Arturia KeyLab Essential 61

184

USB MIDI Keyboard

  • 61 Velocity-sensitive keys
  • 8 Velocity dynamic pads with aftertouch
  • A Clickable encoder
  • 9 Rotary control
  • 9 Faders
  • 13 Keys
  • Transport section with 4 function buttons
  • LCD display
  • Pitchbend and modulation wheel
  • Chord Play mode
  • Mackie / HUI Control compatible
  • Connections: USB, MIDI output, hold pedal input, input for optional power supply (not included)
  • USB class compliant
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): 882 x 76 x 248 mm
  • Weight: 3.3 kg
  • Including Arturia Analog Lab software, Ableton Live Lite license and UVI Grand Piano license

Note: Requires Internet connection for authorisation.

Aftertouch No
Split Zones 0
Layer function No
Pitch Bend / Modulation Yes
Rotary Encoder 9
Fader (Amount) 9
Pads 8
Display Yes
MIDI interface 1x Out
Pedal input Yes
USB-port Yes
Mains Operation Yes
Battery Operation No
Bus-Powered Yes
available since September 2017
Item number 413010
sales unit 1 piece(s)
Dimensions 882 x 76 x 248 mm
Weight 3,3 kg
Special Features incl. Arturia Analog Lab 2 Software, Ableton Live Lite Licence and UVI Grand Piano Licence
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£211
Free shipping incl. VAT
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B
Reasonable quality for the price.
Badgerlicious 13.07.2020
I use this as my main midi keyboard. Having five octaves in a pretty compact keyboard has been great as someone who doesn't have a whole lot of space. The keys are nice, though it's a typical synth keybed. Nothing fancy beyond velocity and release velocity.

I like the layout, lots of faders and pots to map things too. Transport controls are super handy. I can't say I use the pads much though. The programming software is easy to use, and an update within the last year made it not take a few minutes to actually load. Which is nice.

My minor complaint is that the pots move veeeery slowly. It's the same on my keystep pro, so it might be Arturia's thing.

My major complaint is the midi keys sometimes get stuck on. For whatever reason the note-off doesn't get sent. It can be very annoying.

The big thing though is the inclusion of Aturia's analog lab. I think this makes the keylab essential and excellent product overall, especially for those first getting into making music who perhaps don't have as many synths and samples yet.
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Mf
Excellent value midi keyboard
Mick from Belfast 10.05.2021
I got this for my home studio set up. In addition to the relatively low price, the bundled software made it a very good value purchase. There are some limitations (eg the absence of zones / splits) but for less than £200 I can't really complain.

Pros

1. Relatively easy to set up and install, provided you follow the instructions and do everything in the right order
2. The midi control centre, where you can save configurations to the User pads for easy recall is great.
3. With the optional adaptor (Item 192043) I have also been able to use this in a live setting as a controller keyboard (in my case for a Nord Electro 6 HP), so it could operate as a top (B3 organ) board, including the assignment of the sliders to the Nord drawbar settings. It took me a little while (and a youtube video) to figure this out, but it was really worth it to have the versatility of a second keyboard on the Nord sound engine and the ability to control the organ sounds from the midi controller.
4. The variety of sounds / synths in the bundled software is just fantastic. I've had hours of fun with the vintage synths.

Cons
1. It's not the sturdiest keyboard in the world, and the keys are very light to the touch. Not really suitable for piano sounds, but is grand for synths and light organ work.
2. Would prefer to be able to assign channels to zones, but I guess that's why Arturia sell more expensive / feature rich versions.

Overall, if you're looking for a cheap controller with a bundle of software, which can also be used live, and which will integrate easily into your DAW, this is a good option.
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Anonymous 04.10.2021
A la hauteur de mes attentes. Excepté un petit bémol concernant les softwares qui vont avec le produit (analog lab...) pas très intéressants à mon goût.
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Arturia KeyLab Essential 61
EddieRH 27.11.2021
I am new to piano, and I must say, this keyboard is great. The software it comes with, is what makes it such an incredible option for beginners. You can explore a lot, and make the BEST most atmospheric, dramatic, dark, or happy sounds with Analog Lab V, and of course Ableton Live Lite is great if you want to begin recording.. The reason I gave the product 4 stars and not 5, is because one of the higher note keys (A) for some unknown reason stopped working after 6 hours of using the keyboard. The keybed itself feels much nicer than I thought, but you don't have 100% control of the action like you would with a properly hammered piano/keyboard. Overall its great for beginners
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