It is very unfortunate that for some reason, I never followed up on this or something went wrong.
So, starting again from scratch:
No idea on whether you’ll get the Nektar working, or what it can actually do. There are 3 levels of control surface in Ardour;
- Dynamic MIDI learn - bind specific MIDI messages (note, CC) to a parameter
- MIDI Binding Maps - preconfigured bindings between MIDI messages and parameters
- Custom surface support - written in C++, dedicated code that understands a lot more about the device and its state
The first is intended for use with simple MIDI controllers. The second can be used with just about anything. The third is required if the device needs messages to turn on lights/change its display/manage its state.
Docs on binding maps can be found in the Ardour manual:
To do anything with the device, you will need to know what messages it sends. This can be accomplished by using a MIDI monitor application appropriate for whatever platform you are on.