November 9, 2023

Looking for the Ideal Controller (with a FREE software bundle)?

Nektar’s LX+ Series controllers are easy to set up and integrate with your favourite DAW, with complete transport control and pre-mapped controls for any DAW native plugins. Inexpensive and comprehensive, they quickly become an essential part of your work flow.

The Panorama T-Series are a more advanced alternative for more in-depth control, with Nektarine hosting software and live performance capability (with MIDI out socket).

The GXP Series USB MIDI controller keyboards are designed for players: Experience 49, 61 or 88 semi-weighted keys, with velocity and aftertouch to deliver a nice, firm touch and great playability, plus instant access to performance controls including a real-time repeat engine, powerful Nektarine plugin patch management and Nektar DAW Integration.

And all of these controller series, plus the LX Mini, are even better value now, with a FREE Cherry Audio plugin bundle containing PS-20, Mercury-6, Octave Cat, DreamSynth DS-1 synths and Stardust 201 delay plugins

Find out more about this fantastic free collection:

https://nektartech.com/nektar-software-bundle

Nektar DAW Integration supports Bitwig Studio 8-Track (included with LX+ and Panorama T-series), so using Nektar products and Bitwig Studio 8-Track together is a fantastic combination: If you are just starting out, this is a great way to take your first steps in the world of digital music creation. And if you’re already familiar with using DAW software you’ll be amazed at what this combination has to offer!

DAW Integration Support
June 26, 2023

Mixdown Magazine’s Review: Nektar LX Mini

WORDS BY GREG LONG

Sound and Music | Price: $269.99

When I was approached to review the Nektar Impact LX Mini, I’m not going to lie, I was like, meh. Yet another backpack keyboard controller. At the risk of sounding cynical, I was thinking, “Let me guess, you can play drum pads, some transport controls, and the ability to launch clips in Ableton!” So, with some considerable surprise, I’m now looking to retire a couple of said keyboard controllers and embrace the new kid on the block. The question I’m sure you’re all asking is “why?” So, let’s dig deep and see what the Impact LX Mini offers.

Nektar is an American-based company with a unique go-to-market strategy. From their website, Nektar’s aim is to, “Bridge the gap between powerful music software and controller hardware”. Don’t expect a host of software instruments and plugins that often shift with similar products. In addition to the keyboard controller and a driver installer, the only other inclusion is an eight-channel version of Bitwig Studio. The Nektar Impact LX Mini is a class-compliant USB device but if you are looking to use it with Ableton Live, the driver is required for both Windows and Mac OS X. In my testing, I used an M1 Mac and Ableton Live Suite 11, but support is provided for all of the major DAW players. (I’m very interested to check out the Avid Pro Tools integration but at the time of writing, am yet to do so).

Set up is relatively simple and the documentation is clear and concise. I tried to jump straight in, but didn’t get far. You definitely need to reference and read through and follow through the documents. It’s pretty simple so don’t worry too much. A Max for Live device offers further control functionality, but this is only compatible with Ableton Suite 11 with Max for Live installed. For full compatibility, check the product site.

One strange and glaring omission in Ableton Live, and by extension Push, is dedicated fast forward and rewind buttons. For most uses this isn’t an issue, however, if you are editing a long looping section with more than one clip selected, you have to listen to the entire loop from start to finish, even if you’re just tweaking notes at the end of the loop. There’s no way of fast forwarding or rewinding without using the mouse to click into the interface and doing so will deselect the clips in the process. This may seem small, but it has been a constant frustration of many for a long time. This, paired with FFW and REW buttons, makes the unit very attractive. On the topic of looping, the Impact LX Mini allows you to set start and end points and turn looping mode on and off, all without needing to touch the mouse. 

All of this barely scratches the surface of the functionality of Nektar Impact LX Mini. There is so much more on offer. The actual keys have secondary functions that can be accessed by holding one of the Part Two buttons. Doing so can change MIDI channels, layer an octave on top, or below, shift octaves up and down. The price is a little over $250 so it offers excellent value and adds significant workflow improvements. So, if you are in the market for a pint-sized powerhouse, it’s well worth a look. 

April 11, 2023

The T6 and Reason

Nektar’s T-Series controller keyboards are pre-mapped for all native plugins in most popular DAWs, making setup and creation quick and stress free. Bitwig, Cubase, GarageBand, Logic, Reaper, Reason, Studio One and Pro Tools are pretty much ready to go as soon as you download and install the appropriate software for your own setup.

As an example, Reason 12 working with the T-Series controllers allows functionality and control that will renew your relationship with the basic native plugins that you’ve grown bored with, for reasons you’ll soon forget: Thor, ReDrum, Kong, SubTractor, Dr. OctoRex, Monotone, Europa and the others are pre-mapped to allow the most useful controls to be accessed in real-time and also automated in your tracks, adding movement and tone changes that will give your tunes new energy.

