Nektar Panorama P6 as a midi controller

Hi
Im looking to change my midi controller to one that integrates well with Cubase with more control on the keyboard itself. Im disappointed with the lack of midi control with my NI KK S49 mk3 and one keyboard that keeps coming up is the Nektar P6. The Cubase integration looks fantastic but im thinking its over 10 years old now and seems bit dated. Does anyone still own one or have any thoughts on whether it is still relevant and decent in the modern age. Would there be a new version of it released ever or has it had updates over the years. ? Any thoughts would be appreciated. Im just a bit fazed by changing to a 10 year old keyboard.
Thanks
Gary

Are you disappointed with the sheer amount of controllers or with how the available controllers work?

The lack of controllers really and integration with non NI software. I thought I would be using NI software more but the opposite has happened and im using either cubase instruments more or third party soffware. I do use Heavyocity instruments but I find even using that in KK is not that great. With 8 knobs there isnt enough to control all the parameters and with endless page scrolling I end up using the mouse on the screen. Would like to control more parameters on the keyboard itself which is why im looking at the P6

I looked at the Nektars last year but couldn’t get a clear answer on whether it still required its own software setup to integrate with Cubsae or not. There’s no presets for it in the MIDI Remote either. They sounded awesome on paper, but I ended up just getting a bigger Launchkey which works out of the box with the MIDI Remote. Had the 25 and barely used it, but went and got the 49 since it had faders, and now I use that thing all the time to control the Mixconsole and the plugin’s Quick Controls. Plus I can record bass lines and then move to a lead track without having to switch around octaves anymore too.

Just had a look at the Novations and they look good. Could be just what I need. The SL 61 mk3 looks good. Does anyone know if the remote scripts can control the majority of parameters in cubase stock instruments ? Or could it control more in depth Cubase controls. More than basic transport or track controls but things like eq parameters ?

Hi, in my script I control all the parameters, separated to banks of 8 (knobs) or 16 (knobs+faders) optionally.

Yes, and to an extent that becomes annoying some times :slight_smile:

I do have a P6 as well, it’s a great controller, it uses its own integration driver, making it suitable for work even with prior to 12 versions of Cubase. It also has out-of-the-box shortcuts functionality.

My advice is that (if you can of course) you visit a store with these controllers (and others) and check for yourself their daw integration AND their keybed action. Internet is fine for getting us plenty of info, but not everyone has the same preferences when it comes to DAW integration and/or keybeds.

2 Likes

I second @m.c’s advice. I also have a Nektar P6, and the main reason for it is that I love the keybed action. It’s what you use to translate your emotions into MIDI notes, so you’ll want something you’ll love playing day in and day out.

1 Like

Thanks for all your help and advice. I think im leaning towards the SL 61 but will give it some more thought. m.c im just working my way through your script post. It looks like you have done an amazing job with this

Thank you. Please, do try to see it in action before deciding. It is very common that we begin with a controller that seemingly covers all our needs, just to end up keeping using the mouse instead :slight_smile: If you ask me, I use my controllers extensively, and I barely use the mouse, but… as said earlier, not everyone has the same expectations and workflow.

1 Like

I have an issue with that myself, but it’s more a ‘stop doing that’ thing I need to get down hahaha. My Launchkey does everything I wanted it to do, basically control the console and whatever plugin is in focus, but I still haven’t broken the decades long habit of grabbing the mouse to do everything!

1 Like

I have a Nektar T6 and have no intention of changing. It integrated perfectly and easily and handled all the functions I needed at the time (4 years ago). Personally, I preferred the keybed feel over any Novation, or any other controller, I tried at the time- haven’t kept up on what’s available now. But I agree with others, that’s something you want to try out yourself. And prices are much lower than when I purchased mine.

Good luck in your hunt and decision.

I have a P4. Its a great midi controller. I used it for about 5 years.
My only Gripe was that the screen is 3". Very Small and not angled correctly. So i bit difficult to use.

i replaced it with an Arturia Keylab 61 MK2. I was much happier with more keys. Unfortunately i had to manually map the Keylab 61 MK2.

Now I Have a NI Kontrol S61 MK3, But I’m Using the Nektar P1 to Control Cubase.
I put the P1 on an Angled Mount so the display is easy to read now.

I own a Panorama P6 and I’m beginning to deep dive into how to best use it.

The DAW integration is are pretty comprehensive. You can change the most common settings for tracks (volume, pan, mute, solo, read, write), modify EQ, add inserts, and possibly manipulate insert settings, activate and manipulate sends. I don’t know if I can unload an effect plugin added to an insert for a track though, but that’s not crucial. You can bypass an effect after its added.

I’m disappointed that the patch change buttons don’t work in Cubase 12 and above though. That’s really important.

The ASCII/QWERTY options you could assign to certain buttons aren’t supported in newer versions of MacOS, but honestly I’m not sure how important those were.

The transport control are really nice.

The thing I’m really trying to understand is VST instrument integration with the Cubase driver, versus the standard MIDI mode (Internal) using MIDI remote configuration in Cubase. I’m not sure which approach works best for me. I’m still evaluating that.

So far I get the impression, in theory, that I could put it into the “Internal” mode so that it acts as a pure “class compliant midi controller”, and allow you to configure all the faders, encoders, and buttons, to send whatever MIDI CC signals you assign to them, and then on the Cubase side use MIDI Remote to configure how those signals are interpreted and used. That alone is pretty impressive because you have:

  • 10 faders (1 high res, 9 lower resolution)
  • 16 encoders (8 above the faders, and 8 to the right of the graphical display)
  • 10 LED buttons (mute, solo, + 8 below faders, configurable as momentary or toggle)
  • 12 pads
  • 11 transport buttons (22 actually when using F-Key button)

I still need to evaluate the DAW integration in “Instrument” mode to see how useful it still is. The “Patch-” and “Patch+” buttons don’t work after Cubase 12 because “Steinberg changed how patch navigation works in Cubase 12”. I’m not sure if it go too complex, or if they just don’t have the priority on updating their DAW integration for current customers that buy the P series devices.

Update 04/14: I was able to setup a script in MIDI Remote for just the “Patch-” and “Patch+” buttons in Cubase 13, associating the MIDI CC signal they send with Key Commands > Preset > Previous/Next. Now that functionality is restored when using “Instrument” mode.