Arturia MiniLab 3

Want to talk about music hardware or software that doesn't include Reason?
Bes
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Joined: 22 Feb 2017

Post 18 Oct 2022

announced today the MiniLab3 integrates a DAW Mode for 5 major DAW's including Reason


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Jackjackdaw
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Post 18 Oct 2022

Reason photo featured on the product page too.

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integerpoet
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Location: East Bay, California

Post 18 Oct 2022

Somebody please tell her to stop saying DEE-AYE-DOUBLE-YOU.

It's not just her, of course. How on earth do people not say "daw"?

Mattvank
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Joined: 30 Mar 2017

Post 18 Oct 2022

Will there parametre jumps with the faders?

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Faastwalker
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Post 19 Oct 2022

I have the MKII. Very neat little MIDI controller. Tempted to get the MKIII. Looks good.

I am a little disappointed they removed 8 encoders and replaced with 4 faders. Apart from that though.

djst
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Joined: 21 Feb 2021

Post 23 Oct 2022

Does anyone have this yet? I'm very curious about it and it looks like it can do some basic automapping of instruments. I'd like to know how this maps to Europa for example. Are the faders mapped to the Amp ADSR controls? Which knobs map to which controls on which Engine?

Steedus
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Location: Melbourne, AU

Post 02 Nov 2022

Just bought it, along with the Korg NTS-1 to go with my Microfreak .. uggh I think I'm getting real GAS.. :redface:

I'll report back.

Steedus
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Location: Melbourne, AU

Post 03 Nov 2022

Soo ... I'm not exactly having a good first impression. The instructions say if you're using the newest versions of Reason then the keyboard will already have proper mappings ... I have the latest R12 ... but not R+ if that makes a difference. And the mappings were not there. I had to manually add them to the Reason folders. Easy enough.

So in Reason it detects the Minilab 3 and I load up a Europa to test the default mappings for djst. Immediately something feels off .. and I quickly realise the notes only trigger when you release a key, not when you press it.

Additionally, the pitch bend wheel appears to remember it's position until a new note is played..

I'll also add as someone who also has the Microfreak (a much more expensive device sure), I thought the knobs on this would be more like they are on it. They quite nice, and rubberised. These knobs are a bit bigger and are hard plastic. They move nice and smoothly, but don't feel on par with the keys, which are very nice.

Anyway, hopefully I can work out why the keys are essentially working in reverse ... here's the default Europa mapping:

Knob 1 > Engine section = SHAPE
Knob 2 > Engine section = SEMI
Knob 3 > Spectral Filter section = FREQ
Knob 4 > Spectral Filter section = RESO
Knob 5 > Filter section = FREQ
Knob 6 > Filter section = RESO
Knob 7 > Harmonics section = POS
Knob 8 > Harmonics section = AMOUNT

Fader 1 > Amp section = A
Fader 2 > Amp section = D
Fader 3 > Amp section = S
Fader 4 > Amp section = R

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jam-s
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Location: Aachen, Germany

Post 03 Nov 2022

Steedus wrote:
03 Nov 2022
I'll also add as someone who also has the Microfreak (a much more expensive device sure), I thought the knobs on this would be more like they are on it. They quite nice, and rubberised. These knobs are a bit bigger and are hard plastic. They move nice and smoothly, but don't feel on par with the keys, which are very nice.
Imho hard plastic knobs are a plus, as those rubberised knobs tend to get gooey and sticky after a few years or a little bit in the sun.

djst
Posts: 27
Joined: 21 Feb 2021

Post 03 Nov 2022

Steedus wrote:
03 Nov 2022
Soo ... I'm not exactly having a good first impression. The instructions say if you're using the newest versions of Reason then the keyboard will already have proper mappings ... I have the latest R12 ... but not R+ if that makes a difference. And the mappings were not there. I had to manually add them to the Reason folders. Easy enough.

So in Reason it detects the Minilab 3 and I load up a Europa to test the default mappings for djst. Immediately something feels off .. and I quickly realise the notes only trigger when you release a key, not when you press it.

Additionally, the pitch bend wheel appears to remember it's position until a new note is played..

I'll also add as someone who also has the Microfreak (a much more expensive device sure), I thought the knobs on this would be more like they are on it. They quite nice, and rubberised. These knobs are a bit bigger and are hard plastic. They move nice and smoothly, but don't feel on par with the keys, which are very nice.

