The Panorama range of MIDI controller keyboards from Nektar have a hidden superpower. They have deep level integrated control of DAW software. Studio One now joins the list of supported DAWs for the first time and offers a surprising amount of control that you won’t find on any other MIDI controller.
Panorama and Studio One
Most keyboards these days offer some sort of MCU based DAW control – a bit of transport control and knobs that can be mapped to virtual parameters. Nektar goes much further than that by building in mappings to all the included synths and the mixer console with full parameter feedback on the controller display.
There are dedicated “Mixer” modes and “Instrument” modes so that the controls allocated themselves to the most useful layout at the touch of a button. And there are a number of ways in which the hardware controls on the Panorama lend themselves to the software.
First you have all the internal Studio One instruments such as Impact XT, Presence XT, Mai Tai and Mojito automatically mapped to the knobs on the Panorama. It pulls out the most commonly used parameters but these can easily be remapped to the particular ones you’re after. Third party instruments can also be easily mapped using the Learn function. Nektar also has a plugin host called Nekarine which can be used alongside Studio One for some preset management and deeper parameter mapping regardless of the DAW you’re using.
Then in Mixer mode you have full control over the console controls in banks of 8. They have a “Soft Take Over” function which ensures that controls don’t jump as you take control with an encoder. You can assign the encoder section to pan, send or macro functions.
And then for simple hardware control over any parameter at any time and in any place you can simply click on it and the main encoder on the Panorama will take instant control.
Within Studio One the Panorama can look after transport controls, track selection, project navigation, window open/close, zooming and at all times the selected parameter gets displayed on the keyboards screen.
Control at your fingertips
With any form of hardware control it all comes down to how much it aids your workflow without the configuration process getting in the way of the creativity. Sometimes you can spend so long mapping and learning controls that you miss the spark of inspiration that prompted you to open that instrument in the first place. The integration on offer here bypasses all the mapping and re-mapping by having instruments and controls all setup and ready to go and the Nektarine environment in which to save and recall mappings for any other instrument you want to use.
Nektar’s DAW integration is a great piece of work that is so often overlooked.
More than Panorama
This integration is not just for the Panorama P and T ranges of keyboards but also crosses into the Pacer foot controller, Impact and SE ranges but with a reduced set of physical controls.
This is a free update to all owners of Nektar products.
- Nektar Panorama Studio One Integration with T4 and T6 page.
- Nektar Panorama T4: Woodbrass.com