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For the price you really can't go wrong. Keys are really soft / easy to push, different feel to a keyboard but you know this already. I find it pretty useful for drums also. I'm a learner, and this was a great no brainer purchase for me.
Great Product I bought to use with Reaper running on Windows 10. However it does need setting up and there's conflicting advice on the web of doing this for Reaper. After following these instructions it worked perfectly:
All you have to do before connecting the nanoKONTROL 2 to your computer is hold down the SET MARKER button along with the main RECORD button, and then plug in your USB cable. This will load the template for Cakewalk Sonar. You’ll notice the record button blinks a few times after it’s connected, to let you know you’re in Sonar mode. Although that template is designed for Cakewalk Sonar, it works perfectly for Reaper, if you set Reaper correctly:
1. Start Reaper of course… and then go to Reaper’s PREFERENCES (CTRL-P), go into Control Surfaces (left menu, near the bottom).
2. Click ADD and Reaper will ask you what kind of Control Surface Mode…. choose “Mackie Control Universal.”
3. Then choose your MIDI input and output to be “nanoKONTROL2”. Done.
Now, once you’ve exited Preferences, you’ll see that the nanoKONTROL2’s buttons respond perfectly in Reaper… all mute/solo/arm record buttons work for every track, the faders work for the track volumes, and the knobs work for the track panning. You’ll also notice the transport controls (RECORD, PLAY, STOP, REWIND, FF) all work in Reaper as well, and of course.. the SET MARKER and marker left/marker right buttons all work, too.
If you have more than 8 tracks loaded (say, 16, or 24), you can use the TRACK < > buttons to navigate your track groups
When I first got this in July 2020 I was struggling to get it to work fully in Logic Pro X. I saw on the Korg site that it only worked up to a version of LPX that was several years old! I was about to give up when I spotted that Korg had just, after 5 years, updated their software and, presto!, it seems to work now! I'm still fiddling with it but at least it makes sense now.
As a unit it seems well built and solid. If anything, I'd say the buttons were a little too firm but at least it means you're not likely to accidentally press record on a track you don't mean to!
The software that comes with it is quite an impressive list, better than the stuff that usually comes with these things and probably worth the cost of the unit alone!
For the price, this works great as a MIDI expression controller - e.g. to add a bit of life into VSTi performances. The bad news: the faders are a bit small - could be fiddly if you have big hands / fingers. But: other than that, its all good news. Because the unit is small and low-profile, its easy to place in a comfy location. I used the freely available Korg Kontrol Editor software to set which MIDI CC controllers are assigned to each fader and also set the buttons to switch between articulations. Great controller unit at a great price!
This is a great little keyboard. I hoped that it would be set up in Windows 7 without drivers needing installing (as a USB composite device) but the Korg software needed installing before my DAW (Reaper) would recognise it.
After that it was just a case of letting the DAW know what it was and I was entering MIDI note data into the program literally in minutes. It's obviously nowhere near as lush as a proper controller keyboard, and there's no niceties like aftertouch available, although there is rudimentary velocity sensing, and the small keybed needs careful playing if you're after any kind of subtlety or nuance - but it does try.
For me, its a way of entering melodies into the DAW as a kind of MIDI notepad, and it does a grand job of that. It's small enough to slot into your laptop case, probably along with the other Korg nano controllers.
So long as you're not expecting to emulate Chopin using this keyboard you'll not be dissappointed. It will be pretty good for entering basic synth elements into club music and electronica - it just won't offer you the expressive capabilities that aftertouch can provide. If you're good with that limitation and need a go-anywhere keybord this is certainly worth a look.
Korg also offer a download code for various software components to get you going, together with introductory versions of DAWs like Ableton Live Lite. This bundle isn't quite as good as the one I received with a NanoPad a year or two ago. If you buy this you might want to check what the bundle presently is. It's possible that Korg changes it from time to time, or perhaps there's a different bundle depending on whether you buy the NanoKey, NanoPad or NanoController.
I already have a Samson Graphite full-function controller keyboard, and also use a Yamaha digital grand piano (88-key) for playing, but realised I have a need for something that is as portable as possible for a mobile setup. This is that keyboard - basic, useable, sometimes even fun!
I ordered both the NanoKey2 and the Akai LPK25, being in doubt of which was better for my purpose, and I've ended up almost only using the NanoKey2. It has a much better velocity response compared to the LPK25, and the mod-button is a very handy thing to have available. If you buy the NanoKey2 you should NOT expect the real piano-feel. It takes a few minutes getting used to the feeling, but in the end it's a really nice controller for playing melodies etc. It is easier to play soft melodies (velocity-wise) on the NanoKey2 than the LPK25, which is one of the bigger pros in favor of the Korg controller :)
This MIDI keyboard sits perfectly in front of my MacBook Pro and I regularly use it with various DAWs; mainly Bitwig Studio and GarageBand. The device gets recognised as soon as it’s plugged into a USB port. This also comes with free software downloadable from Korg’s website; there’s also quite a selection you can buy. The NanoKEY2’s size is its strong point, but be aware that the 25 keys themselves take some getting used to, as they’re so small.
If you need a small midi keyboard just to make sure you're choosing the right notes then this is it. I use it with my laptop and my music sequencing program installed and spend many hours writing the next number 1 :) Because it's so small you can take this anywhere with you and as it connects by USB there's no problem in powering it and getting it to work.
It's an essential bit of kit for the travelling musician, 5 stars