Akai MPC Studio vs Arturia KeyLab 61 Mk2: A Detailed Comparison Review

You're ready to make a big purchase, but you're having trouble deciding between these two powerhouses, the Akai MPC Studio and the Arturia KeyLab 61 Mk2.

Trust me, I know how difficult that decision is… especially if you have no plans on whipping out that dreaded return postage label!

I've got you covered.

I've broken down the good, the bad and the ugly of these babies, so providing you have a clear idea of exactly what you plan on doing with it, you will have a clear idea on which one is best for you, by the end of this article.

Let get into it…

At A Glance:

Akai MPC Studio


Arturia KeyLab 61 Mk2

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Key Differences Between The Akai MPC Studio And The Arturia KeyLab 61 Mk2

Akai MPC Studio vs Arturia KeyLab 61 Mk2

The main differences between Akai MPC Studio and Arturia KeyLab 61 Mk2 are primarily related to their features, construction, compatibility, and software offerings.

Starting with the Arturia KeyLab 61 Mk2, it is celebrated for its powerful chord button available for both keys and drum pads. The controller is also highly praised for its durability and advanced control features which make it ideal for professional use.

Another key difference is that Arturia KeyLab 61 Mk2's semi-weighted keys have a Pro-Feel action keybed, which ensures a comfortable playing experience. This controller also stands out because of its compatibility with DAWs, virtual instruments, hardware, and modular gear. It even includes renowned software titles like Analog Lab, Piano V, and Ableton Live Lite.

Conversely, the Akai MPC Studio offers a unique set of strengths. Many users prefer this versatile device due to its robust construction coupled with an intuitive interface. One distinguishing feature of the Akai MPC Studio is the RGB lighting on its 16 MPC pads which enhances visual feedback during music production.

This model belongs to the widely used Akai Professional MPK series, known for seamlessly integrating with various DAWs while providing flexible control options for optimal performance.

In conclusion:

  • If you prioritize durability and expansive software offerings then your preference might lean towards the Arturia KeyLab 61 MKII.
  • If you value enhanced visual feedback from larger pads along with an intuitive user interface then the Akai MPC Studio might be more suitable.

Remember that regardless of your choice both controllers are acclaimed for delivering professional quality performance in various music production scenarios based on collective data gathered from different sources.

SpecificationsAkai MPC StudioArturia KeyLab 61 Mk2
TypeMusic Production ControllerMIDI Controller Keyboard
ButtonsMany, including transport controlsMany, including transport controls
ConnectivityUSBUSB, MIDI In/Out, CV/Gate outputs, Sustain and Expression pedal inputs
Software IncludedMPC Software 2Analog Lab, Ableton Live Lite, Piano V
Dimensions11.2 x 10.1 x 1.9 inches34.57 x 11.73 x 2.76 inches
Weight2 lbs15.43 lbs

What You Need To Know About Akai MPC Studio

The Akai MPC Studio is a top-quality music creation tool you'll definitely want to check out! This machine is part hardware, part software, and totally perfect for creating beats and making electronic music.

It wonderfully combines the hands-on experience of traditional MPC hardware with the strength of modern computers.

With this streamlined device by Akai Professional, you can make your sounds come alive. The MPC Studio comes loaded with many popular sounds like basses, leads, effects and keyboards. Whether you’re composing a sweet bass line or designing an otherworldly effect for your next track, this device has got you covered!

Even better? This workstation has an impressive 128-track sequencer and versatile DAW-style environment. That means it's super flexible to handle all your musical ideas no matter how complex they are! Plus, these features make it more convenient to use than ever before.

Ready to take your music production game to a whole new level? Then head on over to the official Akai site here for more details about the Akai MPC Studio!

My 1 Month Review Of The Akai MPC Studio

My 1 Month Review Of The Akai MPC Studio

Initial Impressions

Right out of the box, I was wowed by the Akai MPC Studio's sleek, compact design. It's small enough to fit into my backpack, making it a perfect companion for on-the-go music production.
The build quality seems superior and durable. Despite its lightweight nature, nothing about it feels flimsy or cheap.

Setup and Installation

Setting up the Akai MPC Studio was a breeze. The included software installed smoothly on my computer with no hitches.
The integration process with my DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations) was seamless, and in no time at all, I was ready to dive into beat-making.

