Gear of the Year 2016 – The Best Controllers

And so it begins again, our daily look at the winners of this years coveted MusicTech Gear of the Year awards. Each day for the next 12 days we’re going to be focusing on specific categories and highlighting the reasons why both our winners and highly commended products received their respective accolades. First up we’re […]

And so it begins again, our daily look at the winners of this years coveted MusicTech Gear of the Year awards. Each day for the next 12 days we’re going to be focusing on specific categories and highlighting the reasons why both our winners and highly commended products received their respective accolades. First up we’re going to be taking a look at our highly commended controller and, what you have deemed, the very best of the controllers of 2016…

Highly Commended Controller – Nektar Panorama P4

Best controllers - nektar panorama p4

Details
Price P4: £325, P6: £399
Contact Nektar 01908 904199
Web www.nektartech.com

With loads of controls (including pads), a great keyboard and a fantastic screen, the Nektar Panorama has it all when it comes to control – even a 100mm motorised fader to add a touch of class. It’s especially suited to Bitwig, Cubase, Nuendo, Logic Pro, Reaper and Reason as it ties the keyboard and DAW together, so all you have to do is select the mode and it does the rest.

Winner – Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S88

best controllers - native instruments komplete kontrol

Details
Price £729
Contact Native Instruments – 0207 9207500
Web www.native-instruments.com

There’s a song that goes: ‘Everyone needs a good controller’. Okay, maybe there isn’t; maybe we’re just a little too close to the gear here at MusicTech…

Anyway, Native Instruments pretty much redefined the keyboard controller with Komplete Kontrol, a high-quality keyboard range that oozes class… and colours. It pretty much allows you to use your computer screen less, and in doing so, concentrate more on actual music production – which to our eyes and ears is ‘a great thing’.

The range uses high-quality OLED screens to adapt to the parameter you’re controlling and the keys actually change colour when you use the hardware in conjunction with NI’s Komplete Ultimate suite of software.

S88 is the latest hardware keyboard and is a monster to behold when fully lit up and ready to go. We think it’s actually a tad expensive and (whisper) the 61 is a better buy, but you voted in your droves for this one and who are we to argue?

Reviewer Andy Jones said: “Within Komplete Kontrol you get access to all of your Komplete instruments (and now other plug-ins) and you can select sounds via the instrument title and then focus on preset type and select that way. The beauty is that all of this can be done via the hardware controls, so you can be away from the computer screen and more focused on your playing and recording. The addition of the NKS technology standard and the Komplete Select software suite makes the NI KK series an even more outstanding buy.”

Check back tomorrow for the winners of the next category