Korg’s nano series of MIDI controllers created a lot of hype when they first showed up, which has continued to grow as more and more users got their hands on them! The nanoKEY2 may be tiny, but it is matched by a mini price tag and has proven to be one of the best MIDI keyboard controllers you can buy on a budget. Let’s take a closer look!
What makes Korg one of the best in the keyboard sphere is their ability to recognize opportunity. We have seen plenty of compact controllers hit the market, but very few as compact as the nanoKEY2. Here you are looking at a flat tablet-like device that measures 12.80” long and 3.27” deep, and may not resemble a standard controller. However, this super-flat design is necessary in order to achieve the portability Korg was going for.
The nanoKey2 is something you can put in your backpack and forget about. It is extremely light (just over half a pound), easily stored and perfectly functional. The body of the controller is tough enough to withstand a good beating, while the overall design eliminates any risk of you snagging the controller during transport.
Despite how strange it might look, KorgnanoKEY2 is actually a fully-fledged 25 key controller, with large velocity-sensitive keys. The lower row of black keys represents the white keys of a piano and the higher row of grey keys represent the black keys (a little confusing on paper, but it translates well!). In addition to these keys you have sustain and modulation buttons, as well as pitch control and octave shift.
In essence, it brings many of the features every good MIDI keyboard controller should have. However, you will not find trigger pads, assignable knobs and other common features. This may be a problem to some, but there is only so much you can expect from a device as petite as this one. We feel this is for the better, as there is nothing worse than a compact controller that ends up completely overcrowded. Korg knows better than that.
Meanwhile, the nanoKEY2 uses the included USB cable to pair with your device. If you toss this thing in your bag along with a laptop, you will have a fully-functioning workstation. It really doesn’t get more low-profile than this.
In terms of performance, Korg’s nanoKEY2 works great – it is smooth, responsive and shows no signs of input lag or similar unwanted side effects. It is also fully compatible with both Mac and Windows machines, although there is a small catch in that you need to download Korg Control Editor if you want to remap various buttons. This is a small price to pay for having the functionality of a full 25 key controller in a device of this size.
One of the main questions people have regarding KorgnanoKEY2 is whether or not you can actually compose music with it. The answer is a resounding yes. As we have mentioned, the control interface is a little different, but it features the standard piano scale with the same principle.
Korg has hit the nail on the head with the nanoKEY2. This tiny MIDI controller packs so much potential. If you do all your work in a studio you will probably be better off considering something different, but if you are constantly on the move, this is an excellent choice – especially considering the tiny price.