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Review MIDI keyboard Arturia KeyLab Essential 49

Arturia is a company based in Grenoble, France, specializing in the development of music software and hardware, with products aimed at both amateurs and professionals. I’ll tell you how this post is built. First I list the features of this Arturia KeyLab Essential 49 keyboard. Then you have a video or two, purchase links and useful comments from other users and then you have one of the most useful parts; comparison tables with similar keyboards so you can compare.

  • With 49 speed-sensitive keys
  • 8 speed-sensitive pads with Aftertouch
  • 1 pulse able encoder
  • 9 rotating knobs
  • 13 buttons
  • Transport section with 4 function switches
  • LCD screen
  • Tone and modulation wheel
  • Mode of interpretation of chords
  • Compatible with Mackie/HUI protocol
  • USB port
  • MIDI output
  • Connection for sustain pedal
  • Input for power supply (not included)
  • Native USB support
  • Includes Arturia Analog Lab 3, Ableton Live Lite and UVI Grand Piano software
  • Dimensions: 784 x 76 x 248mm (width x height x depth)
  • Weight: 3Kg
  • Attention: Internet connection required to authorize the product

review arturia-keylab-essential-49

This MIDI keyboard is usually priced at around €199/£177/$199 and offers 49 keys with sensitivity, allowing us to play melodies, rhythms, chords, and so on in our favorite audio software.

It also offers the following control options: 8 speed-sensitive pads with Aftertouch, 1 pushbutton encoder, 9 assignable knobs, 13 assignable buttons, a transport section with 4 function switches (stop, play, rec, etc.) plus pitch bend and modulation wheels.

The Arturia KeyLab Essential 49 also offers a chord performance mode, which allows you to play a chord using only one key, it also has a sustain pedal connection and although it is USB powered, it also has a power supply input, which is sold separately.

Finally, this product includes the Arturia Analog Lab 3, Ableton Live Lite and UVI Grand Piano software licenses. We need an internet connection to authorize the product.

Now that we have seen the features of this Arturia KeyLab Essential 49 keyboard watch these related videos to learn more.

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Arturia KeyLab Essential 49 vs Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol A49

The Arturia KeyLab Essential 49 MIDI Keyboard is priced at €199/£177/$199 and the Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol A49 is priced at €177/£159/$179, the difference is so small that this can vary. Let’s move on to the face-to-face:

  • Both offer 49 speed-sensitive keys, and the Kontrol A49’s are semi-backward, which gives a better quality of touch to your keyboard.
  • The Arturia offers 8 speed-sensitive pads with Aftertouch, 1 assignable push encoder, 9 assignable knobs, 13 assignable buttons, a transport section with 4 function switches (rec, play, stop, etc) and pitch bend and modulation wheels.
  • The Kontrol A49 offers 8 touch-sensitive encoders, pitch and modulation wheels and a 4D push-button encoder (4 dimensions).
  • Both offer a sustain pedal connection and can be USB powered, although the Arturia also has a power supply input.
  • The Arturia includes Arturia Analog Lab 3, Ableton Live Lite and UVI Grand Piano software, while the Kontrol A49 includes Komplete effects and instruments: The Gentleman, Monark, Scarbee Mark I, Reaktor Prism, Reaktor Blocks Wired, Reaktor 6 Player, Kontakt 6 Player, Guitar Rig 5 Player, Komplete Kontrol Software, Maschine Essential.

