Musikmesse 2017: Arturia releases two ‘Essential’ new KeyLab controller keyboards

MUSIKMESSE 2017: Arturia has unveiled two “affordable” new additions to its KeyLab range - 49- and 61-note controllers that come with a couple of plugins and a DAW.

Both models have velocity-sensitive keyboards and pitchbend/modulation wheels, as well as eight RGB backlit performance pads, nine faders and nine rotaries. There’s a DAW ‘Command Centre’ and transport section, and you can commit one set of DAW mappings to memory for easy recall.

You can also store one set of assignments for controlling the Analog Lab 2 software that comes in the box. This contains more than 5,000 keyboard sounds lifted from Arturia’s back catalogue of virtual instruments. Other bundled software includes Ableton Live Lite and the UVI Grand Piano Model D.

Further features on the hardware include six fully-customisable user memories, a Chord Play mode and a twin-line LCD screen. As well as being compatible with PC and Mac, the KeyLab Essentials ‘boards also work with iOS and Android devices.

Shipping in June, the KeyLab Essential controllers are priced at €199/$249 for the 49-note model and €249/$299 for the 61-key version. This puts them in a higher bracket than some of the best affordable controller keyboards, but they do cost significantly less than the standard KeyLabs. Find out more on the Arturia website.

Ben Rogerson

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. 

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