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Korg NanoKey MIDI controller

Compact keyboard of the musical variety

Korg Nanokey

Review The Korg NanoKey is one of the smallest musical keyboards you can buy. At just 320 x 83 x 14mm, it’s almost exactly the same width as a 13in laptop. Small enough to slip into a briefcase or laptop bag, the tiny form factor nonetheless features a two-octave, 25-note keyboard.

Korg Nanokey

Korg's NanoKey: worth making a note of?

Because of the small height, the keys don’t in any way resemble real piano keys: they’re more like the keys on a typical laptop. But they’re velocity sensitive, which means the harder you hit them, the louder the note produced.

It’s quite possible to play with both hands on the polyphonic keyboard; in practice, though, users are more likely to play a single melody or chord line at a time, using the keyboard as an input device for a desktop or laptop based sequencing program.

Available in either black or white, the keyboard has a branded Korg logo that lights up when it’s plugged into a USB socket. To the side of the piano keyboard are six further keys that provide additional functionality: a CC Mode button that allows it to operate as a MIDI controller, a Modulation button, and Pitch Up/Pitch Down controls that depend on the controlling software.

Korg Nanokey

Also available in black

Most useful of all are the Octave Up and Octave Down buttons, which feature LEDs that indicate the degree of shift: a green light for one octave change, an orange light for two, a red light for three. This gives at-a-glance feedback that’s a truly invaluable innovation.

NanoKey M1

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