NAMM 2023: With the Panorama CST MIDI controller, Nektar hopes to make music production a lot less about staring at a computer screen

NAMM 2023: Relying on your mouse and computer screen for producing your music has never been ideal, but with the Panorama CST controller, Nektar might just be about to bring the fun back to mixing.

Yes, making music on a computer is as frustrating as it is astonishing. You have all that power, all of those tracks and instruments and you are often tweaking it all with a mouse and pointer. Someone once said it's like conducting an orchestra through a letterbox, and if they didn't, we'll take the credit.  

MIDI controllers have come and gone, of course, but with the Panorama CST, Nektar looks like it's come up with a controller that is as intuitive as it is functional. 

It is a channel strip controller, so focusses on the banks of effects you have loaded per channel, but can also navigate around your DAW's tracks and control many of its features. CST uses automatic colour coding – Panorama mapping – to make its controls that bit more intuitive. Select a compressor, for example, and the 'red' colour associated with it will light up on the CST controls that can be used to tweak it. 

Another neat feature is CST's ability to make automation that bit easier, all via a single fader that enables you to switch the read and write automation in and out, and then add further parameter tweaks. 

Panorama CST currently has Logic integration - as shown in the video - but Nektar plans to bring the same level of compatibility to all major DAWs, including Bitwig Studio, Ableton Live and more.

Price and availability are TBA but we'll bring you more news when we get it. You can head on over to Nektar's site if you wish, but there's nothing there yet. So head on over to our NAMM 2023 main page instead, where there's loads of info on other NAMM releases. 

Andy Jones

Andy has been writing about music production and technology for 30 years having started out on Music Technology magazine back in 1992. He has edited the magazines Future Music, Keyboard Review, MusicTech and Computer Music, which he helped launch back in 1998. He owns way too many synthesizers.

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