Review: Arturia KeyLab 49 Black Limited Edition MIDI Controller

Review Arturia KeyLab 49 Black

Arturia announced in July that its award-winning KeyLab 49 and KeyLab 61 MIDI controller keyboards are back in black edition offering extra value than ever.

Thanks to the Arturia team we managed to get and review the KeyLab 49 Black Edition and we offered to test it and see what this controller it is capable.

Review Arturia KeyLab 49 Black Edition

Overview

Installation was very easy, the KeyLab 49 controller is powered by its USB connection, so all you have to do is to connect the KeyLab to your computer using the included USB cable.

KeyLab 49 is one of the best looking MIDI controller and it gives a “premium” feeling with wood-side panels and black aluminium body-case with very , very good finishes.

Arturia have designed their KeyLab controllers for use with their own Analog Lab soft synth, featuring all Arturia’s impressive line of legendary classic analog synth recreations, such as Moog, Solina V, Prophet V, Jupiter 8, CS-80, Arp 2600 (all tested and reviewed at ProducerSpot.com) and the UVI Grand Piano type D.

Arturia Analog Lab Review
Analog Lab Interface

Analog Lab offers an ergonomic interface with a quick and effective browser system to assist you in finding the sound you need quickly. Analog Lab features over 6000 classic analog tones to choose from. There are so many presets that we did not succeed ye to hear them all.

Analog Lab also works as a standalone software or like a plugin inside your digital workstation. The integration of there two products results in a powerful hybrid synthesizer with excellent functionality and great sound.

Controls

On the left of the controller we find a beautiful blue LED display, which displays the most recently controlled parameter, or the preset being used.

  • The Volume encoder controls the master volume of Analog Lab.
  • The Bank buttons will toggle between two sets of controller assignments for both the Encoders and the Faders.
  • If 49 keys are not enough, it is possible to change the octave position by 3 in either direction using “down” and “Up” buttons.
  • The pitch and modulation wheels are placed comfortably in their normal position at the bottom left of the controller.
  • 10 rotary dials and 2 banks that can be used to control 20 functions.
  • 9 envelope faders to control VCAs or VCFs within the preset. Also we can assign these faders to any other parameter from MIDI Controller Center program (included with the KeyLab 49).
  • 16 pressure sensitive rubber pads, which can be used to play chords, drums, or programmed to do other things from the MIDI Control Center program.

Connectivity

On the back we have MIDI In and Out connectors, Expression Pedal, Sustain Pedal and Auxiliary Pedal inputs as well as a breath controller input. KeyLab can also be powered by a DC power unit if it is needed to be used away from your computer. And do not forget the manual that accompanies this controller. It is very comprehensive, it clearly explain the installation process and each control function on the keyboard.

Extra

Compared with previous “white” versions, the KeyLab black limited edition offers extra value including bundled software in the shape of Analog Lab, Solina V, Prophet V and the UVI Grand Piano type D synth.

Conclusion

This is a very good flexible controller to have for its price. KeyLab series offers a lot for the price point and with its trigger pads, range of controllers, knobs and faders plus hundreds of cool sounds from AnalogLab. KeyLab 49 will suit in every studio set up or even in set ups for live performance. KeyLab midi controller works with any music software or plug-in you own.

If you want to know more and want to buy this hybrid-synth (price 369,00 €), you can do this here: Arturia KeyLab 49 – Black Edition

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