Anyway, hopefully I can work out why the keys are essentially working in reverse ... here's the default Europa mapping:

Knob 1 > Engine section = SHAPE
Knob 2 > Engine section = SEMI
Knob 3 > Spectral Filter section = FREQ
Knob 4 > Spectral Filter section = RESO
Knob 5 > Filter section = FREQ
Knob 6 > Filter section = RESO
Knob 7 > Harmonics section = POS
Knob 8 > Harmonics section = AMOUNT

Fader 1 > Amp section = A
Fader 2 > Amp section = D
Fader 3 > Amp section = S
Fader 4 > Amp section = R
Very helpful report, thank you! I appreciate the knob mappings you listed, that seems like a smart mapping. Does it automatically map to the currently edited Engine of Europa when affecting the Spectral Filter etc?

And, those bugs sound crazy. Playing when releasing keys is an obvious bug that makes it completely unusable, right?

Last question, I suppose there's no chance you could download and test if this works on Reason 10 too? I haven't upgraded yet. 🙉

Steedus
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Joined: 31 Aug 2015
Location: Melbourne, AU

Post 03 Nov 2022

djst wrote:
03 Nov 2022
Very helpful report, thank you! I appreciate the knob mappings you listed, that seems like a smart mapping. Does it automatically map to the currently edited Engine of Europa when affecting the Spectral Filter etc?

And, those bugs sound crazy. Playing when releasing keys is an obvious bug that makes it completely unusable, right?

Last question, I suppose there's no chance you could download and test if this works on Reason 10 too? I haven't upgraded yet. 🙉
I'd say it probably would be the same in R10, you'd just have to manually add the mapping files (like I had to anyway for some reason). I do have a license but we'll see if I get time to test in there. I'll check swapping engines, but I would expect the mappings to be the same, you'd just have to manually click to change which engine you're editing.

And yeah, this weekend I'll try completely removing everything and reinstall - something's obviously gone wrong with the drivers/mappings ?? If it's the same, I'll be on to support while investigating my return options ... :?

djst
Posts: 27
Joined: 21 Feb 2021

Post 03 Nov 2022

Steedus wrote:
03 Nov 2022
I'd say it probably would be the same in R10, you'd just have to manually add the mapping files (like I had to anyway for some reason). I do have a license but we'll see if I get time to test in there. I'll check swapping engines, but I would expect the mappings to be the same, you'd just have to manually click to change which engine you're editing.

And yeah, this weekend I'll try completely removing everything and reinstall - something's obviously gone wrong with the drivers/mappings ?? If it's the same, I'll be on to support while investigating my return options ... :?
Really appreciate it, keep me posted please. And please sdo test the Europa Engine switching, because in the key map files, there are no mappings for "current engine", you have to specify mappings for Engine1, Engine2 and so on, which sucks. If it dynamically switches to control the currently selected engine, that makes so much lore sense.

Another question, do the faders jump to the physical value when you move them or is there some kind of smart/scaled move logic that ensures that the parameters don't jump? For example, when being in the mixer and selecting a track, I always just want to dial up/down a mix track 0.5 db, and in that case I'd vastly prefer endless encoders than jumping faders. Thanks again!
Last edited by djst on 04 Nov 2022, edited 1 time in total.

Steedus
Posts: 855
Joined: 31 Aug 2015
Location: Melbourne, AU

Post 04 Nov 2022

Well a restart must've fixed it, because tonight everything is working perfectly.

In terms of Europa, the mapped controls only work on engine #1.

The fader values do jump when moved if not in the same position as the software.

For the endless encoders, it's kinda the same. It might change depending on the mode/software you're controlling, but even though the encoder is endless, the software value behind it isn't, and it remembers that value. so if you load up a new patch and twist a knob, it will internally be at the value it was previously, which will often be different to the default position in a patch.

But once tweaked with a knob or fader, everything remains in sync. It's only if you move a control with your mouse, that it will be out of sync with the encoder/fader, so if you move the encoder then, you will get a jump as it resyncs the position.

The nice thing with the tiny screen. is you get readouts of the value you're changing. percent for some, but frequency for things like filters.

djst
Posts: 27
Joined: 21 Feb 2021

Post 04 Nov 2022

Steedus wrote:
04 Nov 2022


For the endless encoders, it's kinda the same. It might change depending on the mode/software you're controlling, but even though the encoder is endless, the software value behind it isn't, and it remembers that value. so if you load up a new patch and twist a knob, it will internally be at the value it was previously, which will often be different to the default position in a patch.

