Arturia Keylab Essential 61 vs M-Audio Code 61


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Hello to everyone on keyboard forums, I would like to ask the following, classic vs question.
At first I would like to inform you that I am mostly a classical and jazz trained keyboardist, learned to play mostly on ivory and upright keybeds, although my music adventures have gone to other paths than what I have learned.
With my band and by myself I mostly play dark jazz/trip hop/cinematic/ambient/drone music that I use a lot of loops that I record on ableton and I am playing live some parts with the other two musicians (Bass Clarinet,Voice).So I might play a rhodes part, I might play a pseudotheremin, or some broken piano parts with some strings and filter, etc.I still would prefer a heavy keybed but to be honest I cannot load my SL-880 (23kg) on every live.
I recently demoed the arturia essential and the m-audio code, both in 61 versions, I played them out of the box in the shop so no other hands have played on them.
I liked the design of Arturia and the great monitor with the assignments plus the analog lab extra software and everything that was working great although when I played the piano/rhodes/vibes parts of my music I was a little disappointed as I couldn't listen all the velocities from the keyboard on the pianoteq(this is something that can be fixed inside pianoteq).In matters of an under 300 euros controller it is a great lightweight solution to play the synth parts and all the kontakt staff.I would like to have more knobs (like the little one minilab mkII) and a little better touche.It is also extremely portable as it fits in 49keys cases.
The M-audio had a far better touche, an honest X/Y Pad and has recently updated its firmware and got an ableton mapping.
I played the piano parts in a better way but some friend told me, that already bought the M-Audio that the keybed is getting squicky and more synth action/waterfall through time.The M-Audio is also far bigger as it has the pads on the left so it needs a bigger case.Both of them are lightweight, this is not the case.The M-Audio also has as extras an expression pedal and midi in/out and also layers and splits that Arturia doesn't have.
I would like further opinions from users of both midi keyboards and keep it clear, if I really need to sacrifice my needs which one would YOU sacrifice.
 
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happyrat1

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I have no experience with either particular model however I'd suggest going with the Arturia.

I owned an M-Audio Oxygen 49 a few years ago and it sucked big time. It dropped notes like nobody's business.

The Arturia, however, uses a Fatar Keybed and they are highly rated in the industry.

I'd suggest sticking with the Arturia or perhaps taking a look at Studiologic Controllers as well.

Or if you'd like to save some money take a look at the Alesis Vi61 as well.

Gary ;)
 
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The Alesis has the same keybed like M-Audio.But it has more knobs and I need knobs to assign various things.
Arturia is also very light, and I really wonder if it is going to have stability problems although I play very quietly.
 

happyrat1

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Like I said, take a look at some controllers from Studiologic if you'd like to address those issues. Also take a good look at the Akai MPK-61. It's been an industry workhorse for years.

Gary ;)
 
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