Do you make music? Surely you know of Arturia. Do you want to know what we think their top 5 products are? Come with us as we run through the highlights.
Starting in France way back in the year 2000, Arturia founders Frédéric Brun and Gilles Pommereuil met as students at the Grenoble Institute of Technology. The technological university was the perfect breeding ground for two great minds to learn the craft of software engineering and hardware design.
Fast forward to 2022 and they have arguable the best emulations of vintage synths and keyboards on the market, a huge range of analog synths, iconic software recreations of hardware audio effects and every studio — both home and professional, plus more.
With an overwhelming amount of product and the music community unaware of the other offerings Arturia have, we decided to put a list together for you of Arturia’s Top 5. We’ve asked the musicians in the office and members of the Sydney music scene about their favourite products from the legendary company, including some we’ve spent some time with on review.
The Keylab MkII: the midi controller with everything
Arturia’s midi controllers have seen many variations over the years and they have always had all the bells and whistles for stage and studio. The Keylab MkII — which comes in either 49 key or 61 key — has full-size keys, 16 pads, 9 faders, 9 control knobs, a transport section for DAW control (or anything really!), a screen, 5 pin MIDI in and out, sustain, expression, USB powered and heaps and heaps of other features.
The design of Arturia’s midi controllers has always caught the eye of musicians with the wooden veneer inlays, a small enough profile to be portable, but solid enough to feel like you are playing an analog synth and the tangible controls. The Keylab MkII also comes with Analog Lab V, Piano V and Ableton Live Lite.
Whether you want a controller for your studio or want to pair it with a laptop for live performance this hits all the marks of having creativity at your fingertips.
Check it out here: Keylab MkII
The Mellotron V: the sampled tape sampler
Who would have thought back in 1963 that the Mellotron — a keyboard instrument that played samples — would be sampled itself! Arturia’s emulation of the infamous Mellotron is one of the best, and they seem to have the newest addition to the software market. The controls are plentyful with and ADSR envelope, Tape Saturation, Noises, Wow and Flutter and the ability to change the original key range.
There’s presets galore — yes, they have Strawberry Flutes so you can get your Beatles vibes on — and there’s even a neat FX section to load up with guitar pedal looking effects and amp sims and reverbs. On top of all this, you can load your own samples in!
Worthy mentions, the price is well below other outdated Mellotron emulations and the CPU usage of this is quite substantial. Get yourself into a good practice of the bouncing/committing audio and you’ll be fine.
As part of our Engineering the Sound video series we reviewed the latest V Collection 9 where this Mellotron and 32 other instruments are bundled up. Watch that here: Arturia V Collection 9 | Full Demo and Review
Efx Fragments: a chaos of sound in all the right ways
With effects and sound shape shaping being a huge part of modern productions, plugins that are somewhat uncontrollable can create new and interesting sounds you may have never shaped yourself. Enter the Efx Fragments. It’s new for Arturia and isn’t replicating a product from yesteryear.
They call it a creative sound shaper, but put simply it’s a granular delay with endless possibilities. If you’ve ever found yourself getting happily lost in the chaos that can be Soundtoys Crystallizer, than this is for you. In fact, it might just be what you will reach for instead.
With a space age display and tweaking for days, this effect plugin on a track or as a send will open up your mind and sound.
As part of the brand new FX Collection 3, we made a video focusing on the 4 new releases (Efx Fragments is one) within the collection. Watch it here: Arturia FX Collection 3 | Full Demo and Review
Wurli V: a classic recreation in Arturia’s lineup
The expense of buying, and then repairing a vintage keyboard instrument is jaw dropping. With emulations now fast overtaking the function and longevity of these hardware units, it’s no wonder that when someone on staff was asked about their favourite Arturia product, they quickly said ‘The Wurli!’ and they even own a 1970s Fender Rhodes!
This stunning recreation will do all the things an original Wurlitzer 200A Electric piano can do…and more. Open up that hood for extra tweaking and add guitars pedals at foot to expand your sound.
This emulation has been around since Arturia’s early days, but it’s only getting minor upgrades with each new collection — proving they got it right the first time.
Check it out here: Wurli V
AudioFuse 8Pre: the interface you didn’t know you needed
Say what? Arturia make interfaces!? Yes they do and this one does all the things. The AudioFuse 8Pre is an interface, standalone 8 mic preamp unit, ADAT expander, and comes with Arturia’s FX bundle!
It’s a classy looking unit in which each channel has a dedicated Volume knob, 48v On/Off button, Phase button, Pad button and meter. In this price range, you don’t normally see this functionality. With 8 combo jacks as inputs, 8 outputs plus 2 main outs, Word clock, ADAT I/O supporting up to 96kHz I/O the USB C powered device has got all your connections sorted.
With Arturia’s classic design of sleek but slim, this interface might have slipped through the cracks due to the fact that they are more well known in the software emulation game. But you heard it here first, this interface will seriously upgrade or overhaul your studio — or stage.
Check it out here: AudioFuse 8Pre
For more on this great company Arturia head over to their website: Arturia.com