Below, you’ll see the T6 screen and controls being utilised to create a ReDrum track with all important functions available for automation. To select the drum you want to work on, simply tap the pad that triggers the sound and you’re ready to start tweaking – pitch, length, start point, level, pan and even effect send are all on screen, and now easy to control and record on their own track lanes, giving unprecedented power to your track (this level of individual drum control is also available with Kong):

Even the Combinator Mk II is pre-mapped for controls and buttons, so if you want quick access to your favourite VST’s parameters, you can ‘combine’ it and assign vital tone changers easily.

And we haven’t even mentioned the extra parameter control and VST stacking you can do with Nektarine 2.5

Whether you’re using the top of the range Panoramas, the LX+, GXP, or the tiny GX and LX Minis, the mapped parameter and transport control functions will smooth the way for your important creative processes.

To find out more about what’s available for Nektar’s controllers and your DAW-of-choice, check out the support documents on our website.

January 30, 2023

Panorama-Studio 1

The Studio One Update is for Panorama P1 desktop controller, P4 and P6 keyboards, and the T4 and T6 keyboards.

This update extends the capabilities of the already powerful Nektar DAW integration for Studio One, with expanded and easier parameter mapping at the centre:

  • 8 map pages (instead of 1) per plugin. 
  • Pages instantly selectable using the 8 fader buttons.
  • New Quick-learn feature makes mapping a breeze. Check out the video.
  • Control insert plugins through the macros page – Quick learn supported.
  • All Studio One instruments and effects pre-mapped.
Download the update from your Nektar account.
May 13, 2022

Nektarine 2.5.2

‘available now’

Capable of hosting VST, VST3 and AU plugins, Nektarine can be run in any DAW or other MIDI music software product able to host AAX (Pro Tools), AU, VST or VST3 plugins. If you are using a compatible controller with pads, such as Aruba or the Panorama series, Nektarine now includes comprehensive drum creation capabilities with 4 new plugins: the DP1 Drum Player, K1 Kick Synth, S1 Snare Synth and T1 Tom Synth.

For Panorama T and P-Series, Aruba (Aura) and GXP users, Nektarine is designed to enable control of plugins from compatible Nektar hardware complete with parameter and patch browsing, as well as create drum beats with the new software add-ons.

There are many improvements in Nektarine 2.5 including a revised UI which displays all instrument and effect plugins in the Rack and adds a Browser pane to the right of any window.

Additional features and improvements include:

  • Master output control and meter.
  • Channel output meter added to all instrument and send channels
  • Mixer page showing  instrument and send channels in a traditional mixer layout.
  • Revised Pads page for Aruba (Aura) users showing all 16 pads in one view.
  • DP1 Drum Player includes over 500 unique drum instruments and 40 kits
  • Pads swap, copy and paste features.
  • Drag and drop of content from the browser to plugin slots and pads.
  • Better regression map handling should ensure preservation of mapping as plugins are updated.
  • Audio folder mounting for audio browsing of libraries.
  • Plugin scan on startup option added.
  • Multi-threaded audio processing.
  • A ton of bug fixes.

Current users can download the latest version from their Nektartech account.

The new pad view and DP1 drum player

Display setup for plug-in parameters
January 15, 2020

NEKTAR ANNOUNCES AURA BEAT COMPOSER

Nektar AURA is a powerful beat creation and performance instrument. Featuring 16 hyper-sensitive RGB illuminated pads, an on-board step sequencer, a flexible pad repeat engine and incredible plugin control, AURA brings an exciting drum-machine-style workflow to any DAW or external MIDI setup.

Paired with the included Nektarine 2.0 software, AURA becomes a plugin control powerhouse for VST, VST3 and AU plugins. Whether working a single multi-sound drum plugin or hosting a comprehensive kit using multiple plugins, setting AURA’s pads up is fast and intuitive, with real-time auditioning. Nektarine can host up to 16 different instrument-plugins simultaneously, so that each of AURA’s pads can play its own plugin. Any pad can be re-routed to a new plugin by creating a plugin slot and loading a patch or plugin directly from AURA’s browser. Pad assignments are saved as part of a DAW project/song or a Nektarine Multi-Patch for instant recall.

AURA’s ‘Plugin’ mode provides instant control of hosted instrument plugin parameters. When programming drum sounds, quick access to key parameters such as pitch, decay or level is essential. Nektarine makes short work of this by auto-selecting the relevant parameters for control with AURA’s 8 rotary pots based on the last triggered pad. Nektar plugin maps ensure that even plugins with thousands of parameters can be controlled seamlessly.

Nektarine 2.0 provides 4 FX insert slots per hosted instrument plugin for up to 64 insert effect plugins per Nektarine instance. Dedicated AURA ‘FX’ buttons enable selection and control of hosted effects plugins. Each Nektarine instance has another 4 global send effects slots. Their send levels are controlled for each instrument plugin from AURA’s mixer page. Other mixer page controls are volume, pan and mute/solo for each plugin slot.

