|Product Dimensions||35.56 x 22.86 x 3.81 cm; 1.45 Kilograms|
|Item Model Number||230501|
|Hardware Interface||USB 2.0|
|Item Weight||1.45 kg|
Arturia MiniLab MkII 25 Slim-Key Controller 25-Note USB Mini Keyboard Controller with 16 Encoders
Recommended Retail Price (RRP)The RRP displayed is the most recent manufacturer’s recommended retail price made available to Amazon AU.
|You Save:||$30.00 (14%)|
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- Natural-feel velocity-sensitive 25-note Slim-key keybed
- 16 encoders; 8 pads (x 2 banks) | Customizable RGB pads
- Capacitive pitch bend and modulation touch strips | Footswitch jack
- Analog Lab Lite included, with 500 high-quality sounds right out of the box
- 2 clickable encoders for tight integration with Analog Lab Lite
- Ensure you buy genuine Arturia products by only choosing listings “Sold by Amazon AU”. Listings from other sellers or locations might not be Authorized Arturia resellers and might not be selling genuine Arturia products which would forfeit any manufacturer warranties
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Arturia MiniLab MkII 25 Mini Key Controller is high quality, feature-packed controller which gives you hands-on access to the sounds in your virtual studio. Breathe new life into your sounds by playing, tweaking, tapping and twisting its rugged controls. This powerful controller also comes with several critically acclaimed software titles that will have you creating professional recordings in no time. Analog Lab Lite lets you perform using hundreds of legendary synth, piano, organ and string machine sounds.
From the manufacturer
Portable solution for the modern studio
Includes all you need to start making music
- 25 note slim design MIDI Controller Keyboard
- Includes Analog Lab Lite, Ableton Live Lite & UVI Grand Piano
- 2 banks of 8 high quality velocity & pressure sensitive pads with RGB backlighting
- 16 rotary encoders (2 of them are clickable)
- 2 capacitive touch sensors for pitch bend and modulation
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The keys feel quite good and the size of the keys even though it's a MINI keyboard are very good, the potentiometers (knobs) feel quite good, but they could be better...the pads are too small and often not as responsive especially when play drum fills or similar things.
Now let's go to the salient part...the software that comes with it to configure it and to do MIDI changes...MCC or Midi Control Centre...it is not as obvious as you might think to adjust and configure the knobs and pads to work with other VST plug ins...Ableton or Logic or whatever DAW you are planning to use.
There is not much info online or for that matters on their website on how to do that...they kind of expect you to be a MIDI guru...it comes with a preset SHIFT+PAD1 that works with their plug in ANALOG LAB and for that plug in it works great (it has been programmed by Arturia and it is a READ ONLY file, you cannot change it) but from that to program the rest of the keyboard it has been headache after headache...I had to watch dozens of unofficial tutorials online to understand how to do that...their customer service keeps replying with custom made emails that say the same thing over and over. Also I thing that I didn't like is that you can program 7 different MIDI Profiles by pressing SHIFT+PAD2, SHIFT+PAD3 and so on....for each one of them you can assign the knobs and pads to a certain midi channel...but the keys stay assigned to Midi channel 1...so while you are expecting the knobs and pads to control one plug in..when you play the keys sends signals to other channels.
After 7 days of setting it up and working here and there and then 3 knobs stopped working and after few days and several reset the all keyboard came back to life...I ended up RETURNING it to Amazon.
I hope it helps.
The unit comes with configuration files for Analog Lab and Ableton. This make it instantly useful with those two pieces of (supplied) software. People have made helpful midi maps for it for Reaper, check out the Reaper forum in the MIDI section. If you use a different DAW you may need to configure it yourself, as it does not have any other configuration files, nor does it support the standard MCU DAW control protocol. (Of course the keys work for playing notes without requiring any configuration).
This unit is beautifully finished, and looks very good on a desktop with its illuminated pads. It has a metal base, which does make it heavier than you would expect. It's slightly wider than a 14 inch laptop, and it fits in my (large) laptop bag on top of the laptop. It would fit in a standard laptop bag by itself.
The keys are spaced at a pitch of 2.0cm, as opposed to the 2.4cm of a full sized keyboard. They are only 9 cm deep. There are only 25 of them. If you accept these limitations, they are nice keys with a good feel. The velocity sensitivity seems about right, and of course there are octave up and down buttons to reach any note. This is a good keyboard for one handed playing of synths and samplers. If you want to play a piano with both hands, you may wish to look for a full sized keyboard with 61 or 88 keys.
There is a socket for a standard sustain pedal, which is not supplied. This works as expected, and is much better than having a sustain button on the keyboard.
