New controller coming - Arturia Keystation 88

I got rid of the Studiologic Numa Nano for a few reasons, not the least being a very noisy keybed (the thump at the bottom of the keystroke was way too loud) and nowhere near enough hardware controls.

So I have just ordered the Arturia Keylab 88 to replace it. I am nowhere near stores that carry this, so I have bought it based on research online, and by far that resarch has seemed to be positive. One reviewer claimed it was the quietest keybed of amy of the (fully weighted) controllers they had instore, and that he had played previously. And it comes with all the Arturia Synths as well!

So when it arrives we shall see what we see, but I am reasonably confident it will be an ideal match for Cantabile.

Well if nothing else… it looks beautiful! It’s got a bit of a retro 70s vibe to it - which I love.

Yup, I was thinking of getting the Keylab 88 as well. One of the key arguments for it from my perspective is its weight - its weight is about half that of my Kurzweil PC3. And with all of its controllers, it is definitely a great match for Cantabile - especially if, like me, you try to reduce your live set to one keyboard only!

For the moment I’ve put that intention on hold, though: I’ve read a number of users complaining about the build quality. It seems that due to the lighter casing, the whole keyboard bends a little on its stand. This in turn seems to cause a number of them to develop defects (individual or groups of keys not responding anymore). This had me a bit worried.

@pax-eterna - once you’ve got your Keylab in operations, can you let me know how everything works out? I’m still very interested in this board…



I’ve had the Keylab 88 for over a month and I find it a good match for Cantabile 3. After updating the firmware the pairing works seamlessly. I’m using switches on the Keylab to change songs and changing states in songs. The sliders are mapped as gain controls (when not being used as draw bars). Like Torsten, I come from the Kurzweil PC3x, and wasn’t enjoying the weight since I also carried 2 guitars and guitar amp. The Key Lab weight is a welcome change. Up til now I haven’t noticed any problem when the board is on a typical X stand but I’ve only had it for a short time. I like the feel of the keyboard and overall I’m happy with it. Now I just need a more powerful laptop…

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Sounds promising - will have to look at the board again in the near future.

BTW: this is the thread in the Arturia forum that mentions the massive problems with keys not working anymore. Hope this doesn’t hit any of you here - but if it does, let us know…

Thanks Torsten. I had a look at the Arturia forums and did not see that one. I have a large amount of electronic tech experience and I am nto afraid to open up the box to try and sort an issue. So if it does it on mine I will do that as it seems it is a mechanical fault with the construction or misdirection of wiring. From thecomments there. it is something that should be fixable.
Although there must now have been thousands of these sold, so the small number (relative) there making comments means, to me, it is more than likely not a systemic fault, rather an intermittent one. I would not label it “massive” at all :wink:

Just unpacked the Keylab…seems a solid construction to me. And rather rigid so I don’t understand how some users have reported it “bending” and thereby causing note dropouts??? Unless they have the support bars so narrow that they are right in the centre of the unit. Even then it is so rigid I cannot see how this is possible…anyway so far so good it IS a nice looking unit and the keys feel quite nice. More later :slight_smile:


One thing that is confirmed (from an online review) it IS a quiet keybed. A lot quieter than most I have used/tried. :slight_smile:

Software and hardware registration is a bit awkward, but it’s a once only affair so no biggie!

I am coming to this thread late, but I have had the Keystation 88 for over a year and have been very happy with it overall. Mine does not flex, so I don’t know where that idea is coming from. The unit is very light for a 88-keyer. The feel of the keyboard is good. I am yet to find one that can come close to the feel of a nice piano, but this one is as good as any controller I have ever tried. I would say the feel is medium.

My only complaint is that the sliders are fragile. The first I got had a slider that was broken. The second one was the same way. Fortunately, the third one was fine and has held up ever since, but the sliders are a thin piece of metal (aluminum?) that will easily break if bumped hard.

Overall, the Keystation 88 is the best value 88-key board out there right now.