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Designed for beat composers and performing artists, the Nektar AURA is a hybrid hardware/software drum machine / controller that brings an innovative workflow to any DAW or external MIDI setup with 16 hyper-sensitive RGB illuminated pads, an onboard sequencer, a flexible pad repeat engine, and advanced plug-in control. There are eight heavy-duty endless potentiometers, 16 RGB LED performance pads, 8 dedicated buttons (for direct access to patches, mixer, pad setup, and plug-ins), six mode buttons, and seven transport buttons. All pads, switches, and pots are fully MIDI-programmable.

At the heart of AURA, is the paired Nektarine 2.0 software, which provides deep integration for any VST, VST3, and AU plugins. There are 16 slots for loading any instrument plug-in with comprehensive control over plug-in parameters. Each instrument slot provides choke, volume, pan, mute/solo, and sends 1-4 control, as well as four effects inserts per slot. Create and store instrument and FX plug-in patches + Nektarine multi-patches. The software's control page allows you to customize plug-in maps or create new ones from scratch. You'll find full parameter feedback in real-time from the 320x240 TFT display. Should you prefer to use the AURA hardware as a controller without the Nektarine software, up to 16 presets can be saved and recalled via internal settings.

The integrated sequencer provides a classic 16-step XOX-style programming interface and can record in step mode or in real time. There are 16 patterns (one per pad) with four parts (comprising of up to 16 steps each), adding up to a total of 64 steps. Parts may be triggered in any combination, at any time. Each pattern, and even each part in a pattern can have a different length, which simplifies the creation of interesting polyrhythms. Editing features work at the step level, ensuring deep control over play rate, velocity, accent, gate, and swing, while the internal and external clock modes ensure remarkable synchronization. The sequencer may also be used as a standalone for MIDI instruments connected to AURA’s external MIDI Out.

Create dynamic rolls with the pad repeat engine, which is easily accessed by selecting the dedicated on/off button and settings menu. Use the pad pressure to control velocity while changing repeat rates with the dedicated RGB LED buttons. The highly customizable repeat engine provides access to a host of parameters including repeat rate, gate, accent interval, accent velocity, offset, swing, trigger mode, and clock source.

The dedicated DAW button provides extended transport control, track selection, project navigation, and more, for most major software titles including Ableton Live, Bitwig, Cubase, Digital Performer, GarageBand, Logic Pro X, Nuendo, Reaper, Reason, Studio One, and Sonar/Cakewalk. What's more, the seven transport buttons are fully assignable including MIDI commands for controlling any software not compatible with Nektar DAW integration.

  • Hardware
    • 16 RGB color illuminated velocity- and pressure-sensitive pads
    • 8 heavy duty potentiometers (360 degrees, endless)
    • TFT color display with 320x240 pixels including 4 soft buttons
    • 16 RGB LED buttons
    • 8 Nektarine buttons for direct access to patches, mixer, pad setup, plugins and more
    • 6 mode buttons
    • 7 transport buttons with LED illumination
    • Fully MIDI-programmable pads, switches and pots
    • 16 presets for storing all internal settings (not required when using Nektarine)
    • Rugged housing with aluminum top
  • Step Sequencer
    • Stores 16 collections of 16 patterns each
    • Each pattern with up to 4 parts for a total of up to 64 steps
    • Dedicated programming interface with 16 RGB buttons and parts selection buttons
    • Real-time performance features (solo, mute, instant start options, and more)
    • Trigger sequencer parts in any combination, at any time
    • Independent settings per part (play rate, step length, velocity, accent, gate, swing, and more)
    • Extensive editing features all the way down to step level
    • Internal and external clock operation
    • Latch automation on/off
  • Pad Repeat Engine
    • 8 adjustable real-time parameters including note length, accent level and interval, and repeat rate
    • Dedicated repeat rate settings and activation buttons
    • Display soft button for instant assignment of pressure to velocity
    • Tap tempo feature
    • Internal and external clock operation
  • Nektarine Software
    • AAX, AU, VST, or VST3 plugin version and standalone application for OSX and Windows
    • Load any VST, VST3 and AU instrument plugins
    • 16 instrument plugin slots
    • Each instrument slot with choke, volume, pan, mute/solo, sends 1-4 controls
    • 4 effect insert plugin slots per instrument (AU / VST / VST3 FX)
    • 4 send effect plugin slots (AU / VST / VST3 FX)
    • Store instrument and FX plugin patches plus Nektarine Multi-Patches
    • Browser Settings are remembered per plugin slot
    • Handles all pad-, plugin-, and patch-management with complete control from AURA
    • Control editor for customizing Nektar plugin maps or creating new ones from scratch
    • Full parameter feedback with display updated in real-time
    • Scale and Chords mode for building tracks
    • Multi-Patch with Pad settings save as default, load as default. All browser settings can be saved with tags for slots tag, kick, slot 1, etc.
  • AURA Nektar DAW Integration Supports
    • Ableton Live Suite
    • Apple Logic + Garageband
    • Bitwig 8-Track + Studio
    • Cockos Reaper
    • MOTU Digital Performer
    • Presonus Studio One
    • Reason Studios Reason
    • Steinberg Cubase + Nuendo


Nektar Aura Beat Composer

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