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Review MIDI keyboard Arturia MicroLab Black. Where to buy it?

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’ll list the features of this Arturia MicroLab Black 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; tables of comparisons with similar keyboards so you can compare.

  • With 25 speed-sensitive keys
  • 2 touch sensors for modulation wheel and pitch bend
  • Native USB/MIDI support, no drivers required
  • USB bus-powered
  • Low power: Can work with Android or Apple iPad devices (required cables or adapters not included)
  • Includes USB cable, Analog Lab Lite with over 500 presets from the V Collection, UVI Grand Piano Model D and the Bitwig 8-Track DAW
  • Dimensions: 414 x 37 x 130 mm (width x height x depth)
  • Weight: 770 g
  • Color: Black

review arturia-microlab-blackThis minimalist MIDI keyboard is usually priced at around €79/£71/$78 and offers 25 speed-sensitive mini keys, which in a range of 2 octaves will allow you to play the melodies, rhythms, chords and so on with the sample libraries you have.

It also offers 2 touch sensors for modulation wheel and pitch bend that will give expression and life to your compositions. It has native USB/MIDI support, which means that no external drivers are needed to work. It’s Plug and Play.

It is USB powered so it does not need any external power supply to work, and due to its low power, it can be used with Android and Apple devices.

Finally, it is worth mentioning that it includes the Analog Lab Lite software licenses with more than 500 presets from the V Collection, UVI Grand Piano Model D and the Bitwig 8-Track DAW.

Now that we have seen the features of this Arturia MicroLab Black keyboard watch these related videos to learn more.

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Arturia MicroLab Black vs Arturia Keystep

The Arturia MicroLab Black MIDI Keyboard has a price of €79/£71/$78 and the Arturia Keystep has a price of €102/£89/$101, with a difference of 26 euros, which can be changed according to the shop where we ask. Let’s go face to face:

  • When the MicroLab, offers us 25 mini keys with sensitivity, the Keystep has 32 thin keys with sensitivity and aftertouch
  • As the Keystep is a polyphonic sequencer and MIDI controller, it offers up to 64 steps and 8 notes of polyphony.
  • The Arturia MicroLab Black offers 2 touch sensors for modulation wheel and pitch bend and the Arturia Keystep offers transport buttons and touch sliders for pitch bend and modulation. And it has sequencer and MIDI controller modes.
  • The Arturia MicroLab Black has a USB connection, while the Arturia Keystep offers the connections: USB, MIDI In/Out, CV/Out, Sync In/Out, Sustain Pedal In, Power Supply In.
  • The Arturia MicroLab Black includes the : Analog Lab Lite with over 500 presets from the V Collection, UVI Grand Piano Model D and the Bitwig 8-Track DAW.

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

Arturia MicroLab Black

Arturia Keystep

  • With 25 speed-sensitive keys
  • 2 touch sensors for modulation wheel and pitch bend
  • Native USB/MIDI support, no drivers required
  • USB bus-powered
  • Low power: Can work with Android or Apple iPad devices (required cables or adapters not included)
  • Includes USB cable, Analog Lab Lite with over 500 presets from the V Collection, UVI Grand Piano Model D and the Bitwig 8-Track DAW
  • Dimensions: 414 x 37 x 130 mm (width x height x depth)
  • Weight: 770 g
  • Color: Black
  • 32 thin speed and touch-sensitive keys
  • Integrated polyphonic step sequencer
  • Up to 64 steps and 8 simultaneous step notes
  • 8-Mode Arpeggiator
  • Mode of interpretation of chords
  • Transposition buttons
  • Pitch and modulation touch slider
  • Connections: USB, MIDI In/Out, CV/Out, Sync In/Out, Sustain Pedal In, Power Supply In

In our first comparison, we have two good pieces of equipment, on the one hand, the Arturia MicroLab Black, which as its name indicates, is a minimalist model of a MIDI controller, with 25 sensitive keys, and pitch bend and modulation control. However, with the Arturia Keystep we find a sequencer and a MIDI controller, with logically more functions and features than its competition. If you are satisfied with a minimalist keyboard, the MicroLab is for you, but if you need a portable sequencer that also works as a controller, the Arturia Keystep will be your choice.

