NAMM: The large and small of it (Nektar and Nord)

I tend to oscillate between the very large and the very small when it comes to instruments. On the small scale, I stumbled upon these tiny controllers from Nektar Technology.

These tiny controllers seemed like perfect companions for the iPhone and iPad – and they are quite cute. (Use the stuffed cat for a sense of scale.) The keyboard and continuous controllers both have a small modular footprint, slightly wider than an iPad. I might have gotten either or both, if they were available. Nektar hopes to have these out later this year.

While it is great to be able to show up at a gig with just an iPad, a controller like those from Nektar, and a couple of cables, sometimes one needs a real keyboard. And those aren’t getting any smaller. The Nord Stage 2 is the latest incarnation of my heavy but reliable workhorse keyboard:

The electric pianos (and the primary reason I got the Stage) were the same as ever and felt great. But what is different from the previous version is the synth section, which is now more akin to the Nord Wave. I could definitely use that feature. There are also improvements to the acoustic piano modeling, but that is more incremental. I don’t think I would replace my Stage EX at great expense for these features, though. There are some new acoustic pianos available for the older model, which I will try out at home.

CatSynth pic: Happy Cat with Yamaha Keyboard

Submitted by Regina Cherene via our Facebook page.

CatSynth pic: Tangelo

Tangelo, a real “keyboard cat”.  Submitted by Ari Fox Lauren via our Facebook page.


CatSynth pic: Cosmo

This is Cosmo, who lives (and plays) with our friend Synthia Payne in Denver.

“Cosmopolitan Cruz is in the zone…”

Submitted via our Facebook page.

CatSynth pic: happy cat and digital piano

Another from PulseWidthMod on flickr. That expression is just too cute 🙂

CatSynth pic: Keyboard kitten

Submitted by Jeff Donovick via our facebook page.

If you would like to submit your own cat-and-music pictures/videos, you can do so via facebook, twitter @catsynth, or by contacting us.

CatSynth pic: Taro

Another from Sawa Masaki featuring the white cat Taro.

If you would like to submit your cat-and-synth photo, you can do so via our Facebook page, tweet us @catsynth, or contact us.

CatSynth pic: Stevesteve on Wurlitzer

Another from our friend vlern, via our Facebook page.

CatSynth pic: Not Quite Keyboard Cat

From AdamAtom on flickr.

CatSynth pic: Otava with Roland and NI Synths

From Jeff Donovick via our Facebook page.

The photo features the cat Otava sitting on the command chair in front of a Roland A80 keyboard controller.  The controller is connected to Native Instruments Reaktor with RAZOR and SKANNER synths.