Nektar Impact LX88 88-key MIDI Controller Keyboard
Get more control over your DAW with the Nektar Impact LX88 USB MIDI controller. Based on their award-winning Panorama, Nektar’s Impact LX88 uses intelligent mapping to give you hands-on control over your session immediately. Switch between Mixer, Instrument, and Preset modes for a fast workflow.
The look of the Nektar is smart and sleek. It’s not bulky, hence portability will not be an issue. Connecting it to the DAW is a breeze. Great product in this price range. The DAW integration feature is the best part of the LX88.
The 88 note semi-weighted, velocity sensitive keyboard delivers a balanced medium tension. The full-size, piano-style keys are covered to protect against dirt and dust while also complementing the Impact LX88 design. With 4 velocity curves gradually increasing in dynamics there is choice for any playing style. If you don’t need velocity, 3 fixed velocity levels to caters for a consistent output. Transpose buttons as well as pitch bend and modulation wheels are within reach, so you quickly can shift the keyboard up or down as needed, or apply additional articulation with the wheels.
Split, Layer and Transpose Buttons
The Impact LX88 keyboard can send on up to 3 zones at the same time. Press Layer to add the layer zone and split to add the split zone. When split or layer is active, the corresponding LED button is lit so there is no confusion. Each zone can be programmed to send on it’s own unique MIDI channel with essential settings either pre-programmed or adjustable during performance.
This is where the 2 Transpose buttons below the Split and Layer buttons come in. Four functions are selectable on the fly so you can make important changes at any time, even while you play. A key combination makes assignment quick and easy with the LED display telling you which function you have selected. Choices include sending out MIDI Program Messages, change the Global MIDI Channel or select any of Impact LX88’s 5 user presets with either the Octave or Transpose buttons. Pressing either split or layer while pressing the Transpose buttons will change the setting currently assigned for the corresponding zone. Neat!
Nine 30mm faders, 9 MIDI buttons and 8 encoders are at the center of Impact LX88’s control panel. Each control is fully programmable to send any MIDI CC message for use with hardware or software MIDI products. Used with Nektar DAW integration, the controls take on a life of their own, providing flexible pre-mapped DAW control giving you the best of both worlds. Control settings can be stored in any of the 5 Impact LX88 presets for recall at any time. And if you switch Null on for Presets, any parameter values are stored when you change presets so you avoid parameter jumping.
For groove and beat creation Impact LX88’S 8 velocity sensitive pads makes life easy. Each of the large 3x3cm pads can be assigned to any MIDI note number or MIDI cc message, for use as MIDI trigger or toggle buttons. But the best part is the “Pad Learn” feature which allows you to just select a pad, play the note or drum sound you want on the keyboard and assignment is done. No complex menus for a task that’s essential for getting the most out of your pads. Assignments are stored over power cycling so you don’t lose your settings when you switch your system off for the night. In addition, 4 pad map locations can store your settings for future recall.
User Presets & Programming MIDI
If you mainly want to use your DAWs MIDI learn features, Impact LX88 is easy to come to grips with. There are 2 non-overlapping, read-only presets on the Mixer and Instrument buttons so you can quickly switch between independent and unique setups. These presets are also used for Impact LX88’s integrated DAW support. In addition, 5 user presets are programmed for GM compatible and “learn-friendly” setups plus they can of course be overwritten with your own settings. With the Impact LX’s “Null” function switched to on, parameter values are stored when you switch between presets so you avoid parameter jumping.
Impact LX88 offers the same powerful Nektar DAW integration support as it’s Impact LX siblings and is compatible with most popular DAWs. A common workflow gives access to many of the functions you are most likely to need when recording and performing with your Impact LX88. The best part is that it’s all done for you. All you have to do is complete the installation process and start making music. Impact LX DAW integration currently supports Cubase, Digital Performer, Garageband, Logic, Nuendo, Reaper, Reason, Sonar and Studio One. DAWs are different and the Impact LX DAW integration caters for each DAWs uniqueness while maintaining a common workflow. Relying on your computer screen for constant feedback, important and essential windows related to what you are controlling can be open and closed as needed, right from Impact LX88. The following is a brief overview of the common workflow.
