Arturia just announced KeyLab Essential – an affordable, yet fully-featured range of universal MIDI controller keyboards for budget-conscious musicians.
The 49- and 61-note controllers are packed with intuitive performance controls, feature powerful DAW integration, and come with the same nice software bundle found in the Minilab MKII (see our Arturia Minilab MKII review).
Things we like
The KeyLab Essential boasts full-sized keys, a MIDI Din output (and optional DC power, for computer-free sessions – we really missed this on the Minilab!) and a twin-line LCD screen with the possibility to browse your Analog Lab presets directly from your keyboard.
Also, it has a chord mode plus pads, encoders and faders and can be easily integrated into a DAW-based setup.
The Keylab Essential comes with Ableton Live Lite, Analog Lab (a collection of over 5,000 keyboard presets taken from the Arturia V Collection) and UVI Grand Piano Model D.
Price and Availability
KeyLab Essential will begin shipping worldwide in June 2017.
The 49-key version will retail for 199 € / US$ 249.
The 61-key version will retail for 249 € / US$ 299.