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New 88 key controller - choices?

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New 88 key controller - choices?

Postby DaveNJ » Mon Jul 22, 2019 11:07 pm

Hi all, I was just about all set to pick up one of the new Arturia KeyLab 88mkII controllers with plans to utilize the included Analog Lab 4 for a but and then get the Arturia Collection 7 once I'm familiar enough with it all but now I'm questioning myself...

I'm looking to replace an old Novation remote37SL and get something with bit heavier of an action - to both do some composing as well as finally look to get seem serious (well, semi-serious) piano lessons taken. I've been using soft synths in my recording rig for a while now.

Today I popped into the local Sam Ash here in sweltering hot New Jersey and they had a Roland Juno DS88 on display for the same price as the Arturia 88mkII+Analog Lab. I really liked the keybed (coming from the Novation, I suppose a well laid out formation of Chicklets might be considered better) and the built-in sounds were really nice.

So, not I'm trying to figure out of I should go with this Roland (or, maybe the step-up FA-08) or just get the Arturia? I haven't seen the keylab 88mkII in person yet, so I'm not sure how the keybed feels in comparison to the faux ivory Roland.

If I'm looking to do the following:

- Use multiple soft synths on my mac
- Potentially play back multiple patches on the Roland in the same song

should I be leaning towards either solution? Are there limitations with midi on the roland juno? It does seem to be kind of "entry-level" and I always look to buy to allow for growth...

Thanks, all!
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Re: New 88 key controller - choices?

Postby MOF » Tue Jul 23, 2019 12:29 am

Native Instruments has just released its latest 88 note keyboard it might be of interest, it’s reviewed in the latest SOS.
https://www.native-instruments.com/en/p ... ntrol-s88/
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Re: New 88 key controller - choices?

Postby DaveNJ » Tue Jul 23, 2019 1:01 am

Thanks, MOF - I will look into it. I actually just found out there's a shanghai-la for keyboards and synths here in NJ (http://threewavemusic.com) so I'm going to go there tomorrow to poke around.
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Re: New 88 key controller - choices?

Postby Eddy Deegan » Tue Jul 23, 2019 1:05 am

It's a serious purchase with a strong element of subjectivity so far be it from me to advise you on what you should get. What I would recommend however, is that before you choose you try and find somewhere you can play the Arturia in conjunction with V Collection 7.

I have the 61 key version and find the integration with the softsynths incredibly good. If the action of the 88 suits you, you may find the combination of it with the V Collection irresistible.

You can find more details of the integration aspect of the Arturia kit in the April 2019 edition of SOS here.
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Re: New 88 key controller - choices?

Postby DaveNJ » Tue Jul 23, 2019 1:09 am

Eddy, I totally agree - I tried the demo of the V Collection and it was just great. I just need to find someplace that has the 88mkII now!
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Re: New 88 key controller - choices?

Postby Eddy Deegan » Tue Jul 23, 2019 1:10 am

DaveNJ wrote:Eddy, I totally agree - I tried the demo of the V Collection and it was just great. I just need to find someplace that has the 88mkII now!

:thumbup: :D
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Re: New 88 key controller - choices?

Postby Arpangel » Tue Jul 23, 2019 7:30 pm

I owned a Keylab 69, for two days, it was like a toy, it inspired no confidence whatsoever.
I'm afraid I'm not a fan of Arturia hardware, after sending it back I got a bit of grief about de-registering it too, never had that from any other manufacturer.
I'd go for the Roland, or even a Novation. Arturia used to be great, but what with no backwards compatibility between soft synths, which caused me endless hassle, and poor hardware quallity I decided to give them a miss.
I can remember how their first Moog Modular, and ARP2600 changed my life, truly amazing, and they really did sound convincing, but no more. I really don't know who made their subsequent marketing decisions, but they weren't good IMO.
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Re: New 88 key controller - choices?

Postby DaveNJ » Wed Jul 24, 2019 12:10 am

Well, I went out looking for the Arturia again today - no dice! Can't seem to find on in New jersey, so I just ordered a Roland JUNO DS88 with a nice discount... Should have it in a few days...

Side note - I went to Three Wave Music (https://www.threewavemusic.com/) in Hawthorne, New Jersey - wow, they have a ton of vintage synths there - really nice shop!
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Re: New 88 key controller - choices?

Postby Eddy Deegan » Wed Jul 24, 2019 12:45 am

Arpangel wrote:I owned a Keylab 69, for two days, it was like a toy, it inspired no confidence whatsoever.
I'm afraid I'm not a fan of Arturia hardware, after sending it back I got a bit of grief about de-registering it too, never had that from any other manufacturer.
I'd go for the Roland, or even a Novation. Arturia used to be great, but what with no backwards compatibility between soft synths, which caused me endless hassle, and poor hardware quallity I decided to give them a miss.
I can remember how their first Moog Modular, and ARP2600 changed my life, truly amazing, and they really did sound convincing, but no more. I really don't know who made their subsequent marketing decisions, but they weren't good IMO.

Fair comment - and I'm in no way affiliated but by way of balance I'd like to add that Arturia have continually improved both their offerings and their service in recent years.

I don't know if you had the original Keylab or the MkII but the MkII is significantly better. In particular the hardware is right up there with the best of them (I own a lot of high-end synth hardware to compare it to) and as someone with a long list of hardware registrations and software licenses from Arturia, as well as other vendors, I've nothing bad to say about them. Quite the opposite in my case.

I understand we all have our own experiences with vendors and do not question yours, but I think it's good to maintain a balance of opinion.
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Re: New 88 key controller - choices?

Postby Arpangel » Sat Jul 27, 2019 9:56 am

Eddy Deegan wrote:
Arpangel wrote:I owned a Keylab 69, for two days, it was like a toy, it inspired no confidence whatsoever.
I'm afraid I'm not a fan of Arturia hardware, after sending it back I got a bit of grief about de-registering it too, never had that from any other manufacturer.
I'd go for the Roland, or even a Novation. Arturia used to be great, but what with no backwards compatibility between soft synths, which caused me endless hassle, and poor hardware quallity I decided to give them a miss.
I can remember how their first Moog Modular, and ARP2600 changed my life, truly amazing, and they really did sound convincing, but no more. I really don't know who made their subsequent marketing decisions, but they weren't good IMO.

Fair comment - and I'm in no way affiliated but by way of balance I'd like to add that Arturia have continually improved both their offerings and their service in recent years.

I don't know if you had the original Keylab or the MkII but the MkII is significantly better. In particular the hardware is right up there with the best of them (I own a lot of high-end synth hardware to compare it to) and as someone with a long list of hardware registrations and software licenses from Arturia, as well as other vendors, I've nothing bad to say about them. Quite the opposite in my case.

I understand we all have our own experiences with vendors and do not question yours, but I think it's good to maintain a balance of opinion.

I haven't tried the latest Keylabs, but if they've improved then that's great.
Regarding synths, the difference in sound between the very first ones, and the later ones, was weirdly apparent, and noticed by a few others too. The early ones had all the characteristics of the originals, that's why I got them! I bought the new ones, and have hardly used them, that says it all.
I suppose if you've not used the early stuff then it wouldn't be a problem.
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