My MiniLab arrived in the post today..and although the there was some damage in transit to the packaging, the unit itself was in perfect order. I unpacked it and plugged it in and went about setting it up.
Now, I've got to be honest and say I'd read a lot of horror stories online about how crappy this thing is when you actually use..everything from sluggish/erratic response of the encoders..to system crashes and DAWs freezing out due to the mini's software.
Well, I can only speak for myself, but I needn't have worried, as the unit has and is performing EXACTLY as advertised and the software is just as good, with a the vast aray of sounds being if outstanding quality in general. The only thing I did experience that was anyway near negative was one time the Lab froze with my DAW open, when being run as a VST..but that has happened to me before with other software and it was a simple case of removing the vst and then adding it again with no more issues since.
Regarding actually using both the mini unit and the software that comes with..there are only two minor things I would suggest the folks at Arturia look into and perhaps address at some stage..and those are the sensitivity / calibration of the encoders..and the fact it was nearly impossible for me to find the Lab software in the first place, due to the naming / labeling of the files on the download page. A small thing I know, but an important one if you take into account the time spent helping people with such things..not to mention the fact that people should be able to find these things without having to go searching or contacting support.
Again, I can only speak for myself..but an "Update" usually implies you already have the software and what you are about to download will upgrade that software..not that the "UPDATE" IS the software you need in the first place. IF you just dropped the "UPDATE" from the download page it would save people a lot of time and make things much more easy to find.
A point worth noting is one of the first things I did was update the firmware with the latest version I found here on the forum. Maybe this has had something to do with the good experience I've had to date, unlike some in the past.
As for the encoders, there is a slight difference between what you actually do and the result you get on your screen..but only slight..nothing like the horror stories I read about in the past. In fact it didn't really bother me at all while using the unit..and it's not really an issue for me personally, but I can appreciate that others might find it a bit frustrating..so maybe this needs to be looked at further before it can be said to have been addressed or sorted out fully.
In short, I love this little gem of a controller and the sounds that come with it as some of the best I've heard..well worth the price I paid for it (€99)..and I've already fallen in love with it.
My thanks and appreciation to everyone at Arturia for bring this to us..much thanks indeed.