Arturia KeyLab Essential 61
Overview by GAK
Presenting - the 61-key model of Arturia’s KeyLab Essential series. These MIDI controller keyboards pack a tonne of great features & an intuitive layout into an affordable & portable package. Throw in a comprehensive software suite and you’ve got a fantastic all-round choice for composers, producers and performers alike.
Compact & Fully Featured
The 61-key iteration of the Arturia KeyLab Essential presents a brilliant balance of portability and instantly available range, residing in the middle of the series in terms of size. It’s an ideal choice for players that want to accurately emulate the playing experience of the legendary synths in Analog Lab such as the Prophet 5, Jupiter 8 & DX7 as well as gigging keyboardists that require that more range than the 49-key model offers. The KeyLab Essential 61’s expansive 5-octave range allows you to pull off those big two-handed chords and provides you with additional notes to play with when using Analog Lab’s Split functionality. The 88-key version is available if you need the full range of an acoustic piano and a weightier action.
Silky Synth Action
Arturia’s KeyLab Essential 61 sports a super smooth and responsive synth-action keybed with velocity sensitivity. It’s highly expressive (perfect for those intricate & nuanced piano pieces) and effortless to play (so you can easily deliver those ripping solo runs and tricky organ glissandos).
The KeyLab Essential 61 is the one we’d recommend if you want a feature-packed MIDI controller keyboard that is easily transportable and has enough on-hand range to pull off most styles. With its deep software integration, the KeyLab Essential 61 can become the centrepiece of your studio and performance rig.
- Amazing bundled software: every KeyLab Essential comes with a powerful array of software titles that will inspire even the most seasoned professional. For those that are new to the music production world, KeyLab Essential has everything they need to start making music right out of the box, from the 5,000+ keyboard preset sounds in Analog Lab to the recording and producing power of Ableton Live Lite.
- Fully customizable: almost every component of KeyLab Essential can be customized to suit your own particular needs in a controller, and saved within the 6 user preset banks so you can quickly chop and change between settings. Perfect for live performance or controlling specific virtual instruments.
- DAW control: featuring full Mackie / HUI command support, you can control the most used functions of your DAW directly from your keyboard, letting you spend more time creating and less time switching between your controller and your keyboard & mouse.
- Great feeling keys: a key component often overlooked on other controllers - the KeyLab Essential offers a beautifully playable, synth-action keyboard for you to hammer out melodies for years to come.
- Assignable faders and rotaries: easily control your DAW’s mixer, then at the flick of a switch start tweaking Analog Lab’s sound parameters. KeyLab Essential offers outstanding workflow options, and will keep up with even the most hands-on producers.
- Solid RGB performance pads: the dual-function pads let you hammer out a rhythm one moment, select your user maps another, and trigger your own custom command the next. You can even select their color to keep your live set organized.
- Chord play for quicker, thicker sounds: straight out of the fabled Arturia BeatStep Pro, the Chord feature lets you tap in your preferred chord and instantly transpose it to any key you touch.
- MIDI and power via USB: power sockets and USB slots are precious commodities in the streamlined, modern studio. KeyLab Essential sends and receives all its MIDI data and is powered by just one single USB connection. It’s even “class compliant”, so you can also use it with your iOS or Android device.
- MIDI Out: To connect to external harwware and modules, a MIDI Out socket is included.
No upgrades available
Good keyboard, has a decent keybed for a synth action board, velocities are fine, buttons, nobs and sliders are all good. Centre click dial button could use better click and notch / lock feel to it on rotation as it's easy to skip a preset or 5, but it's an excellent entry level keyboard which comes with quite a few instruments from Arturia. I've not had a problem using it with FLStudio and BitWig.
Ideal controller for Analog Lab and Ableton Live which came bundled, with nice feel and build quality.
Bit flimsy but for the money not bad at all. The inclusion of software synths and the like was worth every penny. Thank you.