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Keylab Essential 61 Universal MIDI Controller

SKU: # 504361   |   Model: # KEYLAB ESSE 61   |    Product Reviews1 Reviews  Write a Review

Keylab Essential 61 Universal MIDI Controller

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Keylab Essential 61 Universal MIDI Controller
Keylab Essential 61 Universal MIDI Controller

Product Videos :

YouTube Video Arturia announces the KeyLab Essential Series
Your Price: $369.00 CDN
or from $39 CDN/mo
Limited stock available in select stores only
KeyLab Essential is an intuitive, powerful, carefully crafted controller keyboard that's easy to master.

Music is at the heart of this controller. Every aspect of KeyLab Essential has been carefully chosen to give you the best possible experience when creating and performing. From the responsive keyboard to the intelligently assigned knobs and faders, you'll feel like everything you touch turns to gold. KeyLab Essential makes navigating your track a breeze thanks to the dedicated DAW Command Center, and makes browsing your presets an exciting, inspiring experience.

KeyLab Essential helps you keep your eye on the target. Spend less time with a keyboard and mouse, and more time creating, performing, and playing.

Main Features

Performance controls - Bend your notes, modulate your sounds and transpose your keyboard by semitones or full octaves.

Chord play - Quickly create full arrangements with intelligent chord feature.

Midi channel select - Quickly change MIDI channels with dedicated control.

Performance pads - Dual-purpose dynamic, back-lit pads also let you select your favorite mapping options.

DAW command center - Take control of your recording software thanks to the MCU/HUI protocol.

Screen and Analog Lab remote - Read the right info when you need it thanks the twin-line LCD screen and browse your Analog Lab presets directly on your keyboard.

Pre-mapped knobs and faders - Adjust the panning and level of the tracks in your DAW, and the essential parameters of the Arturia virtual instruments.
61 note Keyboard - Durable, velocity-sensitive keys will capture every nuance of your performance.

MIDI out - Control any MIDI-compatible synths, outboard, and modular gear.

Sustain pedal input - Push forward the expressivity of your keyboard play with a sustain pedal. The polarity can be inverted to comply with all types of pedals.

USB connectivity - Bus-powered, class-compliant, and powered through usb.

Optional DC power - Power KeyLab Essential without connecting to a computer.


61 velocity sensitive keys

1 x clickable encoder
9 x encoders
9 x 1.2" / 30.0 mm faders
6 x transport switches
4 x command switches
1 x modulation wheel
1 x pitch bend wheel
8 x touch and pressure-sensitive pads

1 x 5-pin DIN MIDI out
1 x USB Type-B
1 x 1/4" / 6.35 mm sustain pedal input

Twin-line LCD screen

Software Specifications
• Includes Analog Lab software with 5000 synth sounds
• Includes Ableton Live Lite
• Includes UVI Grand Piano model D

Perfect Analog Lab 2 integration
• Select sounds, browse presets, switch parts, smart-assigned controls.
• Standalone or plug-in operation: VST, VST3, AU, AAX.
• Over 5,000 TAE powered preset sounds from Arturia's award-winning V Collection
• Ableton Live 9 Lite - record, layer, and edit your sounds to create a finished song.
• UVI Grand Piano Model D - Sample-based software recreation of Steinway classic.
• Compatible with all major Digital Audio Workstation: Pro Tools, Logic Pro X, FL Studio, Bitwig, Cubase, Ableton Live, Digital Performer, Studio One*
*All product names, trademarks and registered trademarks are property of their respective owners.


Arturia announces the KeyLab Essential SeriesWatch Video
Youtube video product demo

