RECORDING TIP: Using a Korg Nanokontrol 2 with Reaper

Just picked up a Korg nanoKONTORL2 for portable transport and track control (mouseless) when I’m recording on the go with my lappy. I saw that the nanoKONTROL 2 manual had templates for various well-known DAWs (Cubase, Live, Digital Performer, Pro Tools, Logic/Garageband, and Sonar…) but of course, not one for Reaper.

Fear not, Reaper fans!

All you have to do before connecting the nanoKONTROL 2 to your computer is hold down the SET MARKER button along with the main RECORD button, and then plug in your USB cable. This will load the template for Cakewalk Sonar. You’ll notice the record button blinks a few times after it’s connected, to let you know you’re in Sonar mode. Although that template is designed for Cakewalk Sonar, it works perfectly for Reaper, if you set Reaper correctly:

1. Start Reaper of course… and then go to Reaper’s PREFERENCES (CTRL-P), go into Control Surfaces (left menu, near the bottom).

2. Click ADD and Reaper will ask you what kind of Control Surface Mode…. choose “Mackie Control Universal.”

3. Then choose your MIDI input and output to be “nanoKONTROL2”. Done.

Now, once you’ve exited Preferences, you’ll see that the nanoKONTROL2’s buttons respond perfectly in Reaper… all mute/solo/arm record buttons work for every track, the faders work for the track volumes, and the knobs work for the track panning. You’ll also notice the transport controls (RECORD, PLAY, STOP, REWIND, FF) all work in Reaper as well, and of course.. the SET MARKER and marker left/marker right buttons all work, too.

If you have more than 8 tracks loaded (say, 16, or 24), you can use the TRACK < > buttons to navigate your track groups.

Yay, Korg.. you scored again. First with the PadKONTROL, and now with the new Nano series. Love ya.

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  1. Why does reaper select/unselect tracks when slider is user? Other than that works great!

  2. This article really helped me get setup. Thank you! BUT, I’m having this problem – whenever I move one fader after another one, they both become selected and one fader is moving multiple tracks. Can’t figure out how to turn this off. Any ideas?

    • Well I kinda figured it out. It definitely has to do with “track grouping”. I tried to turn this function off completely but it seems to be pretty inherent in the program. Guess I’ll keep studying the users manual.

  3. Hi Justin, yeah I ran into the same exact problem. It’s a Nanokontrol2 thing, though. It doesn’t do this with the actual Mackie Control Universal. I tested them both out last night, actually. Solution? Just don’t move two faders at the same time with the NK2. Usually I don’t need to. I mainly use the NK2 as a quick way to mute and arm record, and I also find the transport control way handy when I’m doing lessons and teaching someone a part of a song and I have to keep rewinding just a little bit (or cuing up from a marker).

    Reaper’s awesome, I’ve become a convert, over from Sonar X1 Essential… still SO much to learn, though!

  4. This helped me a lot, thanks! The only issue I’ve found so far is that the Cycle button on the Nanokontrol2 turns the Reaper Metronome on and off – I would have expected it to toggle Repeat on and off. Oddly, if I use my mouse to turn Repeat on, thje Cycle button lights up on the Nano…

    Thanks again,


  5. Hi! I use Cubase (and soon ProTools) and I can’t find a way to control track 8-16. The track button doesn’t work for that. I have googled and found loooooong and advanced descriptions of installing other programs to being able to control more than the first 8 tracks.
    Do you know if it’s an easier way? I can’t believe Korg didn’t built in the function…

  6. Hehe and so I got it to work like 10 sec after writing that! 😛

  7. Nick

    Hay Chris, Thanks for this info it did help a lot. But then I ran into the same multiple slider problem. “Solution? Just don’t move two faders at the same time with the NK2.” The big issue for me is that I DO need to use more than one at a time, actually this is the only reason I need to use a control surface, if not i could have stayed with the mouse control of one slider at a time! 😉 Has anybody else been able to solve this? Why are all the DAW so retarded when it comes to not expensive, popular and quite common midi controls? audition cs6 – no midi control, reaper – messed up, ad lib groupings, logic pro8 works with an update form korg (but this program really sucks its old school apple GUI etc), studio one,etc,etc… same erratic behavior. the only one that actually got it right is ableton, but unfortunately its not exactly a tracking program in the classic sense. I really liked the Reaper GUI and the way it handles things but the lack of support for the nanoKontrol2 is total deal breaker for me.

    • Hey Nick… I hate to break it to you… but… if you need more than one slider at a time—

      Get a used Mackie Control Universal (the original one, with MIDI, not USB). $400 on ebay. Best investment you can make for your home studio.

  8. Nick

    Hey Chris, thanks for your fast response.
    Just figured it out for my old Logic Pro 8, there is a little utility from korg that addresses the issue. Works like a charm all the knobs and buttons as well, and I didn’t even have to map them,they were all set correctly! So will stick with logic pro and nanoKontrol2 for now. Sorry for reaper. The mackie control is not exactly a portable solution(that’s what I am after) and I love my back more then the longer sliders and all pro features 😉 computer, 8 input sound card, mics, cables, hd’s etc…are plenty enough in a backpack. Its just about sitting down and writing a little piece of software, korg did it for logic and garage band, hope they can do it for reaper and others. Or reaper themselves should do it. People will love them for it! 😉

  9. great man.. thanks a lot.. as looking around for some days… some of the keys – track selection and marker set/select are having issues.. how we change them to make it proper…

  10. Andy Milman

    The “Mackie Control Universal” doesn’t work with Reaper and nanoKontrol2. Get a copy of reaper_csurf_mcu_klinke_x64.dll and put it into the Reaper.Plugins folder. That’ll fix the problem with the faders.

  11. Dave H

    The Klinke MCU update sorts the issue out – just tested this, just search for the dll on the Reaper forum

  12. Thanks guys, that works perfectly well!
    I got files here:
    And follow the MCU_Klinke_Readme.txt instructions.

    • Villain S. Deeds

      It doesn’t make a difference at all. Same issue with one fader controlling multiple tracks.

  13. Hi… there is a solution like reaper_csurf_mcu_klinke_x64.dll but for MAC OSX 10.10? Thanks!!!!!!!!!

  14. Moving one fader at a time is not a solution at least in my case. I disabled track grouping and moved only one fader or knob at a time but each fader I move automatically gets grouped with the previous one I moved. And I can’t use the Klinke MCU because I’m on MAC. I guess I’ll have to go back to manual programming and not use Mackie Universal. So Korg doesn’t score that well in my book.

  15. Tyler Johnson


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