But once tweaked with a knob or fader, everything remains in sync.
That's a real shame. Most controllers with endless knobs send relative values (sort of like sending a series of +1s rather than sending an absolute value) which means they just nudge whichever existing value is used on the corresponding soft knob/fader on screen. Remembering internal values of an endless knob when switching between different soft synths/rack devices makes no sense at all.

Unfortunately this means that the Minilab 3 is no better than using my trusty old Keystep 37 with traditional knobs. The only benefit is having more knobs and faders of course. Why can't anyone get this right? 🤬🙏

Anyway, thanks for your reports, they've been very helpful! Glad the other issues went away after a restart.

djst
Posts: 27
Joined: 21 Feb 2021

Post 04 Nov 2022

Actually, did you try to see if Arturia provides a way to configure whether it sends absolute or relative knob values? Maybe there's a way to set this up so it doesn't jump. Though only for the knobs, not never the faders.

Steedus
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Joined: 31 Aug 2015
Location: Melbourne, AU

Post 04 Nov 2022

djst wrote:
04 Nov 2022
Actually, did you try to see if Arturia provides a way to configure whether it sends absolute or relative knob values? Maybe there's a way to set this up so it doesn't jump. Though only for the knobs, not never the faders.
Yeah I don't know. There's a manual but i'm not worried so I'm not gonna bother looking that far sorry. In the software you can set a minimum value and a maximum value for the knob, but nothing that I understood as changing between absolute and relative. I found a few forum posts about it, most people had work arounds which I dont understand, and others had some troll saying it's already been brought up and to look elsewhere (but with no link to the topic - and most forums require you to sign up to search etc)

ehhh, sorry but that's all I can do on this.

djst
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Joined: 21 Feb 2021

Post 05 Nov 2022

Well you've been very helpful already. I actually read through the Minilab 3 manual but there are no instructions for this so I assume it's either not possible or it requires some programming on the Reason side of things. It's a real shame. Big thanks anyway and hope you'll still enjoy using this controller. It still has many benefits compared to other controllers, such as automatic assignment of Kong pads, a knob to flick for presets etc.

Steedus
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Location: Melbourne, AU

Post 05 Nov 2022

The keys alone are a huge step up from the Launchkey mini mkii imo (my previous controller to this one). Way less spongy.

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Faastwalker
Posts: 2153
Joined: 15 Jan 2015

Post 06 Nov 2022

jam-s wrote:
03 Nov 2022
Steedus wrote:
03 Nov 2022
I'll also add as someone who also has the Microfreak (a much more expensive device sure), I thought the knobs on this would be more like they are on it. They quite nice, and rubberised. These knobs are a bit bigger and are hard plastic. They move nice and smoothly, but don't feel on par with the keys, which are very nice.
Imho hard plastic knobs are a plus, as those rubberised knobs tend to get gooey and sticky after a few years or a little bit in the sun.
The white knobs on my Microfreak are like this. Sticky and grubby. Hard to clean off as well. I've tried a damp cloth, wet wipes and even isopropyl alcohol. That shit doesn't come off!! It's really odd. I was looking to see if I could buy some replacement knobs from Thonk.

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Faastwalker
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Post 06 Nov 2022

Steedus wrote:
03 Nov 2022
Soo ... I'm not exactly having a good first impression. The instructions say if you're using the newest versions of Reason then the keyboard will already have proper mappings ... I have the latest R12 ... but not R+ if that makes a difference. And the mappings were not there. I had to manually add them to the Reason folders. Easy enough.

..................
I never EVER seem to have much luck with MIDI Keyboard controller presets. I've owned a bunch of different ones over the years, most of which had presets for (amongst other DAWs) Reason. They never seemed to work that well. And if they do work the mappings are usually not what you would expect, and you just end up redoing them yourself. If you know Remote, happy days. I don't! Can rarely seem to get it working either, unless I'm just tweaking an existing file.

