Nektar Panorama P4
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Panorama is the first MIDI controller keyboard to offer a high quality, touch-sensitive, 100mm motorized fader, that works. In this part we look at how it works and introduce track navigation in Reason's sequencer
Using Panorama's Track <> buttons, its easy and quick to step through all the tracks in the Reason sequencer. Navigating this way, the active mixer channel follows the master keyboard so the motorized fader simply follows. This means you always know the volume setting of the device or channel you are working with right now, even if you are not looking at the display or on your computer monitor.
To adjust volume is therefore also easy, because the fader is always right there.
The motor fader and associated controls are termed channel controls as they follow the targeted sequencer track and map to the active mixer channel.
The channel controls, in addition to the motorized fader, include two LED buttons to the right of the fader.
Using the channel controls, you can therefore:
Adjust the active mixer channel volume
Mute the active mixer channel by presing mute
solo the active mixer channel by presing solo
When you target a different track in the sequencer, the motor fader immediately changes position to match the level of the new mixer channel. Similarly, the LEDs in the mute and solo buttons update to show the mute/solo status. As mentioned in the opening paragraphs, this is great, but sometimes can be a distraction so we made it possible to disable the motor feedback by deselecting 'read' in the channel page. This prevents the motor fader jumping around as you press the track <> buttons.
If 'read' is disabled the motor will not update until the fader is touched. When 'read' is enabled, the 'green' LED will indicate this. The red 'write' LED signals that automation can be written on the targeted sequenecer track.
It is even possible to detach the fader and associated controls from the targeted sequencer track and navigate the mix channels independently. .
Pressing 'Fader' next to the motor fader opens the channel page in the display. The channel page provides further control over the active mix channel and allows you to change the target of the channel controls.
The 'pan' graphic seen in the display example is controlled using the encoder to the right of the display. When the channel page is active, this encoder can be used to adjust pan, width or FX sends 1-8 for active mixer channel. Press the 'Parameter' button to toggle through the assignment options. Alternatively, you can hold the parameter button down and use the encoder to select the assignment option directly.
Press 'write' to record track automation on the targeted sequencer track.
Press the Master button to lock the motor fader to the master bus level. In this case, the assignment options for the encoder are Master FX send 1-8.
Press the Ctrl Room button to lock the motor fader to the ctrl room level parameter. In this case, the assignment options for the encoder are ctrl room source and to select FX return 1-8 if the source is set to monitor the Master FX returns.
Press either button once more, to unlock the fader and return to control the active mix channel.
There are still further menu options available on the channel page and these are accessed by pressing menu button 5.
The first 2 menu buttons allow you to navigate the mixer channels directly. This allows you to select a mixer channel that may not have a corresponding sequenecer track. It also allows the channel control target to be changed without affectinhg the keyboard target track.
Pressing a Track <> button will override this channel shift and the channel controls will immediately map to the mixer channel for the targeted sequencer track once more. However, pressing the 'lock' button permanently detaches the channel page controls from the sequenecer to prevent this override.
CHANNEL CONTROLS IN PRACTICE
We have explored Mixer mode in the previous 3 parts. Mixer mode is active when the Mixer button is illuminated above the display. There are 4 modes in total and each mode can be quickly accessed by pressing the relevant button:
Mixer mode - The controls map to the mixer
Instrument Mode - The controls map to the active instrument or device in the rack
Transport Mode - The controls map to various useful transport and sequencer functions
Internal Mode - This is a standard MIDI mode and can be used for remote override
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