The KeyLab 49 has been high on my list of potential purchases for a while. I was not fully satisfied with the current controller keyboard I was using, but I also was having trouble finding a controller with the specs I wanted. When I first came across the KeyLab 49 my initial impression was that I really liked the metal casing, the smooth turning knobs, the beautiful blue LED scheme and the layout. I was admittedly a little worried that the light synth action of the key bed would turn me off (being used to a much stiffer controller) however this proved to be unsubstantiated. I found myself very much enjoying the keys over the past 2 months that I have spent with the board.
A few items that really stand out for me are the wonderful faders. It may seem like a small item but they really are a joy to use when sculpting synth ADSR settings. I also found my self enjoying the ability to quickly browse presets from the controllers preset and category knobs. The included software really illustrates how far Arturia has come in the past few years. While All the sounds in the Analog lab software are certainly usable, I did find that the newer offerings (SEMV) compared to older offerings (ModularV) show a much higher sonic quality (listen to a filter sweep between the two and you will hear a marked improvement in the new software).
The vast number of Presets make it a real joy to quickly and easily find what you are looking for. I had no troubles with the software stability I also found it utilized the controller very well. Continue reading