Submitted by Jason Horton on
Nearly a year after it was first exhibited at Musikmesse last year, Arturia's KeyLab 88 high-end MIDI controller keyboard is now available to buy.
By all reports it's a fairly rugged keyboard so you'll be able to use it in the studio as well as lugging it around to gigs and rehearsals with no problem.
Academy Award winning film composer Alexandre Desplat is a fan stating, "It is with pleasure that I’m using Arturia’s new KeyLab 88 keyboard which allows precise access to all V Collection parameters and also my other plug-ins with its controllers. Integrating it into a virtual environment is easy while its design finish is elegant. The extension shelf is very well thought through, allowing you to easily position your laptop or music manuscripts for taking quick notes. Best of all, Arturia has helpfully included the Analog Lab software suite with this keyboard."
The KeyLab 88 has the following controls:
- 2 clickable encoders
- 6 transport switches
- 2 banks of 10 encoders
- 2 banks of 9 sliders
- 10 assignable switches
- A volume encoder
- Modulation and pitch wheels
- 16 back-lit pads with both velocity and pressure sensitivity
Obviously you can use it to control any MIDI instrument - physical or virtual, but you'll also find the bundled softsynth Analog Lab and it's 5,000 pre-set sounds to be quite useful. All these presets come from these synths: mini V, Modular V, CS-80V, ARP 2600 V, Prophet V, Prophet VS, SEM V and Jupiter-8V and the Wurlitzer V
One handy feature that you only usually get with full-sized 88 key controllers like this one, is that there is a flat space on the top at the right hand side where you can rest a mouse pad, tablet, or even a laptop as in the picture to the right.
I haven't played one myself, so here's a fairly through review for you to watch:
The official list price is $999 but it's currently available for $799 at zZounds, Sweetwater, and Musician's Friend.
For more information visit the official Arturia KeyLab 88 page.