User Experience

In terms of usability, this machine is a gem.
I've been able to sketch out ideas quickly thanks to its intuitive interface.
It didn't take long for me to get familiar with the controls — everything is neatly laid out and easy to understand.
The pads feel great too – they're responsive and have a nice tactile feedback.


After using it for about a month now, I can confidently say that Akai MPC Studio's performance capabilities are impressive.
The sound quality is top-notch, no doubt aided by the high-quality 24-bit DAC (Digital-to-Analog Converter).
Also noteworthy is the low latency — it makes playing live feel incredibly responsive.

Included Software & Sound Library

The bundled software, Akai Pro MPC Software 2.0 is quite powerful – it has allowed me to create beats in ways I hadn’t considered before.
It comes packed with a wide range of features including an expansive sound library that has given me access to an array of sounds right from the start.

In Conclusion

All things considered: after spending considerable time with the Akai MPC Studio,
I've found it not only meets but exceeds my expectations in many ways.
• It’s compact yet robust
• The setup process is straightforward
• Usability is intuitive
• Performance wise it punches above its weight

This device has definitely taken my beat-making game up several notches.
For anyone considering stepping into music production or looking for a portable option –I would highly recommend considering Akai MPC Studio.

What You Need To Know About Arturia KeyLab 61 Mk2

The Arturia KeyLab 61 Mk2 is a musician's best friend. This top-notch keyboard comes with a 61-note keybed that's straight from Arturia’s MatrixBrute synthesizer. The velocity-sensitive keys respond to every subtlety in your playing, bringing out your musical expression remarkably. It even has a pitch bend and modulation wheel for more control during live performances.

But there's more – the KeyLab comes loaded with features for performance controls. You get 16 RGB backlit pads, perfect for drumming or triggering samples. It also includes nine faders and nine knobs to manage automation, and unique magnetic overlays that let you annotate the controls.

What sets this product apart is its accompanying V Collection 9 Software Bundle (India Exclusive offer). With this bundle – valued at Rs.50,000 – you gain access to over 8,000 sounds from vintage keyboards and synths produced by Arturia.

Working with digital audio workstations (DAWs) won't be a problem as well, as it provides quick-mapped controls for DAWs like Ableton, Reason, FL Studio, Logic etc., along with quick access buttons for loading patches such as piano sounds.

The Keylab MKII not only performs great but also looks beautiful with its sleek aluminium chassis and real wood side panels. And when it comes to connectivity options; it offers sustain and expression inputs along with three AUX inputs suitable both for studio & stage applications.

You can connect it with external synths or Eurorack modules using integrated connections for CV pitch, gate and modulations.

Check out the Keylab MKII on the official page to learn more about how this stellar keyboard can enhance your music making!

My 1 Month Review Of The Arturia KeyLab 61 Mk2

My 1 Month Review Of The Arturia KeyLab 61 Mk2

Initial Impressions

After a month of use, I've got to say, the Arturia KeyLab 61 Mk2 has genuinely impressed me. Initially, I was attracted by its sleek design and the promise of advanced features. Now after some hands-on time with it, it's clear that it delivers on both fronts.

The Feel and Build

The KeyLab 61 Mk2 is built like a tank. Its robust construction is something that caught my attention right off the bat. The keys themselves have a great semi-weighted feel, providing a delightful response when pressed.

As someone who values tactile feedback in my instruments, I appreciated how each knob and fader is solidly built and offers the right amount of resistance.

The Interface

Navigating through parameters with this keyboard controller's interface has been pretty straightforward. The well-lit pads along with OLED display help here immensely. However, being honest here, initially learning to use it did come with a slightly steep learning curve but nothing that time couldn't resolve.

Integration & Sounds

Arturia nailed it when it comes down to DAW integration! Whether you're using Logic Pro X like me or any other popular DAWs out there – you can expect smooth sailing.

But what left me floored were the sounds! The included software bundle(Analog Lab 4) boasts of more than 6000 presets!. Discovering new sounds became an exciting journey in itself!

Main Highlights:
• Semi-weighted keyboard
• Robust build quality
• Excellent DAW integration
• Massive sound library (Analog Lab 4)

Possible Improvement:
• Initial learning curve for interface navigation

In conclusion, the Arturia KeyLab 61 Mk2 may not be suited for absolute beginners but if you have some experience under your belt or are willing to learn – this instrument will not disappoint. It’s been fun incorporating this into my workflow and I’m excited for our future projects together!

