September 4, 2013

Nektar Panorama P1 Demo

A company called Nektar made some headlines a while back when they announced that they were developing a controller that was made specifically for integration with Reason. In the time that has passed since then, the Panorama series has seen a few iterations of the device, including the P4, which we made an overview video and demo for. More recently, Nektar announced the Panorama P1, a slimmed down version of the keyboard controllers that removes the keybed in favor of a compact solution. I was personally very excited to see it released, as I have more than enough sets of keys around the house, and really enjoyed their controls for use with Reason. Updated and perfectly suited for working with the updated Reason 7, the P1 is a dream to work with. The controls feel more conveniently placed, and I discovered along the way that the P1 quickly becomes a great way to work for those of us who enjoy driving our Reason modules from Ableton Live via ReWire.

That’s what you’ll see in this video, in fact. I decided that while it is easy enough to show off some quick effects tweaks and filter sweeps, the power of the P1 was best displayed when tweaking the Reason Synths themselves. In addition to making the experience of creating with Reason’s devices a more tactile ¬†experience, playing with Reason like this shows off just what great little software synths they really are. What you are seeing in the video is Ableton being run as the sequencer, with all audio from Reason being summed in the Ableton mixer, after being direct output from mix channels inside Reason 7. All the sequencing was done using Ableton Push, and the scenes were also triggered via Push on playback. I kept effects pretty simple, using the Audiomatic Retro Transformer, some delays and reverbs and compressors here and there, but really focusing on the devices and envelopes. The synth sounds were built from scratch using Subtractor, M√§lstrom and Thor. The kick and snare drums were built using the Dr. OctoRex device to pull sounds from one of the standard rock kit but give them a suitably chopped and gated feel/sound. The remaining overhead percussion was created using a handful of sounds from ReDrum.

We’ve got an overview of the P1 coming out behind this demo, but if you just can’t wait for more info about the Panorama control system for Reason and Cubase, check out our overview of the Panorama P4. Otherwise, I’ll see you then!