Old 02-19-2019, 09:28 AM   #1
FirstMaple8
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Default How viable are soft pads?

I think DDR is really fun but the nearest arcade to me is 2 hours away and Metal pads are like $400. So my only options I have at the moment is building my own (which costs a lot aswell) and playing on a soft pad.
I wonder how good I can get on a soft pad?
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Old 02-19-2019, 09:34 AM   #2
Erich gamer TV
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Default Re: How viable are soft pads?

dude... Just don't
The soft pads are terrible! And also you can just use your keyboard just fine!
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Old 02-19-2019, 10:17 AM   #3
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Default Re: How viable are soft pads?

Some soft pads are alright, just dont try to full combo max 300, pad errors will get you every time. You can AAA up to easier Heavy songs, thats about the limit
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Old 02-19-2019, 12:21 PM   #4
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Default Re: How viable are soft pads?

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Originally Posted by Erich gamer TV View Post
dude... Just don't
The soft pads are terrible! And also you can just use your keyboard just fine!
I'm already a very good keyboard player.
I want to get into pad
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Old 02-19-2019, 12:22 PM   #5
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Default Re: How viable are soft pads?

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Originally Posted by emulord View Post
Some soft pads are alright, just dont try to full combo max 300, pad errors will get you every time. You can AAA up to easier Heavy songs, thats about the limit
do you know which ones are alright?
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Old 02-19-2019, 01:04 PM   #6
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Default Re: How viable are soft pads?

http://maty-taneczne.pl/shop/dance-mat-ddr-usb-ex/

there are metal pads for less than 400 bucks but you gotta order from Poland so dunno how expensive shipping costs will get
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Old 02-19-2019, 01:26 PM   #7
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Default Re: How viable are soft pads?

Get one with a foam insert. Sorry I don't know brands. I bought some years ago and Im only just starting to need a replacement.

Be ready to spend like 50$ tho. The 20$ ones are going to be TERRIBLE and not worth it at all.

Last edited by emulord; 02-19-2019 at 01:26 PM..
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Old 02-19-2019, 01:43 PM   #8
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Default Re: How viable are soft pads?

You don't have a lot of options for foam but the RedOctane ones are alright.

I'd recommend playing them until you're up around ITG 11s/12s and getting frustrated with the quality of the pad. By then you'll need to seriously consider a metal pad to improve. The Maty Taneczne Polish ones posted in this thread are probably the best cost-efficient choice for a metal pad that can handle up through like ITG stamina 16s.
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Old 02-19-2019, 02:39 PM   #9
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Default Re: How viable are soft pads?

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Originally Posted by aperson View Post
You don't have a lot of options for foam but the RedOctane ones are alright.

I'd recommend playing them until you're up around ITG 11s/12s and getting frustrated with the quality of the pad. By then you'll need to seriously consider a metal pad to improve. The Maty Taneczne Polish ones posted in this thread are probably the best cost-efficient choice for a metal pad that can handle up through like ITG stamina 16s.
What can I do once I get past 16s? (Might not happen)
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Old 02-19-2019, 06:29 PM   #10
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Default Re: How viable are soft pads?

http://www.precisiondancepads.com/en/12-4-panel-pads

Are these just always going to be out of stock? I've been waiting like a year now.
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Old 02-19-2019, 10:18 PM   #11
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Default Re: How viable are soft pads?

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Originally Posted by FirstMaple8 View Post
What can I do once I get past 16s? (Might not happen)
stepmaniax pads i think
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Old 02-19-2019, 10:19 PM   #12
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Default Re: How viable are soft pads?

don't listen to me though I try to BS through keyboard charts on a $20 soft pad
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Old 02-21-2019, 05:37 AM   #13
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Default Re: How viable are soft pads?

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Originally Posted by Superbearhands View Post
http://maty-taneczne.pl/shop/dance-mat-ddr-usb-ex/

there are metal pads for less than 400 bucks but you gotta order from Poland so dunno how expensive shipping costs will get
https://www.reddit.com/r/Stepmania/c...stributor_for/

this guy's apparently gonna distribute these pads in the US, so that should lower the cost a bit.
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Old 02-21-2019, 10:53 AM   #14
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Default Re: How viable are soft pads?

Precision dance pads are okay if you don't care about quality. I have owned two and they are kinda roughshod construction. You will have to be able to fix them up on your own because they have zero customer service. It doesn't suprise me that it's still "out of stock". You'll also have to make your own bar setup unless they get more kits together.

