Arturia recently released a new mini 25-key MIDI keyboard controller with a nice set of features for the size and price.
The Arturia MiniLab MkII sells for $99, about the same price as similar controllers like the Akai MPK Mini MKII, which is probably the most popular model for its size.
The Arturia MiniLab MkII adds some extra features for the price, and it comes with a healthy dose of software.
It has a lot more knobs than similar controllers with 16 total, and two are clickable.
It also has 8 pads with 2 banks. The pads are velocity and pressure sensitive and have multi-colored lights.
One of its more unique features are a couple of touch strips for pitch bend and modulation.
There are octave buttons, as you would expect, along with a footswitch input. It’s powered by USB.
The Arturia MiniLab MkII is quite small at 14 x 8.7 x 2 inches (355 x 220 x 50mm).
I reviewed the Alesis V Mini keyboard over the summer but it was a lot less versatile with only 4 knobs and 4 pads. I got rid of it but kind of miss the convenience of having a small controller on the desk instead of having to make space for a larger one. I thought they were kind of superfluous at first but the small controllers do have some advantages.