MacDirectory Magazine

Jerad Marantz

MacDirectory magazine is the premiere creative lifestyle magazine for Apple enthusiasts featuring interviews, in-depth tech reviews, Apple news, insights, latest Apple patents, apps, market analysis, entertainment and more.

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Page 59 of 119

You’ll need to register the keyboard with Nektar to download the Logic integration software as well as any firmware updates. This makes the LX Mini a wonderful playmate for Apple’s DAW and makes the keyboard’s features easily accessible, even if you’re somewhat of a MIDI rookie. There are some nice touches in the setup that Nektar has added as well. For example, the pad controls can be linked to specific markers for jumping around in the score. The keyboard also uses an auto-takeover method where the position of the hardware knobs do not immediately remap what is already set in software, avoiding some nasty surprises. You need to rotate the keyboard knob through its range to sync it up with the software. Finally, you can activate Logic’s Learn function just as easily from the keyboard as you can from the software. Turning a New Page A feature it shares with other DAWs is its ability to double-up on its functionality with what Nektar calls its Part 2 functionality. They can change the nature of the keyboard with a keypress. Part 2 can be programmed to shift the notes up to three octaves, swap MIDI channels for a sound, transpose notes up or down by up to 11 steps and even layer on top of sounds from the base setu. Like other primary setup controls, the Part 2 programming is done with the keyboard keys. What we like most about the Impact LX Mini is its overall layout and design. Unlike many of the popular brands, Nektar didn’t deem it necessary to cram all the controls into a panel that is the width of the keyboard. The three inches or so added left of the keys gives the device some comfortable breathing room and allows for a much more intuitive layout. In that bank are your most critical controls for transport, octave, volume and the pitch/bend joystick. The Nektar Impact LX Mini was something of a latecomer to this particular market niche. There was already a lot of competition out there from some very big names. But obviously, this gave the company time to take a good hard look at what musicians needed and what the competition wasn’t providing. What they produced is a quality device with obviously superior, well-thought-out design, and even a price that competes favorably with the big brands, $119.99, including a copy of Bitwig Studio 8-Track, if you’re not ready to jump into Logic Pro. For a compact keyboard, the Impact LX Mini appeals to us as just the right combination of value, design, and quality to make it a true standout. Without hesitation, we say that Nektar definitely hit the sweet spot with this one. For more information, visit:

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