Arturia Keylab MKII

Anything to do with Midi. Controller Keyboards, Midi gear, software etc.

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Re: Arturia Keylab MKII

Unread post by EX5_etc » Tue Nov 06, 2018 6:15 pm

Saul wrote:
Tue Nov 06, 2018 10:20 am

It is always interesting to get peoples take on keyboards and in particular the keybeds fitted to them. I also had the Axiom Pro 49 and Akai Pro Adv 49 and whilst I did like the Akai I definitely did not like the Axiom. I can't say about the Keylab yet but it is arriving tomorrow so I will give it a good workout and see where we go from there.

It is a good thing that we all have different preferences with keyboards, guitars and all sorts of other things. I think it would be a very dull world if we all thought and felt the same.

Oh and interesting also that you had problems with Akai's VIP software DrF. For me it all installed straight away without any problems but I think I was running Sierra by then so could be OS specific?

As for Arturia software I have only tried individual instruments and not with an Arturia keyboard so I am definitely looking forward to testing this :)
When I said that it had a "soft" keybed I meant that it did not have the tension the AKAI Pro Adv 49 did. The keys of the KeyLab mkII are not cheap by any means and they do have metal weights on the bottom. But I hear the springs making noises sometimes. And I definitely do not like the clicking sound of the buttons.

The looks of the controller from the rear are very impressive in my opinion. Slim, full of connectors and that white paint... It's pure class definitely. It is a heavy controller, well made but the quality of some parts on it could be better considering the $500 price tag. I have reached the point in my life where spending some dough and not being 100% happy with what I bought is not a big deal. But they could have used less noisy buttons definitely. I don't hear the buttons I press on the AKAI, why should I hear those on the KeyLab?

Regarding VIP... Some wise fellow in AKAI used the latest OS X software to make an image of VIP several GB in size. The problem is that older, perfectly working Macs, running an OS that is still functioning fine (El Capitan) cannot read or open images made with the newest file system, APFS. I downloaded the freaking huge image twice and failed to do anything with it. AKAI's customer service did provide a link to a stripped down version of VIP that my Mac could use but I had paid for the complete package, even though I paid a lower price for it. I had to install TransMac (demo version) on my Win7 PC to be able to open the stupid huge APFS image of VIP and then transfer its data to the Mac. That took HOURS. TransMac is very slow with huge images. After the installation came the trial. Tiny letters on the screen, menus and tabs that would not work properly, not to mention over 10 GB of space on my SSD. It took many tries to make the software produce a sound on my Mac. I removed the licenses and the entire package manually, another time consuming task because there was no unistaller for it. The AKAI controller will be simply used in standalone mode with the Behringer DeepMind 12D synth. After I replace its plastic knobs with solid metal aluminum ones. I have to decide if the color of the knobs will be silver, black, metallic blue, metallic red or gold.

The software that comes with the Arturia is very nice actually. Installation is fast, registration is even faster, and it does produce sounds without making my life difficult. This controller will be used with the Mac mostly.

Motif XF6, DeepMind 12D, MicroArranger, MicroKorg S, SY99, SY85, QS300, PSR1000, WX5, EX5R, A5000, TG500, TG55, RM50, QY700, QY100, QX5FD, MDF3, MJC8, EMX2, YDP2006, REV500, EMP700, EQ500U, MCS2, AW16G, Axiom Pro 49, AKAI Pro Advance 49, Arturia KeyLab mkII 61, and a few other things by Behringer, Evolution, Philips, Tascam, Technical Pro, Yamaha, etc, etc,... I wish I had time to use all this stuff; I am not even pro. :-)
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Re: Arturia Keylab MKII

Unread post by Saul » Thu Nov 08, 2018 12:31 am

So the Keylab MKII arrived this evening and so far it is all looking good.

Arturia sent me the black 61 note version which I think looks really classy. The chassis is all metal apart from the end caps but thats ok with me as it would never leave the house so is unlikely to get knocked. They did make a nice job of those end caps though, very tasteful design.

All the controls are good quality and are smooth in operation. The display is on the small side but it does what it needs to do in terms of selecting sounds.

I have only had a chance to play with it for about 10 minutes but so far the keys feel fine to me. I compared with the MODX7 and really there is not much in it but the Keylab's keys have more resistance to them and don't feel quite as "weighted" as the Yamaha if that makes any sense? Still a great set of keys though and I was able to play the Arturia Piano V on them quite easily.

The software probably took around 10 minutes to install including the download and registration.

I will get further into it tomorrow but so far, yeah I think Arturia have done a great job with this one :clap:
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