Korg’s range of petite Nano MIDI controllers have been very popular with the space-challenged music maker. Now they are taking things to the next level with two new studio grade not-quite-so-Nano expanded controllers. The nanoKey Studio and nanoKontrol Studio are both Bluetooth-enabled for completely wireless control of your phone, tablet or computer, they’re battery powered (although they can use USB) and have the same deep black matt styling of the earlier models.
The nanoKey Studio has the same pad-like two octave keyboard as the original nanoKey but also has 8 controller knobs, an XY pad and 8 pads – it’s a bit like they’ve combined the nanoKey and nanoPad into a single device – which is no bad thing. They’ve also added some really interesting features that elevate it from the MIDI controller crowd. The keyboard is backlit and has a “Scale Guide” function where it can illuminate the notes that are relevant to the chosen scale. The 8 velocity-sensitive drum pads can act as drum triggers but they can also be used to generate chords with an intelligent “Chord Scale” function which provides suitable chords for the chosen scale. There’s also an arpeggiator packed full of lead lines and rhythms, so you’re not going to be running out of ideas any time soon.
The nanoKontrol Studio looks very much like a little mixer or Mackie controller and I imagine that’s the idea. You get 8 faders and 8 rotary encoders, a jog wheel, transport controls and a load of mixer intended buttons such as mute and solo. There’s no mention if it supports any controller protocol other than MIDI and there doesn’t appear to be any bonus hidden features like the nanoKey Studio but it looks great and probably just does what it’s supposed to.
Both come with an impressive bundle of software including the Korg Legacy Collection, some UVI and AAS instruments and a cut down version Propellerheads Reason. It also seems to come with a 50 USD voucher off Ableton Live which is something I’ve not seen before.
Both will cost 129.60 GBP with the nanoKontrol Studio arriving in April and the nanoKey Studio following in May.
More information: http://www.korg.com