V Collection in a Keyboard-build it and they will come!

  • A V Collection Keyboard is an Awesome Idea
  • A V Collection Keyboard is a Bad Idea

0 voters

So: I love V Collection 9. I’m a full believer. V Collection awakened my ongoing love of vintage-style synths, and the sounds of the VSTs and their presets is truly amazing.

Anyone who knows me also knows that I strive-whenever possible-to break free from a Computer/DAW. I have come to understand that this present paradigm that we music makers have been in for the last 20 years (using a mouse-in a DAW-to make music) truly sucks! For me, at least, nothing beats the satisfaction derived from Knob-per-function, whether we’re talking about that knob being on a mixing desk, or-you guessed it: a Synth.

So, why doesn’t Arturia take a cue from Akai? Take a nice keyboard, infuse it with a powerful CPU, good enough to run the V Collection, festoon the keyboard with a good amount of control knobs to map enough functions from each VST to make each use of each VST satisfying, and in so doing you would release all users from the Tyranny of the Computer?

You could charge a nice premium for the advantage of being able to enjoy V Collection all on one Keyboard, and in so doing, you’d insulate Arturia from one product canabalizing from the other: I’d bet that both the software and the full keyboard versions would each have their own distinct audiences (i.e.; if you wanted to spend no more than $600, and/or you were short of space, then you’d get the software; if you were ok with spending $X000, and your studio was more expansive, then you’d come up to the full keyboard version.) The Keyboard would always be updatable (yes/no? Maybe?) so it could always keep up with updates to the V Collection. It would make V Collection a truly grab-and-go solution to all gigging musicians out there who wanted to add all these wonderful vintage synths to their sets.

This would truly be a win/win for Arturia and musicians around the world. I’d happily pay for one of these, and I’m such a fan of the V Collection that if/when it first came out it was just a little too rich for me, it’s one of those things I’d save up for in order to buy, I think it would be that cool!

What does everyone else think? Should Arturia build a V Collection Keyboard?


Short answer: no.

Long answer: No one keyboard layout (knobs, sliders etc) could hope to represent the myriad of synths in V Collection as it s, let alone how it may develop. I owned and think the Roland System 1 range never felt like a SH101, SH2 or whatever Roland tried to tell me. Rather than one synth to rule them all I prefer the Skeuomorphic representations where everything is where is supposed to be.

Theme my thoughts…

I don’t think that trying to reproduce the entire UI of each instrument on a standalone device would work well. A standalone version of Analog Lab, on the other hand, would be great. Build the presets on your computer (or use stock ones/sound packs) and load them onto the keyboard to take with you.


TMoore gets it: for me, it’s not about trying to get a keyboard made with every single function being reflected with a corresponding knob, because as Funk said: that would be impossible (heck-that’s not even achieved with any VST throughout the entire V Collection!)

For me, the V Collection keyboard would hold tremendous value because it would make V Collection (or some expanded version of Analog Lab as hinted at by TMoore) portable, and completely unshackled by the Tyranny of needing a computer. The keyboard is the computer. You take V Collection wherever you want. You-literally-are playing a synth. With the ability to internally synthesize sound, and with a control surface with which to manipulate the sounds-just like a synth.

God, I’d love that.


I joined this forum to explore exactly this - does a keylab or minilab, actually contain the sounds to perform live. It’s really hard to tell from the Arturia website. Can you use these instruments without a laptop, or iPad??

Agreed - for me it’s a no-brainer. I’m not going to lay out AU$700 - 1000 for a controller keyboard alone. I’m willing to do so if I can load in a collection of instruments but taking a laptop and interface card with me is a non-starter.

I think I need to search for a keyboard where I can either load sounds or sample them … as it looks like Arturia, as awesome as they are, aren’t quite there yet for a live-working musician who doesn’t want the laptop in-tow.

Well, I definitely feel you.

In answer to your first question, the answer is a definite No. Analog Lab/V Collection are completely software instruments, meaning: they need some type of host computer on which to run. And so while you’re at it, add some type of audio interface to that in order to get the sounds from said computer out to your monitoring system-whether that be in your studio or on stage.

Where my eyebrows raise a bit on your write-up is your desire (expectation?) that you’re somehow gonna be able to find some type of new multi-synth voice keyboard/synth/controller for between $700-$1000. I’m not sure if that’s realistic. Look at it this way: for better or worse , and for many years now, companies like Arturia/Novation/NI have been able to get consumers to spend $600-$800 for keyboards that are nothing more than controllers firstly for their software, and secondarily functioning as a universal controller for other VSTs and DAWS. Would I like to have to spend less for such technology? Well, sure! But I recognize that in order for these companies to see it as worth it to produce this type of gear, they need to be able to charge whatever the market decides is their “value”. From what I can see, the market-long ago-decided that a powerful controller/keyboard, and nowadays coming with great media organizing schemes, sequencers, arps and CV ports, is, in fact, worth $600-$800, because that’s what people are paying for them.