Let’s put the features of these keyboards in a table so you can compare

Arturia KeyLab Essential 49

Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol A49

  • With 49 speed-sensitive keys
  • 8 speed-sensitive pads with Aftertouch
  • 1 pulse able encoder
  • 9 rotating knobs
  • 13 buttons
  • Transport section with 4 function switches
  • LCD screen
  • Tone and modulation wheel
  • Mode of interpretation of chords
  • Compatible with Mackie/HUI protocol
  • USB port
  • MIDI output
  • Connection for sustain pedal
  • Input for power supply (not included)
  • Native USB support
  • Includes Arturia Analog Lab 3, Ableton Live Lite and UVI Grand Piano software
  • Dimensions: 784 x 76 x 248mm (width x height x depth)
  • Weight: 3Kg
  • Attention: Internet connection required to authorize the product
  • Newly developed semi-weighted keyboard
  • 49 keys
  • 8 touch-sensitive encoders, tone and modulation wheels
  • Push-button 4D encoder
  • Smart Player
  • Integration with Maschine
  • Intuitive control over Logic Pro X, Ableton Live, Garage Band, Cubase and Nuendo
  • USB powered
  • 6.3 mm input for pedal
  • USB port
  • Dimensions: 820 x 257 x 89 mm
  • Weight: 4.0 kg
  • Includes Komplete effects and instruments: The Gentleman, Monark, Scarbee Mark I, Reaktor Prism, Reaktor Blocks Wired, Reaktor 6 Player, Kontakt 6 Player, Guitar Rig 5 Player, Komplete Kontrol Software, Maschine Essential

We found an interesting comparison, with the Arturia KeyLab Essential 49 which is a good controller with all its control functions, that if you want that, a comprehensive control system for your DAW, that will be your best option. On the other hand, we have the Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol A49 that having fewer functions offers semi-balanced keys and thus also a great number of licenses and effects, which for beginners are very valued. Depending on what you need, you will make the best decision.

And here is a video of the Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol A49

If you want to know more about this option, click on the following link to see the Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol A49 review.

Arturia KeyLab Essential 49 vs Arturia KeyLab Essential 61

The Arturia KeyLab Essential 49 MIDI Keyboard has a price of €199/£177/$199s while the Arturia KeyLab Essential 61 has a price of €239/£215/$240, having a difference of €40 between them. The main difference in their functions is only the number of keys that in the first one we find 4 octaves (49 keys) and in the second one, we have 5 octaves (61 keys). So depending on your space or need you will make your decision. Both are good options.

Let’s put the characteristics of these keyboards in a table so you can compare

Arturia KeyLab Essential 49

Arturia KeyLab Essential 61

  • With 49 speed-sensitive keys
  • 8 speed-sensitive pads with Aftertouch
  • 1 pulse able encoder
  • 9 rotating knobs
  • 13 buttons
  • Transport section with 4 function switches
  • LCD screen
  • Tone and modulation wheel
  • Mode of interpretation of chords
  • Compatible with Mackie/HUI protocol
  • USB port
  • MIDI output
  • Connection for sustain pedal
  • Input for power supply (not included)
  • Native USB support
  • Includes Arturia Analog Lab 3, Ableton Live Lite and UVI Grand Piano software
  • Dimensions: 784 x 76 x 248mm (width x height x depth)
  • Weight: 3Kg
  • Attention: Internet connection required to authorize the product
  • With 61 speed-sensitive keys
  • 8 speed-sensitive pads with Aftertouch
  • 1 pulse able encoder
  • 9 rotating knobs
  • 13 buttons
  • Transport section with 4 function switches
  • LCD screen
  • Tone and modulation wheel
  • Mode of interpretation of chords
  • Compatible with Mackie/HUI protocol
  • USB port
  • MIDI output
  • Connection for sustain pedal
  • Input for power supply (not included)
  • Native USB support
  • Includes Arturia Analog Lab 2, Ableton Live Lite and UVI Grand Piano software
  • Dimensions: 882 x 76 x 248mm (width x height x depth)
  • Weight: 3,3Kg
  • Attention: Internet connection required to authorize the product

And here’s a video of the Arturia KeyLab Essential 61

If you want to know more about this option, click on the following link to see the Arturia KeyLab Essential 61 review.

