Arturia Keylab 61 mkII

Want to talk about music hardware or software that doesn't include Reason?
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childofsaturn
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Joined: 16 Jan 2015

Post 18 Jul 2018

Hi guys,

I'm pretty excited to have pre-ordered the new Arturia Keylab 61 mkII from Sweetwater. Is anyone else planning on getting one?

If you aren't familiar with it, here's a couple helpful links:
https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail ... ller-black
https://www.arturia.com/keylab-mkii/overview

It's unfortunate that Reason isn't one of the listed Major DAWs included with the templates and seamless integration. Though I don't know the exact details, I know Arturia made the effort (according to a rep I spoke with) and for some reason Propellerhead didn't come through. So here's hoping they'll try to make something work, even if it's a bit late.

I'm really excited about the keys with aftertouch, since they're supposed to have the same feel as the Brute synth lineup, which I love. The inclusion of 16 backlit trigger/drum pads is pretty great too. Hopefully I'll be able to make my own midi template for Reason that works well with the Keylab mkII. I'll try to circle back and provide feedback on it once I have it.

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fieldframe
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Post 18 Jul 2018

Yeah, the Keylab mkII series looks really nice. I'm fairly happy with my Nektar Panorama for now, but I have to say the Reason integration never really proved as useful as I thought it would, and I've stopped bothering with the pads. And while I actually rather like the look of Panorama's unusual industrial design, I still miss the aluminum build of my weird old CME VX series.

In other words, whenever the time comes to upgrade to a new master keyboard, the new Arturias will be high on my list.
Welcome to TEST FIXTURE

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QVprod
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Post 18 Jul 2018

Considering them. Haven't played the Matrixbrute but professional feeling keys would be wonderful since they're nonexistent in most controllers. I've adapted to the feel of the Panorama P6 keys, but I'm pretty much done with the use of piano style semi-weighted keys being that I have a fully weighted controller as well (Keylab 88 actually). Slight deterrent though are the features that I won't use which add to the price such as the CV i/o, and having a Keylab already means I already own all the software it comes with.

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childofsaturn
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Post 20 Jul 2018

QVprod wrote:
18 Jul 2018
Considering them. Haven't played the Matrixbrute but professional feeling keys would be wonderful since they're nonexistent in most controllers. I've adapted to the feel of the Panorama P6 keys, but I'm pretty much done with the use of piano style semi-weighted keys being that I have a fully weighted controller as well (Keylab 88 actually). Slight deterrent though are the features that I won't use which add to the price such as the CV i/o, and having a Keylab already means I already own all the software it comes with.
Curious, what are the keys like on the Keylab 88? Do you like it?

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QVprod
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Post 20 Jul 2018

childofsaturn wrote:
20 Jul 2018
QVprod wrote:
18 Jul 2018
Considering them. Haven't played the Matrixbrute but professional feeling keys would be wonderful since they're nonexistent in most controllers. I've adapted to the feel of the Panorama P6 keys, but I'm pretty much done with the use of piano style semi-weighted keys being that I have a fully weighted controller as well (Keylab 88 actually). Slight deterrent though are the features that I won't use which add to the price such as the CV i/o, and having a Keylab already means I already own all the software it comes with.
Curious, what are the keys like on the Keylab 88? Do you like it?
They're a bit on the heavier side, but they feel solid overall. Need to work on my hand speed anyway so the weight probably helps in that regard. Definitely choose the velocity curve that fits it best. I spent months on the wrong curve that made the keys seem even heavier. I have one key that feels a slight bit looser than others probably because of that, but I barely notice it. I've now had it for about a year and a half and it's still holding up well. The action is balanced though instead of graded. I've seen some say it feels similar to a Motif ES 88. I prefer it to the feel of the Yamaha CP300 if you've ever played one of those.

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jeanrick
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Post 27 Sep 2018

childofsaturn wrote:
18 Jul 2018
Hi guys,

I'm pretty excited to have pre-ordered the new Arturia Keylab 61 mkII from Sweetwater. Is anyone else planning on getting one? ...
Sorry for the bump ...
Has your Keylab arrived yet? If so, how has it been :puf_smile: ?

