Well-known music production gear maker Nektar is expanding its lineup of MIDI keyboards today with the new Impact GXP 49 and 61-key models. Now joining the Nektar Impact GXP88 model, the latest releases from the brand include some higher-end features in a mid-tier price range including semi-weighted keys with aftertouch, deep DAW control, and a real-time note repeat engine, among other things. Mac and PC content creators will want to head below for a closer look.
Nektar Impact GXP 49 and 61-key controllers
Much like the larger 88-key model, the new Impact GXP 49 and 61-key models feature semi-weighted keys to provide that “real piano” feel as well as aftertouch and velocity sensitivity. Nektar makes a point of mentioning that these are full-sized keys as well, not those thinner keyboard- or synth-sized options that can be tough for some people to get their fingers on. All GXP controllers can be powered via USB or an optional external power supply, and along the back, you’ll find a MIDI out jack and I/O for an expression pedal and two other foot switch pedals.
From there, you can expect some nice performance-based features for controlling your software instruments including a “real-time Key Repeat engine” for “creating inspiring rhythmic elements.” There are on-board physical buttons for parameters like “Tempo, Repeat Rate, Accent, Interval, Swing and routing aftertouch or modulation to velocity” as well.
Nektar has always been known for creating MIDI controllers with deep DAW control — hardware buttons to control your music production software — and the new Impact GXP models are no exception. That includes things like “extended transport control, track selection, volume control, project navigation” and even the ability to open or close DAW windows. There are a total of 14 assignable and illuminated RGB buttons for direct MIDI program- and bank selection.
Direct Access and DAW control: The stream-lined panel with LED buttons provides direct access to key functions, the real-time note repeat engine and DAW integration with extended transport control, project navigation and more. The 14 assignable buttons are automatically assigned when using Nektar DAW integration, but can also be user-configured for control of any MIDI-controllable software. When used with the included Nektarine software, plugins and patches can be loaded directly from GXP, including the ability to create multipatches from up to 16 virtual instruments with virtual masterkeyboard features like layers and splits.
Pricing is as follows, and everything comes with a complete starter pack including the Retrologue 2 virtual analog synthesizer, Halion Sonic SE, Groove Agent SE, 23 audio effects, and 5 GB of sounds and loops.
Nektar has long been a solid option for music makers or anyone looking to dabble with software instrument control. Solid weighted keys and some interesting performance controls highlight this release, but the Impact GXP controllers also include Nektar’s Nektarine software — a standalone app or plug-in that provides direct physical control over up to 16 plug-ins hosted in your DAW. So not only are we getting transport controls and the like, but also physical control over your favorite virtual gear with support for keyboard zones, layers, and splits:
All plugin settings and combinations can be saved in a single Multi-patch for recall at the touch of a button. Nektarine is included with Impact GXP and runs as a stand-alone application or as a VST, AU or AAX plugin inside any compatible DAW on PC or Mac
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