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Mainstage 3 and Nektar Panorama


trinitycadet

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I purchased a Nektar Panorama P6 because of the advertised integration with Mainstage 3. I couldn't figure out how to get that integration so I emailed Nectar and got back:

 

"Thanks for choosing the Panorama P6. I'm sorry about the wait for our Mainstage integration. We had planned for an early February release but some unexpected issues came up with the Mainstage 3.1 update. We are working hard to get the Mainstage Integration for Panorama ready for release but I can't say when it will be ready, at this point. If there is anything else I can help you with, just let me know. All the best, Justin Sullivan.

 

To Nektar's credit, I got a response in a day. However, who knows when the update will come!

 

There is some integration with MainStage through an update to control Logic. However, I have been unsuccessful in getting it to work. Has anybody been able to get MainStage to talk to a Panorama?

 

Mac mini, OS X Yosemite (10.10.2

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Sorry for the delay, the MainStage integration download is now available. Please log into your account at www.nektartech.com and you will find the new integration files in 'My Downloads'.

 

Given the numerous ways people use MainStage and the flexibility of the program we are classing this release as public beta for now, so if you have any suggestions, requests or find any odd behavior please report it through our support system.

 

Best Regards,

 

Tim Chandler

Nektar Technology

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  • 9 months later...

Hi folks,

 

I'm very excited about the Panorama line because it looks like it might finally make use of MainStage intuitive and quick.

 

However, I read a couple reviews suggesting that the touch on the P6 left the black keys "stiffer" than the white keys. As I'm very sensitive to keyboard touch, this would drive me crazy. Unfortunately, I can't find any store within 100 miles of Philadelphia that actually has these keyboards on display, so I can't find out for myself without buying one first and then possibly returning it.

 

Can anyone comment on that? Was that an early issue that was fixed?

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  • 3 weeks later...

scored a P6 secondhand - a good deal... protective plastic still over the display. Just some observations.

 

Took some doing and a reboot of the mac and it all works. There is some consistent logic in how things are done/laid out. Nice. I can see this helping live. Some things I would not "bury" such as tap tempo which is in a 2nd level menu, no issue, just map as you'd always want. huge integration with smart controls and more. No AU/VST wrappers here, which is different than what Novation does. Feel of the keybed? "stiffer" than a Novation SL Mk II, interesting, very playable, but I also have an 88 key weighted controller as part of the live rig. Difference white and black keys not noticed, so I would say not to worry about that. I think this thing is a boon for live playing with MainStage - I think there'd be a challenge finding buttons in the dark though - black button against a black background. Spring tension on the pitch wheel is stronger than what I'm used to, and... I thought it was pretty quick about generating pitch bend values which "quicker" than say a Yamaha PB wheel. PB and MW wheels really cool "glowy" red color.

 

I have the Novation SL 61 Mk2 - tons of touch sensitive controllers, glowing LCD rings, perhaps easier to use onstage than the P6, but nothing specific to MainStage (of course I've programmed own templates). I never liked the keybed and I think after a few hours I prefer the P6... We'll see...

 

At any rate, I can vouch for the MainStage integration - it's certainly there. I wish it were 76 keys(!), then I'd probably by lyrical about it. I guess I'd say "find one and enjoy" in the same way as one would say "jump on in, the water's fine".

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I've had the P6 for a few months now. Keybed is OK, but I'm not thrilled with it. The action is literally clunky... I mean it makes "clunky" mechanical noises when you play it even kind-of hard. That can be annoying if you're playing at very low volume levels. One very odd problem: I've had it mysteriously lose contact with Mainstage when we make adjustments on our band's QSC Touchmix at rehearsal, and the only connections between the two are audio out from my Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 to a stereo line in on the QSC, and a stereo aux out from the QSC to a pair of line ins on the Focusrite. I have to turn the P6 off and on again to get it back.

 

I use the P6 faders as drawbars for the Vintage B3 organ, and the encoders above the faders as volume controls for the various layers of my patches, some of which are fairly complex... some having 6 or 7 layers. I use the middle knobs and buttons to control synth parameters, and always have the percussion pads mapped to latin percussion sounds at the concert level.

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Thanks, Xenophile.

 

The general feel I'm getting is that the user interface / feedback / integration with MainStage is excellent, but issues have come up regarding the feel of the keys and sometimes the crashing during heavy scrolls through patches. So currently, I'm still hoping to get one, but with some mixed feelings.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Okay, quick update.

 

I bought the Nektar Panorama P6 and it arrived this week.

 

- Running it with a MacBook Pro quad-core i7 with SSD: really fast.

- OS X 10.11.3 El Capitan

- MainStage 3.2.3

 

Initial Feelings:

 

- looks gorgeous: colors, layout, screen

- yes, keys feel a little clunky and do "clack" a bit in low-volume environments. I've played a few other keyboards that do that, so I'm not sure if it's worse than average

- yes, the black keys feel stiffer than the whites. My guess is they used the same spring for both, not realizing that since the blacks are shorter, they will require a greater "effort" to depress (Leverage 101)

 

The integration seems very well laid out, useful, and intuitive.

 

The problem is, the integration is currently broken. Things don't display properly on the screen, buttons don't do what they should. If you control things from MainStage, you can play music just fine with the keys. But don't count on the controls on the P6 to control anything in MainStage: you'll have to click on the laptop and do things there. When you do, the screen on the P6 generally updates correctly.

 

Naturally, this defeats the main selling point of the Panorama line.

 

I have followed all their technical documentation, updated firmware, reset the keyboard, and reviewed my situation with their tech support. Nektar claims it worked fine under MainStage 3.2.2, and they are working with Apple to resolve the issues, which are known. Naturally, it's not clear whose "fault" it is. I just have to decide whether to return this within my 30-day window or hope that it will get fixed soon, and when it does, I'll like what I bought.

 

Or, is there any way to downgrade MainStage to 3.2.2? I don't have the application itself backed up...

 

Anyone else?

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