Nektar’s new SE MIDI keyboards could be the cheapest to offer integrated DAW control

Nektar’s new SE MIDI Keyboards look to have several things going for them: affordability, portability and DAW control.

The cheapest and smallest of these is the SE25, a 25-note, velocity-sensitive, mini-keyed model that sits nicely in front of a 13-inch laptop. Six buttons give you control over the likes of sustain, pitchbend and modulation, and if you use the Nektar DAW Integration software, you also get transport control when you’re using Logic Pro, Cubase, Reason, Bitwig Studio or Studio One.

There’s also a Part Two function: this enables you to change to a second MIDI channel, layer a sound on top or shift octave and transpose at the touch of a button.  

The SE49 is a bigger, more capable beast with 49 full-size velocity-sensitive keys and proper pitchbend and modulation wheels. There are four buttons and one 30mm fader for accessing system settings and Nektar DAW control, leaving you with a workhorse MIDI keyboard that has some useful extra strings on its bow.

The SE controllers’ pricing is eye-catchingly low, too: $50/£44/€50 for the SE25, and $70/£60/€70 for the SE49. Find out more on the Nektar website.

Ben Rogerson
Deputy Editor

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. 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, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it.