The keyboards play nicely with most leading DAWs but also come bundled with a copy of Bitwig 8-Track
California-based Nektar Technology Inc has introduced two new models to its Impact range of USB MIDI controller keyboards.
The Impact GX49 and Impact GX61 keyboards have, as the more sleuth-like among you may have guessed, 49 and 61 keys respectively. Both feature a modulation wheel, pitch bend wheel, coloured octave-shift buttons that let you shift the keyboard range up by four octaves or down by three, and a 1/4-inch jack socket to connect a foot pedal. Other features include an assignable potentiometer, which by default controls mixer volume but can be assigned to control any MIDI parameter, and transport and other basic DAW controls (such as Track Select and Loop On/Off) right on the keyboard.
Seven of these latter eight buttons can also be reassigned to MIDI messages of your choice, should your DAW not support Nektar's DAW integration function. Though with support built-in for GarageBand, Logic Pro, Sonar, Reaper, FL Studio, Presonus Studio One, Reason, Cubase and Nuendo that shouldn't be a problem for most! The keyboards also work with entry-level DAW Bitwig 8-Track, a copy of which comes bundled with them.
The keyboards will work with any USB device that features a class-compliant MIDI driver. That includes all Macs running OS X 10.5 or above and all Windows machines running XP or better, though if you want to use the keyboards with an iPad you'll need the optional USB camera connection kit.
The two keyboards weigh 2.2kg and 2.7kg respectively, and will be available from the end of May, priced £74.99 for the GX49 and £82.99 for the GX61. For more info, see Nektartech.com