This little journey started when my nephew wanted to get a midi keyboard and he didn’t have enough money to get a midi keyboard that would also have a nice set of drum pads like you see with the Korg NanoPad. I told my nephew that I would kick in the money to get him a Korg NanoPad and then he would have some drum pads that could be used with the midi keyboard or he could use it stand alone.
Before purchasing the Korg NanoPad I done a little research online and noticed on various forums that people were having issues with the Korg NanoPad. Forum users with bad things to say about any product is not something new so like anything you see online you take what you read with a grain of salt. One thing that was standing out though was no matter what forum I went on I was starting to see a pattern show up with regards to the NanoPad. Some users were getting the NanoPad and right out if the box it was dead and wouldn’t work. Other forum posts I was reading were saying that the NanoPad worked great for a month or so and then just stopped working all together.
When looking at these forum user comments on the NanoPad I noticed most of the comments were like 6 months old. I figured maybe just maybe, Korg would have fixed the issue with its current crop of NanoPads and that I may be able to get one that doesn’t have the issues I seen the forum users talking about.
After doing all my research I figured I would take the plunge and purchase the Korg NanoPad and hopefully I would get one that works. The next thing I did was call up my local music store and I asked the guy at the store if he had any NanoPads in stock and the guy said he just sold the last one before I called. While I had the guy on the phone I asked him if he had heard of any issues with the NanoPad and he said no and none of the people who purchased the NanoPad had any complaints either.
So with the guy from the store on the phone I got him to order me up a NanoPad and with that he said he would have them in a couple of days. A couple of days later I head down to the store and pickup my NanoPad.
When I got the NanoPad back here I gave it to my nephew and he hooked it up to garage band on his Mac Pro and after a few minutes he was telling me that it wasn’t working. I took his Mac Pro and the NanoPad and sure enough I couldn’t get the NanoPad to do anything either. For those wondering, the NanoPad doesn’t come with any software driver and by default it should be plug and play on both the Mac and the PC.
After not being able to get it to work on the Mac I tried hooking it up to several PC’s that I have hear that have various programs like Reason and the like and I couldn’t get the NanoPad to send any notes out at all regardless of the computer or the program I used. At this point in time I knew the NanoPad was defective and so I called the guy up from the music store and told him I was bringing the NanoPad back do to it not working.
I took the NanoPad back to the store and I also figured I would bring my nephews Mac Pro along as well so I could show the guy at the store what was going on with the NanoPad. Of course like one would imagine the guy at the store was thinking it was the Mac Pro that was problem and I quickly changed his mind on that when I said hook it up to a PC he had with Reason on it and see if he could get the NanoPad to do anything. After about 30 minutes of screwing around he couldn’t get the NanoPad to work regardless of what he did and he finally admitted that the Nanopad was defective.
Next the store guy goes and grabs the other two NanoPads that he had ordered in at the same time my NanoPad was ordered and low and behold, both of them NanoPads were defective as well. One of the NanoPads only had the top 4 pads working and the other NanoPad the guy had was completely dead like the one I got. One of the strange things was, the touch pad (that’s the thing located on the far left of the NanoPad that you can see in picture below) on all three NanoPads did work but was in like a constant loop at the fastest speed it could send notes out regardless of where you put your finger on the touch pad. One thing I should also mention here is we did test out all 3 of the USB cables that come with the NanoPads to make sure it wasn’t a faulty USB cable problem.
The guy at the store was in disbelief that all three of the NanoPads he ordered ended up being defective. Soon after that he refunded my money and since he didn’t have any more NanoPads I left the store empty handed.
After going through all this hassle I wanted to get a hold of Korg directly and see what they had to say about the issue. After getting in touch with the PR agency that represents Korg the only information I was given was if the NanoPad was defective to send it back to Korg for warranty replacement. I found this response from the Korg PR agency to be quite shitty to say the least. I made it clear that I wanted to do a Review of the Korg NanoPad on my web site but couldn’t do to the unit being defective and I wasn’t offered a working replacement or anything.
What really surprised me about the Korg PR agency is there was no information given to me about why these units were defective. You would have thought the PR agency would have had something to tell me about this problem or at the very least tell me it’s being addressed but no such luck.
One of the interesting things about this whole thing is on the same day I bought the Korg NanoPad I also purchased the Korg PadKontrol and that has worked flawlessly without even a single issue. There is a big price difference here between the Korg PadKontrol at over $200.00 Canadian and the NanoPad at $60.00 Canadian. I guess because the NanoPad is so “cheap” Korg hasn’t found a way to make the NanoPad reliable at that price point or something.
The take away lesson here is, if you’re thinking about purchasing the Korg NanoPad I would get them to test it in the store before you leave to make sure it works before you fork out the cash for it. Also keep in mind even if it does work in store, it may not last very long before it stops working. It’s too bad there are so many defective NanoPads on the market, I think if you could get one that works and lasts it would be a cool device for the money. Hopefully the quality control issues will be worked out at some point.
On a side note here, Korg is making the NanoPad 2 and as of yet I haven’t had the chance to test one of these out so I don’t know if Korg has the same quality control issues with the NanoPad 2 as they did with the NanoPad 1.
For more information on the Korg NanoPad you can goto the Korg web site here.