One of the hottest pieces of hardware gear covered at CDM (at least according to our hit counts on CDM’s original report) is now shipping. M-Audio’s Trigger Finger, a USB/MIDI control surface with 16 pressure-sensitive drum pads, 4 faders, and 8 knobs, is in stock at major outlets. I’ve tried it, and it feels great. Add in templates for Reason and Live (among others), and I’m completely sold. This thing looks like too much fun. has it for US$199; so does Musician’s Friend.

In other M-Audio news, Pro Tools now works with all M-Audio Delta PCI and FireWire interfaces. I was disappointed by the initial compatibility list for Digidesign’s Pro Tools M-Powered, a special version intended for use with M-Audio interfaces. (Previously, you couldn’t run Pro Tools without Digi’s hardware.) Friday, M-Audio announced it had expanded compatibility to the entire Delta PCI and FireWire lines. (Anything with FireWire on it now works with Pro Tools M-Powered.) If you’re a Pro Tools fan, this makes your choices a great deal more flexible. Presumably like Pro Tools 6.9, though, the M-Powered release shares current incompatibility with Mac OS X 10.3.9 and 10.4. (My own feeling — my primary work environment will remain Logic Pro and Ableton Live.)

  • derek

    Figures I just buy a Korg MicroKontrol for the pads. Oh well, this is defintely up on my list of future studio additions.


  • admin

    The MicroKontrol is nice — I think it depends on what you're doing. For real drum hits, I'd play this. But the Korg would be fine for Live loop triggering, etc.


  • jmschnab

    friend of mine just bought it – we're doing a performance with it saturday. pads feel great, all the controls are solid. if you've had any doubts about m-audio controller gear based on the oxygen 8, this is 180 degrees in a much better direction.

  • Guest

    Any news on the iControl–the GarageBand control surface?

    It was announced with a good deal of press last month, but has since turned into vaporware.

  • Guest

    Trigger Finger is a great device, but beware of one thing: mine regularly loses contact with the computer (G5, OS X) via the USB hookup. Before any session I have to unplug the device and then plug it back in. Plus, the editing software wasn't in the box so I had to download it. It's the little things…

  • admin

    How often are you losing contact? Not quite sure what you mean. As for downloading edit software, that I don't mind — I'd rather have the latest version. But the hookup issue sounds like an issue — isn't this class-compliant?

  • Guest

    My trigger finger loses contact irregularly. Letting the computer sleep will definitely break the connection, but beyond that, I haven't been able to nail it down. I haven't had it drop connection during an active session with Logic 7, and Reason, so none of this has been fatal yet. I just do the unplug/plugin voodoo when I sit down to do some work, and don't worry about it. But the lack of driver does concern me, because I don't know how to fix this problem. I'm on 10.3.9, by the way.

    One thing I'll say: it has improved my drum programming quite a bit.

  • admin

    I've seen some things like that. The lack of a driver means you're dependent on Mac OS X's class-compliant implementation, and presumably whatever is in the hardware itself. At this point, I get lost, though, and I've even talked to engineers who don't really understand how USB hardware works. (No, really — now I just need to meet one of the people who actually writes the driver implementation for the hardware!)

    I had some USB issues under 10.3.9 that appear fixed in 10.4 — but we're definitely in the land of voodoo.

    Anyone else seeing this?

  • Indicator

    I got to play with one of these over the weekend and I'll agree – it is solidly built (even moreso than the Korg stuff), the pads feel great, the knobs are smooth.

    I want one. But I probably wont buy one. Maybe I'm asking too much, but I want endless rotary encoders!

  • Guest

    Anyone compared this with the Akai MPD16?

  • yep

    yes i have..^^^… idk y but it doesnt play the anything in the right order.. each pad is mixed say you have a redrum in reason ..A KIT… and like #1 is a clap #2 is a kick.. #3 is a hat.. it wont play them in the rder.. you have to sort them to they will and it never works…

  • beatz

    I've been experiencing VEERY frequent dropouts with my trigger finger in LIVE recently. I have no idea what's causing it. When i play a quick succession of notes, the connection is lost and i have to unplug.replug it. This is very frustrating!!!

  • mike bee

    Need help with my trigger finger…midi first timer..what are the basic hook-ups.

  • On a Mac Mini with OSX, I had the same problem. Could play a few notes, then it seemed to drop out.

    Called tech support – they said to try using a powered USB hub (recommended Belkin).

    We bought one and it works like a charm now! So I think the Mac's tend to not give enough juice to the device.

    I also have a Dell laptop – it works fine on this without the hub, so it's obviously a Mac issue.