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Review MIDI keyboard Arturia MiniLab MKII. 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. In this post, I first list the features of this Arturia MiniLab MKII 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.

  • 25 speed-sensitive mini keys
  • 16 rotary encoders (two of them are clickable)
  • Two banks of eight-speed and pressure-sensitive pads with RGB backlight
  • 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 Five quality, Ableton Live Lite and UVI Grand Piano (software requires a download from manufacturer’s site)

review arturia-minilab-mkii
This MIDI keyboard is usually priced at around €91/£82/$91 and has 25 speed-sensitive (intensity in MIDI language) mini keys that allow you to play tunes and chords using plug-ins from your favorite DAW. Remember that you also have the Octave Up/Down option, so with practice, you can surely make that little keyboard a good instrument.

It also has 16 assignable knobs, very useful when recording or mixing, and to control more specifically the parameters of the plugins to be used. We also have 8 sensitive backlit pads to tune percussive rhythms or other samples.

We also have touch strips to control the pitch bend and modulation of the notes in real-time (at the moment they sound). The Arturia MiniLab MKII also has a sustain pedal input and is USB powered, so no external power supply is needed.

Finally, it’s worth remembering that it includes licenses for the Analog Lab Lite software with 500 sounds in V-Collection Five quality, Ableton Live Lite and UVI Grand Piano, which are highly valued by beginners above all.

Now that we have seen the features of this Arturia MiniLab MKII keyboard, watch these related videos to learn more.

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Arturia MiniLab MKII vs Novation Launchkey Mini MK3

The Arturia MiniLab MkII MIDI Keyboard is priced at €91/£82/$91 while the Novation Launchkey Mini MK3 is priced at €98/£89/$99, but the difference is so small that this may vary depending on the shop where you ask.

  • Both have 25 speed-sensitive mini keys (intensity according to MIDI language).
  • The Arturia offers 16 assignable rotary encoders (knobs), 8 sensitive pads with RGB feedback (RedGreenBlue), and pitch bend and modulation touch strips. In contrast, the Novation gives 8 assignable encoders and 16 RGB pads with sensitivity.
  • Both have input jacks for sustain pedal, USB port, and USB power, the miniplay also runs on 3 AA batteries.
  • The Arturia includes the Analog Lab Lite software license with 500 sounds in V-Collection Five quality, Ableton Live Lite, and UVI Grand Piano. The Novation includes the Bundle software.
  • The Arturia Minilab MKII has the dimensions of 317 x 181 x 44 mm and a weight of 1.5 kg, while the Novation Launchkey Mini MK3 has the dimensions (W x H x D): 330 x 41 x 172 mm and a weight of 689g.

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

Arturia MiniLab MKII

Novation Launchkey Mini MK3

  • 25 speed-sensitive mini keys (intensity in MIDI)
  • 16 rotary encoders (two 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
  • Powered by USB
  • 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 Five quality, Ableton Live Lite, and UVI Grand Piano (software requires a download from manufacturer’s site)
  • Optimized for Ableton Live Control
  • 16 RGB sensitive active pads
  • 8 rotary controllers
  • Pitch and modulation sensitive strips
  • Arpeggiator
  • Fixed-Chord mode (automatic chord with one finger)
  • Buttons for recording, reduction, Stop/Solo/Mute functions such as octave switching
  • Connections: Thirty-five mm mini-jack MIDI output, USB port, Sustain pedal input
  • Includes USB cable and Software Bundle
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): 330 x 41 x 172 mm
  • Weight. 689g

These are very similar MIDI controllers, where the Novation stands out because of its fixed-chord mode and transport buttons (to go back, stop, forward, etc). The Arturia is licensed as a V-Collection Five, Ableton Live Lite, and UVI Grand Piano. Besides having such a similar price, it gives us a greater difficulty to lean for one as a better controller. However, if you want to have more encoders in your controller, go for the Arturia MiniLab MKII and if you want to have more pads, your choice will be the Novation Launchkey Mini MK3.

And here’s a video of the Novation Launchkey Mini MK3

If you want to know more about this option, click on the following link to see the Novation Launchkey Mini MK3 review.

Arturia MiniLab MKII vs Akai MPK mini MK2

The Arturia MiniLab MkII MIDI Keyboard is priced at €91/£82/$91 when the Akai MPK mini MK2 white is priced at €79/£70/$81, but the difference is so small that this may vary.

  • Both have 25 speed-sensitive mini keys (intensity according to the MIDI language).
  • The Arturia offers 16 assignable rotary encoders (knobs), 8 sensitive pads with RGB feedback (RedGreenBlue). The Akai offers 8 assignable encoders and 8 RGB pads with sensitivity. In addition to a four-way thumbstick control.
  • Both have an input jack for sustain pedal, USB port, and USB power.
  • The Arturia includes the Analog Lab Lite software license with 500 sounds in V-Collection Five, Ableton Live Lite, and UVI Grand Piano quality. The Akai includes Hybrid three by AIR Music Tech, SONiVOX Wobble, and Akai Pro MPC Essentials software.
  • The Arturia Minilab MKII has the dimensions of 355 x 220 x 50mm and a weight of 1.5 kg, while the Akai MPK mini MK2 has the dimensions (W x H x D): 317 x 181 x 44 mm and a weight of 748 g.