Q & A

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CCBot/2.0 (
Specific, but if you're looking to get it, I absolutely recommend. 107 of 111 customers found this review helpful
Product Experience   I own it
Closest Store   Mississauga, Ontario
I'll keep this section brief. I understand this is a review, not a box to share life stories, but I feel a little bit of context is necessary to fully understand my point of view here. I'm a teenager. A teenager who can drive, but a teenager. I don't have huge amounts of spare income (and unfortunately, the potential of a second wave right now is making me postpone my search for a first job), and every part of this review is written with that perspective. This quite literally took months of saving, as well as selling off my previous controller, a Keystep, to afford. That being said, I'm also a pianist, and own a tiny synth collection (as well as many different open source plugins, and work with Reason Intro & Live Lite). I don't intend to brag, and will absolutely admit to being rather young, but I would like to note that I have modest amounts of experience. The Keylab Essential line is, as far as I can observe, aimed at a very specific audience. It is the only controller I have found with MIDI, USB, and power at this price range. If you, like, me, are looking for a full-sized multiple-octave keybed, intend to use this both with your DAW(s), and collection of instruments, large or small, all on a relatively tight budget (considering the prices of many controllers - $300 is absolutely nothing to sneeze at, I would know), this series is perfect for you, and with a ~$50 MIDI splitter controlling multiple instruments simultaneously is easy. I like the keybed. It feels great to play. I don't love the velocity, but it's very usable, and is a huge step from all of the controllers I've previously owned. The plastic does track fingers, though I can't feel them while playing which, while a rather specific thing to point out, has been a huge issue I've had with previous controllers (particularly the Keystep). In terms of key count, I personally consider 5 octaves to be the perfect number. While 4 is certainly more than enough for most, with 5 you can play just about everything written for piano. I also like the hands-on controls, particularly the sliders, as this now takes up nearly all of my desk space, though thanks to Reason not officially supporting the modern Keylabs as master controllers, some of them might not get used often. I also would gladly have paid extra for the fantastic Keystep sequencer to be implemented, though I suspect I'll end up buying a Beatstep Pro eventually. I don't really have much to say about the build quality. It feels great. The specs I found for this thing were 7 pounds - and I believe it. I also can't comment on the software, which I admittedly haven't yet installed, though the inclusion of both a license for the incredibly functional Ableton Live Lite, Analog Lab (which I'm personally quite excited to work with), as well as a Steinberg Grand Piano plugin are very promising for musicians, especially those who are new and/or young, and looking for both a controller and a DAW on a budget. Overall? Total recommend. If you're looking at the essential line, and are interested enough to search out reviews, at least one of them is likely perfect for you, whether it's the 49, 61, or 88 (the latter of which is carried by Moog Audio for $500). If you need a controller that has power, usb, and midi together at this price range, like I do, it's the only option that I've found with all 3. I wavered for a few weeks while making up the last $50, and am ultimately incredibly pleased with what I've bought. I will be extremely surprised if this controller doesn't last at least 10 years or more. My apologies for the length of this review. 8 paragraphs is a lot, and I've attempted to space it out appropriately. My goal has been to create a very in-depth review, and I hope it's useful to others, and other owners of the essential series find it accurate, or at least understandable. Thank you.
Posted by anonymous on Oct 8, 2020
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A warranty can be a very important factor when making a buying decision. Because repairs can be very expensive in terms of parts and labour costs, manufacturers usually only provide one year limited warranties that generally only cover items that malfunction due to a manufacturer’s defect. With an important purchase such as a musical
instrument or piece of studio gear, however, many people want to have the peace of mind in knowing that their investment will be protected should the product no longer be performing at 100%.

Because of this, Long & McQuade provides our customers with a FREE one-year Performance Warranty on most of our products. The Long & McQuade Performance Warranty supplements the manufacturer’s warranty to ensure that our customers receive complete “no hassle” warranty coverage within their first year.

How does the Long & McQuade Performance Warranty differ from most manufacturers' warranties?
  • Performance Guarantee: Normal wear and tear is covered, so your product will be performing as well as the day you purchased it for the entire duration of the coverage. Band and Orchestral Performance Warranty does not include replacing pads or cleaning for woodwind instruments, unless deemed necessary by our repair staff. Ultrasonic cleaning for brass instruments will be provided if deemed necessary by our repair staff, but is not routinely offered under the Performance Warranty.
  • Product Replacement: If your product cannot be fixed or costs too much to fix, we will replace it with the equivalent model for no additional charge. If this is not possible, a full refund will be provided.
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  • Convenient: Easy drop off and pick up of the product at any Long & McQuade location.
  • Guitar Setup: Guitars purchased at Long & McQuade come with 1 free setup, to be redeemed within 1 year for new guitars and 90 days for used guitars.
  • Loaners Available: A loaner product may be given while the product is being repaired.
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  • Accessory Coverage: Any peripheral devices or accessories that come with your product (i.e. foot pedal, case) are also covered.
  • Commercial Use Coverage: Music and recording professionals who purchase gear for “heavy-use” commercial purposes will still be covered.

Long & McQuade reserves the right to restrict the purchase of additional years of Performance Warranty. Used products come with a 3-month Long & McQuade Performance Warranty. Some products (i.e. computers, software, cymbals and other items) are covered only by the manufacturer‘s warranty. Consumables (i.e. strings, reeds, drum sticks, batteries, tubes, cross faders) are excluded as they are designed to be replaced. Cosmetic Damage, Accidental Damage, or problems caused by Humidity or Temperature Issues are not covered. Speakers damaged by overpowering are generally not covered. Our coverage does not provide compensation for loss of use. As of June 2018 the Performance Warranty is no longer transferable. The warranty is only valid in Canada.

Purchasing additional years of coverage

Some manufacturers provide warranties for longer than 1 year; however, these are usually limited warranties that do not provide the same coverage as the Long & McQuade Performance Warranty. Customers interested in more complete and convenient (but not necessarily longer) coverage are still able to purchase additional years of the Performance Warranty.

If you are interested in receiving this coverage for longer than one year, you have the option of purchasing additional years of the Performance Warranty. The pricing is as follows:

  • NEW products: 4% of the current new selling price to double the warranty from 1 year to 2 years. 4% for each additional year.
  • USED products: 4% of the current new selling price to increase the warranty from 3 months to 1 year. 4% for each additional year.
  • GUITARS: 4% of the current new selling price to double the warranty from 1 year to 2 years. 4% for each additional year. $45 maximum. An additional free setup is not included with additional purchased years of Performance Warranty.
  • BAND and ORCHESTRAL instruments: 4% of the current new selling price to double the warranty from 1 year to 2 years. 4% for each additional year.

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