88-key controller: NI, Arturia, or ...?

Hi all - new to GP and the world of MIDI controllers and VSTs, but love the possibilities. I wan to get an 88-key weighted controller and am looking for opinions from folks using the different options and how they work with Gig Performer. My inclination right now is toward the Arturia because it seems like all of those sliders, knobs and buttons would give a ton on control when assigning widgets, does that sound right? However (and I know this is wildly subjective) I’ve seen a couple reviews of the Arturia that were very unhappy with how heavy and sluggish the action is. Super appreciative of your input.

I am very happy with Native Instruments S88 MkIi

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I have seen at least two YouTube reviews that explain why the Arturia keylab 88 mk22 is the best MIDI controller today. I am not sure this makes sense for everybody. A keybed is always something to test by yourself. It is always a matter of personal preference.


As with many other things so personal, nothing like trying out, when possible of course.


True story - I have to find out whether big stores like Sam Ash or Guitar Center have these on the floor to try.

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NI certainly seems highly recommended and gives an incredible bundle of sounds. How about using it with other VSTs like Keyscape etc, does that work well for you?

Very well, I do not use Komplete Kontrol together with GP, I just adjust the parameters in the Plugin itself.

I can’t say much about the NI S88 because i only have the S61…
I am sure the keyboard has a very good keybed and an very good build overall, but one should be aware of the fact that the NI MIDI-keyboards only show their full capabilities (i.e. the two huge color displays) when they are connected to PC/MAC on which the NI-Komplete software is running!
Without this software, the keyboard is extremely restricted in it’s functionality!
Using my S61 in “MIDI-Mode”, which seems to be best for Gig Performer, the advantage of having two big color-grphics displays at hand, is completele gone… all that’s left then is a monochrome display with a simple top and bottom line for the buttons and the knobs - no graphical elements, no colors, and i think that’s really poor!

This is what’s always shown in the ads and reviews:

and this is what’s left in “MIDI mode”:

Nevertheless, it’s a very good keyboard to play with (hardware wise), but it should always be connected to a computer with the Komplete software installed, because all the configurations (even the basic settings for CCs and channels!) are stored and recalled by the software!
If you think of probably using it as a “standalone device” without being connected to any computers - let it be.
If you plan to always have it connected to a computer and you don’t mind having paid eventually some features you can’t or won’t use, go for it, it surely is quite a good piece of hardware.

@schamass, you are right, MIDI mode is not that attractive.
I am using it together with Ableton Live and here to see the levels of the tracks in Ableton Live is very welcome and with a custom M4L Patch the Integration with GP is perfect for me.

Yeah, this sounds good, but it implies that one is using Ableton Live too - without this “trick” there is no way to having a better use of those huge displays. The thing that nags me most is that NI doesn’t seem to care to improve this in any way… i dare to say that their willingness to change or improve things is very low.

Yes, that is true.
I am in a lucky position to use Ableton Live - for me the best DAW for Live Performance.
M4L and GP Script are both killers :wink:

The concept of Scenes and clips is genious.

I guess i would have to use the “full version” of Ableton to get the benefit of M4L?
Alright, i just saw on their comparison chart that M4L is only provided in the “Suite” which costs the peanuts of 600€… that’s way too much for just getting the benefit of a functional display. :wink:

This functional display is only just 1 use case of millions :wink:

I use a Kawai VPC1 together with an Icon Plarform M+, but I find this Arturia quite sexy:


I had bad experience with an Arturia Keylab 61 mk II. Stuck notes were a disaster.
I recently bought a used Studiologic SL 73 and I love it. There is an 88 version too. No buttons, no sliders.
But you can buy Mixface and you have buttons and sliders.
I love this setup.
Studio versions are lighter and cheaper, then you have Grand version which is more expensive.
I think it’s with same Fatar keys as Arturia or Native weigthed types.

Probably, yes.

Poster by “Furio 2” on Arturia’s Forum:
"I just tested with my system.
With all my surprise I was not able to get only one stuck note in 3 hours of wild playing!
I have a new much powerful notebook, so I had to install everything new: all my hosts (Reaper and Cantabile) and Arturia USB driver which is quite new.
To me this seems the most important piece of software, it was alredy getting better, this last one seems perfect.
Then I upgraded firmware of Keylab mkII 61 (1.2.4).
Now everything seems extremely solid, I tried in every way to make my system fail: no way.
I am so happy!!!"

It seems that Furio 2 ended to be very happy with his Keylab mkII 61 after updating the firmware… :wink:


Oh yes! It was me of course.
Furio is not a common name.
After that post, I had 15 days of peace. Then stuck notes happened again, then I started my war against a windows gaming notebook.
Months of lost nights and a big decision.
During hard lockdown I sold the notebook and the Arturia midi controller.
I bought a MacBookPro, I installed GigP, I bought a Native S 61 mkII controller.
Now my system is quite safe and extremely performant, no stuck notes, no stuttering, no latency issues.
I am very happy.
Let me say that Cantabile is a wonderful piece of software, I wouldn’t have evaluated GigP if there was a Cantabile version for Mac

Are you using GP script?