September 10, 2013

Nektar Panorama P1 Overview

Last week we ran a performance styled demo of the Nektar Panorama P1 in use with Ableton’s Push. This week we are back with an overview of the unit. Overall, we found ourselves in familiar territory with the P1, and think it will meet the needs of a different group of users than the P4 and P6 had done. We didn’t go into detail on the control system as much this time, as we had covered that in our P4 overview. Let us know if you have any questions about the Panorama series. If last week’s performance demo made you wonder about the differences between the more modular P1 and the P6/P6, be sure and take a look at the P4 Demo as well.

To pick up a Nektar Panorma P1 for yourself, head on over to


The Nektar Panorama P1 is the third controller in the Panorama P series. The P series controllers, which were originally designed with Propellerhead’s Reason software in mind, have been further developed to add their integrated system to Cubase. The P1 differs from it’s older siblings, the P4 and P6, in that it abandons the keybed and related controls in favor of becoming a more desktop friendly version.
Browsing presets and grabbing ahold of controls on the fly is, if anything, perhaps even more intuitive with the changes in layout resulting from removing the keybed. Since Reason has opened up their software with the recent addition of a MIDI Out device (as of Version 7,) there’s room for a lot of new keyboards in the Reason studio. When new synths come in, the studio starts shrinking fast, and a minimal footprint is more than welcome. Not only does the P1 minimize the footprint, but for so many users who have already chosen their favorite controllers/synths/etc., the P1 is a much more obvious solution for their studio. To an Ableton user having a mad love affair with Push, but still missing their Reason synths and favorite Cubase modules, the P1 is a no brainer.
My only complaints about the P1 are the same as my original experience with the P4: The finish of the surface is so shiny that it is, by nature, very quick to smudge up with fingerprints. The more I worked with it, the more I found myself wiping it down guiltily with a microfiber cloth. If it wasn’t for my pizza fingers, it would be one of the prettiest desktop devices to grace a studio, but instead I find myself apologizing to it and cleaning it after each use.
Otherwise it is a dream to use, and it is frankly shocking that no one developed the Panorama series sooner. Nektar have done a great job of realizing the Reason user’s dream. The portability and footprint of the P1 will likely see it become the apple of many a Cubase and Reason users’ eye, and it might even lead folks using other platforms to give either of those a second look.
For a more detailed look at the Panorama series, check out our video overview of the P4, to see them in action, watch our demos of the P4 and the P1. For the best price on the P1, Reason 7, Cubase, or the other P Series controllers, come visit us at