Archive for March, 2020

Arturia KeyStep Pro MIDI Keyboard

Arturia KeyStep Pro Controller & Sequencer



The MIDI keyboard could be your new studio hub!

The Arturia KeyStep Pro is the latest addition to Arturia’s controller range. The latest ‘KeyStep’ device pairs a 37-key controller with a four-track polyphonic sequence. This new controller combines elements of Arturia’s existing KeyStep and BeatStep Pro devices.

The KeyStep Pro features a 37-key MIDI keyboard with velocity sensitivity and aftertouch, equipped with a multitrack sequencer and multiple of I/O options. Additionally, there are pitch and mod touchstrips on the left of the keyboard for extra expression, and a sustain pedal input on the rear.

Inside, there are four polyphonic sequencer tracks onboard, allowing the KeyStep Pro to take control of multiple instruments at once. Each sequencer track can capture patterns of up-to 64 steps. Onboard memory allows for 16 patterns to be saved to each of these tracks, which can then be chained together to create extended arrangements, and each track allows for a polyphony of up to 16 notes per-step. In addition, Track 1 can act as an integrated 16-part drum sequencer. On the analog side, the KeyStep Pro offers pitch, velocity/mod and gate outputs for each of its four tracks. There are also eight individual drum gate outputs, plus analogue clock in, out and reset out ports.

And in order to make the most of these capabilities, the Arturia KeyStep Pro also features two MIDI Outputs, plus a MIDI In, which are joined by a USB MIDI port for sequencing and controlling virtual instruments, and a metronome output with its own level control.

In short, the KeyStep Pro combines all the best elements of the BeatStep Pro and the KeyStep in one package. And yet it is still compact.

The Arturia KeyStep Pro is now available.

Korg RK-100S 2 Keytar


The Korg RK-100S is back and better than ever!

Korg gets their Keytar on with the updated RK-100S 2. Looking back, the Korg RK-100S was released in 2014 and was one of the best options – boasting a sleek design and powerful analogue modelled sound engine. Nevertheless, over the past few years Korg quietly discontinued its keytar line. Now it is back in the form of version 2.

The new RK-100S 2 features a 37-note ‘slim’ keyboard paired with two ribbon controllers for expressive modulation of parameters such as pitch and filter modulation. The wooden body design remains faithful to its original RK-100 keytar which was released in the mid-’80s.

Inside, sounds are powered by an analogue modelling engine, but Korg has expanded the number of patches onboard. Attention has also been paid to enhance the lead sounds, providing a selection of pro-grams that will “emanate powerful presence when soloing”.

In addition, there is also a vocoder, accessed via a minijack input, enabling users to connect a headset mic for some ultimate ’80s-style synth funk action. Additionally, the input can also be used to run external audio through the instrument, like play along with backing tracks.

The instrument also features MIDI output and USB ports for use as a controller for software setups or external sound modules. A free desktop editor application enables users tweak and organise sounds and adjust MIDI settings.

The Korg RK-100S 2 is battery powered, by six AA batteries with long operating life – a lifespan of up to eight hours of continuous operation. The RK-100S 2 comes complete with a strap and soft case.

Korg has yet to announce the available date and price.

Arturia KeyLab Essential 88 MIDI Keyboard

Arturia KeyLab Essential 88 Controller Keyboard is friendly on your wallet!

Arturia claims that the KeyLab Essential 88 is an 88-note Controller Keyboard and is one of the most affordable 88-note controllers on the market, which comes with a bundle of software as well.

The KeyLab Essential 88 features all new keybed – a hybrid synth-piano feel, is velocity sensitive and has pitch and mod wheels placed above the keys. As with other controllers in the range, there are more here than just the keyboard. The controller packs eight back-lit performance pads, transport controls, a parameter screen with browser jog wheel, plus a bank of nine fader/rotary channel strips. These controls can be used plug-and-play with a variety of software tools.

Inside, as with other KeyLab controllers, there is tight integration with Analog Lab application, which hosts an assortment of vintage synth, piano and organ emulations powered by excellent V Collection software suite. The KeyLab Essential 88 is also designed for use with major DAWs, and incorporates MCU/HUI compatibility.

The KeyLab Essential 88 also features a Chord Play mode, for simple arrangement and triggering of chords. The KeyLab Essential 88 is class-compliant allowing straightforward use with Android devices and iOS. The instrument comes bundled with Analog Lab, which hosts over 6,500 synth and keyboard sounds, along with the full version of UVI’s Grand Piano Model D, and Ableton Live Lite.

The KeyLab Essential 88 will be able to provide everything you will need to create and record music straight out of the box with its performance controls, Analog Lab support, and DAW integration.

The Arturia KeyLab Essential 88 is available.

Arturia KeyLab Essential 88