The Pitch and Mod Touch Strips
These work very well, and seem just as useful as the wheels that are found on larger keyboards.
The pads are easily configurable, and work well as controls for the software. For playing drums, they require a firm hit, and I found it easier to use the keys.
I discovered that there has been a problem with the encoders on this unit for a few years. There are complaints all over the internet. The company has recently released a new version of firmware (1.1.2) that is said to address the problems.
Most of the time, the encoders now work well. However, there are circumstances where they are so sensitive that it is impossible to accurately select a value. Surprisingly, this applies to both Analog Lab, where it is hard to select a preset, and Ableton, where it is hard to select a row. I suspect that the controller scripts in these applications require further work.
I would not choose this controller if my main purpose was to perform live with it using Ableton, due to the difficulty in selecting the required row, and consequent risk of playing the wrong loop.
Analog Lab 4 Lite
Analog Lab Lite feels almost like a demo version of Analog Lab. It costs another $69 plus VAT (so about £65) to upgrade to the full version.
Ableton Live Lite
Ableton Live is excellent for live performance of loop-based music. The limitations of this lite version are not too severe. If you only want to create non-loop-based music, there are better alternatives. If you don't already have a license, this is one way to obtain one.
UVI Grand Piano Model D
I'm not sure why this full Steinway grand piano application is included with this keyboard. It is not possible to play a piano properly with only 25 keys. I didn't bother to load it as I don't need it.
Most small keyboards do not have endless encoders. The few that do include the Worlde Tuna Mini and the Subzero Commandkey 25. I chose the Arturia Minilab because it comes from a well known supplier, and because it includes Analog Lab Lite software.
The Arturia Keylab 49 comes with the full Analog Lab collection for not much more money than the Minilab plus the upgrade price, if you have room for it.
Some M Audio keyboards come with support for multiple DAWs built in.
The Behringer X Touch Mini is not a keyboard but it includes a set of endless rotary encoders that "may" work better than the Arturia ones, and it could be combined with any other keyboard, including a full sized one. It does support the MCU protocol for various DAWs.
There are many inexpensive Ableton controllers, if that is what you need.
If you can live with the occasionally dodgy control knobs, this is in other respects a nice small form-factor keyboard. If it supports the software that you want to use, it could be a decent buy.
- The 25 keys aren't enough - I know it's got to be portable, but I felt I needed more keys
- The depth and weight of the device make it less portable
However, I acknowledge that this is a decent piece of kit - Arturia are well-trusted, and I have their Keylab 61 Essential, which is a great keyboard. Their synths are also great, and the MiniLab integrates seamlessly.
On that note, I find it frustrating that the hardware is often tied-up with the software. With the MiniLab, you can MIDI configure the knobs etc to a certain extent. With my current mini-key device, the Komplete Kontrol M32, it's even worse (but it has 32 keys!) - Native Instruments are the Apple of the MIDI world.
So, if you want a completely free-of-proprietary device, then maybe you're best off with the equivalent keyboards from Alesis, Nektar, Akai, M-Audio etc (I read reviews of these but rejected either because of keys or portability). But I can't put down the MiniLab, especially as the keys and build are quality, and it comes with the excellent Analog Lab synth presets.
So, make your choice, and I hope that this review is useful!
I recommend this product if you are looking for something small enough to plug to your computer, it has touch sensitivity on its keys which allows some sounds to be sustained or be modulated. I just love it
I initially had a pool of about a dozen choices which got whittled down fairly quickly to 3 contenders (Nektar Impact LX25+, Akai Professional MPK Mini MKII and this one). I literally had to write each of them on pieces of paper and draw one, so I can't say this Arturia MiniLab MKII is any better than those ones, but I'm hoping for at least longevity it is LOL
This controller has keys and pads with a terrific feel, excellent velocity settings and they all interact beautifully with the included software, in synch. The knobs are limitless (2 are push-down for what I haven't checked out yet) so there isn't any feel of when the limit has been reached, but since it's a controller that works with various programs, it's a benefit with this unit so it will work with pretty near any of them. The pitch and modulation pads are a bit weird for me, but having used the wheels so many moons ago it's a cinch for me to get used to, though, and they're very responsive. The other buttons I haven't ventured into figuring out as yet, but will once I have time to read the various manuals for the included software. I do really like how the relevant octave button blinks once or twice to indicate which one (upper/lower) you're currently playing in.
One caveat if you do get this awesome bang-for-the-buck is have a few hours set aside to register and subsequently download the promised software. After you've registered your unit and installed their ASC to get
Analog Lab Lite and the Midi mapper, they provide you with the registration numbers to Ableton Live 10 Lite and UVI Grand Piano and links to download and install those sort of "third party".
Now down to learning some new software, 5 stars!