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childofsaturn
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Post 27 Sep 2018

jeanrick wrote:
27 Sep 2018

Sorry for the bump ...
Has your Keylab arrived yet? If so, how has it been :puf_smile: ?
Bump away! :)

I did indeed receive it. I haven't completely explored it, but I'll share my impressions and what I know so far.

I'm most impressed with the build quality and the key action.
The body is metal, so it has some heft to it - with exception to the wooden side accents, of course.
While described as semi-weighted, I feel like a better description would be "synth action". The keys are quiet, have a nice depth to them and can be played quickly without getting tripped up. The white and black keys feel like they belong together, unlike the Nektar Panorama. The aftertouch also functions very well and feels natural

What's unfortunate (and I knew this going in) is Reason isn't one of the DAW's that came with a midi template. However, you can set it up with Mackie Universal Control in Reason and this allows the Transport Controls to work (except for the loop button). There are resources online for how to set this up, but if anyone reading this needs help, let me know. It took me a little while to figure out how to get the drum pads to work, but once I did I was able to lock them to Kong while being able to play other instruments, which is pretty cool.

Bottom-line is this is a finely crafted midi controller keyboard, but it is not user-friendly for Reason users and will require some patience in the setup.

If you or anyone else has questions, let me know and I'll try to answer :)

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fieldframe
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Post 27 Sep 2018

This is a slightly odd question, but it's something that made me return an Arturia controller in the past: Do the octave buttons flash? That is to say, when you've transposed the keys an octave up or down, does the up or down button flash instead of staying illuminated (or just not light up at all)?
Welcome to TEST FIXTURE

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childofsaturn
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Post 27 Sep 2018

fieldframe wrote:
27 Sep 2018
This is a slightly odd question, but it's something that made me return an Arturia controller in the past: Do the octave buttons flash? That is to say, when you've transposed the keys an octave up or down, does the up or down button flash instead of staying illuminated (or just not light up at all)?
It does flash, unfortunately.

Riverside18
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Joined: 28 Sep 2018

Post 28 Sep 2018

Hello all - first post on the ReasonTalk forum. It was gratifying to see a relevant thread right out of the gate. I just got the Arturia Keylab 61 Mk II and a Panorama P1. So far, in Reason, I've relied on auto-connect in the controller setup, but left all the ports checked in the "easy connect" section. This allows using the keys and (at least for note on messages - haven't tried anything else) the pads to play. Locked the P1 mixer mode to the Master Section in Reason.

One of the reasons I got the Arturia is its pretty good mapping in Studio One. The Panorama, of course, is neurally connected to Reason and may actually spur me on past the dilletante phase. All great learning potential.

childofsaturn - I'll poke around with purposing the pads on the Arturia (I love a challenge) but may take you up on the invitation for questions. I hope you're enjoying the Keylab as much as I am - it's only been a couple of days and I have barely scratched the surface. Look forward to your future observations.

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childofsaturn
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Post 28 Sep 2018

Riverside18 wrote:
28 Sep 2018
Hello all - first post on the ReasonTalk forum. It was gratifying to see a relevant thread right out of the gate. I just got the Arturia Keylab 61 Mk II and a Panorama P1. So far, in Reason, I've relied on auto-connect in the controller setup, but left all the ports checked in the "easy connect" section. This allows using the keys and (at least for note on messages - haven't tried anything else) the pads to play. Locked the P1 mixer mode to the Master Section in Reason.

One of the reasons I got the Arturia is its pretty good mapping in Studio One. The Panorama, of course, is neurally connected to Reason and may actually spur me on past the dilletante phase. All great learning potential.

childofsaturn - I'll poke around with purposing the pads on the Arturia (I love a challenge) but may take you up on the invitation for questions. I hope you're enjoying the Keylab as much as I am - it's only been a couple of days and I have barely scratched the surface. Look forward to your future observations.
Welcome to the forum!

And thank you for the new vocabulary word. I had to look up "dilletante" - it's a good word!

I will need to revisit Reason to remember how I dedicated the pads to a Kong instance, which may take me a few days due to my schedule. Feel free to PM me if you haven't heard from me in a few days.

I'd love to get a P1, I think it would be the perfect companion to the Keylab 61 MkII. I am currently selling my P6, so I may use some of the money to get a P1 once it sells. It's a shame the keys on the Panorama series are so poorly made.

