These could be the simplest controller keyboards from Nektar to date. No bells or whistles, they are not bristling with pads, faders, knobs and buttons. In fact, they are even more minimal than their Impact GX range. So what do the SE25 and SE49 offer?
Our source for the SE25 is a Korean website, but unfortunately not all the information is translatable and the images are quite low res. But what we do understand is that it’s a 2 octave mini USB controller keyboard, velocity sensitive and USB powered. If you squint at the images, you can see some labels above the keys with a red bar above them. The markings look like pitch bend, transpose, volume, pan, and so on. There are some dedicated transport controls, which presumably mean some form of DAW integration.
The size looks similar to AKAI’s LPK 25, but this has more buttons. One image on the page shows it attached to an iPhone and iPad with what looks like some kind of companion app.
Looking around for other Nektar SE models on the net reveals a larger companion keyboard, the SE49. This is slightly weird because it appears to be available via Amazon.com and Just Music in Germany but there’s no mention of it on the main Nektar website. The SE49 has full sized “synth action” keys with 4 velocity curves. It has the same transport controls but also a 30 mm data slider and pitch and modulation wheels. Nektar’s famous DAW integration is in there somewhere giving you access to transpose, volume control, patch change along with the transport functions.
It also mentions class-compliant drivers and plug-n-play connectivity with iOS devices. And it has a lovely red bottom.
So the SE25 at $69 and SE49 at $99 look like decent, simple, budget MIDI controllers with some hidden extras that flesh out the bottom end of Nektar’s range of MIDI controllers – how exciting is that?
We reached out to Nektar, who told us that they will be releasing more details shortly.