So, these days I don't even bother with all that stuff. I build a Combinator 2 patch that matches all the controls on the MIDI keyboard controller, manually map all the controls to the Combi, save this as a preset and just assign controls in the Combinator as and when needed. Actually, I usually have an instance of the Combinator 2 patch in my default Reason song file so it's ready to go as soon as I load Reason. Works best, for me anyhow. Saves all the preset, set-up woes and you can have it working how you want. :thumbup:

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Faastwalker
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Post 11 Nov 2022

My Minilab 3 arrived yesterday. Tried the Reason 3 set-up, after installing latest version of Reason (12.2.10 ). Just a case of pressing Shift + Pad 3 to put it into DAW mode, then using auto-detect in Reason’s MIDI setup area. Job done! Minilab 3 detected and ready to go. Fired up Europa and was pleased to see ‘Europa’ appear in the (diminutive) Minilab 3 display. Controls were auto mapped logically, although obviously there’s nowhere near enough physical controls for the majority of devices in Reason. But the mappings made sense, they worked well and the parameter names even appear on the Minilab 3 display (albeit abbreviated to fit). The transport controls (that also require the Shift button to use) all work perfectly as well. Very impressive. Best integration with Reason of any controller I’ve used so far.

djst
Posts: 27
Joined: 21 Feb 2021

Post 15 Nov 2022

Faastwalker wrote:
11 Nov 2022
My Minilab 3 arrived yesterday. Tried the Reason 3 set-up, after installing latest version of Reason (12.2.10 ). Just a case of pressing Shift + Pad 3 to put it into DAW mode, then using auto-detect in Reason’s MIDI setup area. Job done! Minilab 3 detected and ready to go. Fired up Europa and was pleased to see ‘Europa’ appear in the (diminutive) Minilab 3 display. Controls were auto mapped logically, although obviously there’s nowhere near enough physical controls for the majority of devices in Reason. But the mappings made sense, they worked well and the parameter names even appear on the Minilab 3 display (albeit abbreviated to fit). The transport controls (that also require the Shift button to use) all work perfectly as well. Very impressive. Best integration with Reason of any controller I’ve used so far.
But just to confirm, when you switch between one Europa instance to another instrument/Europa instance and twist knobs, and then switch back to the first instrument, the values will still jump on the instrument to correspond to the last used cc parameter value of the Keylab?

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Faastwalker
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Post 16 Nov 2022

djst wrote:
15 Nov 2022
Faastwalker wrote:
11 Nov 2022
My Minilab 3 arrived yesterday. Tried the Reason 3 set-up, after installing latest version of Reason (12.2.10 ). Just a case of pressing Shift + Pad 3 to put it into DAW mode, then using auto-detect in Reason’s MIDI setup area. Job done! Minilab 3 detected and ready to go. Fired up Europa and was pleased to see ‘Europa’ appear in the (diminutive) Minilab 3 display. Controls were auto mapped logically, although obviously there’s nowhere near enough physical controls for the majority of devices in Reason. But the mappings made sense, they worked well and the parameter names even appear on the Minilab 3 display (albeit abbreviated to fit). The transport controls (that also require the Shift button to use) all work perfectly as well. Very impressive. Best integration with Reason of any controller I’ve used so far.
But just to confirm, when you switch between one Europa instance to another instrument/Europa instance and twist knobs, and then switch back to the first instrument, the values will still jump on the instrument to correspond to the last used cc parameter value of the Keylab?
I've not checked this. but I suspect this would be the standard behavior.

It may be possible to change in the MIDI Control Center though. I'll check this as well.

djst
Posts: 27
Joined: 21 Feb 2021

Post 17 Nov 2022

Faastwalker wrote:
16 Nov 2022
I've not checked this. but I suspect this would be the standard behavior.

It may be possible to change in the MIDI Control Center though. I'll check this as well.
Please do! What midi control center by the way?

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Faastwalker
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Post 18 Nov 2022

djst wrote:
17 Nov 2022
Faastwalker wrote:
16 Nov 2022
I've not checked this. but I suspect this would be the standard behavior.

It may be possible to change in the MIDI Control Center though. I'll check this as well.
Please do! What midi control center by the way?
MIDI Control Center is Arturia's propitiatory for managing their devices. So patch management, firmware update, configuration etc.

https://support.arturia.com/hc/en-us/ar ... -Questions


I checked the settings for Minilab 3. You don't get much control over how the knobs and sliders behave. You can change speed, pad response etc. But parameters jump to control position when switching devices in Reason.

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