Cheap, ultra-slim, and easy to pop in a backpack, Korg’s nano Series were a big hit. The only real blemish on this line has to be the original nanoKEY; some people managed to use it, but key caps chronically fell off and it wasn’t a whole lot of fun to play. The nanoPAD and nanoKONTROL fared much better, providing pads and faders in a laptop-ready form factor. And since they don’t require drivers, these will also work with new devices like the iPad.

With the nanoSERIES2, Korg mainly sticks with the original formula, but adds a few adjustments. They have the same housing, says Korg, and driver-free USB operation. So what’s new?

  • nanoKEY2: A new keybed, “modeled after a MacBook.” So, it is still going to feel like a computer keyboard (a necessary evil given how thin it is), but at least it’ll feel like a better keyboard.
  • nanoKEY2: Light-up octave shift.
  • nanoPAD2: Record gestures on the X-Y pad.
  • nanoPAD2: 16 pads instead of 12.
  • nanoPAD2: Arpeggiator, chord triggers.
  • nanoKONTROL2: 8 faders instead of 9, and a more logical control layout.
  • nanoKONTROL2: Mackie HUI support.

I’m especially excited by the nanoPAD2, as it gets quite a significant improvement. All in all, these look subtly different but improved, particularly in moving the nanoKEY2 into the realm of actual usabilty. Pricing remains the same; stay tuned for these to ship.

nanoSERIES2

And yes, they’ll still be available in white, though now with a more subdued color scheme (none of the retro blue-and-white flair). See below…

  • Warwolt

    Ooh man! These look sweet, being teenager and bedroom producer and all, buying all those expensive sweet controllers is pretty much out of the question so I've been leaning to getting some Nano to expand my controller-set up.. seems like it was a good idea to wait! These look way less toy than the earlier ones, these are actually kinda sexy.

  • http://noisepages.com/members/eatyone/ Guillaume LECTEZ

    prefer mini MPK even if there's no X/Y pad…

  • http://anosou.com/ Mattias

    The nanoKEY 2 is also a step backwards, it no longer has CC mode. That was one of the reasons I cared about it. Sure, sustain button is nice (was nice on the Akai) but CC mode was much more neat.

  • Chris Thorpe

    I can visualise a mini Buchla-style 'boat' on my desktop to hold all three… 

    I'm not sure why laptop-style key action is seen as a bad thing. If you haven't come from a piano background, there's no reason to want a keyboard that emulates one. I'd love a larger keyboard, with more octaves, that had this kind of action

  • Hegibbo

    Does the nanoKONTROL 2 still have the same light issue as the original? i.e., If I switch scenes with a light toggled on the original scene, will the light stay toggled when I switch back to the first scene? That was a killer on the original KONTROL, and if they still haven't addressed the problem then it's not worth it

  • http://noisepages.com/members/pete_m/ pete_m

    I think I like the design of the older nanoKontrol, which although it has transport buttons, everything else is pretty generic; no M(ute) and S(olo) buttons, and it had an extra pot per strip. I use mine to start/stop whatever I'm running, usually Reaktor, but all the faders/knobs and even buttons are mapped to different params. The new nanoPad looks pretty awesome though…will have to get one of those!

  • Chuck

    The new nanoKontrol looks nice with it's extra set of buttons and labeling for Rec, Solo and Mute. Definitely an improvement over the original.

  • Derek D

    From what I can tell on the original model, there are four scenes that you can toggle through, I'm guessing to have 4 sets of 9 faders, is that correct? Is there a feature like that on the new models? It looks like there is are track select arrows, but no lights to indicate which scenes you're in. Can anyone clarify the functionality, as I don't see anything on Korg's product page about. Trying to decide if I should get the old model (maybe for cheaper) or the new one.

  • http://noisepages.com/members/thecrater/ The Crater

    Interesting, but not a drastic enough update to convince me to sell my nanoKontrol first gen for the new one.

    Still, these remain pretty cool!

  • jjjj

    Is the Korg M1 Le still included with the nanoKEY2? It's not mentioned on the product page.

  • http://www.ghmetcalfe.com Graham

    The Nanokey will work nicely with the iPad (size, aesthetic, functionality). Like the addition of sustain pedal function and really don't need the cc program-ability.

  • Veridical Driver

    I suppose I am in a tiny minority… but I wish these things had midi-out. Sure, I know these are budget products… but if a Guitar Hero controller has midi out, there is no reason why they can't have a midi-out on these things (perhaps with some sort of option breakout cable if the devices are physically too small for a jack).

  • http://noisepages.com/members/mrthraz/ Patrick W'iyr T

    16 pads finally, i may buy one now.

    naaaa, my Akai 16 and 18 fit in my bag just fine.

    If i wanted tiny keys I'd go with Akai's lpk25 velocity sensitive compact offering for about $70 on amazon.

    but then again, i like carrying around my Korg microKontrol, which i find to be korg's best controller offering.

  • Pete

    Am I the only one that sees the new nanoKONTROL as a disappointment? One 'track' less and a lot of extra bogus transport buttons, the orignal had a far more compact design. Not having the ability to see which scene you're on ( – I trust they didn't drop the whole scene switching feature – ) is also a step back in my opinion.

    Glad I've still got my first generation, really nice controller though. Anyone know another controller that has this same layout? (slider fader, knob and buttons placed like tracks in your average DAW)

  • anechoic

    amen on the nanoKontrol being a disappointment – they should have tried to make a miniaturized 16 fader controller ala the old FaderBaby made by JL Cooper but with 2 buttons and a knob per strip – I can live without the transport controls since they can added later by another controller device

    now *that* would be useful :)

  • Drifter

    These devices should integrate an USB hub so that several ones could be used on a single USB port — just like the Korg Microkey.

    And what about light feedback on these new nKontrol? Does anyone know about it?

  • brian

    Awww korg really, the day after I buy a nanokontrol?

    booo-urns!

  • Peter Kirn

    Yeah, I can't see that the nanoKONTROL2 still has scenes, one of the best features of the original. The PAD definitely does, just as on the previous model. Maybe the 'cycle' button is a clue. I'll go research.

  • http://www.percussionlab.com Praveen

    These look SEXY. BUT – as a die hard nano kontrol 1 user – the update seems a bit like a step back.

    1) Those buttons should stay unlabled – I assign them to fx switches anyway

    2) One less knob per channel

    3) No scenes?! 

    I'm going to stock up on Nano Kontrol 1s now that they'll be super cheap. Damn things fall apart so easily.

  • http://www.computermusicguide.com Chris

    Are the 9 rows on the old Nano that odd? I've heard other complaints, but I thought that made perfect sense in Live: 8 channels + 1 master.

  • antfactor

    "These devices should integrate an USB hub so that several ones could be used on a single USB port — just like the Korg Microkey."

    YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! 

    THE DUMBEST LACK-OF FEATURE ON THE ENTIRE SERIES!!! INFURIATING OMISSION.

  • http://synthupgrade.com/ Martin

    Similar to what antfactor mentioned, I'm personally extremely excited about having a highly modular setup with a microKEY, nanoPAD2, and a nanoKONTROL (either first or second gen, haven't decided yet).

  • Sex Robot

    Does anyone know if the Maschine hardware surface would work as a Midi input to an Ipad as an alternative to the nanopad? ie. Would it have a low enough power draw and Midi through USB capabilities to work?