Arturia KeyLab Essential 49 vs M-Audio Code 49 Black

The Arturia KeyLab Essential 49 MIDI keyboard and the M-Audio Code 49 Black are priced at €199/£177/$199. At the same price, this will be a very interesting comparison. Let’s take a look at it face-to-face:

  • Both offer 49 speed-sensitive keys, and Code 49 has aftertouch.
  • The Arturia offers 8 speed-sensitive pads with aftertouch, 1 assignable push encoder, 9 assignable knobs, 13 assignable buttons, a transport section with 4 function switches (rec, play, stop, etc) and pitch bend and modulation wheels.
  • The M-Audio Code 49 offers 4 assignable zones for splits and layers, 1 assignable XY control pad for HID control, 16 assignable speed-sensitive pads, 8 assignable knobs, 9 assignable faders, 9 assignable buttons, and a transport control (go to a specific clip point).
  • Both offer a sustain pedal connection and can be USB powered, although the Arturia also has a power supply input. And the M-Audio has both a volume pedal and a MIDI input/output connection.
  • The Arturia includes Arturia Analog Lab 3, Ableton Live Lite and UVI Grand Piano software, while the M-Audio Code 49 includes Ableton Live Lite, Hybrid 3.0 and Loom by Air Music Technology.

Let’s put the features of these keyboards in a table so you can compare

Arturia KeyLab Essential 49

M-Audio Code 49 Black

  • With 49 speed-sensitive keys
  • 8 speed-sensitive pads with Aftertouch
  • 1 pulse able encoder
  • 9 rotating knobs
  • 13 buttons
  • Transport section with 4 function switches
  • LCD screen
  • Tone and modulation wheel
  • Mode of interpretation of chords
  • Compatible with Mackie/HUI protocol
  • USB port
  • MIDI output
  • Connection for sustain pedal
  • Input for power supply (not included)
  • Native USB support
  • Includes Arturia Analog Lab 3, Ableton Live Lite and UVI Grand Piano software
  • Dimensions: 784 x 76 x 248mm (width x height x depth)
  • Weight: 3Kg
  • Attention: Internet connection required to authorize the product
  • 49 full-size keys
  • Speed sensitive with aftertouch
  • 4 assignable zones for divisions and layers
  • Assignable XY control pad for HID control
  • 16 fully assignable speed-sensitive trigger pads
  • 8 encoders 360 assignable
  • 9 assignable faders
  • 9 assignable buttons
  • Transport control via Mackie/HUI protocol
  • LED providing an instant display of each parameter
  • Input for volume and sustain pedal
  • Operates via USB power with 5-pin MIDI input and output
  • Software included: Ableton Live Lite, Hybrid 3.0 and Loom by Air Music Technology
  • Power supply not included optionally available
  • Minimum requirements: Windows 7 (32 and 64 bit) and Mac OS X 10.7.5
  • Dimensions: 858 x 257 x 73mm (width x depth x height)
  • Weight: 4,2Kg

We found two quality MIDI controllers, the Arturia KeyLab Essential 49 that we analyzed earlier, with its moderate control functions, and the M-Audio Code 49 that has the following functions: 49 sensitive and aftertouch keys, 1 assignable XY pad control, 16 assignable pads, 8 assignable knobs, 9 assignable faders, 9 assignable buttons and a transport control (for moving around in our session). This is where you’ll find the most features in the M-Audio, and that’s why this is the best choice.

Here’s a video of the M-Audio Code 49 Black keyboard

If you want to know more about this option, click on the following link to see the M-Audio Code 49 Black review.

Arturia KeyLab Essential 49 vs Novation Impulse 49

The Arturia KeyLab Essential 49 MIDI Keyboard is priced at €199/£177/$199 and the Novation Impulse 49 is priced at €223/£205/$228, with a difference of $44. Let’s move on to the face-to-face:

  • Both offer 49 speed-sensitive keys, and the Novation’s have aftertouch and are semi-weighted.
  • The Arturia offers 8 speed-sensitive pads with aftertouch, 1 assignable push encoder, 9 assignable knobs, 13 assignable buttons, a transport section with 4 function switches (rec, play, stop, etc) and pitch bend and modulation wheels.
  • The Novation Impulse 49 offers 8 backlit Drum Pads, 9 55mm Faders, 9 assignable buttons, 8 assignable knobs, 6 transport keys (rec, stop, play, etc), octave up and down keys, beat-roll and clip-launch buttons, and pitch bend and modulation wheels.
  • Both offer a sustain pedal connection and can be USB powered, although the Arturia also has a power supply input. And the Novation has an input for an expression pedal.
  • The Arturia includes Arturia Analog Lab 3, Ableton Live Lite and UVI Grand Piano software, while the Novation Impulse 49 includes the Xcite+ Software Pack, with Ableton Live Lite.