StepmaniaX is cool but incredibly expensive for what you're getting out of it. $1k for a metal pad seems overkill if it's just for you in the basement or whatever. It'll have good build quality but will have a long waiting list to buy one. You can customize it a bit as well, of you feel like it. I believe it also supports 9 directions. Comes with bar setup.
https://shop.steprevolution.com/prod...epmaniax-stage

The best bet so far is to see if you can find a red octane or blueshark metal pad or the thick foam soft pads somewhere like eBay. Or if you find an old precision somewhere and do some tinkering. The next big thing will be Impulse pads made by some people from the ITG scene but they have only made a few test pads so far. You can follow them on their Facebook page but it hasn't been updated since July.

Also the pics are gone but if you want a quick and dirty bar setup guide I have one here. Should accomodate a soft pad just as easily
http://www.flashflashrevolution.com/...53&postcount=7

Edit: That polish pad looks sick though ngl. I might look into that some more since I've been meaning to replace my omega

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Old 02-21-2019, 01:38 PM   #15
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Default Re: How viable are soft pads?

Can second that Precision Dance Pads are kind of low tier for the price. I play on one and considering I don't play much anyway because of my ankles they do the job but I really wish I didn't spend near 600 for it.

Can also second that if you can find the Red Octane thick form pads they are probably good if you want to just play something like 8s/9s on the old DDR scale and not worry that much on AAAing everything. We use to duct take that sonabeetch to the floor but chances are good you are not as heavy as I was/am and it won't slide that easily.

As far as metal pads are concerned, any old ones like Cobalt Flux or Blueshark that you find will likely need some serious work. If I was to buy another I would either wait on Impulse or just save the 3,000 bucks for an old cab instead. I have had way better luck fixing the actual cabinets then I have had with any home set up over the years.

I thought Impulse would be out right about now but I guess they got delayed? Wasn't it touted as coming out Winter 2018 at one point?
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Old 02-22-2019, 08:08 AM   #16
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Default Re: How viable are soft pads?

The way I would describe the progression on ITG difficulty is:
- Soft Mats: 1-9
- Precision Dance Pad: 10-13
- Metal Pad (standard sensors) or Load Cell Pad (e.g. StepmaniaX Stage): 14+

At a certain point, soft mats just stop registering altogether. As an example, I tried playing MAX Period on a soft mat and I got a miss on almost all the jumps in the beginning. Precision Dance Pads are a gamble on speeds above 180. With a metal pad, you can at least try to adjust the panels (e.g. using foam tape), or in the case of load cell pads do some manual adjustment with the sensors.

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Originally Posted by MixMasterLar View Post
I thought Impulse would be out right about now but I guess they got delayed? Wasn't it touted as coming out Winter 2018 at one point?
There isn't a tentative date as to when they are releasing. It's mostly vague updates about "hey we made some improvements" but then no roadmap as to what a tentative release would be. What would help is if they were a bit more transparent about the work. For example:
- 2019 First Quarter: Continue QA
- 2019 Second Quarter: Initial assembly line for first 10 impulse platforms
- 2019 Third Quarter: Release first versions of pad
- 2019 Fourth Quarter: Improve assembly line

Here was their January update:

Hi again, here's the update for January:
This past month, we worked on some of the essential software as well as preparing the platforms for production.
The sensor designs are finished. It's important to understand that bringing a product into the manufacturing stage requires a lot of work and careful planning. However, we've developed a way to create the sensors that will now dramatically reduce assembly time. We have also been able to eliminate "flex". In the past, when we stepped on the panels, we introduced stress into the platform. The sensors attached to other panels would pull towards the area we introduced stress, with the panel holding the sensor group together, causing the other sensors to record pressure as well. This limited the sensitivity we could offer in commercial units. And that issue is now fixed.
We worked on the step recognition system and produced the software to prevent two scenarios. Unexpected sensor behavior changes can no longer cause panel step recognition breakage. Essentially, result there is where other sensors 'stick', our sensors will break out of that stuck state, and be able to record the next step without failure, and correct the error to prevent further sticking.
The second scenario covered is sensor breakage. Just a back-up system for the rare broken sensor (we've found none in all 200+ sensors used in earlier testing). Lets the panel continue functioning by turning off the broken sensor, and alerts the user to the issue, so they can arrange replacement without extensive troubleshooting.
We will be back next month with another update. Thanks for reading, and thank you for your patience
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Old 02-22-2019, 12:33 PM   #17
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Default Re: How viable are soft pads?

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Originally Posted by FirstMaple8 View Post
What can I do once I get past 16s? (Might not happen)
Time to buy yourself an arcade cabinet.

Breaking into 17s requires you to be able to do stuff like 64 measures of 200 bpm 16th notes, so you'll probably be set for a while.
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Old 03-5-2019, 07:08 AM   #18
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Default Re: How viable are soft pads?

Took a 6 months break before I tried the Polish pad and I broke or tied old records on my first playthrough, so I'd say it's pretty dang priceworthy.
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