Are you looking for a small keyboard that can fit on your desk? Then, Arturia minilab is the best choice for you. It is small but can give you the extra sounds and functions to control Ableton. The Arturia minilab is a sure bet at a friendly price. Arturia Company offers affordability and functionality. It has grown and developed software synths to emulate sounds from common sound synthesizers and keyboards. Affordable software is essential for who may want to learn about synthesis and can help to find out the true sound.
- The quality of Arturia minilab has improved as compared to the previous model. It has backlit pads that are velocity-sensitive and can enable you to map certain sounds to a specific color for easier workflow.
- There are eight pads, but the shift button can help you to switch between two banks to make the total number of pad assignment 16. You can adjust the velocity pressure in the MIDI control center, but they are responsive with good key velocity out of the box.
- On Arturia Minilab, you can adjust the velocity curve as you like, but Arturia does the job of deciding a common factory setting for velocity. However, the touch mod wheels should be improved. You may have trouble using them because of the slow response. For those who like using pitch bend when playing, this may be tricky to use the function properly. Generally, the keys are fun to play on because of the bouncy feel.
- Arturia minilab comes with the Analog Lab Lite that is packed with 500 preset patches of sounds. You can modulate the sounds with 16 rotary knobs. You don’t have to waste time looking for effects and sounds because the Analog Lab Lite will allow you to get new sounds and modulate them with the knobs.
- Two of the knobs can be clicked to get the option to map play, record, or stop buttons because the minilab does not have the transport keys on the controller. If you like the sounds on Analog Lab Lite, Arturia offers you the option of upgrading to a full version with about 6000 sounds to select from.
- The best feature for the minilab is the plug and play; it will allow you to hop into the DAW, select a sound and experiment with various parameters as you create a beat on the fly.
- The connections are basic and simple through a USB connection. It draws power over the USB. It can also draw power from small devices like an iPad or iPhone; it works well. Although the power drain on the device may necessitate the need for a power solution. This is a perfect solution for cheap and efficient synth, especially when partnered with iOS-based synths like the iMini or iSEM. Addition of power input would be useful, but this may be a way to manage the device to use power efficiently.
- The whole box is smaller than an average laptop. Pitch and modulation touch strips are ideal for going bonkers to get the best results, especially with Analog Lab or any other virtual synthesizer. The old-fashioned mod wheel is perfect for orchestral music, but with the touch strips, you can make fast and unpredictable movements which can be recreated with other controllers.
- The whole minilab is quite heavy and solid from the keys to the pads. There is also a footswitch jack input which can be used as a sustain pedal or latching switch.
6. How it compares
- There are several factors that you should consider before you buy a keyboard. Depending on functionality, the Arturia Minilab will offer you the ability to try several sounds and use different controller functions for performance and production.
- This is one of the few 25-key MIDI controllers that have an additional soundtrack; it is not easy to ignore it if you are on a budget. Although other controllers can do the job, the diversity of sounds within Analog Lab Lite is great to enhance your sound selection.
- For beginners, the controller is a more compact, due to the re positioning of the pitch bend touch strips and mod to the upper panel of the keyboard. Although some users prefer the original location on the left, others don’t have a problem with the position. The metal chassis of the unit inspires confidence, though it is heavier than a plastic controller.
- While there are lighter and smaller MIDI keyboards at the same price, minilab’s finish, fit, brawn, playability, and the confidence feeling make it more superior without compromising much on portability.
- It is easy and simple to use. You can plug in and play out of the box.
- It is portable and compact. You can go with it where you want.
- It comes with Analog Lab Lite software that is very useful.
- The quality is solid enough, and it feels better.
- You can adjust the velocity curve as you like.
- It has backlit pads that are velocity-sensitive and can enable you to map certain sounds to a specific color for easier
- Arturia Minilab will offer you the ability to try several various sounds and use different controller functions for performance and production.
- The connections are basic and simple through a USB connection.
- For those who like using pitch bend when playing, this may be tricky to use the function properly.
- It has a small keyboard setup.
Arturia Minilab may feel small for some producers, but it is a great setup for playing melodies, programming your drums, and performing an overall workstation. As you get used with the controller, you will discover more new features like the ability to map and customize the MIDI function and store the eight presets on the controller that can be swapped on-the-fly and saved after plugging the Minilab.
If you like experimenting with sounds, but you can’t design, Arturia is the best option for you. You can use it as a learning instrument, but it will offer you the ability to play around with live performance and other ways to implement sounds.