Arturia Intros KeyLab Essential MIDI Controllers At Musikmesse 2017

Musikmesse 2017: Arturia has announced KeyLab Essential, a new line of MIDI controller/software bundles.

The 49- and 61-note controllers offer intuitive performance controls, DAW integration and come with Arturia’s Analog Lab software. 

Here’s the official intro video:


  • Software Specifications:
    • Includes Analog Lab software with 5000 synth sounds
    • Includes Ableton Live Lite
    • Includes UVI Grand Piano model D
  • Hardware Specifications:
    • 61 keys with velocity
    • Controllers: 1 clickable encoder, 9 encoders, 9 30mm faders, 6 transport switches, 4 command switches, 1 modulation wheel, 1 pitch bend wheel, 8 touch and pressure-sensitive pads
    • Connectivity: MIDI out, USB, Sustain pedal
    • Functions as a universal MIDI controller
    • Twin-line LCD screen
    • MCU/HUI control compatibility
    • Chord Play mode
  • Perfect Analog Lab 2 integration:
    • Select sounds, browse presets, switch parts, smart-assigned controls.
    • Standalone or plug-in operation: VST, VST3, AU, AAX.
    • Over 5,000 TAE® powered preset sounds from Arturia’s award-winning V Collection
  • Ableton Live 9 Lite – record, layer, and edit your sounds to create a finished song.
  • UVI Grand Piano Model D – Sample-based software recreation of Steinway classic.
  • Compatible with major Digital Audio Workstation: Pro Tools, Logic Pro X, FL Studio, Bitwig, Cubase, Ableton Live, Digital Performer, Studio One

Pricing and Availability

KeyLab Essential is expected to ship in June 2017, priced at 199 EUR / $249 USD for the 49-key version and 249 EUR / $299 USD for the 61-key version. See the Arturia site for more info.

20 thoughts on “Arturia Intros KeyLab Essential MIDI Controllers At Musikmesse 2017

  1. We have enough controllers! I walk into Guitar Center and its a room full of controllers. All which do the same thing. More keys, less keys, more pads, more integration, less integration. Something is in the air.

    1. I wholly agree. Most of them have horribly key action too, IMO.
      My dream key controller has functions closer resembling a workstation with out the sound engine. More onboard sequencing/arpeggiation, splits/layers, setups that shoot save states, that sort of thing. Something that is a MASTER controller and not a slave-to-the-DAW controller.

      1. I must say that I love my Novation ReMOTE 49SL mkII for its keys. They are quite good and nice bounce. But I did go to my local shops and try as many midi keyboards as I could find and they all felt like crap. I had a 25SL back in the day that I quite liked. After seeing that none of the new ones felt any better, I went and found a great deal on a new 49SL mkII and went for it. If there’s one good midi keyboard out there, I must say that the ReMOTE SLs are.

      2. Love my Panorama but don’t love the keys (They are alright). Everything else about it is exactly what you described.

    2. I somewhat agree.
      I really would like to see a solidly built MIDI controller, through. Something like NI Kontrol but more rigid and durable. I’d pay a premium for that.
      MIDI Controllers are just uninspiring to look at and often aren’t built to last, not to mention noisy keybeds.

    3. This seems to be a cheaper alternative to their normal Keylab offers. For every budget a controller it seems. What could possible be wrong with that?

    4. Most end users only need a MIDI controller. The market for these controllers is enormous.
      Arturia are broadening their offerings to include a controller priced between Keylabs & MiniLabs.
      Everyone keeps cranking out new models testing the market until someone has the next Axiom 49 that out sells the competition models 4:1

    1. Price point.
      This is a budget version of the Keylab series.
      Watch to see if they do a “Keystep Pro”. If they do, that would have it.

  2. I want the marriage of one of these controllers with the sequencers, CV, and controls of the Beatstep Pro and the arpeggiator of the Keystep pro.

  3. Agreed. Nothing new, except the specific bundle & features.

    Might be an ok controller– and that does have some value. But without Poly AT, high-res velocity, release velocity, and more than one pedal input!!

    Flip the page, eat a chip.

    BTW, nice to see the comment entry has gotten easier and better (with email notifications).

  4. They’re all so indistinguishable. Garbage synth keys with lights and rubber buttons. How about a well built piano feel but in a <88 key format. That's something I'm looking in vain for. And the MPE improvements that McMillen and others are starting to turn out make all of these obsolete anyway.

  5. Does this have a noisy keybed? Usually the weighted ones have that problem right? Since this is synth action keys with some springy feel may be, i am hoping the keys would not make noises while playing, anyone tested this?

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