Arturia Keylab MKII review- The best next-level, luxury controller

Looking for a keyboard controller that “has it all” is quite difficult considering how diverse our interests and tastes can get. Arturia does a pretty good job at featuring this KeyLab MkII instrument to cater to as many users’ needs. Here is a comprehensive review of the Arturia Keylab MKII keyboard controller.

Featured with a robust variety of abilities and compatibilities, this MIDI key controller is a highly connective instrument with overall versatile use. Many musicians get to the point where they don’t just need an instrument, they need a partner: one who can keep up especially. Ultimately, the Arturia Keylab MkII controller is meant to deliver this partnership with comprehensive control and the ultimate playing experiences.

Both the hardware and software elements are made with a certain finesse that ideally is meant to elevate your experience using the Arturia Keylab MKII. Take a look at the comprehensive review of the Arturia Keylab MKII.

What should you expect from the Keylab MKII?

First off, the Arturia MkII is a carefully crafted instrument that engages the users’ creativity, and maintains positive workflow environments for maximum productivity. Moreover, it has the controls and features which ensure the time spent working on this instrument is quite worthwhile. The simple design with ergonomic elements, allows this controller to deliver streamlined and uninhibited functionality. Instant accesses to highly functional tools not only add convenience, but are easy to use additions into the overall design on this controller. Like we mentioned, Arturia aims to deliver two main things with this controller. This controller will work smoothly with your DAW, other virtual instruments, and modular gear.

Here are some of the other features and specifications on the Arturia KeyLab MkII

Build quality and overall look

Yes, the KeyLab MKII is specifically designed to last the user a long time, and sound very good at the same time. Both versions are enabled with the Pro-Feel action; a special feature that balances sensitivity of the delicacies of playing with the robustness and subsequent aggression of pumped performances. Moreover the parts are encased in an all aluminum exterior with wiggle free knobs. The Pads in addition to touch and pressure sensitivity are RGB-Backlit: a great convenience and performance addition to any controller.

This instrument is available in both black and white designs for the KeyLab MkII 61 and MkII 49 respectively, with a new addition the collection, 88 key MkII. Both have a basic USB bus drive for power and MIDI with a power supply unit option which allows users to utilize controller without PC connection. Additionally, both are made with top notch keybed with velocity.

Controls and Connectivity

Because the Arturia KeyLab MkII features a wide variety of performance and studio controls, it is considerably versatile and can be integrated into many spaces quite easily.

First off, this controller allows users an in-depth control over the MIDI environment by allowing instant access to the features you use most. Do not let this easy to use functionality fool you, said controls on the Arturia KeyLab MkII can access high functionality features. The design maximizes on both the hardware and software capabilities for efficient control. The control bank’s 9 rotary control knobs and faders for instance, all pre-mapped by the way, are wiggle free, customizable and quite easy to use.

Additional access to comprehensive and next level MIDI control using the different modular control options on this instrument. In fact, KeyLab’s extensive connectivity allows for 5 different Voltage connections. These options allow users a wide integration scope for their modular gear or even DAW, making the KeyLab MkII quite the versatile controller. This connectivity includes CV-Gate, MIDI, USB and other assignable pedal inputs.

Workflow efficiency

Yes, an instrument can influence how well and efficiently work is getting done. Arturia’s KeyLab MkII successfully allows for shortcuts for maximum time efficiency with provisions for minimum distractions. Using the three different modes, users can easily use the KeyLab MkII in Analog Lab, DAW or User modes. You may easily switch between modes, for elaborate and convenient control over this keyboard controller.

Analog lab

The Arturia KeyLab encompasses the phrase: the best of both worlds with the Analog lab feature. It allows aces to 21 of the best instruments and over 6500 sounds. With this, you have easy access to the best and most iconic sounds, no programming needed, to play around with. It is basically a treasure trove for all custom creatives who want t o focus on different sounds.

Other included platforms you can access with this instrument include the Piano V and Ableton Live Lite. Different users can utilize the platforms respectively for comprehensive piano music modeling and recreation in addition to high-powered studio sound generation. Specifically, Ableton Lite allows you to record, and edit your sound: essentially, this platform provides enough tools to create an whole song. Alternatively, Piano V contains meticulously crafted pianos that are developed with high tech modeling tech. In combination, these allow synth, keyboard and piano musical power on one instrument. The KeyLab MkII is compatible with both IOS and Windows operating systems, ensuring versatility in ownership.

Touring and performance

The KeyLab MkII is quite reliable when it comes to travel and gigging. You can carry around this baby without worrying about any dainty part breaking away. As critically reviewed above, the aluminum chassis in addition to robust fixtures and sturdy finish not only confer performance enhancement but also durability benefits. Moreover, the chi and luxury finish on this instrument makes it a wonderful statement piece for performers who want a functional luxury accessory during the performance.


  • Suitable for a variety of players
  • Made to last
  • High connectivity
  • Ergonomic design
  • Encourages workflow during sessions
  • Elaborate control features


  • The LCD screen could be better


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Final thoughts on the Arturia Keylab MKII

All things considered, Arturia does a good job in developing the well rounded KeyLab MkII: which is also available in multiple variations. It is a handsome keyboard with excellent control capabilities in addition to versatility in use. High performance features with an easy to use operation with a customizable interface are just a few of the reasons the KeyLab MkII is a good choice keyboard controller.

Peter Smith

Welcome to MusicGearAdvisor! 4 years ago I rediscovered my passion for making music and began building my own home studio. As I have gone through my journey I realized that I am just as passionate about the equipment as I am about the music. I started MusicGearAdvisor as a way for me to share my learnings with others so you can get started making music that you dream of.

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