NAMM 2020: Arturia KeyLab Essential 88 debuts at NAMM

The newest addition to the KeyLab Essential family features an 88 note, velocity-sensitive keyboard.

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Arturia KeyLab Essential 88

NAMM 2020: French audio manufacturer, Arturia, unveils the new KeyLab Essential 88, touted by the brand as “one of the most affordable 88-note controllers on the market”.

The KeyLab Essential 88 could prove to be a vital piece of kit for both studio and stage, that is built with functions specifically designed to enhance workflow. Those familiar with the KeyLab Essential range will be well accustomed to the 16 performance pad, 9 fader and rotary knob layout, which can be mapped using the Arturia MIDI software. This will allow you to have a deeper interaction with your favourite DAW and software instruments, potentially opening more creative opportunities.

One of the more unique selling points of KeyLab Essential 88 is the new keybed, which “strikes the perfect balance between fast synth action and a traditional weighted piano feel”, according to Arturia. This combined with the velocity and modulation wheels, ‘Chord Play’ mode and optional sustain pedal provides a comprehensive solution for your keyboarding needs. A twin-line LCD screen will allow you to scroll through parameters swiftly, allowing further integration with software like Arturia Analog Lab.

KeyLab Essential 88 front panel

Speaking of software, KeyLab Essential 88 will come packaged with Analog Lab, Ableton Live Lite and UVI Grand Piano Model D. Analog Lab is a collection of over 30 classic synths and keyboards with over 6500 presets to choose from. You can tweak parameters and use KeyLab to seamlessly control the instruments while you play. Ableton Live Lite is an introduction to the comprehensive Ableton Live 10 which you can use to record and track your compositions. UVI Grand Piano Model D is a recreation of the Steinway Model D grand piano, sampled meticulously for a convincing reproduction.

This new model of KeyLab Essential will begin shipping worldwide in Spring 2020. KeyLab Essential 88 will retail for $349/349 €. Find out more at

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