Arturia KeyLab Essential mk3: a Full-Featured MIDI Controller With a Small Footprint

Arturia does it again with the KeyLab Essential mk3 MIDI Controller. It’s eco-designed, with new features, a massive bundle of soft synths, pianos and Ableton Live, and more to make your creativity flow.

Arturia MIDI controllers sit on the desks every studio — from home spaces to glorious no expense spared spaces — and there’s a good reason why. With the release of their latest MIDI controller the KeyLab Essential mk3, Arturia makes something both useful and creative.

With either 49 or 61 keys, the KeyLab Essential mk3 leads the way in protecting our planet with it’s 100% Recyclable packaging (there’s 40% recycled plastic and 18% less materials’ carbon impact compared to previous models).

The controller features 9 endless knobs, 9 faders, a bigger screen, 2 pad banks across the 8 pads that are velocity and pressure sensitive, a transport control section, solid feeling pitch and modulation wheels and 4 contextual buttons. It connects via USB-C, has a 5 pin MIDI out, and packs a very handy multi-purpose pedal input for sustain, footswitch or expression.

The KeyLab Essential mk3 ships with an incredible amount of software: Analog Lab V — their flagship library of thousands of synth & keys, Ableton Lite — arguably one of the most creative DAWs out there, UVI Model D — a stunning Steinway grand piano instrument, NI The Gentleman — an intimate upright piano, Melodics Lite — pad & keyboard lessons, and a 2-month subscription to Loopcloud — millions of hi-def royalty-free samples.

Arturia knows everyone is wanting more and more integration with their DAW so they’ve including 5 dedicated DAW scripts (+Mackie & HUI), Arturia Software integration (Analog Lab and V Collection) and integration with user programs.

There’s 3 new creative features: Scale mode — which locks the keybed to one of several built-in scales, Chord Play — rich, full, powerful chords with a single key by selecting from built-in chord presets, and a Hold function. The same features that have been around for a while are still there, a multi-mode arpeggiator and semitone transposing.

The KeyLab Essential mk3 comes in at $499 AUD for the 61 key, and $399 AUD for the 49 key with both models coming in black or white. For more info head over to Arturia.com