The Nocturn Keyboard Midi Controller was an impulse purchase for me as I needed a new controller for Ableton Live after my old keyboard died suddenly. The Nocturn seemed to fit the bill perfectly as it was small, tough, and full of assignable controls. The price was also very attractive.
On getting the Nocturn home I was very happy with the setup process which took no more than 5 minutes. In operation the keys felt very nice for a controller at this price point, assigning controls was also very easy as the controller was recognised by Ableton first time (I do not use the bundled Automap software as I find it more trouble than it is worth).
Visually the controller looks nice but the knobs could be slightly better quality.
For those looking for a compact, good quality, and low price midi controller the Nocturn will fit the bill perfectly.
I have my own home recording studio and space has always been very tight. Prior to buying this little midi controller I used a Korg K61 keyboard which was fab and ideal for having a proper play. But if you're wanting something a fraction of the size then go for a Novation Nocturn, especially if you're on the move with a portable studio and laptop that I often am on occasions.
It works very well with the setup that I use - Logic Pro, and it is plugged into my Alesis 8 Firewire mixer. It comes with some controller software called Auto Map, which integrates nicely with my Logic and Reason sequencers. The keyboard is nice to touch and has semi-weighted keys which I was quite surprised about. The after touch is extremely responsive and great results are very noticeable when using the Nocturn for piano soft syths and strings. It will also control your plug-ins.
25 notes semi-weighted notes
8 rotory encoders, transport control (which works great in Logic, and saves time operating the QWERTY keyboard)
Nice size LED screen
Powered by USB
Software includes: Xcite+ Pack: Novation's new Automap 4, Ableton Live Lite, Novation Bass Station and 1.5GB of Loopmasters/Mike The Drummer samples.
The second best feature about this midi controller (the first being the excellent semi-weighted keys) is the rotary controls, which operate in a nice smooth fashion. I found it a wee bit tricky assigning the transport controls to Logics setup, but after reading the manual I was pretty ok. To the left are the pitch and modulation wheels that are nice. To the top right can be found the 8 drum pads, which is also a good feature. Needless to say that everything on this midi controller is fully assignable with your chosen sequencing software.
On the rear of th keyboard you'll find the on/off switch, a USB port and input for a pedal.
A good entry level midi controller for those programmers and musicians on the move to have full control over their midi operations. Not for those wanting to write an entire symphony on though. Good value for money!
Purchased from DV247 for £150 including delivery.