Arturia have announced the MKII range of their premium Keylab keyboard controller/software packages and, amazingly, it looks like they’ve managed to step up their game up yet again. Available in 49 key and 61 key versions, the MKII range features sturdy aluminium and wood construction, a ‘pro-feel’ keybed taken directly from their flagship Matrixbrute synthesiser with velocity and aftertouch sensitivity, expanded CV (control voltage) I/O for connecting to analogue and Eurorack gear and all the knobs, sliders and pads you’d expect from a premium controller.
DAW integration has also been beefed up, the dedicated DAW button switches the controller to one of 10 pre-mapped templates for the most commonly used software environments (Ableton Live, Logic, Pro Tools etc) – turning the sliders into track faders, the main jog wheel into a playback cursor, knobs into pan-control and all the transport and record control you’ll need. The unit also ships with magnetic overlays for those DAWs so all the controls are labelled correctly and there’s no need to memorise what controls what.
As with MKI, the units ship with the Analog Lab software which features 6500 presets via 21 classic synthesiser, keyboard and piano instruments taken directly from their flagship software package – V Collection. Arturia’s Piano V software is also included, providing a comprehensive suite of 12 fully customisable piano models. And of course, Ableton Live Lite is included, so you’ve got everything you need to get creating.
Arturia have also taken aim at live performers with a whopping 3 auxiliary pedal inputs, alongside the usual sustain and expression pedal inputs – allowing foot control over whatever parameter you desire, reverb, wah, filter etc. These could also be set up with latching footswitches to operate like traditional stompbox effects.
Word is the MKII units are set to arrive in Australia roughly around the end of July with local pricing that’s surprisingly modest. Further info can be found via the Arturia website here