be a mirror of the same bus - bad news for backing track/click use).
Other sockets include a 3.5mm aux-in, 5-pin MIDI in/out, and USB A and B sockets for transmitting MIDI and system data to and from a computer, or loading-in your own sounds from a thumb drive respectively.
The ddrum Nio is available now, retailing for $399. For more information or to find your nearest ddrum dealer, head to ddrum's website.