To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average. Instead, our system considers things like how recent a review is and if the reviewer bought the item on Amazon. It also analyses reviews to verify trustworthiness.
As an amateur aspiring musician, I was after a MIDI controller that was inexpensive and small enough to fit on my computer desk comfortably. I ordered myself the Arturia MicroLab, and I am extremely happy with my purchase.
First of all, the MicroLab was very easy to set up; all I had to do was plug it into my computer, load up my digital audio workstation of choice and it's ready to use. I tested it in both Studio One and REAPER on a Windows 10 machine; it worked perfectly for me on both of these workstations and I can't see why this shouldn't work in other software (or even on a Mac).
The keybed is very good quality; it's relatively light but it doesn't feel like you're using a toy. It feels lovely to play, and the keys don't make a noisy clunky sound when pressed unlike other controllers I have used in the past, so if you're after something portable to use in public it definitely wouldn't disturb anyone nearby. What I also like about the MicroLab is its sturdy casing, and the fact that you can wrap its USB cable around it tightly when not in use (saves the headache of having to untangle cables!)
The software that comes bundled with the MicroLab is really good value as well. Included in the bundle are a couple of virtual instruments, including a good few analog synth sounds and a realistic piano sound. Also coming with the controller is Bitwig 8-track, an entry level digital audio workstation for beginners (I haven't used it as I already have Studio One).
Overall I am extremely impressed with this MicroLab controller and I believe it is 100% worth the cost and extremely good value for money. It does not have the whistles and bells of some other controllers, but I recommend it to anyone after an easy to use, portable MIDI controller who just wants something for playing and capturing musical ideas. It is surprising how much having a controller nearby improves your creativity flow if you enjoy composing/songwriting!
Arturia have come up with a very neat keyboard here, it feels strong, yet lightweight, and offers a quality feel throughout. For me the keys feel great, perfect tension and feel for a mini keyboard, and out of all the minis I've tested the Microlab and Minilab MK2 have felt the best, the touch mod and pitch can take a little getting used to, but compact is the aim here. The wrap around USB cable is a great idea, and it's also possible to unplug the whole thing and use a different cable if need be, however the cable supplied has worked for me. Small keys can sometimes be difficult with sausage fingers (I know) and at times I do struggle with all the minis, but for some reason I struggle less the Arturia minis. Buy it, Don't buy it! I really don't care, because I love mine, and I'm glad I got one.
i upgraded from a akai lpk25 that had been lugged around in bags for the past 3 years.. it did well, but eventually started bending. stepped up to the microlab - really impressed with the build quality, bigger keys, with better feel. buttons are solid and rugged. the 90degree cable, and recessed cable socket is the best! perfect for when you grab it, use it, and throw it back down. - they also have the bigger usb for more strength. bit heavier and bigger than the lpk, but not too big for a rucksack. the rubber bumper casing is a total winner. it keeps it solid on the desk, and also gives the unit a good enough weight to play with out it jumping around. the software they giveaway is awesome, limited access to loads of classic synths with hundreds of presets! its worth the money just for the synths. the only reason im not busting out a 5star review, is the flashing octave light. I know!, its not the worst thing ever, and people online are being slated for mentioning it. but it was the very first thing i noticed, I looked online, and for now, its not possible to stop it.. someone had dimmed them somehow!?.. in a studio there are many flashing lights, so it not the end of the world, i just find it distracting, as its right in your eyesight when you are playing to a tempo.. it just throws me thats all. other than that. a solid purchase. happy to have an upgrade that can work whilst travelling.
The keys, it's all about the feel on the keys, I've tried many, and yes these are not weighted nor semi-weighted or anything like that, but even then they feel pretty good and robust. My main concern for a tiny midi controller was built quality, this one does great on that category, rubber finish, amazing. Some reviews complain about the USB coming attached, it is attached but it's also detachable, I prefer it being attached, I lose cables as a sport. Obviously the licenses that come with it make up for 70% of the price, Analog Lab, even though you can't edit any of the instruments you can still edit the main layer on top of the instrument and then mess with it in the DAW itself, it's pretty good software, same for Ableton Live Lite, there's a restriction on the track number compared to the cheapest paid version, still, you get most of the software functionality. No complaints, great job, fits in a standard size backpack too.