Arturia extends keyboard controller range with 88-key KeyLab 88

GRENOBLE, FRANCE: music software and hardware company Arturia is proud to launch KeyLab 88 — its top-of-the-range 88-note MIDI keyboard controller and hybrid synthesizer solution — at Musikmesse 2014, March 12-15 in Frankfurt, Germany.

As implied by name, KeyLab 88 takes its rightful place at the top of Arturia’s acclaimed range of professional-grade MIDI keyboard controllers with a high-quality hammer-action Fatar keybed boasting 88 keys. Indeed, it’s all in the name. For KeyLab 88 comes complete with Analog Lab — Arturia’s accomplished software synthesizer solution for Mac and PC with over 5,000 TAE® (True Analog Emulation) synthesis-powered professionally-programmed presets — to create a performance powerhouse par excellence.

Taking its rightful place at the centre of any studio or stage setup where performance is paramount, KeyLab 88’s removable laptop/lead synth stand features a rubber base to prevent slippage during performances — perfect for a spot of speedy soloing on Arturia’s award-winning MiniBrute Analog Synthesizer, maybe? 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. Screw it on and bring it on! Similarly, its integrated music stand can also accommodate an iPad, so why not also bring along Arturia’s innovative iMini or iSEM iPad soft synths for the musical ride?

Neither standalone synth nor iPad are absolutely necessary, of course. Complementing KeyLab 88’s performance- orientated keyboard is a feature-packed panel positively bristling with controls. A supportive selection of knobs and sliders, 16 backlit pressure-sensitive pads, plus an informative LED screen all add up to enriching the performance experience and aiding speedy software navigation. Needless to say, KeyLab 88 definitely delivers on its promise to provide the immediacy of a hardware synthesizer with the flexibility of a software-based solution since it 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 extremely large 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 acclaimed 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). Play or program. Either way, Analog Lab’s intuitive interface invites users to tweak the presets, although anyone owning full versions of those Analog Classics can cleverly 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… everything needed to kick-start creativity, whatever your musical preference.

Speaking of which, KeyLab 88 also acts as a highly-capable controller compatible with any third-party software or hardware. Customizable MIDI assignments are always accessible via the LED screen or the included MIDI Control Center software, so anything is possible.

Perform the way you want to with the top-of-the-range KeyLab 88, a highly-playable, superb-sounding software/ hardware hybrid synthesis combo. One thing’s for sure… you won’t run out of keys!

KeyLab 88 will be available to purchase — price TBC — towards the end of August from the Arturia online store or any authorized dealer.

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