Akai MPC Studio vs Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61: A Comprehensive Comparison

You're ready to make a big purchase, but you're having trouble deciding between these two powerhouses, the Akai MPC Studio and the Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61.

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…

Akai MPC Studio vs Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61: A Comprehensive Comparison

At A Glance:

Akai MPC Studio


Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61

arrow vs this

Key Differences Between The Akai MPC Studio And The Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61

Akai MPC Studio vs Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61

The main differences between Akai MPC Studio and Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61 are in their design, feature set, and compatibility with specific software and hardware.

Akai MPC Studio is a MIDI controller known for its compact design. It comes with 16 RGB backlit pads, which are velocity-sensitive and offer pressure functionality.

The seamless integration of Akai MPC Studio with various software makes it ideal for users seeking a controller compatible with Logic, Komplete VIs, and the ability to play alongside MPC 2.1 & the Touch.

On the other hand, Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61 is a smart MIDI keyboard controller that provides pre-mapped control of NI's Komplete instruments as well as third-party plugins. Its superior keybed quality sets it apart from other brands.

One of the key differences is that the S61 MK2 version comes with two high-resolution color screens which make navigating sounds, tweaking parameters, mixing, editing etc directly from the hardware itself much easier.

When it comes to compatibility issues:

  • The Native Instrument's Komplete Kontrol A61 has reported issues when used with AKAI products like mpc x/live despite both being class compliant keyboards.

Talking about software bundles:

  • The AKAI MPK249 offers bundles such as MPC Essentials while concerns have been raised about NI Keyboard's software editor not being included in their package like Akai does.

If one values responsive pads more,Akai products may be more suitable whereas if tighter integration with Native Instruments’ own software or a larger number of keys for playing experience is desired then Native Instruments might be the preferable choice.

When making a purchasing decision between these two products your needs should play a crucial role: Do you need more keys or better pads? Do you use NI’s softwares which can benefit from KK’s integration? Are there any specific features that one provides but not the other?
The answer to these questions should guide your decision on which product will serve you best.

SpecificationsAkai MPC StudioNative Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61
TypeMIDI ControllerKeyboard Controller
Number of KeysN/A61
Number of Pads16N/A
DisplayLCDTwo-color LED
Weight2.0 lbs14.5 lbs
Dimensions11.2 x 10.1 x 1.9 inches39.6 x 11.6 x 3.4 inches
ConnectivityUSBUSB, MIDI
Power SourceUSB poweredUSB powered
Software IncludedMPC SoftwareKomplete Kontrol Software

What You Need To Know About Akai MPC Studio

The Akai MPC Studio is a tool every music lover needs. Made by Akai Professional, it's a blend of classic hardware and modern computer software to make awesome beats and electronic music.

Its 128-track sequencer offers flexibility while creating your own tracks. Plus, it is packed with a variety of in-demand sounds like basses, leads, effects, keyboards, and so much more!

This device brings the old school feel of making music with the ease and power of today's technology. It's what you need to make your creative ideas come alive.

To learn more about this product or if you are considering buying one, check out its official page on the Akai Professional website. This will give you all the information you need to decide if this is the right tool for your music creation journey.

What are you waiting for? Dive into the amazing world of music production with the Akai MPC Studio!

My 1 Month Review Of The Akai MPC Studio

My 1 Month Review Of The Akai MPC Studio

As a music producer, I've always been on the lookout for tools that can take my music production to another level. After a month of using the Akai MPC Studio, I feel I've found just that.

Unboxing and Setup

When I first unpacked the Akai MPC Studio, I was pleasantly surprised by its build quality and compact size. The device feels sturdy, and its slim dimensions made it easy to fit into my home studio setup.
The software setup was straightforward- it installed quickly on my computer without any hitches.

User Interface & Functionality

The Akai MPC Studio’s user interface is far from intimidating – in fact, it's one of the most intuitive interfaces I've used in a hardware controller.
The built-in screen offers a clear display of all functions. This combined with backlit pads and well-spaced knobs makes for an excellent user experience.
Creating beats on this machine was a breeze! The pads are ultra-sensitive which allows for great expressiveness while playing.

Sensitive pads: Perfect for creating dynamic drum patterns
Built-in screen: Offers clear display of functions, greatly enhancing workflow

Bundled Software

One of the best things about this device is the bundled software -MPC 2 Software. It's quite simply one of the most dynamic pieces of beatmaking software around.
The range and quality of sounds available were top-notch. Plus, being able to load VST plugins directly into the software was extremely useful.