Who The Akai MPC Studio Is For & Why You Might Choose It Over The Arturia KeyLab 61 Mk2

Who The Akai MPC Studio Is For & Why You Might Choose It Over The Arturia KeyLab 61 Mk2

Who is the Akai MPC Studio for?
The Akai MPC Studio is an excellent choice for musicians and producers who value an intuitive interface, enhanced visual feedback, and a seamless integration with various Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs).

Its robust construction makes it a reliable tool for music production, while the RGB lighting on the 16 MPC pads offers a visually engaging experience.

Why choose Akai MPC Studio over Arturia KeyLab 61 Mk2?

Larger Pads: The Akai MPC Studio features larger pads than the Arturia KeyLab 61 Mk2, providing better tactile feedback and control.
Intuitive Interface: Users have noted that the interface of Akai's model is easier to navigate compared to its Arturia counterpart.
Better Visual Feedback: The RGB lighting on its 16 MPC pads enhances visual feedback while making music.
Versatile control options: The flexible control options offered by the Akai Professional MPK series can make sounds more distinctive and unique.

In contrast, those who value durability, expansive software offerings (like Analog Lab, Piano V, and Ableton Live Lite), and a powerful chord button might be more inclined towards the Arturia KeyLab 61 MKII.

In essence, both models are highly regarded MIDI controllers offering high-performance functionality. However, personal preferences can tip the scale in favor of one over the other. Therefore if larger pads, better visual feedback during production sessions and intuitive interface are what you prefer then you may find that choosing Akai MPC studio fits your needs perfectly.

Who The Arturia KeyLab 61 Mk2 Is For & Why You Might Choose It Over The Akai MPC Studio

Who The Arturia KeyLab 61 Mk2 Is For & Why You Might Choose It Over The Akai MPC Studio

Arturia KeyLab 61 Mk2 is ideal for professionals who value advanced control features and durability.
• The semi-weighted keys and robust construction make it a durable choice for rigorous usage in studio environments.
• It offers a powerful chord button for both keys and drum pads, providing a dynamic range of possibilities when producing music.
• Its smooth compatibility with DAWs, virtual instruments, hardware, and modular gear offer flexible control options.
• The Pro-Feel action keybed ensures an enjoyable playing experience.

Furthermore, the Arturia KeyLab 61 Mk2 comes with extra software titles such as Analog Lab, Piano V, and Ableton Live Lite.

On the contrary, if you’re attracted to an intuitive interface with vibrant visual feedback, Akai MPC Studio might be your preference.
• Akai’s RGB lighting on its 16 MPC pads offers excellent visual feedback when making music. This appeals to producers who appreciate visual elements in their workflow.
• Its seamless integration with various DAWs and flexible control options enhance music production performance making your pad synth sounds more mysterious or your hi-hats fill your trap drumbeat effectively.

In essence,
If you seek a MIDI controller that provides durability with advanced controls functionalities along with additional software offerings – possibly for professional use – then consider buying the Arturia KeyLab 61 Mk2.
Alternatively, if you prefer enhanced visual elements during music production coupled with an intuitive interface – perhaps as part of a live performance setup or studio work – then you might choose the Akai MPC Studio.<

If the Akai MPC Studio and Arturia KeyLab 61 Mk2 don't quite meet your specific needs, I've also conducted comparisons between a selection of other similar products.

You may find value in my comparison between the Akai MPC Studio vs Novation 61SL Mk3, where I delve into the features of these two MIDI controllers in great detail.

Additionally, you may be interested in my assessment of the Akai MPC Studio vs Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61, as well as my comparison post on Akai MPC Studio vs Arturia KeyStep Pro.

If you're looking for more extensive keyboard functionality, have a look at my review comparing the Akai MPC Studio vs Nektar Impact LX88+.

Each of these posts offers comprehensive information to help you make an informed decision.


What are some of the advanced control features that the Arturia KeyLab 61 Mk2 offers?

The Arturia KeyLab 61 Mk2 boasts a number of advanced control features that contribute to its attractiveness among professionals. These include a full-size keyboard with velocity and aftertouch, 16 performance pads, multiple encoders and faders, as well as dedicated DAW controls. These advanced control options enable users to take thorough command over their music production process.