And here is a video of the Arturia Keystep

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

Arturia MicroLab Black vs Arturia MiniLab MKII

The Arturia MicroLab Black MIDI Keyboard is priced at €79/£71/$78 when the Arturia MiniLab MKII is priced at €91/£82/$91, but the difference is so small that this may vary. Let’s move on to the face-to-face:

  • Both offer 25 speed-sensitive mini keys (intensity in MIDI language)
  • The Arturia MicroLab Black offers 2 tactile sensors for the modulation wheel and Pitch Bend and the Arturia MiniLab MKII offers 16 rotary encoders (2 of them are clickable), 2 banks of 8 speed and pressure-sensitive pads, with RGB backlighting and touch strips for pitch bend and modulation.
  • The Arturia MicroLab Black has a USB connection, while the Arturia MiniLab MKII offers a USB connection and input for a sustain pedal.
  • The Arturia MicroLab Black includes the : Analog Lab Lite with over 500 presets from the V Collection, UVI Grand Piano Model D and the Bitwig 8-Track DAW. And the Arturia MiniLab MKII includes the license for the Analog Lab Lite software with 500 sounds in V-Collection 5 quality, Ableton Live Lite and UVI Grand Piano (software requires a download from manufacturer’s website).

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

Arturia MicroLab Black

Arturia MiniLab MKII

  • With 25 speed-sensitive keys
  • 2 touch sensors for modulation wheel and pitch bend
  • Native USB/MIDI support, no drivers required
  • USB bus-powered
  • Low power: Can work with Android or Apple iPad devices (required cables or adapters not included)
  • Includes USB cable, Analog Lab Lite with over 500 presets from the V Collection, UVI Grand Piano Model D and the Bitwig 8-Track DAW
  • Dimensions: 414 x 37 x 130 mm (width x height x depth)
  • Weight: 770 g
  • Color: Black
  • 25 speed-sensitive mini keys
  • 16 rotary encoders (2 of them are clickable)
  • 2 banks of 8 speed and pressure-sensitive pads with RGB backlighting
  • Touchstrips for pitch bend and modulation
  • Connection for sustain pedal
  • USB connection
  • Bus-powered
  • Dimensions: 355 x 220 x 50mm (width x depth x height)
  • Weight: 1,5kg
  • Includes license for Analog Lab Lite software with 500 sounds in V-Collection 5 quality, Ableton Live Lite and UVI Grand Piano (software requires a download from manufacturer’s website)

In this comparison, we find two controllers of the brand Arturia, which although they have a slight difference in price, we also have slight differences in their functions, where the MiniLab MKII is the winner thanks to its 16 assignable encoders and its 2 banks of 8 pads, which in total are 16. It is worth spending a few euros more if you have these functions in your controller.

And here’s a video of the Arturia MiniLab MKII keyboard

If you want to know more about this option, click on the following link to see the Arturia MiniLab MKII review.

Arturia MicroLab Black vs Akai LPK 25

The Arturia MicroLab Black MIDI Keyboard is priced at €79/£71/$78 and the Akai LPK 25 is priced at €42/£37/$42, with a difference of €37. Let’s see the face-to-face:

  • Both offer 25 speed-sensitive mini keys (intensity in MIDI language)
  • The Arturia MicroLab Black offers 2 touch sensors for modulation wheel and Pitch Bend and the Akai LPK 25 offers an arpeggiator button, a sustain button and octave up/down buttons and a tap tempo button.
  • Both have a USB connection.
  • The Arturia MicroLab Black includes the licenses for: Analog Lab Lite with over 500 presets from the V Collection, UVI Grand Piano Model D and the Bitwig 8-Track DAW. And the Akai LPK 25 includes editor software for Mac and PC.

