Well in at least one of two updates that I’m going to post from the Mid-West Clinic this year, I ran into our good friends Dr. James Frankel and Brad Smith at the SoundTree both and they introduced me to the Korg Nano series of USB Midi devices. Wow, was I impressed. So much so that I bought the entire bundle on the spot which consists of three USB MIDI controller products and a USB hub. I am going to include a couple of brief descriptions about each of the devices and some info from www.korg.com about them as well.
The products are the Korg Nanokey:
When Korg set out to build a slim-line MIDI controller keyboard, they utilized their years of experience in manufacturing innovative MIDI keyboards to create a great-feeling, velocity sensitive keyboard based off a laptop keyboard. The resulting 25-note keyboard on the nanoKEY will transmit your playing dynamics to your software accurately and expressively. In CC (Control Change) MODE, the keys become MIDI controllers, allowing you to control any MIDI assignable parameters within your software.
The Octave Shift function offers immediate access to the entire MIDI note range. Pitch and modulation buttons are also provided, giving your performances the kind of expression that you would expect from any controller regardless of its size.
This is an incredible keyboard controller that will fit anyone’s budget and has advanced functions and keys that make this quite possibly the best compact controller in this class.
The Korg NanoPad:
When Korg set out to make a drum pad controller, they did their homework – with unique features and exceptionally responsive pads, the resulting padKONTROL became and remains one of the most highly sought-after pad controllers on the market. Enter the nanoPAD, offering 12 excellent feeling and highly responsive pads in a new, smaller footprint. In addition, a new Chord Trigger function lets you enter chords onto a single pad, helping you to make the most of the work surface as you create. The pads are also able to transmit control change messages, making this a great interface for soloing or muting mixer tracks, turning objects on and off, or triggering clips during your live performances.
NanoPAD’s X-Y pad offers ‘Roll’ and ‘Flam’ modes, to help you lay down ultra-realistic drum grooves. The X-Y pad will also send MIDI CC (Control Change), making it a go-to interface for any parameter within your software that requires full range MIDI control such as pitch, cutoff, volume and beyond.
What an incredible controller for progams like Sequel, Producer, Session, and Garageband…
The Korg NanoKontrol:
The nanoKONTROL features a plethora of controllers to help you get the most control out of your software for the size and money. nanoKONTROL offers nine faders, nine knobs, 18 switches and a full transport section. For each of the four programmable scenes the nanoKONTROL offers, you can set the controllers any way you need them. That means that you can transmit a total of 168 different MIDI CC (Control Change) messages, as well as MIDI notes with the switches. The six transport buttons can each transmit either MIDI CC messages or MMC messages to control functions such as: start, stop, loop, or record on your DAW software.
Imagine taking full control of your software – transport, a full track’s worth of faders, pans and mutes – or how about precise dedicated control over the many parameters of software synths, samplers or virtual drum machines. It’s all possible with the nanoKONTROL.
To add to the nanoKONTROL’s flexibility, an attack and decay time can be specified for the eighteen switches. This allows you to smoothly feed controller messages into parameters such as wet/dry levels for an effect, a filter for a synth, or a volume fader for that perfect fade.
This is a must have (especially for the price) for anyone that does multi audio-editing and/or sequencing.
These products can all be had in a bundle that include coupons for free downloadablesoftware that and all at a price of well under $200.00 and or course, it will work with almost all off the software that have MIDI abilities (and many of the freeware/open-source talked about here at MusTech.net!). SoundTree has put together a great bundle that includes a FREE USB hub so that the devices can be used simultaneously and provide enough ports for all of them. for $169.00 US. You can find this bundle here:
Dr. Frankel, Korg, and SoundTree got it right with this hardware package…talk about usefulness, portability, and powerful capability! I encourage you all to take a look at these Nano products and determine for yourselves how these can be incorporated into your schools and projects.
More great news from the clinic in my next post! I’ve been talking with the folks from Naxos and there are some exciting things coming up with them as well!
Joseph M. Pisano, Ph.D., is an industry innovator, educator, clinician and lecturer, trumpeter and conductor, and the creator of many music and education websites. He is currently the Vice President of Innovation and Engagement at Keystone Ridge Designs, Inc. After twenty-three years as a professor and administrator in higher education, he made the move into industry in 2018.
As one of the youngest full professors in Grove City’s history, he served in many capacities during his tenure including Professor of music, Director of Music and Fine Arts Technology, Technical Director of the Pew Fine Arts Center, Associate/Assistant Chair of Music and Fine Arts, Director of Jazz Studies.
He finished his tenure at the college as the Director of Bands, where he directed the college’s Symphonic Concert Band, Wind Ensemble, Marching Band, Pep Band, and various smaller ensembles. He continues to guest direct bands, consult with music programs, and adjudicate ensembles and programs today.
He has been named a TI:ME Teacher of the Year, received the JEN Jazz Educator Award, the PA Citation of Excellence, and named a “member for life” of the PA Intercollegiate Bandmasters Association. He is a past Vice President of the Technology Institute for Music Educators, an associate member of the American Bandmasters Association, a past President of the PA Intercollegiate Bandmasters Association, and a member of various education and music honoraries.
He has written for numerous publications including DCI Magazine, Teaching Music Magazine, SBO, and was the Educational Editor for In-Tune Monthly Magazine for eight years; he has contributed hundreds of articles to various publications.
He is an active conductor, trumpeter, clinician, and educator. Find out more at his website: jpisano.com.