MPC 2 Software: Takes beat-making capabilities to another level
Broad sound range: Wide variety with excellent sound quality
VST plugin support: Fully compatible with an array of plugins enhancing versatility

In Conclusion…

After using it for an entire month now, I can confidently say that Akai MPC Studio has become an invaluable part of my production process.
The perfect combination of hardware functionality with high-quality software indeed makes this product worth every penny.
If you're serious about taking your beats to another level, then investing in this device is something you should consider.

What You Need To Know About Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61

The Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61 is a smart keyboard controller designed for anyone who loves creating music with virtual instruments.

It has 61 semi-weighted keys that feel pro-grade—the same type of keys used by top musicians. This means you can play it like a real piano and also feel the aftertouch, which adds more emotion to your tunes.

This keyboard has ergonomic pitch and mod wheels, along with a touch strip. These extras help you fine-tune your sound and add your own unique flair to your music.

The Komplete Kontrol S61 also comes pre-mapped for KOMPLETE instruments and hundreds of Native Kontrol Standard (NKS) instruments from many leading manufacturers. This saves you time because you won't have to manually set up each instrument.

Another great feature is its full VSTi support, a type of technology that helps your keyboard work more smoothly with computer software. Just make sure your computer meets the minimum requirements: running macOS 10.12, 10.13, or 10.14 (latest update), an Intel Core i5 processor, and at least 4 GB RAM.

If this sounds like the smart keyboard controller for you, check out more details on its official page. It's an awesome tool—whether you're a beginner or pro—to help take your music making to the next level!

My 1 Month Review Of The Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61

My 1 Month Review Of The Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61

Initial Impressions

From the moment I got my hands on the Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61, I knew I was in for a treat. The build quality alone was remarkably solid, yet sleek – it gave off a sense of professionalism that got me excited to start making music.

The keys had a superb feel to them, nicely weighted and sensitive to velocity, giving me just the right amount of resistance. The touch-strip pitch and modulation wheels were also a refreshing change from the traditional wheel design.

The Learning Curve

However, going from novice to proficient with this piece of equipment required a bit more than just enthusiasm. There’s definitely a learning curve with the S61.

  • The integration between software and hardware is extensive.
  • Familiarizing myself with its NKS (Native Kontrol Standard) feature took quite some time.

But once I got it down, my workflow efficiency improved significantly.

Functionality and Features

The level of control offered by the Komplete Kontrol S61 is nothing short of amazing. Having direct access to hundreds of parameters through its knobs and buttons is like having an orchestra at my fingertips.

The light guide feature added another layer of sophistication; visual feedback on key switches, scales, zones etc., directly on your keyboard? Yes please!

Moreover, the browser function is an absolute game-changer – it has made scrolling through sounds so much easier.

Software Integration

I also found that this keyboard excels in how well it integrates with software like Ableton Live or Logic Pro X. Being able to control DAW functions right from the keyboard brought about more spontaneity into my music production process.

Admittedly though, non-NKS plugins aren’t as integrated as they could be – requiring MIDI Learn capability for full functionality which can be quite tedious.

In Conclusion

After spending one month with my Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61,

  • I've grown fond of its robust design,
  • I appreciate its plethora of features,
  • I enjoy its user-friendly interface.

Sure there were some tricky parts but mastering them only led me closer towards creating richer soundscapes. To sum up? This isn't just any MIDI controller; it’s an all-in-one hub for music production that's sure to delight any musician or producer who decides to invest in one.

Despite minor hiccups here and there (no product is perfect), I find myself reaching out for it time and again while working on my tracks because let's face it – once you go Komplete Kontrol S61…you never go back!

Who The Akai MPC Studio Is For & Why You Might Choose It Over The Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61

Who The Akai MPC Studio Is For & Why You Might Choose It Over The Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61

Who is Akai MPC Studio for?
The Akai MPC Studio is perfect for music producers who value a compact, easy-to-use MIDI controller. This could be producers who are regularly on the go, or ones who like to maintain a clean and minimalist workspace.

Why choose Akai MPC Studio over Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61?
There are several reasons why someone might opt for the Akai MPC Studio:

Software Integration: The seamless integration with popular Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs) like Logic and Komplete VIs, alongside functionality with MPC 2.1 & the Touch, makes this a versatile choice for many producers.

Versatile Pads: The 16 RGB backlit pads come with velocity-sensitive and pressure functionality. This set-up can offer more creative opportunities when compared to traditional keyboard controllers.

Bundled Software: Unlike some Native Instruments products, the AKAI MPK249 comes bundled with useful software such as MPC Essentials.

