Arturia has released two new MIDI controllers, one with 49 notes and another with 61. These Keylab Essential controllers look every bit like everyone else’s MIDI controller keyboards and considering that they already have a range of controllers I wonder who these are for?
Apparently, they are “reinventing creativity”, which is nice. These look like great controller keyboards to add to the mountain of great controller keyboards that are already out there. They have a handful of pads, transport controls, a row of faders and encoders and a chord mode. No arpeggiator or sequencing.
The centre of the feature set is the direct support for the Analog Lab 2 software. You can dial in and load sounds on your computer directly from the front panel and edit them with the various controls. There’s 5000 sounds included, plus a big piano and a lite version of Ableton Live. For DAW control there’s support for Mackie/Hui protocols.
Don’t get me wrong, they look like fabulous MIDI controllers, something that Arturia do very well. I guess they want a slice of the market where Akai, M-Audio, Native Instruments and everyone else is.
The Keylab Essential 61 is €249, the 49 is €199. More information on the Arturia website.