Mobile Music Production Just Got Better With The nanoSERIES2 Line Of MIDI Controllers [Review] | Cult of Mac

Mobile Music Production Just Got Better With The nanoSERIES2 Line Of MIDI Controllers [Review]

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Korg has consistently produced quality MIDI controllers and the nanoSERIES2 product line is no exception. Be ready to be impressed with the newest addition to the Korg family.
Korg has consistently produced quality MIDI controllers and the nanoSERIES2 product line is no exception. Be ready to be impressed with the newest addition to the Korg family.

Korg debuted the nanoSERIES2 line following the success of its predecessor, the nanoSERIES line. The lineup consists of the nanoKONTROL2, the nanoKEY2 and the nanoPAD2. As a trio, they offer a truly flexible experience for musicians in the studio and on the go. The only thing you sacrifice with this slim-line MIDI controller series is the bulk and weight of traditional MIDI controllers. Korg and its educational arm, Soundtree, were generous enough to provide test units of the nanoSERIES2 line.


As the name suggests, the nano products are quite small and easily fit into a backpack that holds your mobile recording rig. In fact, all three controllers would easily fit in your bag without being noticed. This is pretty revolutionary considering the functionality and build quality of these stellar pieces of hardware. Each piece of hardware provides a distinct set of skills. The nanoKONTROL2 is a dedicated control surface that interfaces quite nicely with digital audio workstations, such as Logic Pro. The nanoKEY2 acts as a small 25-key, velocity sensitive MIDI controller. The nanoPAD2 is a 16-key, programmable drum interface with an impressive X-Y touchpad. All of these devices are powered through the USB bus. Conveniently, all that is needed is a mini-USB cable.

Each piece of hardware on its own stands out as an admirable MIDI controller, but Korg designed this series to complement the microKEY MIDI controller. The microKEY has a built-in USB hub that allows you to connect two separate devices. The nanoSERIES2 product line will work seamlessly with the microKEY and is also compatible with digital audio workstations on the iPad without the need for an external power source. All that is needed is the iPad camera connection kit. Here are the specifications for each product:

nanoKEY2

  • 25-key with velocity and 4 velocity curves
  • Pitch up/down buttons
  • Octave Shift up/down buttons with -4 to +4 octave range
  • Modulation button
  • Sustain button
  • mini-USB
  • USB bus power: less than 100 mA
  • Size (W x D x H) 12.80 x 3.27 x 0.65 inches
  • Weight: 0.54 lbs.

nanoPAD2

  • 16 trigger pads with velocity and 4 velocity curves
  • X-Y pad
  • HOLD button
  • GATE ARP button
  • TOUCH SCALE button
  • KEY/RANGE button
  • SCALE/ARP button
  • SCENE button
  • Memory: 4 user scene memories
  • mini-USB
  • USB bus power: less than 100 mA
  • Size (W x D x H) 12.80 x 3.27 x 0.65 inches

nanoKONTROL2

  • 8 knobs
  • 8 sliders
  • 24 buttons
  • Transport buttons: REW/FF/STOP/PLAY/REC
  • CYCLE button
  • MARKER button
  • TRACK button
  • Compatible DAWs: Avid Pro Tools/Apple Logic, GarageBand/MOTU Digital Performer/Steinberg Cubase/Ableton Live/Cakewalk
  • mini-USB
  • Size (W x D x H): 12.80 x 3.27 x 1.18 inches
  • Weight: 0.65 lbs.

The hard question: why would you want these, considering there are a plethora of MIDI controllers on the market? The answer is simple. They are extremely well built and the price is right. The trio is sold à la carte – the nanoKEY2 retails for $49.99 and both the nanoKONTROL2 and the nanoPAD2 retail for $59.99 each. With the units priced to move, it’s hard not to pick them up. They even come in two colors, black and white, to match any hardware that you currently have. Any of these pieces of hardware would make a fantastic addition to the toolkit of the mobile musician.