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

Arturia MiniLab MKII

Akai MPK mini MK2

 

  • 25 speed-sensitive mini keys (intensity in MIDI)
  • 16 rotary encoders (two 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
  • Powered by USB
  • 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 Five quality, Ableton Live Lite, and UVI Grand Piano (software requires a download from manufacturer’s site)
  • 25 mini synthesizer action keys
  • New four-way ‘thumbstick’ for active tone/modulation control
  • 8 MPC pads with note reiteration
  • Arpeggiator
  • 8 assignable control knobs for mixing, adjusting add-ons, and more
  • Ultra-compact design lets you create anywhere
  • Additional inputs: 1 x 6 mm jack with 3 mm sustain pedal
  • Powered by USB
  • No power adapter required
  • Full size sustain pedal input jack
  • Includes a full suite of suction software (Downloads): Hybrid three by AIR Music Tech, SONiVOX Wobble, and Akai Pro MPC Essentials
  • Dimensions: 317 x 181 x 44 mm
  • Weight: 748 g

And here is a video of the Akai MPK mini MK2 white keyboard

Again we have two very similar controllers, where the Arturia has twice as many assignable knobs, reaching 16. In downloadable licenses, the Arturia offers Analog Lab Lite with five hundred sounds in V-Collection Five quality, Ableton Live Lite, and UVI Grand Piano, while the Akai offers a four-way thumbstick control and licenses Hybrid Three by AIR Music Tech, SONiVOX Wobble, and Akai Pro MPC Essentials.

If you want to know more about this option, click on the following link to see the Akai MPK mini MK2 white review.

Arturia MiniLab MKII vs Alesis V25

The Arturia MiniLab MkII MIDI Keyboard is priced at €91/£82/$91 and the Alesis V25 is priced at €75/£66/$73, but the difference is so small that this may vary.

  • The Arturia has 25 speed-sensitive mini keys (intensity according to MIDI language). While the Alesis has 25 full-size keys also sensitive.
  • The Arturia offers 16 assignable rotary encoders (knobs), 8 sensitive pads with RGB (RedGreenBlue) feedback. The Alesis offers 4 assignable encoders, 4 assignable buttons, and 8 RGB pads with sensitivity.
  • Both have an input jack for sustain pedal, USB port, and USB power.
  • The Arturia includes the Analog Lab Lite software license with 500 sounds in V-Collection Five quality, Ableton Live Lite, and UVI Grand Piano. The Alesis includes Ableton Live Lite software (download) and xpand!2 by Air Music Tech software (download)

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

Arturia MiniLab MKII

Alesis V25

  • 25 speed-sensitive mini keys (intensity in MIDI)
  • 16 rotary encoders (two 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
  • Powered by USB
  • Dimensions: 355 x 220 x 50mm (width x depth x height)
  • Weight: 1,5kg
  • Includes Analog Lab Lite software license with 500 sounds in V-Collection Five, Ableton Live Lite, and UVI Grand Piano quality (software requires a download from manufacturer’s site)
  • 25 full-size keys
  • Square front keys
  • 8 speed-sensitive backlit pads
  • 4 attributable knobs and four 4 attributable
  • Octave up and down buttons let you access the full keyboard range
  • Pitch and modulation wheels
  • Visual information through illuminated knobs and buttons
  • USB powered and USB MIDI connectivity for Mac and computer
  • Includes USB cable, Ableton Live Lite software (download) and xpand!2 by Air Music Tech software (download)

And then a video of the Alesis V25 keyboard

We now have good MIDI controllers, with notable differences between them. The Alesis has, as we saw in the face-to-face, 25 full-size keys, 8 backlit pads, and 4 assignable knobs and buttons, plus pitch bend and modulation wheels. In the Arturia we have 25 mini keys, 8 pads, and 16 assignable control knobs. I would go for the full-size keys on the Alesis.

If you want to know more about this option, click on the following link to see the Alesis V25 review.

Arturia MiniLab MKII vs Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol M32

The Arturia MiniLab MkII MIDI Keyboard is priced at €91/£82/$91 when the Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol M32 is priced at €105/£98/$108.

  • The Arturia has 25 speed-sensitive mini keys (intensity according to MIDI language). When the Native Instruments has 32 mini-keys equally sensitive.
  • The Arturia offers 16 assignable rotary encoders (knobs), 8 sensitive pads with RGB feedback (RedGreenBlue). The Kontrol M32 offers 8 assignable encoders and two touch strips for pitch bend and modulation. In addition to a 4D push-button encoder.
  • Both have an input jack for the sustain pedal, USB port, and USB power.
  • The Arturia includes the Analog Lab Lite software license with 500 sounds in V-Collection Five, Ableton Live Lite, and UVI Grand Piano quality. The Kontrol M32 includes the software Monark, Scarbee Mark I, Reaktor Prism, Komplete Kontrol Software, Maschine Essentials, Komplete Start, Ableton Live 10 Lite. Plus intuitive control over the DAWs: Logic Pro X, Ableton Live, Garage Band, Cubase, and Nuendo.
  • The Arturia Minilab MKII has dimensions of 355 x 220 x 50mm and a weight of 1.5 kg, while the Native Instruments Kompletete Kontrol M32 has dimensions of (W x H x D): 475 x 167 x 50 mm and a weight of 1.45 kg.

