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What the SE25 obviously lacks are the traditional modulation and pitch-bend wheels. The default function of two of the buttons on the keyboard will bend the pitch up or down a set amount. Another button will provide sustain. This can be reprogrammed as a modulation control. In spite of its small size and light weight, the SE25 is solidly built. The velocity-sensitive keys provide a firm, synthesizer-style feel and nice sensitivity. We tested the keyboard out with Logic Pro X using the SE25’s DAW integration software. However, if you’re not ready to move to a high-priced software solution, the keyboard includes a license for the BITWIG 8-TRACK DAW, with over fifty effects and instruments. If you want more than 25 keys and toting a keyboard around in a backpack isn’t a priority for you (or if you have an extraordinarily deep one), you may want to opt for the SE49, just $20 more ($69.99). Along with the extra keys, you’ll get pitch and modulation wheels, a 30mm fader control and a 1/4” jack for a MIDI foot pedal. Plug the SE25 into an iPad with Apple’s Camera Adapter, and you have a great MIDI keyboard for Garage Band. In fact, given the SE25’s very reasonable price, it’s a great accessory even if you don’t have the motivation to dive into a full-fledged DAW. The Nektar SE25 is an all-to-rare example of an ingeniously designed and engineered technology product at an impulse-buy price. It will let people with music in their soul but not so many dollars in their pocket grow their artistry and expand their skills. It unquestionably exceeded our expectations, and are pretty convinced it will do the same for you. Link: Product Nektar SE25 Made by: Nektar Technology, Inc. Price $49.99 System requirements: macOS 10.7 or higher for DAW integration, iOS via Apple Camera Connection Kit Pros: Compact and sturdy with a lot of features built into very few controls; DAW control from the keyboard; includes DAW software Cons: Documentation is even more compact than the keyboard, making learning your way around a challenge MacDirectory Rating: ★★★★★

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