Let’s put the features of these keyboards in a table so you can compare

Arturia KeyLab Essential 49

Novation Impulse 49

  • With 49 speed-sensitive keys
  • 8 speed-sensitive pads with Aftertouch
  • 1 pulse able encoder
  • 9 rotating knobs
  • 13 buttons
  • Transport section with 4 function switches
  • LCD screen
  • Tone and modulation wheel
  • Mode of interpretation of chords
  • Compatible with Mackie/HUI protocol
  • USB port
  • MIDI output
  • Connection for sustain pedal
  • Input for power supply (not included)
  • Native USB support
  • Includes Arturia Analog Lab 3, Ableton Live Lite and UVI Grand Piano software
  • Dimensions: 784 x 76 x 248mm (width x height x depth)
  • Weight: 3Kg
  • Attention: Internet connection required to authorize the product
  • 49 semi-weighted keys and Aftertouch
  • Full DAW control and plug-in operation
  • 8 Backlit Drum Pads
  • 9 Fader of 55mm
  • 9 assignable buttons
  • 8 rotary controllers
  • 6 transport keys
  • Pitch and modulation wheels
  • 2-octave keys
  • Arpeggiator
  • Beat-Roll and Clip-Launch buttons
  • LCD screen
  • USB connection
  • Connections for expression and sustain pedals
  • MIDI in/out
  • Automap-Control-Software
  • Includes Xcite+ Software Pack, with Ableton Live Lite
  • Size: 846 x 332 x 100 mm
  • Weight: 5kg

Again, we find an interesting comparison between the Arturia KeyLab Essential 49 with its moderate controls and the Novation Impulse 49 which offers 8 backlit pads, 9 55mm faders, 9 assignable buttons, 8 assignable knobs, 6 transport keys, pitch and modulation wheels, and more. As you can see the Novation has more functions and according to that, we can say that it is the best option.

And here’s a video of the Novation Impulse 49 keyboard

If you want to know more about this option, click on the following link to see the Novation Impulse 49 review.

Which is the best of these MIDI keyboards if I am a beginner on a low budget?

While the answer to this question lies mostly in what specific need you have, for example, if you want to have a keyboard with the widest range of notes possible, or if you want to have as many control functions as possible, or perhaps a mix between the two, that is without leaving behind the different connections and software licenses that most MIDI controllers offer, we will give an objective opinion according to our experience in music production and thus also with the price demanded by the controllers, a kind of value for money.

In this post, we find MIDI controllers in an average of 200 euros, and our star MIDI controller is the Arturia KeyLab Essential 49, which for a price of 199 euros offers the control functions of pads, encoder, buttons, knobs all of them assignable, besides being compatible with the Mackie/HUI protocol which indicates that DAWs capable of supporting this protocol like Pro Tools, will have great compatibility. Excellent controller for a fair price.

Where to buy the Arturia KeyLab Essential 49

Amazon

  • Free Shipping and the possibility of shipping in one day with Amazon Premium.
  • Full Guarantee but they are no experts in music equipment.
  • Sometimes a better price.
  • He’s got worse stock than Thomann.

Thomann

  • Free Shipping.
  • Full warranty. If you have any problems, they take care of everything.
  • 100% reliable payment.
  • A leader in trouble-free shipping.
  • Usually the Best price.
  • Best Reputation: They are the leading online store in Europe and have the best catalog and information.

Also, look at these models with a similar price and features:

Jaime Echagüe

Hi! I'm Jaime Echagüe, a musician and an authentic fan of musical instruments. With this blog I want to give general information about musical instruments in an easy, direct and honest way. I hope you enjoy my website and that you find it very useful.

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