Arturia promises comprehensive MIDI control and a streamlined workflow with the KeyLab MkII

Arturia has unveiled MkII versions of its 49- and 61-note KeyLab controllers. These promise to retain the comprehensive control facilities of the original models, but to bring the streamlined workflow and ‘smart features’ of the KeyLab Essential to the party, too.

The KeyLabs can operate in three different modes: DAW mode gives you control over your recording software; Analog Lab mode lets you control parameters in the Analog Lab 3 software; and User mode lets you customise the hardware to control whatever you want.

As well as Analog Lab 3, which includes classic synth and keyboard sounds drawn from Arturia’s V Collection, the KeyLab Essential MkII controllers also ship with Piano V 2 and Ableton Live Lite. They also offer control voltage connectivity so that you can use them with your vintage synth and Eurorack gear.

Arturia is also keen to highlight the KeyLabs’ build quality: they offer an aluminium chassis, a machined metal pitchbend and mod wheel, and a ‘Pro-Feel’ keybed. You can choose from black and  white finishes.

Both models are available for pre-order now from the Arturia website, with delivery in July. The KeyLab 49 MkII costs €449, and the KeyLab 61 MkII can be yours for €499.  

Arturia KeyLab MkII 2 features

  • MIDI and USB compatible controller with recording software control thanks to the MCU/HUI protocol.
  • 49 or 61 Arturia Pro-Feel semi-weighted keyboard with velocity and pressure sensitivity
  • Rugged aluminium chassis
  • Metal pitch bend and modulation wheels
  • 4 CV outputs and 1 CV input for modular connectivity
  • DAW Commands with magnetic overlays
  • Total Analog Lab integration with dedicated “Category” buttons for quick navigation
  • Three banks of 9 MIDI-assignable knobs, faders, and RGB buttons, preconfigured to work with Analog Lab 3 instruments
  • 16 backlit RGB multi-function pads with velocity and pressure sensitivity
  • 2 customizable chord modes
  • 32-character LCD screen
  • Sustain and expression pedal inputs, as well as 3 additional auxiliary pedal inputs
Ben Rogerson
Deputy Editor

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it.