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Rating and Reviews: Arturia Keylab 49 Essential

With its on-board DAW controls, 4 performance pads and LCD screen, Arturia's Keylab Essential 49 controller has all you need to get creative right away.

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Sound
Features
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The Wow Factor
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"great kb & software" submitted December 7, 2017

By steven b. in anchorage, AK
Overall
Sound
Features
Ease of Use
Quality
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The Wow Factor
Musical Background: i have been playing music professionally for 27 years
Music Style: ambient indie rock loops stuff & solo singer songwriter acoustic. also play old timey and blue grass music
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Overall: i bought this because it looked like a great controller for the included software. i'd say it's a nice kb. feels better then a standard 49 key m-audio cheapie. the included software is great and the tight integration of the keyboard controls with the software is fantastic. for me this is a keeper and i'm selling off my other controllers and keyboards since i only need one good one to control software synths.
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"A very average midi keyboard/controllerer." submitted February 5, 2020

By Jacob W. in Redding, CA
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Sound
Features
Ease of Use
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Value
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The Wow Factor
Musical Background: Guitar,Percussion,Keys,Bass
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Sound: This is a midi controller. It only plays the sounds you designate to it via midi connection. That being said it sounds great with almost anything you play through. There are many parameter settings that allow to adjust volume threshold, sensitivity, minimum and max value set for volumes so your ears are not shredded everytime you open a daw. I set my volume knob for a minimum of 50 and a max value of 70 so I do not experience a high volume. It can only sound bad due to user error ect. Feature: This Keyboard has quite a few features, and if you are just learning midi programming this keyboard will teach you a lot. There is a strong assumption that you know something about midi as a lot of the controls and integration instruction wont make sense without previous knowledge. This keyboard can control most daws, has 6 programmable user maps and templates, the midi control center lets you tweak almost every pad and knob value to exactly what you want. There are honestly too many features to include in this review. Ease of Use: As stated above it is easy to use if you have some of the foundations of midi handy to your mind. A lot of the instructions seem to give you answers based on assumed knowledge. If you have no clue how to use midi this is perfect, and also really time consuming to learn. It wont hold your hand so to speak, but it can easily show you around the land. Quality: This is probably where the Arturia has its biggest flaw. It feels like it weighs a pound, and it feels really. Really cheap. The knobs and faders are fairly loose, and come off really easy. The pads have almost no action whatsoever. They are the first I ever tried and while responsive, I can honestly say I wish they had more bounce or firmness to them. I know the mkii is made of metal so if you want something gig worthy do not get this. It will break apart the first time it falls hard to concrete guaranteed. Value: This thing seems to be worth it, but be warned the software is what makes this product great. It probably has a studio life of 5 years, and a road life of one gig. Manufacturer Support: Good, but very slow support. It took three weeks to diagnose my issue due to Arturia only having tech support via email. The Wow Factor: Not mind blowing, but a solid piece of equipment that can help you get serious writing done easily. Overall: Please see detailed review.
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