Arturia Intros KeyLab MK2 MIDI Controllers

Today Arturia announced the latest in their KeyLab MIDI controller series, KeyLab MKII. Available in a 49-key or 61-key version, KeyLab MkII combines the control of Arturia’s original KeyLab with the streamlined workflow and features of KeyLab Essential, while adding new features (detailed below):

Arturia KeyLab MKII Core Features:

  • MIDI- and USB-compatible controller with Mackie HUI recording software control
  • 49 or 61 Arturia Pro-Feel semi-weighted keyboard with velocity and pressure sensitivity
  • 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

KeyLab MKII features three different control modes:

  • DAW mode gives the user control over recording platform, with transport, track, and navigation controls all immediately available. KeyLab MkII also comes complete with 10 magnetic overlays and presets for some of the most popular DAW titles.
  • Analog Lab mode automatically assigns all knobs, faders, and buttons to work with the included Analog Lab 3 software suite. Enjoy control of over 6,000 iconic synth, key, organ, sampler, string machine, and piano sounds, set up splits and multi-sounds, and browse presets easily with dedicated category buttons and tag-based browsing with the jog wheel.
  • User mode allows the user total control of KeyLab MkII, with nearly every key, pad, button, switch, fader, and rotary knob totally customizable to send any note or MIDI CC data. Store up to 10 User maps to suit the user’s setup, from controlling multiple effects and VSTs at once, to giving full and total control of every parameter of a virtual instrument.

Software specifications: KeyLab MkII ships with a collection of software titles. Two full Arturia titles are included – Analog Lab 3 and Piano V 2. KeyLab MkII also includes Ableton Live Lite.

Modular compatibility. KeyLab MkII’s control voltage connectivity allows the user to open up to the world of vintage synthesizers and Eurorack modular systems. Featuring 4 CV outputs to control pitch, gate, and 2 modulation sources, the user can send live performance or DAW-controlled automation to their modular gear. KeyLab MKII also sports a CV input, which translates incoming signals from modules to MIDI/USB data, ready for your DAW.

Pricing and Availability. Arturia’s KeyLab MKII is available for pre-order via the Arturia website with an anticipated ship date of July 2018, when it should be available at retailers worldwide. KeyLab MKII is $449 US in the 49-key version, and $499 US for the 61-key model.

For more information on KeyLab MkII, and other controllers in Arturia’s range, visit the Arturia website.

23 thoughts on “Arturia Intros KeyLab MK2 MIDI Controllers

  1. Great… how about an arpeggiator already? Why is AKAI the only one putting these in their controllers? (MPK, MPK249, etc)

    1. correct! arpeggiator is so useful and easy to implement, I cannot understand why it is not a must have feature in controllers. I had an MPK25 and I could so easily use it with the microwave xt where the apreggiator is dug into menus… I got an alesis q49 to get more octaves and bcos of its slim footprint and it is a pain. btw, any decent midi gadget that can do keyboard split/layering and arpeggiation? cheers

  2. Looks pretty cool, wish it had more than 4 cv outs. I hope they do a keystep 2 next, I’d love to map one slider/knob to multiple cv outs, or vice versa for mathy logic functions.

  3. If this allows us to save presets for standalone MIDI usage (not tethered to computer), that will be fantastic. Also, hopefully the keybed is better than the first gen.

  4. Arturia, no ARP? no CONFORM TO SCALE for Chord mode? Seriously, its 2018.. that should be standard!
    Would of been an awesome controller… now i will have to buy the Native Instruments S mk2 series instead… So close Arturia, so close….

  5. Cool that it has the CV connectivity. I suspect the extra pedal inputs could be hooked up in interesting ways as well. Great that it’s metal. And love to see the keyboard itself being used as data input for MIDI channel and the global stuff on the right. Wish we saw more of this. It’s 49-61 extra buttons! Including patch naming.

    > Three banks of 9 MIDI-assignable knobs, faders, and RGB buttons, preconfigured to work with Analog Lab 3 instruments

    Sigh. Again. No synthesizer is actually laid out this way so why do we only see keyboard controllers laid out like a mixer? Novation X-Station is how a synth controller should be laid out.

    Feel like MIDI controllers have so much room for innovation. Yes arps are cool. What about MIDI LFOs? White keys to scale? Instrument presets with nested patch presets (so set it up to control your meeblip and the save however many meeblip presets you want)? Some dead simple way to copy and paste an instrument’s MIDI CC chart into the editor and have it automagically map and name the controls?

    And yes please to polyphonic aftertouch.

    1. The problem with the X-Station approach is that it only works well if the controller is dedicated to a particular application and a particular type of synthesis. Subtractive synth controls don’t make any sense for an additive synth, fm synth, wavetable synth, etc.

      Touch screens are probably the best interface for dealing with multiple types of synthesis on a hardware platform.

      The Roland System-1 & System-8 also pioneered a good approach to mapping different types of synths to hardware control, but again, only works well for working with subtractive synths.

  6. Just got it, great build quality. The sliders, knobs, faders, pads and key-bed all top notch. The mapping though….. Does well with Live. Nothing good at all for Reason. Having to try to figure out the best way to map almost every control element. I was so excited at the possibilities. Tried Akai. Quality build as always but DAW support not up to par for the price so I was hoping the Keylab 61 mk2 might offer a more intuitive way to get it done and so far a miss. Anyone with useful info on my issue welcomed. But please no trolling.

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