[Gear Request] KeyStage/Stagelab/StageFreak: Arturia's next big product?

It seems obvious to me, but I can’t find any articles or videos suggesting it online…

Why hasn’t Arturia released a stage piano to compete with the likes of Nord, Yamaha and Roland?

They have a full range of sample-based and generative instruments ready to go and thousands of patches for them with pre-assigned parameters for the Keylab series. They’ve developed a deeply integrated digital synthesiser with the Minifreak. They also know a thing or two about analogue synthesisers.

Surely, if they released a stage piano integrating everything they’ve learned from the Keylab and Freak series with all their soft instruments, it would be a hit. Throw in some digitally-controlled analogue modules if the market demands it.

Arturia wouldn’t be starting from scratch on software development - they’ve already developed a hardware browsing experience for Analog Lab and assigned parameters. It would be a case of developing a new hardware panel to full control and customisation of existing patches - start with the Keylab hardware design and incorporate new stage-piano-style controls, like a patch selection panel and synth parameters controls.

Give that thing a live-appropriate user interface, some dedicated module controls with assignable controls, assignable audio and peripheral I/O, tight integration with a digital platform for patch library management and customisation, maybe a built-in audio interface and you’ve got a very capable competitor for the top-end market. Throw in a weighted 76/73 model and you’ve got options for buyers who need compactness.

Give it a pitch stick, a mod wheel and a Brute-style Morphée controller in that top-left space above the keys… :exploding_head:

Does anyone else like the sound of this?! Arturia, hire me…

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HI levisthemenace!

Arturia already try it in the beginning but It was too expensive for the users, cause I think the user start using more controllers and cheap things to start creating.
That’s a wonderful idea, believe me your not the first but I will talk to Arturia to give your request cause we all want something like that jeje it will be awesome!

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Ha, thanks! Give me 30 minutes to talk to your design team and I’ll convince them!!

I reckon Arturia have sunk so many hours into software development by now that the main bulk of work would be hardware programming and user testing. It would be so worth it! I could see a stage piano being profitable around £2,000-2,500 as a first series attempt.

You could even take the design of the Keylab 88 mkiii (we all know it’s coming!) and simply use a new top plate as a starting point…it’s already got all the i/o on the back you’d want.

I’m really hoping someone will create more competition and drive the crazy prices of these instruments down. :smiling_face_with_tear:

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Yeah sound good, but we don’t know what is Arturia planning cause there’s so much to do, so many great ideas like yours. :open_mouth:

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Hello do you think Arturia will update the Keylab MKII anytime soon, now that NI has updated their Kontrol keyboards? I really love the look of the Keylab MKII and I’m close to purchasing one but now this NI Kontrol has me thinking again.

I’d really love to have both but if I have to choose, one of them will have to wait. I just don’t know which ones to get. I feel like the Keylab MKII has been around a while and is due an update, but I love the current body style and materials its made from.

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I’ve been under the same position when I was thinking of purchasing either the Keylab MK2 or the Komplete Kontrol MK2. In the end I bought both :smiley:

However, after some time dealing with both controllers, I’ve noticed that slowly I was more and more using the Keylab and the V-Collection integrated with it, though V-Collection has an excellent integration with the Komplete Kontrol as well (NKS). At the same time, recently, I’ve created midi scripts for both of them to get a deeper than the default, integration with my DAW (Cubase). Again, the presence of more controls on the Keylab, made me use it significantly more than the KK2.

All in all, I have to guess it comes down to some basic factors:

  • Are we deeply involved in the NI’s eco-system and the way things are handled inside the Komplete Kontrol VST wrapper ? If yes, we go for a KK.

  • Do we love the V-collection (or the lighter default AL)? I personally go for a Keylab.

  • Keybed; Seems to me that the Keylab MK2 is more close to my style because I’m mainly on synths (pads/leads etc). IF we want something more close to a Piano feeling, I would go for the KK. This however is purely subjective. I have friends who swear by the Keylab and others by the KK.

  • Controls. Outside of Arturia’s Analog Lab wrapper and Komplete Kontrol’s one, there is a whole world of other VSTs. In my DAW of choice, I have set the Keylab to control 16 parameters (8 knobs + 8 faders) of these plugins (either instruments or effects) per bank. In the Komplete Kontrol my mapping per bank ends to the given 8 knobs.

  • Controls (2). In my workflow, except from the usual ones, I also use the pads of the Keylab for multiple actions inside the DAW. KK doesn’t have pads. I will never finger drum, however I find pads very useful in DAW integrations.

  • Scales and ARP: The KK MK2 (and the new one MK3) have scales and ARPs by default, while the Keylab doesn’t, though it does offer chords. They are both interesting features, so for now if one wants this type of functionality, would have to take this under consideration. At the same time, I know that the Keylab Essential MK3 does provide similar functionality, so I have to guess (to not say I’m 100% sure) that an upcoming version of the MK2 will provide such functionality as well. As a side note here, if one wants this type of functionality can even look elsewhere, such as the Keystep Pro or even Novation’s SL MK3 (another piece I do use and currently scripted for, as well).

  • External Devices Control: Keylab. Just Keylab.

  • The quality. Here things can get complicated. The Keylab has a pretty good quality when it comes to the case and the buttons. The knobs are so-so to me. The KK2 has a plastic case, the knobs are (again my personal experience) looser. I’ve heard that the new knobs for the KK3 are way better, but haven’t touched them yet.

  • The looks. OK, this is a detail that most users would actually laugh at, but I’ve noticed that whenever I get close to my devices and want to write something, I most of the time go for the Keylab, which I find… sexy! :smiley:

Now, since KK MK3 is out, here’s my personal decision: I will not get into replacing the KK2 for it. Having the Poly-aftertouch and the out-of-the-box browsing capability with Kontakt are just not key factors for me to change. But again, that’s me, I even barely use the mono aftertouch, and at the same time, I always use the Komplete Kontrol wrapper while using the KK2, so I don’t need integration with Kontakt.

My 2¢.

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Wow, thank you for such an extensive reply! I deeply appreciate it.
So I do like the feature of having Scales and ARP, you are saying that is not an option with Arturia because it doesn’t have the lights near the tops of the keys like the KK does? And no way to get ARP with Arturia Keylab? I can probably live without Scales, but having ARP would be really nice along with the chords.

Thanks again!

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Not out-of-the-box as far as I know, but maybe I’m wrong. The newer Keylab Essential MK3, does have ARP and scales, so most probably the Keylab MK3 whenever it comes out will have these as well :slight_smile:

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Would a KeyStep 37 fill the gap of those missing features? (ARP/Scales) or does it have to be the KepStep Pro?

Yes, as far as I know this can be done. Not sure about the extent of these features, perhaps an owner of such controller or even the manual may provide a better insight here.

Even the Minilab 3 has a basic arp and chord mode so I doubt these features will be left out of the next Keylab series.

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Agree, but do you know when or have you heard of any possible timelines of a new set of Keylabs (MK3)? I feel like its close, I waited to purchase a NI S series because I could tell they were quite older and now we have those new ones out, hoping Arturia is coming with some new Keylabs soon, not the Essentials one that is already out.

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