Nektarine’s Browser is designed to manage thousands of patches with features like customizable tags and sorting tools, with full control from AURA. Browser settings are independent for every instrument and effect plugin slot. They are stored with a Nektarine Multi-Patch or even a DAW project/song, along with all other settings. Nektarine can be run in any DAW hosting AAX, AU, VST or VST3 plugins or as a standalone application in Windows and Apple OSX.

PAD REPEAT: AURA’s on-board pad repeat engine is directly accessible, featuring a dedicated on/off button and settings menu. Using pad pressure to control velocity while changing repeat rates with the RGB LED buttons, makes it a great tool for creating dynamic rolls. The Repeat engine is highly customizable, parameters include Repeat Rate, Gate, Accent Interval, Accent Velocity Offset, Swing, Trigger Mode and Clock Source.

HARDWARE STEP SEQUENCER: On pressing AURA’s ‘SEQ’ button, the 16 LED buttons below the pots become the much loved, classic 16-step programming interface. 16 patterns (one per pad) with 4 parts (comprising of up to 16 steps each) add up to a total of 64 steps. This provides a lot of flexibility for inspired beat creation. A set of patterns can be saved in one of AURA’s 16 Collections. AURA’s sequencer is all about interaction and performance: Parts may be triggered in any combination at any time. Each pattern, and even each part in a pattern, can have a different length – massively simplifying the creation of interesting poly-rhythms. Many of the editing features go all the way down to step level and include play rate, velocity, accent, gate and swing. Internal and external clock modes ensure perfect sync. The sequencer may also be used stand-alone for MIDI instruments connected to AURA’s external MIDI Out.

DAW INTEGRATION: The dedicated ‘DAW’ button assigns AURA’s surface to take control of many popular DAWs, offering Nektar DAW integration features such as extended transport control, track selection, project navigation and more. Nektar DAW Integration software is included for Ableton Live Suite, Bitwig, Cubase, Digital Performer, Garageband, Logic, Nuendo, Reaper, Reason, Studio One and Sonar/Cakewalk. 7 transport buttons are otherwise fully MIDI assignable, including MMC commands, and can be used to set up transport control for any software not supported by Nektar DAW integration.

MIDI PROGRAMMABILITY: AURA is designed for control of Nektarine, but it can also be used as a self-contained programmable USB MIDI pad controller in ‘Internal’ mode. It connects with hard- and software via USB or the MIDI output jack. 16 presets store pad and control assignments for use for the 16 pads, 8 pots, 7 switches and 2 foot switch connections.

NEKTAR AURA WILL BE SHIPPING IN MARCH 2020

August 12, 2019

BUY ANY NEKTAR CONTROLLER AND GET STEINBERG PADSHOP PRO FOR FREE

NEKTAR HAS TEAMED UP WITH STEINBERG FOR THIS GREAT OFFER: SIMPLY PURCHASE ANY NEKTAR CONTROLLER BETWEEN NOW AND SEPTEMBER 30, 2019  AND YOU ARE ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE A FREE STEINBERG PADSHOP PRO VIRTUAL INSTRUMENT 
OUR GIFT TO YOU THIS SUMMER! 

OK – I’M IN! 
WHAT DO I DO?

Simply buy any Nektar controller from any Nektar stockist dealer worldwide between now and September 30, 2019. Then go to your Nektar user account on nektartech.com and register your new purchase.

Once done, we’ll send you an e-mail with information about how to claim your new Padshop Pro plugin.  

JUST BOUGHT IT – 
WHERE’S THE LINK?

If you have an account already,  log into your Nektar user account on our website – otherwise, please create a Nektar user account. Then register your new purchase.

YOUR GIFT:
STEINBERG PADSHOP PRO

PadShop Pro is the “Pro” version of Steinberg’s great sounding and versatile granular synthesis plugin for VST3 and AU. It delivers a wide range of sounds from lush pads to experimental textures of all kinds. The “Pro” version lets you drop in your own samples into the synth engine for even more flexibility when creating your own signature sounds. The “Pro” version also adds a 3-band parametric EQ, a reverb and 50 additional factory presets to the 400 already provided. 

KEY FEATURES
• Advanced granular synthesis engine with 2 independent layers
• Up to 8 grain streams per oscillator for rich and spacious structures
• 12 filter types, 10-stage modulation matrix
• Step modulator for rhythmic triggering of oscillators, filters, amp and pan.
• Over 400 factory patches includes
• SoftGrain Wave ROM with hundreds of sounds for custom patches
• VST3, and AU compatible

More information about Padshop’s synthesis and its features are available on the Steinberg website on the Padshop and Padshop Pro product pages.

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