With it’s simple, clean design, white chassis and faux wooden side panels, the MiniLab MkII is arguably the most stylish looking controller keyboards on the market, and it feels great too. It’s got 25 slim line keys, which are marginally bigger than standard mini keys making them more comfortable to play, and the sharps and flats, that’s the black notes, have a slight texture to them, meaning the keyboard feels a little less plasticky than on some other models.
Along with those keys, there’s 16 multi-function encoders which can be assigned to any control parameter you like, giving you a huge amount of control over your software and instruments, there’s 8 multicoloured velocity and pressure sensitive pads, and these a switchable between two banks, so as well as being ideal for programming drum patterns, there’re also really handy for switching parameters, sounds and presets within your chosen software.
Pitch bend and modulation are controlled by two touch sensitive control strips, there’s octave up and down buttons, and a shift button allows for quick access to MIDI channel and preset switching via the keys and the pads.
On the rear of the keyboard there’s the USB port for connecting to your computer and bus power, an input for a sustain pedal, which can also be assigned to control other parameters, and to complete the package you also get a pretty powerful software bundle, including Ableton Live Lite, the UVI Model D Grand Piano plugin and Arturias Analog Lab Lite, offering over 500 fantastic sounding classic synth and keyboard sounds.