Nektar has now unveiled a pair of new affordable MIDI keyboard controllers. The new SE line is aimed at entry-level music producers while still providing more than enough controls to keep things interesting for years to come. Ready for your Mac or mobile setups right out of the box, Nektar’s latest are some of the most accessible and budget-friendly MIDI keyboards on the market right now. Head below for everything.
New affordable MIDI keyboard controllers from Nektar
These new keyboard controllers from Nektar come in the form of the SE25 and SE49. Both of which feature basic DAW controls, USB connectivity and power. You’ll also find compatibility with just about all major recording software. That includes Logic, Cubase, Reason, Bitwig, Studio One and many more. However, you will need the Apple Camera Kit (or something like it) to connect with iOS gear.
Nektar SE25 MIDI Keyboard Controller:
First, let’s take a closer look at the mobile-friendly and completely portable Nektar SE25. As the name suggests, it has 25 velocity-sensitive mini keys. Weighing in at just 400 grams, it is roughly the same width as your 13-inch laptop and is bus-powered. The new keyboard controller has 6 controls for octave switching, pitch bend, sustain control and more. Two of which are user assignable. It also features a “Part Two” function to extend the bespoke nature of the setup. You can “change to a second MIDI-channel, layer a sound on top or shift octave and transpose at the touch of one button.”
Nektar SE49 MIDI Keyboard Controller:
While the larger SE49 is the more expensive of the new affordable MIDI keyboard controllers, it is still quite accessible. It features just about everything its little brother carries and much more. Along with its black and red multi-colored housing, it has 49 velocity-sensitive full-size keys, dedicated pitch bend/modulation wheels and a foot switch input. An additional 4 buttons and a 30 mm fader allows for direct access to other controls as well as integration with Nektar DAW control.
Pricing and Availability:
The new Nektar SE25 is listed at $49.99 and the larger SE49 model carries a $69.99 MSRP. Neither model seems to have made its way to Amazon just yet (outside of this bloated $100 listing), but B&H is already offering both the SE49 and SE25.
When it comes to your basic MIDI controller, making an informed decision can be tough. Not because each option has different features, but more because they don’t. Most MIDI keyboards feature the same set of features (for the most part) and so it will generally come down to price and build quality. While we haven’t gone hands on with the SE models, previous generation Nektar options are quite robust feeling. They might not be as much of a tank as the Akai MPK-series, for example, but these new models are also a fraction of the price. The new affordable MIDI keyboard controllers from Nektar should certainly be considered among the best MIDI keyboard controllers out there on a budget. And having said that, more times than not, a basic USB-compliant MIDI keyboard is more than enough for even seasoned vets.
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