Furthermore, because I definitely want Arturia to make such a beast, I surely want to message to them that I, at least, see a great value in it. Quite a bit more than $600-$700 dollars. Considerably more than $1000. And I’d pay for it-if it was implemented in a cool way.

So, there you go: again my two cents.

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HI @jrakarl and welcome to our Sound Explorers community!

Why don’t you try out the demo version for a while if you haven’t already? It won’t cost you anything other than a little bit of time.

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Arturia does make several standalone keyboard synths already, just not ones that run V Collection. In the price range you mentioned, you might consider the MiniFreak, which can produce a very wide range of sounds from digital oscillators, or the MiniBrute 2 for an all analogue synth.

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That’s a good suggestion for Jrakari. I have the MiniFreak and I and a lot of pundits out there agree: it’s got to be one of the best, most value-filled purchases a musician can make. Hugely deep. I’ve owned it all of 2 months now, and I’m quite convinced that 2 years from now, I’ll still be discovering new things about it-new dimensions to it’s sound-making.

It’s easy enough for most anyone of any level to get into and start playing and crafting sounds, right away, but also with the huge depth that I just cited.

It can sound like what it is: a Digital Synth, but you can also pretty easily get it to sound warm, round and Classic. I know this because that tends to be the type of sounds I go for.

So: close to perfect. Able to sound sharp, precise and cooly Digital, but also able to sound like an Arp 2600. All for $600 new… What’s not to love?


Hi Deepmojoman - all points well made. I only referenced the $700 - $1000 price because locally that is what the lab instruments cost. For something capable of what I’m looking for I’d be happy to pay $2000 - $2500 - maybe more depending on synthesis methods onboard.

I own a LOT of keyboards , many with custom sounds. So yes, I think we’re on the same page. Here’s a few: MatrixBrute: Jupiter 4; Prophet 5 (rev 3) ; Prophet 12; Ensoniq SD1, SQ80 and SQ1+; Korg MiniLog XD; Roland JD990… the list goes on. So strictly speaking I don’t need a controller keyboard, I want a fully functional beast that can assume the talents of the Arturia software and add to that sampling and any additional synthesis they care to chuck in.

Just a wish - after I found myself browsing what Arturia had to offer :wink:

To add to, or more refine my requirements, I can say I don’t need a keyboard to control a DAW. I really don’t mind if it interfaces with a computer, however if programming and loading sounds is facilitated by this, then fine - as long as I can use it as a stand-alone instrument during performance.

Anyway - great dialog - thank you for responding and helping broaden the discussion :slight_smile: :grinning:

Yeah - price isn’t my biggest concern - more capability.

The current trend is towards macros and quick parameters like resonance and frequency. Many controller keyboards already have four knobs and four sliders mapped to the macros, particularly those using NKI, like Arturia.

No physical keyboard could reproduce a software synth, but Arturia’s VSTs’ parameters are easy to map to your controller keyboard’s knobs and sliders, under the gear icon. You can save the setup after doing it once.

I think it would only work for Analog Lab for the reasons already mentioned: the V Collection instruments are too diverse in their operation to be controlled by One Keyboard That Rules Them All.

EDIT: I haven’t voted because I didn’t want to answer negatively. I think it’s a great idea. But it just won’t work with the entire V Collection. So my true vote would be somewhere between yes and no.

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HaHAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!! Vindication!!! Thank you for the answer, Arturia!!!

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Weeeelll…not really. You said V Collection. What we actually got was what I’d said we’d get in my last post: a keyboard with Analog Lab built in. I failed to predict the watch-sized screen to pick your presets while there’s six inches of wasted space on the LH side.

True. But, TMoore said something priceless:

. . . and to that I replied this:

The ability to tweak endlessly on any/all controls (ala V Collection), or the ability to take ALL their presets with me in an all-in-one keyboard-based solution and instead twiddle various Macros (ala Analog Lab): gee, between having nothing and having to choose between one of the two, what would I take? Hmm …well, I’d take latter-the one they just released-in a heartbeat.

Arturia got EXACTLY right the spirit of what I was seeing on my own, and for that I am truly thankful and very, very excited!!

And now, one more suggestion for Arturia (and, who knows: they might already be tooling on this for a release later on): a Desktop version. Then you can use it with literally whatever controller you want. There are those out there that would even consider having both: the keyboard version for gigging, and the Desktop version for your studio, that way you wouldn’t have to partially dismantle the studio in order to gig.

Thanks a million, Arturia.


Isn’t this it now? Arturia - AstroLab