Transport and Navigations
The 6 dedicated transport buttons are always within reach and mapped to control Cycle, Rewind, Forward, Stop, Play and Record. Press Shift to get access to alternate functions such as Goto L, Set L, Set R, Undo, Click and Mode*. Additional alternate DAW functions include Track up/down and Patch up/down to change your instrument patches are available via the display buttons.
Press mixer and the first 8 Impact LX faders are assigned to control 8 channels of your DAWs mixer. The alternate Bank up/down function moves control assignments to the next or previous group of 8 channels. The 9th fader is assigned to the currently selected channel so you always know where to find it. The buttons under the faders follow the channel assignment of their corresponding fader and can control Mute or Solo. Pan for the group of 8 channels controlled by the faders is handled by the 8 pots. To help you get the best out of your screen real estate, Impact LX also has shortcuts for opening and closing your DAWs mixer window so you can see what’s going on.
The Instrument preset assigns all controls to instrument parameters once an instrument track is selected in your DAW. Using Nektar mapping, a typical control layout places amp and filter envelopes on the faders and the parameters that have the biggest impact on the instruments sound, on the pots. This means you often have filter cutoff and resonance on pots 1 and 2 for example. Using a unique Impact LX “grab” mode you can quickly assign parameters for individual instruments to controls and create the setup you want. The hardware is done, but flexibility remains.
Studio One Artist
Studio One Artist is a powerful recording and production platform that lets you work quickly and stay focused on your inspiration. Incredibly easy to learn, it offers unlimited tracks and plug-ins and delivers features not normally found in entry-level DAWs. Access powerful editing tools without wading through menus. Load and save audio clips, MIDI files, effects, and VIs by drag-and-drop. Need an instrument, effects plug-in, or drum loop? Just drag what you need from the content Browser, drop it into the arrangement, and everything is taken care of.
At mixdown, process your tracks using more than 20 high-quality Native Effects; Studio One’s cutting-edge mix engine delivers stunning results. Studio One makes it easy!
No other entry-level DAW is this easy to use, yet offers unlimited tracks and plug-in instantiations, extensive use of drag-and-drop, and in-depth editing features. Best of all, Studio One Artist is included with the Impact LX USB keyboard!
On the back of Impact LX88 you find the connection points including:
- USB port for power and data connection to your computer or iPad (via optional USB camera connection kit)
- Foot switch jack, assignable (pedal not included)
- MIDI Output. Can be routed individually for zones, from your DAW or directly from the LX88
- On/off switch
- Power Supply socket: 9v 600mA, center positive, 2.1mm barrel connector, (PSU not included)
Nektar Impact LX88 Features:
- 88 note, semi-weighted velocity sensitive keyboard
- Layer and split; dedicated transpose buttons
- Pitch bend and Modulation wheels
- 9 faders, 8 pots; 13 MIDI buttons
- 8 velocity sensitive performance pads
- 6 transport buttons
- 5 user-configurable presets and 4 pad maps
- Null mode; MIDI out; Foot switch jack
- USB bus powered; input for optional DC power supply input
- Nektar DAW integration for: Bitwig Studio, Cubase, Nuendo, Digital Performer, GarageBand, Logic, Reason, Reaper, Sonor, FL Studio, Studio One.
Nektar Impact LX88 Specifications:
- Number of Keys: 88
- Type of Keys: Semi-weighted
- Number of Performance Pads: 8 x Velocity Sensitive Pads
- Number of Encoders/Pots: 8 x Potentiometers
- Number of Sliders/Faders: 9 x Faders
- Dedicated Transport Control: Yes
- Other Controllers: Pitchbend, Mod Wheel
- System Requirements Mac: OS X 10.7 or later
- System Requirements PC: Windows Vista or later
- Pedal Inputs: 1 x Sustain
- MIDI I/O: Out/USB
- USB: Yes.