|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|
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Arturia Mini-Lab MKII 25 Slim-Key Controller
- Portable and Compact - MIDI Controller
- The most responsive keyboard experience in its category
- 500 of the V-Collection 6 presets / 21 Keyboard Instruments and Synthesizers / fully mapped right out of the box
- The perfect solution to get started with music production
- 16 Assignable Encoders to control your DAW
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Minilab Mk II is a 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 & string machine sounds. Ableton Live Lite lets you record, arrange, and cultivate your musical ideas into a finished product. UVI Grand is a recreation of the Steinway Model D piano. MiniLab Mk II is a powerful controller that will open up a new world of sound design, performance, and music production to you. Every element of the reinvented MiniLab has been carefully chosen to give you the best experience possible. Beautifully playable mini keys, responsive and durable performance pads, wiggle-free rotary knobs, all wrapped up in a compact, ergonomic, rugged design.
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
All the control at your fingertips
Keys, knob, pads, pitch and modulation. Not to mention the free included software, including Analog Lab Lite, Ableton Live Lite, and a world class piano instrument. Start making music.
More than just a keyboard
25 note slim key MIDI Controller
Connect. Control. Play.
Analog Lab Lite
500 of the best classic synthesizer sounds.
Ableton Live Lite
Record, create and produce your music.
UVI Grand Piano
A world class piano virtual instrument.
Reviews with images
Top reviews from Canada
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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!
Anyways, definitely not for beginners but if you have knowledge of recording software and have some musical abilities, then this is a great device.
Also side note, I've been playing without authenticating my Ableton live lite account (yet) and my Arturia has been cutting in and out from time to time. I'm hoping this had to do with not authenticating and isn't an actual defect. Because that would be disappointing, this machine is awesome
Other than that it's a fantastic controller. I would have liked more sensitive pads but I dont know what the standard for pads is since this is my first piece of midi hardware.
Sometimes the keys don't feel great- hard to describe, they don't feel mushy but it feels like there's something light moving underneath them when you press them? They don't always feel like that though.
Pads are not up to par with AKAI's, and are kinda tiny.
Touch controls work better than you would think.
Ridiculous amount of knobs
This has really helped open the floodgates of creativity for me. And I have barely scratched the surface of configuring knobs and pads and unlocking its full MIDI potential. Works out of the box to start creating I’ve used in in GarageBand, Ableton, and Logic with no issues.
The keys are at a good scale for average size fingers and the feel of the key bed is very good, not at all flimsy. I’m sure the metal base has a lot to do with that.
For me the value for money is high. Easy to use as a beginner. It may be a little on the big side (approximately 15” laptop size) if portability is main concern but it will fit in a backpack if required.
Top reviews from other countries
Arturia have just released Firmware update 1.1 "We’ve adjusted MiniLab MkII’s knobs to be more accurate and sensitive to subtle tweaks ". This may have resolved the knobs issue.
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.
Well I tried Ableton but couldn't get the hang of it I use Magix for my loops and recordings. But don't let that deter you, you might be Ableton work it out! 😂 Bad joke!
The touch sensitivity strips were ok, but I felt I couldn't control them as much as the Korg joystick appragator.
The keys are a good size but was wary when touching the keys didn't respond as quickly as the Korg, it's with in milliseconds but you can tell.
All in all great Software, nice sturdy controller but I'd rather have pitch wheels than strips, I'll be going back to the Korg Microkey 25.