Sitting on the fence and waiting for a new KeyLab MK3

@ZickAnalyst I understand that you are not the intended target group for the AstroLab. Neither am I. And that is all there to be said about the AstroLab.

But if I were to go on stage every week, I would love it. :tada:

Certainly, someone wanted that.
For my part… every days I look at my MK2 61… and I’m dream about new features…

I hope soon… I hope…


We are all waiting anxiously but with Astrolab just announced it will be months or at worst a year before anything new comes out…

We discussing this from a very comfortable situation. We already own quite capable keyboards. When the new KeyLab will be here, it will be nice. But it is like with your car. If you buy a new one it is shiny and has some new quality of life features. But in essence it is a car that gets you from A to B. Same with any new keyboard. It will be shiny and will have some quality of life features. But in essence it will be a MIDI controller and we already own one. We won’t become better musicians through it. We won’t create other stuff with it. And three weeks after we bought it, we will have forgotten the difference between today’s keyboard and the new one. :man_shrugging:

That’s hugely dependent on what features they add. If they put basically the same thing in a different box (with or without the stupid tiny screen from the AstroLab) then yes. But features such as poly-aftertouch would be paradigm-changing for playing especially the CS80V, and wouldn’t be forgotten in three weeks. That’s literally all I want from a new controller that my current Mk1 KL88 can’t deliver. I don’t even use the sliders and knobs much, because I have my control surfaces for that.


a musical instrument remains an instrument suitable for creating music, it is the user who makes the difference between good music and bad music, however the “functional” characteristics of an instrument can determine the quality of the track that is composed. A screen larger, polyphonic aftertouch, greater integration with Analog lab can make the difference from day to night and I don’t think they will be forgotten quickly. They will certainly produce an excellent product, the only two fears are “when” and the disproportionate increase of the price.


Well, let’s wait then. I will make sure to ask you again a year later after buying :wink:

Do not do that to yourself.
You do not have to wait for anything to make your best music. :sunglasses:


You do not have to wait for anything to make your best music. :sunglasses:

I know. Same way as I could build a wooden shed with some bare timber and a handsaw. But if the option becomes available, I’m going to use a table-saw. Better tools provide a better experience during the building process.

Comparing the actual Keylab to a handsaw and a the future one to a table-saw is a bit of an exaggeration. There is something that is called the law of diminishing returns on investment/improvement and I think, it applies here very much. Mozart had to write his music on paper. I do not even know if they had pre-printed note sheets then. There you see a real difference to today. Today we have quite sophisticated DAWs and equally sophisticated MIDI controller. Mine already has channel aftertouch. I even bought it for it. But I can say if it hadn’t, I would hardly miss it. Because the difference it makes it so small as I can edit things later in my DAW. It is a little bit different if I play live though. I love to use aftertouch with a saxophone preset in Xpand! 2. It makes a difference. Still, I often see the same result if others just use the mod wheel.

Actually, I am not sure if I will be able to really control the result when playing with PA. :man_shrugging: Of course, I will learn. But I stil think it, the difference will be marginal.

The point of my analogy was that we each use the best tools available to us for the job. As soon as something come s along that improves our journey towards achieving the end results, then all other considerations aside (money, chiefly), we will choose it. Mozart scribed symphonies by hand because there were no better tools available. In 2024 he’d be willingly sat in front of a DAW like the rest of us.

I agree improvements at this stage are going to be incremental. But poly aftertouch would be paradigm-changing for an Arturia controller and would have their premium controllers competing with competitors’ products. That’s pretty big to me. Albeit not the difference between a hand saw and a table saw.

Fantastic Kai! I need to practice my german, it’s rusty… :slight_smile:

PA is an excellent feature, I think many people don’t grasp what can be done with it.

I was talking to someone recently who completely misunderstood the benefit of PA, thinking that people wanted to say play C, E, G with right hand and two C’s an octave apart with the left, but wanting after touch on one of the left hand C’s and aftertouch on C and G with the right.

Their understanding was that people wanting PA , all want to do weird combinations of notes , where various notes in each hand are triggering PA, and other notes in each hand aren’t.
While I’m sure some people will attempt to use PA for that sort of thing, I explained that for me and I think a lot of others it’s sort of the opposite

With channel aftertouch , I press down one key hard enough to trigger aftertouch, and aftertouch is triggered on every note that’s playing.

Whereas, with PA I only have aftertouch on the note or chord that I press the keys down hard enough to trigger . Any other notes I’m playing at the same time remain totally unaffected and are aftertouch free.

I am not sure if I need this kind of playing you are describing. My set-up includes 2 Midi Controller Keyboards. If I want my chords played differently than the melody, I use my second keyboard. Alternatively, I could also use keysplit but that often feels a little cramped when improvising.
My idea of PA was that it lets you sound more naturally when playing some traditional instrument VSTs. But it depends on the pressure you have to apply to trigger PA. In case of my actual keyboard with aftertouch a whole bunch of people do not know that they have to press down on the keys like a maniac to trigger aftertouch and they claim aftertouch is not present at all until they see my videos. :man_shrugging:

As far as I am aware, all aftertouch, whether channel or polyphonic, is either off or on (happy to be corrected if I’m wrong).

I don’t think the actual aftertouch is velocity sensitive

Presuming I’m correct, it’s not that useful to do what you want, articulations would be better, maybe triggering the articulations on one keyboard while you play on the other.

True story. I bought a D50 when it was released, had it for about 5 days, was talking to a friend in the pub, who also had one and he was going on about how one of the sounds changes so much when you pressed down hard. I hadn’t a clue what he was on about.

Bearing in mind the D50 had a slider labelled After Touch lol, I hadn’t got round to reading the manual.

Going home and pressing down hard, might have only been 5 days old but it was like a brand new instrument. When I bought my D50, I also owned an Ensoniq SQ80 since it’s release which had poly aftertouch.

No such thing as the internet then, a whole new world was opened to me

Aftertouch can vary from 0 to 127 it is not just on or off and I was referencing to the use-case you described. :man_shrugging:

To give you an idea: I use aftertouch sometimes to implement a saxophone swell in my playing. It is quite a challenge to let it sound right as a lot of pressure on the key is necessary to get into the aftertouch range. Already applying all that pressure, it is hard to control the right amount of aftertouch. On the keyboard display I see how aftertouch often just jumps from 0 to 127. To get to something to lower numbers like 70 or 80 it takes practice. But if you succeed to control it, it sounds like a real-world saxophone.

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Thanks, I learn something new every day

I think if aftertouch was only on/off Vangelis wouldn’t have had a career lol.


maybe some news will come out at this year’s Superbooth24???

Looking at recent-past form, that’s not how Arturia work. Even this year, they could have showcased their AstroLab at NAMM but chose not to.