Coming this month: affordable semi-weighted controller keyboards with features including DAW control, aftertouch, and an impressive software bundle
If you don’t have room – physical or budgetary – for Nektar’s $300 GXP88 controller keyboards, it now has smaller siblings: the $229 GXP61 and $190 GXP48. They just have fewer of the full-size, semi-weighted keys with velocity and aftertouch, but they share all the other controls (including the lighted ones).
The keyboards send MIDI over USB and can be USB bus-powered, and they feature three pedal jacks, MIDI out, and patch buttons for loading plug-ins into the included Nektarine hosting software. GXP keyboards can also control most DAWs directly (scroll down to see their chart of what gets controlled in which DAW), and you can set up layers and splits, adjust the velocity curve, and then recall entire Nektarine set-ups. Nektarine can run as a VST, AU, or AAX plug-in inside a DAW (or other host).
These days it’s becoming common for instruments to do a lot of automatic playing, and the GXP’s Key Repeat “engine” produces automatic rhythms. It has controls for tempo, accent, repeat rate, and more. You can also control Key Repeat by velocity and aftertouch.
In addition to Nektarine, the included software bundle starts with Steinberg Cubase LEDAW, HALion Sonic SE sampler, Groove Agent SE, as well as a couple dozen audio effects and lots of sounds and loops. It also includes Retrologue 2, and analog synth plug-in.
Here’s the Nektar video: