Skip to main content

Nektar’s Aura MIDI pad controller is now a “complete beatmaking solution”

Nektar Aura
(Image credit: Katja Ruge)

• GEAR EXPO SUMMER 2022: all the latest gear from NAMM and beyond

Nektar’s Aura MIDI pad controller already had plenty of qualities, but one thing it wasn’t was a one-stop beatmaking solution. However, thanks to an update to its companion Nektarine software (2.5), we’re assured that it is now.

This now includes the DP-1 Drum Player plugin, which can host both WAV and AIFF files (up to 24-bit/192kHz) and comes with more than 500 drum sounds. You can instantly access key features from Aura’s eight pots (Pitch, Attack, Decay, Decay Slope, Env>Filter, Drive, Cutoff and Resonance) and dial in some 8-bit grit via the 1982 mode.

There’s also a one-knob compressor, a two-band EQ and one assignable pressure-/three assignable velocity-modulation targets. The 500 drum sounds are broken down into 40 kits which cover classic drum machine, electronic and acoustic tones.

To take advantage of these new features, Nektarine 2.5’s interface has been redesigned and introduces new features and workflow enhancements. These include the Pads View; this shows settings for all 16 of Aura’s pads at a glance, and also features a mixer instrument channel strip with plugin slots.

The Browser pane, meanwhile, enables you to drag and drop both samples and plugin patches onto the pads. Nektarine 2.5 can host up to 16 samples or instrument plugins, each with four insert effects. You can also use four global send effect plugins.

Other views include the Rack, which shows you the interfaces of all loaded plugins in a scrollable list, and a Mix view that presents all loaded plugins and mixer settings in a traditional console interface.

Nektarine 2.5 runs standalone or as a VST/AU/AAX plugin and is a free update for all Aura and Panorama T-series users. New customers can get the Aura for $350/£300/€350. 

Find out more on the Nektar (opens in new tab) website.

Nektar Aura

(Image credit: Nektar)

I’m the Group Content Manager for MusicRadar, specialising in all things tech. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 20 of which I’ve also spent writing about music technology. 

Get over 70 FREE plugin instruments and effects…
…with the latest issue of Computer Music magazine