12th March 2014
As implied by name, KeyLab 88 takes its place at the top of Arturia's range of MIDI keyboard controllers with a high-quality hammer-action Fatar keybed boasting 88 keys. KeyLab 88 comes complete with Analog Lab, Arturia's software synthesizer solution for Mac OS X and Windows with over 5,000 TAE (True Analog Emulation) synthesis-powered presets.
KeyLab 88's removable laptop/lead synth stand features a rubber base to prevent slippage during performances. More often than not, precarious placement of laptops is a tricky problem faced by today's computer-based keyboard performers — not so with KeyLab 88's aforesaid stand. Similarly, its integrated music stand can also accommodate an iPad.
Complementing KeyLab 88's performance-orientated keyboard is a feature-packed panel bristling with controls. A supportive selection of knobs and sliders, 16 backlit pressure-sensitive pads, plus an LED screen all add up to enriching the performance experience and aiding speedy software navigation. KeyLab 88 is entirely preassigned to work with Analog Lab from the get-go. Fashion filter cutoff, reduce resonance, adjust ADSR envelopes, and much more besides — but without the inconvenience of having to always reach for a mouse or trackpad.
The library of 5,000-plus presets by internationally-renowned sound designers included in the Analog Lab software included with KeyLab 88 are taken from all of Arturia's TAE synthesis-powered Mini V, Modular V, CS-80V, ARP2600 V, Jupiter-8V, Prophet V, and Oberheim SEM V soft synths, together with Wurlitzer V (based on the classic 'Wurly' electric piano). Analog Lab's interface invites users to tweak the presets, although anyone owning full versions of those Analog Classics can access all sound parameters via the instrument interfaces without leaving Analog Lab. Likewise, 200 adjustable Multi patches are already organised by genre so you don't have to. These let you play chords with one finger, layer or split synths sounds simultaneously, and apply effects.
KeyLab 88 also acts as a highly-capable controller compatible with any third-party software or hardware. Customisable MIDI assignments are always accessible via the LED screen or the included MIDI Control Center software, so anything is possible.