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

Arturia MiniLab MKII

Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol M32

 

  • 25 speed-sensitive mini keys (intensity in MIDI)
  • 16 rotary encoders (two 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
  • Powered by USB
  • Dimensions: 355 x 220 x 50mm (width x depth x height)
  • Weight: 1,5kg
  • Includes Analog Lab Lite software license with 500 sounds in V-Collection Five, Ableton Live Lite, and UVI Grand Piano quality (software requires a download from manufacturer’s site)
  • 32 speed-sensitive synthesizer-action mini-classes
  • Two touch strips for modulation and pitch
  • OLED screen
  • 8 touch-sensitive encoders
  • Push-button 4D encoder
  • Intelligent gearbox
  • Integration with Maschine
  • Intuitive control over Logic Pro X, Ableton Live, Garage Band, Cubase, and Nuendo
  • NKS compatible
  • USB powered
  • 6.3 mm input for pedal
  • USB port
  • Dimensions: 475 x 167 x 50 mm
  • Weight: 1.45 kg
  • Includes effects and also Komplete instruments: Monark, Scarbee Mark I, Reaktor Prism, Komplete Kontrol Software, Maschine Essentials, Komplete Start, Ableton Live 10 Lite

In this comparison, we did find differences. The Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol M32 offers certain more functions for a really low price, starting with the 32 mini keys when the Arturia gives us 25. The Arturia has 16 encoders and 8 pads, where the Kontrol only has 8 encoders, 0 pads, but a 4D push-button encoder. If you prefer to have a 3-octave keyboard, you will go for the M32. If you prefer the pads, your choice will be the Arturia.

And here is a video of the Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol M32

If you want to know more about this option, click on the following link to see the Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol M32 review.

Arturia MiniLab MKII vs Akai LPK 25

The Arturia MiniLab MkII MIDI Keyboard is priced at €91/£82/$91 while the Akai LPK 25 is priced at €42/£37/$42. With a considerable difference in price, this will be an interesting comparison.

  • Both have 25 speed-sensitive mini keys (intensity according to the MIDI language).
  • The Arturia offers 16 assignable rotary encoders (knobs), 8 sensitive pads with RGB feedback (RedGreenBlue). The Akai offers octave up/down buttons, sustain button, and tap tempo. It’s really very basic.
  • Both have an input jack for sustain pedal, USB port, and USB power.
  • The Arturia includes the Analog Lab Lite software license with 500 sounds in V-Collection Five quality, Ableton Live Lite, and UVI Grand Piano. The Akai is Plug and Play and works with virtually all audio software.
  • The Arturia Minilab MKII has the dimensions of 355 x 220 x 50mm and a weight of 1.5 kg, while the Akai MPK mini MK2 has the dimensions (W x H x D): 9.65 x 34.04 x 2.79 cm and a weight of 635 g.

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

Arturia MiniLab MKII

Akai LPK 25

  • 25 speed-sensitive mini keys (intensity in MIDI)
  • 16 rotary encoders (two 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
  • Powered by USB
  • Dimensions: 355 x 220 x 50mm (width x depth x height)
  • Weight: 1,5kg
  • Includes Analog Lab Lite software license with 500 sounds in V-Collection Five, Ableton Live Lite, and UVI Grand Piano quality (software requires a download from manufacturer’s site)
  • Runs with virtually all audio software
  • 25 mini-sensitive keys
  • Arpeggiator
  • Sustain button
  • Octave Up/Down and Tap Tempo buttons
  • USB Plug Socket
  • Fits perfectly into a laptop bag or backpack
  • Four programmable memory banks
  • Mac and computer software-editor included
  • Powered by USB
  • Size: 9,65 x 34,04 x 2,79 cm
  • Weight: 0.635 kg

And here is a video of the LPK 25 Akai keyboard

We have a comparison, between MIDI controllers, very different. On the one hand the Arturia, with all its functions and features that give us more control comfort in the DAW to be used, and on the other hand the Akai LPK 25 with a very small and minimalist design besides being very basic, with 25 mini-classes and up/down octave buttons, tap tempo and sustain. If you have the budget to go for the Arturia, go for it. If you feel you don’t need all its features and want a more minimalist, very portable, and lightweight MIDI keyboard the Akai LPK 25 will be your best choice.

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

While the Arturia MiniLab MKII is an excellent choice of MIDI controller, we can also comment that the Akai MPK mini MK2 white is a better choice, taking into account its slightly lower price and also its great set of control functions it offers, its compact and portable design, make the Akai MPK mini MK2 white one of the best MIDI controller options in its price level.

Where to buy the Arturia MiniLab MKII 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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