How does the Akai MPC Studio enhance visual feedback during music production?

The Akai MPC Studio enhances visual feedback through its RGB lighting on the 16 MPC pads. This feature allows users to visually track their progress on tracks they are creating or editing. This can be especially helpful in low-light environments or during live performances where clear visibility may be compromised.

How does software like Analog Lab, Piano V, and Ableton Live Lite contribute to the performance of Arturia KeyLab 61 Mk2?

The software titles included with the Arturia KeyLab 61 Mk2 greatly enhance its functionality and versatility. Analog Lab provides a library of classic analog synth sounds; Piano V allows for realistic piano emulation; while Ableton Live Lite offers powerful DAW capabilities for music production. The combination of these software titles helps producers create high-quality soundtracks using just one controller.

What makes both Akai Professional MPK series and Arturia's offerings popular among musicians?

Akai Professional MPK series, including MPC Studio, is popular due to its robust construction, intuitive interface and remarkable integration ability with various DAWs which optimize performance output during music productions.

On another hand,The durability, expansive range of control features along with powerful softwares incorporated making Arturia's offerings like Keylab MKII, an ideal choice for many musicians out there.

Buyer's Guide: Important Things To Consider & Look Out For When Buying A Midi Keyboard

1. Identify Your Need and Skill Level

When entering the world of music production, it's important to note that MIDI keyboards cater to different levels of expertise. Are you a newbie just starting out or an experienced music producer looking for an upgrade? Deciding on your expertise level will help narrow down choices, making the decision-making process easier. For example, if you're a beginner, you may want something more accessible like the Akai MPK Mini MK2 whereas seasoned professionals might opt for the Akai MPC Studio which offers more advanced features.

2. Check for DAW Compatibility

Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs) are essential in music creation and production – they're basically your digital canvas for composing and producing tracks. Therefore, it's crucial that your chosen MIDI controller is compatible with your DAW of choice. Brands like Akai or Arturia generally have good DAW compatibility but always check product specifics to be sure.

3. Consider Software Integration Efficiency

A well-integrated MIDI keyboard will positively affect your workflow efficiency. Some keyboards are designed to work seamlessly with certain software suites – this could save you time in setting up and troubleshooting issues later on.

For instance, The Arturia KeyLab 61 Mk2, comes pre-mapped and integrated with Arturia’s software suite which can drastically improve workflow efficiency if you’re planning on using their software.

4. Evaluate Keyboard Size Based on Your Space and Mobility Needs

MIDI Keyboards come in various sizes, from compact 25-key versions right up to full-size 88-key models; striking a balance between performance space and portability is key here (no pun intended!). If space is tight or you constantly move around then a smaller size might be appropriate – however this could limit playability depending on what kind of music you plan on creating.

5. Look Out For Extra Features Like Performance Pad Controllers

Many mid-to-high-end MIDI controllers come equipped with value-added features – think extra pads, knobs, sliders etc., which can enhance music creation capabilities by offering hands-on control over sounds and effects within your DAWs. If such extensive real-time manipulation appeals to you as part of creative expression then consider options like the Novation Launchkey series or perhaps an MPC-styled unit from Akai’s range that include built-in performance pad controllers.

6.Comparison Shopping Is Key

Online shopping allows us the luxury not only of purchasing from home but also easily comparing different instruments based on reviews or ratings before we make our purchase decision! So don't shy away from comparison tables; they can provide great at-a-glance information for weighing up options against one another based upon price point versus feature set.

7.Investigate Warranty Options Before Purchase

Lastly but by no means least: make sure there's at least some form warranty provision attached when buying online– especially if considering higher end models such as aforementioned Arturia KeyLab 61 MkII! Faults do happen even within premium brands so having protection against unforeseen issues is definitely worth investigating as part carefree buying experience.

About Author

Arielle P

Arielle P

Songwriter | Music Producer | Engineer.

With a background in music production and a strong passion for education, Arielle is dedicated to helping emerging artists navigate the music industry. She has worked with a diverse range of artists, from indie rock bands to well-known hip-hop and grime artists. Arielle's unique approach to teaching focuses on empowering artists to take control of their brand, ensuring they retain creative ownership throughout their journey. In her free time, she enjoys experimenting with new sounds in her home studio and sharing her insights through music production tutorials and workshops.

📧 Email Arielle