This one's the cheapest of the nano series from Korg and some say it shows, by that I mean the keys are essentially extended covered computer keys from like a laptop keyboard. So lets get that straight , yes it is a little wibbly and plasticky feeliing, but it does have velocity sensitivity. I mean, no one was expecting a mini KX88 or something were they?
It's a bus powered device, with a mini USB connector and supplied mini to big lead. The fact that it takes very little current (100 mA or less), so you can drive it off a battery powered laptop or a passive USB hub with the other nanos attached if you wish. It's a two octave affair with +/- octave switches to give you access over the entire MIDI range - the switches have colour coded LED's to show how many octaves you are away from the middle.
Bits On The Side
Additional buttons are a modulation switch - set to transmit modulation in momentary mode,, you can change this to toggle as well as the controller number and value in the editor. Lastly is the CC mode - this turns each of the 24 keys into MIDI control tansmission switches with each controller, max and minimum values assignable again via the editor. I'm sure some bright spark will come up with imaginative uses for this mode, but I was a not one of them.
And thats it. In use I found it to be pretty good for triggering drum sounds, and mono lines, throwing down ideas and the like, but chords were a bit hit and miss due to the fact that it's not a real keyboard. It'll do though, and it certainly beats using the Querty keyboard like you can in Logic 8 if your stuck. That and the fact that this will slip into a bag almost unnoticed to give a workable keyboard device really deserves some kudos.
With the slightly lower pricing of the nanoKEY, Korg have pretty much pitched this about right. It's really useful tool for when the real thing isn't to hand. I would questions the CC mode in favour of some program change capabilities, but on the whole I like it for what it is.
Available now at $49.99, â‚¬49 or about Â£35 notes.