More from NAMM – another of our top five announcements from this year’s show…
What: Control surface with Reason and Cubase integration, over 60 controls, high quality construction, head-down screen on unit
When: April 2013
Nektar Panorama P1
We called this. Back when the Nektar Panorama P4 was about to go production ready, I asked the bods at Nektar “so, how long until the P0 comes out?!” and was met with a wry smile. Okay, I might have been a digit shy, but despite the very nice keyboard and pad section on the Nektar Panorama P4 and P6 the Panorama P1 was a no brainer. The recently announced Cubase integration adds to the Panorama range’s appeal, and the Panorama P1 is really only motorised faders away from being a total Mackie Control killer (It’s funny how little traction true control surfaces have gotten over the past decade, as when 100% computer music started to really explode the smart money was on controllers that made you completely forget you were using a computer leading the way).
For me, the Panorama P1 is a pretty easy sell for Reason users that are after something that will let them rely less on the mouse and keyboard and more on the music making process. If you genuinely don’t care about having to use the mouse for things as long as you have a keyboard or pads to actually play on then you’ll struggle to see the value here, but this level of control will be very well received by anyone who’s used to using hardware, or wishes they were. Its price is pretty enticing as it is and it’s easily mitigated by not having to rely on expensive controller keyboards with tons of knobs and sliders, plus its integration is second to none (I’ve not played with it with Cubase yet, but with Reason it’s superb). If you have a pad controller you like to use and a favourite keyboard already, too much of the Panorama P4 or P6 will feel redundant; this might be a very neat way to add dedicated control to your setup without breaking the bank.