We've had a few visits from the guys at Nektar showing their highly regarded Panaorama P1 controller, which utilises Nektar's direct parameter mapping - eseentially adding dedicated DAW and plug-in control. Rather than use wrappers, they but the work in and map controls into the driver so you don't have to think about it, it generally just works.
Today, Nektar announce the release of the Impact 49+ range which is an update to their budget controller, but which also has the same dedicated,Mixer, Instrument and DAW control as well as direct patch changes from the keyboard. They've taken things a step further though and added new dynamic 4-colour pads, more dynamic control from the keybed, especially at lower velocities. Additionally, the Impact 49+ and 61+ have Direct Synthesis Parameters - they've added parameter names to the 8 knobs, and 2x ADSR (for 8 faders) which they've mapped to common synthesis parameters for virtual instruments.
Whats more, the price seems reasonable (all come with Bitwig 8 Track):
Impact LX49+: $199.99/Euro 179.99/GBP139.99
Impact LX61+: $299.99/Euro 199.99/GBP169.99
We take a look at two new boxes from 1010Music
Kontakt based hybrid library combines instruments with synths