The nanoKontrol is a compact mixing-orientated device that connects to your computer over USB.
It offers transport controls and a nine-channel 'mixer', with each strip comprising a slider, rotary knob and two backlit buttons.
It's a configuration that lends itself well to a classic volume/pan/solo/mute setup, although you can configure each control to send any CC you like. The transport can send MMC or MIDI CC data.
Fire up the downloadable Kontrol Editor and the attack/release times of these buttons can be altered, so that when pressed, the CC does not jump to the new value but glides smoothly - a nice touch. The upper/lower values of the sliders and knobs can also be redefined.
Crucially, this software also enables you to configure up to four scenes for the nanoKontrol, switchable via a button on the device. This effectively gives you 36 channels and four transport sections. Complete setups can be saved, so you can create custom ones for your favourite apps or plug-ins.
The nanoKontrol is a surprisingly smooth operator, registering both tiny movements and large sweeps. It doesn't come with any free software but, as is the case with its sister products the nanoKey and nanoPad, there's the option of saving €30 on Ableton's Live 7, LE or Suite.