Arturia has announced its next line of KeyLab controllers for music producers and songwriters. This comes after they released the MiniLab Mk3 a few months ago.

Arturia continues to release outstanding products. Its Minifreak has taken the synth market by storm while its numerous software instruments & vintage emulations have been scooping jaws off the floor for some time now.

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Arturia KeyLab Mk3

The new Arturia KeyLab Essential Mk3 is packed with features & performance tools. Comparing the new model to the Mk2, it’s easy to see the design enhancements and the slick new workflow of the Mk3. While the Mk3 looks much prettier than the previous model, the new KeyLab also offers many features & software tools that Arturia states “take the work out of music-making”.

Comparing the new model to the Mk2, it
Arturia KeyLab Mk 2, Image Credit: Arturia

Choose between 49 or 61 velocity-sensitive keys and bring your musical ideas to life with the KeyLab’s eclectic mix of performance controls. 2 banks of 8 velocity-sensitive pads allow you to trigger samples or clips, or program drums while transposing your keys by semitones or full octaves with the pitch & mod wheels on the far left. Next to the display screen lie more controls where you can play with chord & scale modes, activate the arpeggiator, and engage a Hold parameter which sustains notes & arpeggios.

MIDI keyboards are becoming increasingly versatile to meet the needs of modern producers. As a result, the KeyLab Mk3 is compatible with DAWs, Arturia programs & range of user programs. Thanks to the Soundwide partnership between Arturia, iZotope, NI, and Plugin Alliance, I imagine the keyboard is designed to work perfectly in any of these software suites too. Nevertheless, the KeyLab Mk3 offers 8 knobs & faders pre-mapped to essential parameters on Arturia’s virtual instruments.

Quickly choose between different MIDI instruments via the onboard MIDI Channel controls before taking control of your recording software with the selection of global DAW controls which utilize custom scripts for different DAWs. Meanwhile, the display gives you feedback on your current project in real-time with a 2.5″ screen which has corresponding controls for interaction & preset navigation.

You’ll find a pedal input on the rear of the unit which you can assign to Sustain, Modulation, or Expression mode. This sits next to a MIDI Out port where you can connect synths, drum machines, or any other MIDI-enabled hardware, as well as the USB-C port for bus power.

Finally, the KeyLab Mk3 offers a selection of neat software instruments and presets. Here’s what’s included:

  • Arturia’s Analog Lab V with 2000+ sounds
  • Ableton Live Lite
  • The Gentleman by Native Instruments
  • UVI Model D
  • 2-month Loopcloud subscription
  • Melodics subscription


The KeyLab Essentials Mk3 is available in black or white from the Arturia site now. You can get the 49-key model for £199 and the 61-note model for £249.