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Arturia KeyLab Essential

Controller Instrument
Published February 2018
By Simon Sherbourne

Arturia KeyLab Essential

The KeyLab Essential condenses Arturia’s core controller capabilities into one cut-down package.

Arturia were one of the first music tech companies to embrace the concept of a paired virtual instrument player and hardware controller: their Analog Factory and Analog Experience pre-date Native Instruments’ and Akai’s keyboards by several years. In recent times these have evolved into the KeyLab controllers, alongside the Analog Lab software/plug-in. The KeyLab Essential range provides a very affordable way to get in on this action, with hardware that’s built to a lower price point but that still provides flexible MIDI control, DAW control, and an uncompromised version of the sound engine.

Bare Essential

The first thing I noticed about the KeyLab Essential keyboard was how incredibly light it is — not necessarily a bad thing if you’re gigging. While the build is undeniably plasticky, the keyboard does retain a certain amount of the stylish Arturia look, with its rounded edges...

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Published February 2018