Nektar Panorama P6 Reviews5.0/5.0 based on 3 customer reviews
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from Morgan City, LA
April 24, 2013Music Background:
Feels like using hardware again!The Nektar Panorma P6 is by far the ultimate controller for Reason 6 and above. It is an elegant looking keyboard with solid construction and is almost fully integrated with Propellerhead's Reason software. For those that want the most of the Nektar line, this is the one to get. No difference (to my knowledge) with regards to the software programming but does have the extra octave over the P4 and the inclusion of a keyboard and pads over the P1.
On the Outside :
When I take a moment away from the joys of using this keyboard, I get fulfilled with its beauty. The panel is constructed of "smooth to the touch" plastic in black and white (White body, black panel). It is however susceptible to fingerprints over time and more visible on the black. The display is nice and clean and when on is laid out in white lettering on black with menus and labels in red. Controls are laid out visibly as a rotary knob or slider so there is no confusion to what needs to be grabbed. It is designed in such a manner that in dark lighting it isn't hard on the eyes. Rotary knobs across the panel are endless rotation and feel good. The sliders are ok though they feel a little "light" to me. I think I would have preferred that they had a little more "grab" to them like you would expect on a mixing board but they react well and are just as good (if not better) than I had on my Axiom. The motorized fader is a nice touch. It has to me, and a few others Iíve had discussions with, added a bit of confusion on first set ups. It uses its own USB cable and power to operate. Some laptop USB ports may not have enough power to operate it on battery power or even plugged in. I experienced difficulty in having it plugged in to a USB hub on a standard 2.0 port of a desktop PC. It likes to be used on a dedicated USB source with enough power. I don't believe this is in the manual and may confuse a new owner as to why isnít the motorized fader working. The semi-weighted keyboard feels good to me. It's response curves/setting may not be to everyone's liking straight out of the box but there are several settings to choose from that I'm sure meets just about everyone's liking. And the mod and pitch wheels are well made. In dark settings they are lit up in red and look beautiful. In operation, they feel solid and smooth operating like I'd expect in a quality controller.
On the Inside:
This thing is smart. This comes from brilliant minds in my opinion. As a standard controller for most software DAWS and instruments, itís great. Specifically programmed for ReasonÖ. it is fantastic!!! And I believe they are developing the same line of control for Steinberg. I expect more DAWs with a larger level of control in the future. It is clearly known how this controller is divided into the three windows of the Reason Architecture (Mixer, Rack and Transport) so I don't feel I need to discuss that but it is Godsend of how seamless switching is between them are and how mapping of controls is. When in Mixer Mode, it is dedicated to the mixer. When in Rack View, everything is dedicated to the device you are focused one. And the support is there for not only Reason native devices but 90% of the 3rd party REís for Reason 6.5 and higher. Newer ones generally arenít but Nektar continues to add support for them frequently. The keyboard is supported through updates on Nektarís site that adds more every couple of months or so. Programming synths that have multiple levels of control are intuitively laid out using menus easily accessible on the right side of the display with dedicated menu buttons and knobs. Quickly navigating to sub menus brings up a new set of maps clearly labeled and easy to understand. This controller leaves you hardly ever having to grab for your mouse again.
In Closing :
Several years ago I left purchasing dedicated hardware for software. I loved the close feel of hardware but what you got in the box was all there was. If you wanted more you got another piece of hardware leaving you with duplicate sets fo keys, more pedals to buy, mixers and so on. Joining the software world you got to catch up on the newest stuff without having to buy new sets of keys. But you lost that "oneness" you developed in how you control the sound modules you use. The "hands on" experience started to feel like "hands off". In many cases you find yourself only programming the control(s) you want to use most and not bother with the rest. Some companies would include presets but it still didn't feel like it was enough. Programming is a pain and leaves you having to remember "how is that programmed again?" In comes Panorma...... and now things just seem to come to center again. The joy I had for hardware is born again through my software back into hardware. The level of integration into Reason and it's virtual hardware makes me again feel like I have all the hardware again only this time not having to compromise the storage space. It is a wonderful feeling.
This unit is highly recommended.
Red Mercury (Chris Matthews)
from Ridgecrest, CA
February 20, 2013Music Background:
Multi-instrumentalist, Sound engineering/recording student
Nektar makes up for lost time.For years, us Reason users were limited in our use of aftermarket equipment and software. Then came Reason 6.5 and its rack extensions and open source connection. The question was: "Will we get dedicated controllers as good as those for Ableton Live, Cakewalk, Pro Tools, etc."
Drop that question. I bought the Panorama, and it's BETTER! Imagine Novation's or Akai's Launchpads fused with Avid's mixers, Native Instrument's Maschine with one of the best quality real piano feel weighted keyboards. It damn near acts and feels like a dedicated hard synth workstation rather than just a soft synth controller.
If you're worried that it looks cheap in the photos, relax. It's much, much nicer looking in real life. In fact, it looks like a piece of minimalist modern art. That doesn't come across in the pictures. Nice stage presence.
The greatest thing to me, so far, is that it treats the Reason Combinators that you create as instruments, so not only does it use the aftermarket extensions, but the custom instruments you make yourself, so calling up the right settings or effects with connections immediately is a breeze. In other words, modular stuff you create with the Combinator gets used like other VST, RTAS, AU plug-ins.
The only problem I've encountered is that my laptop cannot handle using the P6, but that's not the Nektar's fault. It's the laptop's. It's barely able to use Reason anyway. Meantime, my i5 studio computer is waiting a new motherboard, so I'll report more later when that's back up.
Trust me, if you're thinking bout getting this, and are just a little concerned about the price, don't be. It performs like a much more expensive synth. I'm a wage slave at the moment, but I have zero regrets bout saving up to get this. It kicks absolute ***.
One small, but very nice detail for those of you into MIDI over USB or with limited sockets; the Panoramas both give you choice of USB or MIDI connection. There are two USB connections, one dedicated to the power, but that's easily left off the computer by getting a USB power adapter.
from Lakeland, Fl
January 28, 2013Music Background:
The total package!Since I've decided to make Reasons my first choice for my (DAW). This control surface is heaven sent.... It just makes my workflow a lot smoother. I also use Cubase occasionally so having this controller is another BIG plus! The keys feel nice, It looks awesome! And being able to tweak the instruments in Reasons right from the controller is Huge.....Love it!