To the right of the central section is a 4x3 grid of velocity sensitive pads.
The most obvious application of these pads is as a control surface for the Kong Drum Designer. However, as Reason users will no doubt quickly spot, the Panorama’s pad grid is four pads short of matching Kong’s 4x4, 16-pad surface.
This is an obvious disappointment, but it’s far from being a fatal flaw for the Panorama. The pads are still of considerable use for auditioning and playing drum patches, and the Learn Note functionality opens up plenty of assignment possibilities.
The Panorama P4 certainly isn’t perfect - along with the pad mismatch mentioned above, the faders feel slightly flimsy (it’s worth noting that the master fader is motorised, but requires a second USB connection to work as such). The overall look of the P4 has divided opinion in the MusicRadar office too.
However, all of this aside, if you are a dedicated Reason user the Panorama’s instant plug-and-play performance and intuitive integration with the DAW make it a real draw.
With its all-in-one-box design, Reason possibly lends itself to this sort of dedicated controller more than any other software. The Panorama feels like a great fit with a Reason 6 setup, and it’s certainly a great aid to getting the most out of Reason’s burgeoning feature set. It’s worth noting too that - in our tests at least - the Panorama integrated easily with Reason’s new Rack Extensions.
Given the estimated street price of somewhere around £400, plus the amount of desk space it occupies, the Panorama P4 is something of a commitment. But if you’re already attached to working in Reason and want a controller that will help you get the best out of the software, this seems like one of the elegant solutions currently available.