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

Arturia MicroLab Black

Akai LPK 25

  • With 25 speed-sensitive keys
  • 2 touch sensors for modulation wheel and pitch bend
  • Native USB/MIDI support, no drivers required
  • USB bus-powered
  • Low power: Can work with Android or Apple iPad devices (required cables or adapters not included)
  • Includes USB cable, Analog Lab Lite with over 500 presets from the V Collection, UVI Grand Piano Model D and the Bitwig 8-Track DAW
  • Dimensions: 414 x 37 x 130 mm (width x height x depth)
  • Weight: 770 g
  • Color: Black
  • Works with virtually all audio software
  • 25 mini-format speed-sensitive keys
  • Arpeggiator
  • Sustain button
  • Octave Up/Down and Tap Tempo buttons
  • Plug&Play USB socket on Mac and PC without drivers
  • Fits neatly into a laptop bag or backpack
  • 4 programmable memory banks
  • Editor Software for Mac and PC included
  • Powered by USB port, no mains power cable required
  • Size: 9,65 x 34,04 x 2,79 cm
  • Weight: 0.635 kg

We find ourselves with two minimalist MIDI controllers, with relatively few functions, but with certain aspects that are of great value to some. On the one hand, we have the Arturia MicroLab Black with its 25 mini keys and its pitch bend and modulation sensors. And on the other hand, the Akai LPK 25 with its 25 mini keys, and its buttons for arpeggiator, sustain and octaves, besides the tap tempo. As a personal opinion, I would go for the Akai since I don’t see so necessary the pitch bend and modulation touch strips. But I’m sure you’ll make the best decision according to your needs.

And here is a video of the LPK 25 Akai keyboard

If you want to know more about this option, click on the following link to see the Akai LPK 25 review.

Arturia MicroLab Black vs Miditech Midistart Music 25

The Arturia MicroLab Black MIDI Keyboard is priced at €79/£71/$78 and the Miditech Midistart Music 25 is priced at €58/£51/$60, but the difference is so small that this may vary depending on the shop where we ask. Let’s go face to face:

  • They both offer 25 mini speed-sensitive keys (intensity in MIDI language), the interesting thing about the Miditech is that they are full-size keys.
  • The Arturia MicroLab Black offers 2 touch sensors for the modulation wheel and Pitch Bend and the Miditech Midistart Music 25 offers a joystick for pitch bend and modulation and two +/- octave buttons, plus an assignable fader.
  • Both have a USB connection, the Miditech has a MIDI output.
  • The Arturia MicroLab Black includes the licenses for Analog Lab Lite with over 500 presets from the V Collection, UVI Grand Piano Model D and the Bitwig 8-Track DAW. And the Miditech Midistart Music 25 includes the Magix Samplitude SE.

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

Arturia MicroLab Black

Miditech Midistart Music 25

  • With 25 speed-sensitive keys
  • 2 touch sensors for modulation wheel and pitch bend
  • Native USB/MIDI support, no drivers required
  • USB bus-powered
  • Low power: Can work with Android or Apple iPad devices (required cables or adapters not included)
  • Includes USB cable, Analog Lab Lite with over 500 presets from the V Collection, UVI Grand Piano Model D and the Bitwig 8-Track DAW
  • Dimensions: 414 x 37 x 130 mm (width x height x depth)
  • Weight: 770 g
  • Color: Black
  • 25 large keys with sensitivity
  • Joystick for Pitchbend and Modulation
  • Octave buttons +/-
  • MIDI output
  • USB port
  • Includes USB cable
  • Magix Samplitude SE
  • Size: 380 x 80 x 240 mm
  • Weight: 2.3 Kg

Again we have an interesting difference between two minimalist MIDI keyboards, on the one hand, our Arturia MicroLab Black which we have already analyzed before, and on the other hand the Miditech Midistart Music 25, with 25 full-size keys with sensitivity, a joystick for pitch bend and modulation and an assignable fader. That because of the normal size of the keys of the second one, is the best option in case you are used to playing with a real keyboard or piano.

And here’s a video of the Miditech Midistart Music 25 keyboard

If you want to know more about this option, click on the following link to see the Miditech Midistart Music 25 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 that the controllers demand, a kind of value for money.

In this post, we have mostly MIDI controllers for less than 100 euros, and as a star product, we can mention the Miditech Midistart Music 25, which is one of the controllers that offers full-size keys for a really cheap price, apart from that we also have it’s up/down octave buttons, a joystick for pitch bend and modulation and an assignable fader. It also has an integrated input for a sustain pedal. All these features it offers for the price it demands are very fair, if you have the chance to go for it.

Where to buy the Arturia MicroLab Black keyboard

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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