Arturia KeyLab Essential 88 88-key MIDI Keyboard Controller

90
GEARANK

90 out of 100. Incorporating 175+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$379
Arturia KeyLab Essential 88

Gearank Recommendation

The KeyLab Essential 88 appeared on our recommended list for 88 Key MIDI Controller Keyboards from June 2021 until September 2022 when it had been out-ranked by other keyboards.

Overview

When people hear or read the word "essential" they tend to expect something similar to "stripped down", "minimal" or "basic". The Arturia Keylab Essential 88 however, still looks like a full featured MIDI controller.

Arturia's idea of essential still includes a whole suite of controls and software for music making, streamlined to make the learning curve more accessible and doing away with features that are rarely used.

Features include backlit performance pads, assignable knobs and faders, and semi-weighted keys.

Specifications

  • Keys: 88 Semi-weighted Keys
  • Zones: No
  • Pads: 8 x Back-lit Performance Pads
  • Controls: Pitchbend, Mod Wheel, 9 x Rotary Knobs, 1 x Clickable Jog Wheel, 9 x Faders
  • Power: USB Bus powered / 9V DC positive center power supply (sold separately)
  • Connectivity: 5-pin MIDI out, USB MIDI, 1 x 1/4" (sustain),
  • Dimensions: 49.59" (L) x 10.26" (W) x 2.48" (H).
  • Weight: 18.7 lbs.
  • Bundled Software: Analog Lab, Ableton Live Lite, UVI Grand Piano Model D
  • Compatibility: OS X 10.10 or later, 64-bit / Windows 7 SP1 or later, 64-bit
Although this was previously on our recommended list, there are more highly rated options available in our guide to The Best 88 Key MIDI Controller Keyboards.

Demo

Here's an overview of the Arturia KeyLab Essential 88: