Nektar has unveiled the Impact GXP88 USB/MIDI keyboard controller at NAMM 2020. With 88 semi-weighted keys in a slim, lightweight package, the Impact GXP88 is aimed at performers and players. It comes with performance controls like a repeat engine and plug-in patch management.
Nektar Impact GXP88
According to Nektar, the Impact GXP88 features a newly designed keybed with 88 semi-weighted, velocity and pressure sensitive keys. It also offers pitch bend and modulation wheels and lets you connect three pedals: one expression pedal and up to two assignable foot switches. The two foot switches share a single 1/4″ TRS jack, which means that you’ll have to come up with some sort of custom adapter solution if you’re planning to connect two switches. Two individual jacks would have been a more practical setup here, in my opinion.
The keyboard is USB powered, but also offers an external power supply socket for use without a computer. There’s also a traditional 5-pin MIDI output.
The GXP88 currently offers direct support for Bitwig, Cubase, Digital Performer, Garageband, Logic, Nuendo, Reaper, Reason, Sonar and Studio One. The DAW control panel on the left is the same as on the Nektar GX series. This means that you get transport control, track selection, volume control and some navigation options. Unlike the GX series, the GXP88 offers 14 assignable RGB buttons for direct MIDI patch selection.
These buttons do double duty for the repeat engine, which seems to be inspired by Nektar’s new Aura pad controller. In repeat mode, the buttons let you control repeat rates, accent, interval and swing. You can also route aftertouch or the mod wheel to note velocity, for continuous control over the velocity of the repeated notes. The repeat tempo can be controlled with a knob, or synced to MIDI clock.
The GXP88 also works with Nektar’s Nektarine software, which hosts up to 16 VST or AU instrument plug-ins and is available as a free download. With Nektarine, the GXP88 offers features like instant patch recall and layer/split keyboard zones. Nektarine runs as a VST, AU or AAX plug-in inside a DAW, or as a stand-alone application.
As a USB class compliant keyboard controller, the Impact GXP88 works with any MIDI application on macOS, Windows and iOS, according to Nektar.
Price and availability
According to Nektar, the Impact GXP88 will begin shipping in March 2020 for USD 299.99 / GBP 254.99 / EUR 299.99.