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jeanrick
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Post 28 Sep 2018

Thanks for the impressions @childofsaturn and @Riverside18! I'm probably going to get one as well :) - it's looking like one of the best built controllers on the market right now.

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Italophile
Posts: 29
Joined: 16 Jan 2015

Post 28 Sep 2018

Reason includes a codec and remote map for the mkI version of the Keylab 61 which almost works with the mkII, but you have to add it manually.

You can request Arturia to add proper integration with Reason by going here:
https://www.arturia.com/support/askforhelp/issues
To quote Arturia:
“The more users are asking for it, the more the priority of this project will be important.”

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Italophile
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Joined: 16 Jan 2015

Post 01 Oct 2018

childofsaturn wrote:
27 Sep 2018

What's unfortunate (and I knew this going in) is Reason isn't one of the DAW's that came with a midi template. However, you can set it up with Mackie Universal Control in Reason and this allows the Transport Controls to work (except for the loop button).
You should find that the Metro button in the Global Controls section turns Loop on and off.

Riverside18
Posts: 2
Joined: 28 Sep 2018

Post 04 Oct 2018

I will need to revisit Reason to remember how I dedicated the pads to a Kong instance, which may take me a few days due to my schedule. Feel free to PM me if you haven't heard from me in a few days.
FInally had more time to fool around this morning with the Arturia/Nektar combination. After starting up Reason, I loaded a Kong instrument, and the pads on the Keylab Mkii controlled it just fine. No lighting on the Keylab, but the pads were fully functional. No special tricks required. The Keylab is in user mode.

RolfMorgan
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Joined: 19 Aug 2019

Post 19 Aug 2019

Any updates here? ..I know it's been a while :lol:

iramrezso
Posts: 108
Joined: 27 Jan 2015

Post Yesterday

I'm also interested in it. Is there any progress with Reason integration of KeyLab MKII controllers? :)

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selig
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Post Yesterday

After much research on the Keylabs, I ended up going the Novation SL mkIII route instead. It gave me decent Reason integration, a killer sequencer, two voices of CV/Gate for Eurorack, a useful arp and scales function, lots of nice lights including across the keyboard (handy for the sequencer), and feels great IMO.
Love Arturia stuff, totally digging my MiniBrute 2s - just felt for my needs the Novation edged out the KeyLab.
Selig Audio, LLC

iramrezso
Posts: 108
Joined: 27 Jan 2015

Post Yesterday

selig wrote:
Yesterday
After much research on the Keylabs, I ended up going the Novation SL mkIII route instead. It gave me decent Reason integration, a killer sequencer, two voices of CV/Gate for Eurorack, a useful arp and scales function, lots of nice lights including across the keyboard (handy for the sequencer), and feels great IMO.
Love Arturia stuff, totally digging my MiniBrute 2s - just felt for my needs the Novation edged out the KeyLab.
@selig Thanks for the info. Does the SLIII control the mixer, too? And how many devices has it mapping for?

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selig
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Post Yesterday

iramrezso wrote:
Yesterday
selig wrote:
Yesterday
After much research on the Keylabs, I ended up going the Novation SL mkIII route instead. It gave me decent Reason integration, a killer sequencer, two voices of CV/Gate for Eurorack, a useful arp and scales function, lots of nice lights including across the keyboard (handy for the sequencer), and feels great IMO.
Love Arturia stuff, totally digging my MiniBrute 2s - just felt for my needs the Novation edged out the KeyLab.
@selig Thanks for the info. Does the SLIII control the mixer, too? And how many devices has it mapping for?
I don't use it for that, except for occasionally mapping a fader to a mixer fader. I think there is mapping for the devices provided with the app, but no REs beyond that. It's not something I need or I would have gone the Panorama route.
What was more important for me was a general integration with Reason (transport etc.) plus a way to play my Eurorack from Reason, in addition to being great for live work with the sequencer (which has great live interaction features). In all respects it has exceeded my expectations!
Selig Audio, LLC

iramrezso
Posts: 108
Joined: 27 Jan 2015

Post Today

@selig I don't want to be off-topic here so I've just posted a question to the SL MKIII topic continuing this discussion. Thanks for your help.

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