Sunday, February 7, 2016

NAMM 2016: Nektar

Photo by Patrick Young
I was originally drawn to the Nektar booth by the sleek, no frills, well constructed 88 key impact LX (http://www.nektartech.com/Products/Impact-LX88). Learning piano well before I was ever a bedroom producer, I'm always on the look out for a slim form factor, weighted key controller. Action and play-abilty on the LX88 was good, and in the category of "semi" weighted, the feel was certainly more natural than it's competitors. I struck up a conversation with the Nektar rep and made the mistake of asking, "Is this just a controller?" He took me to Nektar's flagship - the Panorama P6 (http://www.nektartech.com/Products/Panorama-P4-P6)

Photo by Patrick Young
I felt I was both in the past and the future at the same time. The 3.5" display took me back to a dark time where I made all my songs in a Korg Triton but the sleek look and (single) motorized fader made me think they really did design this for the individual laptop producer. It wasn't until I learned how integrated Panorama is with the DAW that I realized how it would enhance work flow, not necessarily change it (although Nektar wants you to be able to detach from your computer). Being able to jump from DAW to individual instrument control was refreshing. The moderately affordable price tag ($600 US for the P6) makes it a compelling purchase for Bitwig, Cubase, Logic, or Reason users. Sadly, Ableton is not (currently) supported due to their DAW interfacing layer.

Name: Patrick Young of Speaker Feature Studios

Bio: Electrical Engineer and sole proprietor of Speaker Feature Studios, Patrick Young spends much of his free time designing software synthesizer patches and plugins for other artists and content creators. 


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