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I just tested this out on my gba sp. I think sounds not overlapping is fine, because in general this is like beatboxing, where you're just creating a cool simple rhythm, the space between is most important.

I think in your shoes I would have also gone the route you did where directional keys modify, that's the most elegant and pleasing, but after testing this out I think Bass snare on BA, and then symbols and toms on the d-pad would be more fun and kinetic for creating cool beats. 

As usual, a really cool bit of design, I am yet to dislike a release of yours. I wish more game designers were as committed to designing something interesting as you are. 

Really great feedback, thank you!

I agree, I would definitely not use A/B + Arrows if I were to do it again. In retrospect it is quite awkward, and you don't really need 10 sounds, the 6 would have been fine.

I'm always amazed by the kind comments like yours I receive! I'm glad you like my work and find it interesting!