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Korg is well on its way to being the world leader in affordable music gear. With the great Volca range of synths, all the way to the their diminutive nano series MIDI controllers, there’s something for everyone. Obviously, they’ve got some serious competition from the likes of Akai and Novation, but that’s something they hope to address with their latest offering in the nano series: the nanoKONTROL and nanoKEY wireless MIDI controllers.

Like their predecessors, the new 2016 models are highly portable and USB powered, but now feature wireless connectivity for travelling producers and DJs. There’s also better support for iOS apps if you’re not into ‘that desktop lark’.

Nerd-out on the nanoKONTROL press release for more info:

KORG nanoKONTROL Studio MOBILE MIDI CONTROLLER

The perfect size for intuitively controlling your music. A physical MIDI controller that you can use via USB or MIDI.

The nanoKONTROL Studio provides transport keys and a mixer section, giving you stress-free control of your DAW or DJ software. It is battery operated and can connect wirelessly with your iPhone/iPad or Mac/Windows. It’s a light- weight, compact mobile MIDI controller that lets you create music more intuitively than ever.

A compact physical MIDI controller that’s ideal for mobile or desktop uses.

Smaller than a letter-sized sheet of paper, the nanoKONTROL Studio is designed for thinness. It’s the perfect size to easily carry in a bag and use with your computer. In spite of its compact size, its controllers provide generous power and a solid feel, making it a convenient and versatile MIDI controller.

USB and wireless for more music production freedom.

The nanoKONTROL Studio can connect not only via USB but also wirelessly. It can easily connect to iPad/iPhone music apps such as KORG Gadget and Apple GarageBand, or to your Mac/Windows music production software. Freed from annoying cables, you can set up your equipment easily and efficiently. Due to careful tuning, you can enjoy low latency and high stability.

Refined and stylish design

The simple, refined, and stylish design features illumination with beautiful white LEDs. The design has been modernized to use alongside new devices such as your laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

A full array of controllers that cover everything from DAW control to DJ performance.

You have the all controllers you need to operate your DAW: sliders that feature generous spacing and stroke, plus a convenient jog wheel. Whether you’re controlling your DAW and plug-ins, or putting on a performance, the nanoKONTROL Studio provides everything you need in any situation.

Supported software

The nanoKONTROL is compatible with any software that supports MIDI input, including KORG Gadget, Logic, GarageBand, Live, Reason, Cubase, Studio One, FL Studio, Sonar, Pro Tools, Digital Performer, and Traktor.

A lavish bundle of powerful music software is included free of charge.

The nanoKONTROL Studio comes with the incredible “KORG Software Bundle” that lets you start enjoying popular music software right away. Whether you’re on mobile or laptop, you can start creating music as soon as you purchase this unit.

The sounds and functionality of “iPad / iPhone apps” can be expanded by connecting them to a nano Studio series unit.

Apps for iPad/iPhone

KORG Gadget Le for iPhone (music production studio DAW app) KORG Gadget Le for iPad (music production studio DAW app) KORG Module Le for iPad (piano/keyboard sound module app) KORG Module Le for iPhone (piano/keyboard sound module app)

Software for Mac/Windows

  • KORG Legacy Collection – M1 Le (synthesizer sound module) with a special upgrade pass to the KORG Legacy Collection – Special Bundle UVI Digital Synsations (synthesizer sound module)
  • AAS Ultra Analog Session (synthesizer sound module)
  • AAS Strum Acoustic Session (acoustic guitar sound module)
  • AAS Lounge Lizard Session (electric piano sound module) Propellerhead Reason Limited (DAW music production software) Ableton Live $50 discount coupon (DAW music production software)

For details and downloads of the KORG Software Bundle, click here: (http://www.korg.com/bundle)

Customize using dedicated “KORG KONTROL Editor” software.

We provide “KORG KONTROL Editor” software that lets you freely customize the settings of the nanoKONTROL Studio. You can specify the MIDI messages that are assigned to the sliders, knobs, and buttons, customizing the unit in detail to suit your needs.

Control Surface plug-in” provided for GarageBand/Logic users.

We also provide a plug-in for using nanoKONTROL Studio with Apple GarageBand/Logic Pro X. Simply install this plug- in and connect it to the nanoKONTROL Studio.

Operating requirements – Wireless Connection:

iOS: iPad/iPhone that Supports Bluetooth 4.0, and has iOS8 or later installed Models: iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5, iPhone 4S, iPad Pro, iPad Air 2, iPad Air, iPad fourth generation, iPad Third generation, iPad mini 4iPad mini 3, iPad mini 2, iPad mini, iPod touch sixth generation, iPod touch fifth generation

Mac: Mac that supports Bluetooth 4.0 or later, and has OS X10.10 Yosemite or later installed

Models: MacBook (Early 2015 or later) MacBook Air (Mid 2011 or later) MacBook Pro (Mid 2012 or later) Mac mini (Mid 2011 or later) iMac (Late 2012 or later) Mac Pro (Late 2013 or later)

Windows: Operating system: Windows 8.1 or later (32-bit/64-bit) [KORG BLE-MIDI Driver is required] Supported devices: A computer that is running Windows 8.1 or later, and is equipped with Bluetooth 4.0

Price RRP: £108.00 ex VAT / £129.60 inc VAT Availability: April 2016

My thoughts

I bought a first generation nanoKONTROL (the white one) way back when they first came out, to use as extra surface with Ableton and Traktor, and was thoroughly impressed with what you got for the money. I lent the controller to a friend which turned into a long-term loan, but it went to a good home and left me with a great view of the nano series. They’re so portable and versatile.

My first thought when looking through the press kit was “LOL so fake who’d use a new MacBook for Ableton production?”, then I noticed that the unit can be completely wireless, and is designed to work with pretty much everything. Like touch screens, I’m not 100% sold on the idea of trusting a wireless connection for DJing, but I can understand how it would be handy for producing on-the-go. The new nano series also lets you use good old USB to connect, so you’ll have piece of mind.

Both units are a bit more expensive than previous models (well, more than double, technically), but you get a lot more bang for your buck. If the build quality is anything like the previous ones, they won’t be the most solidly built, but the portability will more than make up for it. Hopefully we will get one in for review soon!

Your thoughts

Can you see the Korg nanoKONTROL or nanoKEY fitting into your setup? How do you feel about adding something wireless?

The new Korg nanoKONTROL and nanoKEY will be out in April 2016 for around £130 each.


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