Review: Arturia KeyLab 88 Hammer-Action Keyboard Controller

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Hey what’s good fam!

Today I’m reviewing a pretty large MIDI controller from Arturia, they KeyLab 88

Let’s jump right into it!

What is the KeyLab 88?

keylab88-imageThis is the largest device in Arturia’s KeyLab series, a hybrid system comprised of the Analog Lab software and a dedicated, pre-mapped MIDI controller.

The KeyLab doesn’t only work with with the Analog Lab software though, it’s a universal MIDI controller as well.

As the name implies the KeyLab 88 has a full set of 88 hammer-action keys, for those looking for a realistic weighted experience.

Oh yeah…this huge controller is fully powered via USB as well, so no need for an extra power adapter when you’re hooking up to your computer…sexy.

Quick Specs

So what’s the bottom line?

I’m a fan of the KeyLab series, I think it’s a great way to get a nice MIDI controller as well as a hybrid instrument with access to amazing sounds via Analog Lab.

When I first heard about the KeyLab 88 I was definitely excited to see how it would turn out, and Arturia delivered the high build quality I expected with their full metal chassis.

4andhalfsubsI give the KeyLab 88 a 4.5 of 5 subs, it feels great to play, and instantly maps to the Analog Lab software making it behave like an actual instrument. 

If you’re looking for a hammer action/weighted keyboard this is definitely one to check out.

I do wish they would have used real wood ends on this model, and I would love to see them improve the screen in their controller range to something more graphical and visually inviting.

In addition to those requests, I’d love to see an easier way to change the bank/notes of the pads using a bank up and down button. This would make the drum pads much more usable. Also, as I mentioned in my review of the KeyLab 49, I’d like to see the chord mode work via MIDI and not just with the Analog Lab software.

Despite my requests and things I’d love to see improved, the KeyLab 88 is a very solid MIDI controller, build quality is great and the keybed feels really nice. I’ve used a few different weighted keyboards and this one doesn’t feel too heavy in my opinion like some I’ve used in the past. I definitely wouldn’t have a problem using this on the daily.

Head on over to their site to check it out: http://www.arturia.com/products/hybrid-synths/keylab88/overview

Or you can hit up zzounds.com and use their 4 payment plan to get your own! http://www.zzounds.com/a–1786589/item–ARAKEYLAB88

Let me know what you think below

 

8 Comments

  1. I have the keylab 61 and love it also have oxygen 88 that works with the keylab software does it come in black might trade the oxygen 88 for this maybe not

    Reply
    • Pianoteq is awesome man, it doesn’t use samples at all, very small footprint. The UVI is samples, not super huge though. Yeah they are still French, thanks for watching!

      Reply
  2. Well, i have a Keylab88 for a few months now and deeply regret i bought this piece of plastic, be wise, spend a few bucks more, buy a Roland A88 (cheaper than arturia) or better Kawai VPC1 or Casio. If you need a midi controller buy a seperate one. That’s what i did.

    Reply

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