Nektar Panorama P6
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Nektar Panorama P6
S@HDadRecs 05/19/2015

Nektar Panorama P6 : S@HDadRecs's user review

« Almost everything at your fingertips.  »
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Value For Money : Correct Audience: Advanced Users

Nektar Panorama P6

Quick Specs

16 encoders
9 45mm faders
1 100mm motorized ALPS fader
10 LED buttons
12 pads
Foot switch jack
Expression pedal jack
Keyboard after touch
Pitch bend and modulation wheel
3.5 color TFT Display
Big button Transport bar

Getting Started

This 61Key (semi weighted) Midi controller has a very professional gloss and feel that encompasses the devices “production” ambiance. Now, just because this controller was specifically designed with Propellerhead's Reason users in mind, doesn't mean it's not functional with other DAWs . Although it is compatible with a host of other DAWs, I'll only be able to speak of it's use with Reason.

After installing the P6, Reason readily recognized the device. A quick caveat to that, prior to installing, ensure that your version of Reason has been updated as the latest firmware versions are only compatible with it.

The P6 comes with 8 assignable knobs and 12 assignable pads for quick automation or sequence triggering. I was not overly enthused by their choice of pads for this device. I learned that I'm a person who likes a bit of motion to my pads. I like to feel the amount of pressure i'm putting on the pad through it's movement. With the P6, it made it difficult for me to judge my velocity on it's pads. They are quite hard and overly sensitive in my opinion. Although there is an extensive sensitivity settings menu (soft, medium, or hard :D), I was not able to find a happy medium where my particular style of finger drumming was comfortable. Finger drumming aside, the pads are great for triggering sequences or selecting devices on the fly.

The P6 also comes with a moving fader that works very well for tracking. I also use a Presonus Fader Port and by comparison, the P6's moving fader calibrates itself just as accurately. With two settings, Read and Write, making volume automation changes to tracks quickly and with confidence is a snap.

Bringing us to the main attraction, the Control Center. The 3.5in color TFT display makes it easy to see exactly which parameter and midi options are being selected. The quick navigation between the instrument, mixer, and internal screens make for on the spot CC assignments, sound design, and mixing. With full control of every Rack Extension, there is really no need to look up from the control screen of the P6 accept to add a new instrument or effect in your DAW. Having your transport bar right at your tips makes workflow also that much faster.


Overall

The look and feel of the P6 is very professional. It's capabilities go well beyond my scope for a midi controller, but the options for a broad workflow palette are available nonetheless.

Pro's
Sturdy and very well built. Can handle being on the road with no problem in my opinion
Makes mixing and automating virtually seamless.
20 Assignable presets. Makes gig setup a breeze.

Con's
My biggest con for this device is it's installation process. At times the device (for one reason or another) wouldn't be detected by the DAW and the only way to get it to work was to uninstall and then reinstall all of the drivers and firmware. A process that really needs to be revisited by the manufacture because it is inefficient. Although Nektar does provide adequate tutorials on how to install the device, still, the complexity of the install is a bit overwhelming. However, your frustration level is relative to the type of person you are. If elongated process' are not your forte, you'll be definitely putting yourself up to a challenge of patience.