Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Korg Nano Control Surfaces


Korg Nano Control Surfaces (Japanese Website)

Quite a lot of buzz going on around the net as of late regarding Korg's latest announcement of the nanoKEY, nanoCONTROL and the nanoPAD. These are three new mini control surfaces to be used with laptops.  Here are specs on the three little devices

  • nanoKEY: 25 keys, transmitting either as MIDI notes or (via a separate mode) Control Change (CC)  messages. Octave shift (natch). Pitch, modulation. And it’s supposed to be velocity-sensitive, too, although we’ll have to get our hands on one to see how sensitive it is.
  • nanoPAD: 12 pads, supposedly inheriting the terrific sensitivity and feel of the padKONTROL. Chord Trigger. Control Change mode (as with nanoKEY). There’s even an X/Y touch pad with roll and flam mode, favorite features of the padKONTROL.
  • nanoKONTROL: 9 faders, 9 knobs, 18 switches, transport controls. (No, really.) MIDI notes, 168 CC messages. There are even attack and decay times for the switches, allowing them to work as faders, filter controls, effects settings, and the like – something I’d love to see on other (full-sized) controllers.

The concept seems cool enough. The question I guess really comes down to the build quality and capability of the actual devices. From the pictures they look rather cheap, especially the keyboard. Also while the concept is great they are still divided up into three separate devices. With the size that small why not combine them all into one control surface? Or even better allow users to somehow "click" them together like Legos into a quasi modular setup. You can at least only use one USB port that way.  Certainly users would want everything on these and not have to pick and choose.

So would anyone out there find these useful or are they just too cheap? Personally an M-Audio Oxygen 8 seems perfect adequate to me for mobile rig stuff, especially if you get the one with the built in audio interface.

1 comment:

MPC2000xl said...

they are supposed to be very cheap and flimsy according to the guys at Musicthing: http://musicthing.blogspot.com/2008/06/korg-nanokey-nanokontrol-nanopad-tiny.html

I has my eyes on the nanoKey, but as it turns out, it's built using QWERTY keyboard tech... what a waste.