Korg MPS-10, new advanced drum percussion and sampling pad

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Korg MPS-10 is a new drum percussion and sampling pad with a striking design and Korg’s answer to the Roland SPD-SX Pro.

Okay, now to a topic that I deal with less often: drum pads. You can find them often in drummer rigs, mainly to expand the acoustic set with electronic sounds such as digital drums or effects. They are also popular among synth players to trigger sample-based sounds or to make live drums/percussions.

Roland showed one of the most exciting drum pads in recent years with the SPD-SX PRO in 2022. First place at Thomann, so it seems to be a success for the company. Korg, also from Japan, is now competing with the SPD-SX PRO with the new MPS-10.

Korg MPS-10

Korg MPS-10

Regarding design, my point goes to the new Korg drum pads. I have a feeling that the designers were free to let off steam, or aliens hijacked them because the design of the new MPS is super striking and unusual. Well, Japanese companies are known for wild designs every now and then; see Zoom. 

In terms of features, the new MPS-10 is a classic drum percussion and sampling pad. It offers ten velocity-sensitive pads, which, according to Korg, are made of durable rubber. The individual pads are illuminated with color-coded LEDs flashing out of narrow slots.

Besides the classic pads, the MPS-10 also offers four MIDI CC pads at the top. They detect the exact position of the strike and can translate this into MIDI values. This allows you to control the parameters of a synth or so.

Sampling On The Fly

Korg’s new pad is a sampling pad. Besides its factory library (2350 pad instruments +, 3000 samples, and 100 pre-assigned kits), you can sample directly on the device. This is possible via the stereo line input or the microphone input.

The MPS-10 supports samples in WAV and AIFF formats with a resolution of 44.1/48 kHz, 16 bits. The maximum sample length is 60 minutes. The core can manage up to 3000 samples in 2358 instruments with a maximum polyphony of 48 voices.

Good, the MPS-10 has an internal memory of 32 GB, on which you can import samples via the computer or a USB stick. 

Then, these sounds can be refined using a multi-effects section. It consists of 77 algorithms with two inserts and one main per kit. Plus, you get a master FX section with a reverb and a filter.

For stage use, the Korg MPS-10 includes a setlist function made for creating kits in a specific order. With the Smooth Sound Transition (SST) function, you can fade out sounds naturally when switching kits.

Korg has also integrated a neat 4-track looper with its own effect section and a function for exporting individual tracks.

MPS-10 backside


On the backside, you get a headphone jack, a stereo main output, two additional line outputs (sub1/2), and stereo input and mic for sampling. There are also up to four external trigger inputs via two jack sockets. Next, you get two foot switches and an expressive pedal input.

Further, there is a MIDI output on 5-pin DIN, two USB ports (memory, to PC), and a power supply input.

To match the MPS-10, SEQUENZ (a Korg company) also offers an aluminum holding plate (MP-1) with which the sampling pad can be attached to a standard multi-clamp. And finally, there will also be a free editor for sound management. 

First Impression

At first glance, a very extensive drum and sampling pad. The MPS-10 looks like a solid alternative to the Roland SPD-SX Pro. Korg’s pad is a bit more expensive but we have to wait and see how the price develops on the open market.

Korg MPS-10 will be available for 1099€ in January 2024. 

More information here: Korg 

Hardware Audio & MIDI News


  1. Higher sample rate = more downshifting without artifacts.
    Higher bitrate = wider range for compression possible.

    There’s a difference between using samples as a sound source and using audio files to play back recorded, mixed, and mastered music. Most won’t hear it’s 16bit @48kHz, but man will it get obvious when the sample is manipulated.

    • Yes, of course, and this is exactly the kind of instrument you DO NOT buy if you want to manipulate samples. Typically these drum pad things offer level, pan, pitch, and maybe decay per pad. The main reason you buy something like this is because you want to make sounds happen by hitting something with a stick.

      I just thought it was weird to call out the DAC specs on this box like it’s a big let down. It’s like pickup truck bros mocking the towing capabilities of a Prius…completely missing the point.

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