Nektar Panorama P4 49-key MIDI Controller Keyboard

90
GEARANK

90 out of 100. Incorporating 175+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$500
Nektar Panorama P4 49-key MIDI Controller Keyboard

Although the Panorama P4 can be used as a general MIDI controller, it has been specifically designed for use with Cubase, Bitwig Studio, Nuendo, Logic Pro, Apple MainStage, Reaper and Reason.

In particular it has a channel strip control with a 100mm motorized touch sensitive fader above the 2 mod wheels which responds to the volume of the selected track in your DAW - select a different track and the fader will automatically move into the correct position.

It also gives you access to EQ, sends and inserts.

Key features:

  • Keys: 49 semi-weighted, velocity sensitive with aftertouch.
  • Pads: 12 which are velocity and pressure sensitive - you can set 7 velocity curves. You can set up to 20 pad maps and you can transpose and octave shift them.
  • Octaves: 10 by using Octave Up and Octave Down controls.
  • Arpeggiator: No.
  • Motorized Controls: Yes.
  • Bundled Software: No.
  • Power: One USB port will power everything except the motorized fader - you need an additional external USB Micro B power supply port to power all features.
  • Connectivity: USB & USB Micro B, 5-pin MIDI out, 2 x TRS inputs for expression pedal and sustain pedal or footswitch input.
  • Control Hardware Directly: Yes
  • Compatibility: Mac OS X 10.6 or later + Windows 10, 8, 7 and Vista.
  • Dimensions: 35.04" x 14.57" x 5.51"
  • Weight 14 lbs

Pros

The 3.5” high resolution TFT screen provides a real time view of all the controls and functions you are currently accessing on your DAW. A thoughtful feature is that it also works as a MIDI interface - you can send MIDI data from your DAW through the P4 to control other MIDI hardware. You can also plug the P4 directly into other MIDI hardware such as synths and control them directly without a computer. The most often positively cited feature in reviews is the deep level of integration with the major DAWs listed above - customer reviews often use the adjective "amazing"!

Cons

Users of other DAWs not listed above were generally disappointed that the P4 is not deeply integrated with them - Pro Tools users seemed especially miffed.

Overall

Overall, if you have one of the listed DAWs above, then you'll find the Panorama P4 will improve your work flow immensely.

Although this was previously on our recommended list, there are now more highly rated options available which you can see in our guide to The Best 49 Key MIDI Controller Keyboards.

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