Considering these factors, Akai MPC Studio can be an excellent choice for producers who prioritize seamless software integration and enjoy working with responsive pads. It also caters to users looking for a comprehensive set of tools straight out of the box thanks to its included software bundle.<

Who The Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61 Is For & Why You Might Choose It Over The Akai MPC Studio

Who The Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61 Is For & Why You Might Choose It Over The Akai MPC Studio

Who is Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61 for?
The Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61 is ideally suited for music producers and performers who place a premium on seamless integration with Native Instruments’ software and plugins. This includes users of NI’s iconic Komplete instruments bundle, as the S61 offers pre-mapped control of these tools.

Why might someone choose Komplete Kontrol S61 over Akai MPC Studio?
There are several potential reasons why someone might prefer the Komplete Kontrol S61:

Sophisticated keybed: The quality of the keyboard is often praised, with many users finding it superior to other brands. So those who require a more refined playing experience may gravitate towards this controller.

Tighter Integration: For users heavily invested in NI’s ecosystem, the deep integration that the S61 offers with NI’s own software can be a significant advantage. This tight coupling allows producers or performers to browse sounds, mix tunes, tweak parameters, and edit tracks directly from the controller itself.

Bigger Key Range: For musicians who rely on more keys for their performances or compositions, the 61-key range offered by the S61 can be more appealing than what's available on controllers such as Akai MPC Studio.

In contrast:
– If you highly value responsive pads and compact design, then you might consider Akai's offerings.
– Similarly, if software bundles are crucial for your workflow and you're interested in getting a MIDI controller bundled with its own software editor right off the bat (like what Akai offers), then Akai may become your preference.

However, it's important to note that some users have reported compatibility issues between certain Native Instruments controllers (like A61) and AKAI products such as mpc x/live – so this is another factor to bear in mind.

Overall, whether you decide on Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61 or an alternative like Akai MPC Studio should largely depend on your specific needs as a music producer or performer. Factors such as key range preference, pad responsiveness requirement, existing software ecosystem use will sway your decision one way or another.

If the comparison between Akai MPC Studio and Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61 doesn't perfectly address your needs, fear not – I have quite a few other comparisons you might find helpful.

Take a look at my comparison between the Akai MPC Studio and Arturia KeyStep Pro, or perhaps the battle of Akai MPC Studio vs Nektar Impact LX88+ will provide more insight for your particular use case.

If you're leaning more towards Akai products, then my post on Akai MPC Studio vs Akai Fire could be of interest. And finally, for those torn between different brands, check out how the Arturia KeyLab 61 Mk2 fares against Novation 61SL Mk3.

I'm sure one of these posts will guide you towards making an informed choice in selecting the best product for your unique needs.


What are the key features of the Akai MPC Studio?

The u003cbu003eAkai MPC Studiou003c/bu003e is a compact MIDI controller featuring 16 RGB backlit pads which are velocity-sensitive and pressure-functional. Its tight software integration allows for seamless navigation between the hardware and your DAW, making it ideal for use with Logic, Komplete VIs, and MPC 2.1 u0026amp; the Touch.

What makes Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61 unique?

The u003cbu003eNative Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61u003c/bu003e, on the other hand, is a smart MIDI keyboard controller that offers pre-mapped control of NI's Komplete instruments along with any third-party plugins. Its superior keybed quality has been noted in comparison to other brands. The MK2 version has two high-resolution color screens that facilitate browsing sounds, tweaking parameters, mixing and editing directly from the hardware itself.

Are there compatibility issues between certain controllers and AKAI products?

Yes, some users have reported compatibility issues with certain controllers like Native Instrument's u003cbu003eKomplete Kontrol A61u003c/bu003e, which doesn't work well with AKAI products like mpc x/live despite being class compliant keyboards.

Do these products come bundled with software packages?

u003cbu003eThe AKAI MPK249u003c/bu003e, in particular comes bundled with some good add-ons such as MPC Essentials while concerns have been raised regarding NI Keyboard's software editor not coming bundled their keyboards unlike Akai.

In terms of user preference between Akai products vs Native Instruments' own software or keys playing experience – Which should one choose?

This ultimately depends on personal preference and needs. If you're looking for more responsive pads then an u003cbu003eAkai productu003c/bu003e might be better suited to your needs. However if you desire tighter integration with Native Instruments’ own software or need those additional keys for playing experience then u003cbu003eNative Instrumentsu003c/bu003e' options might be more preferable.

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

1. Identify Your Needs and Preferences

Before plunking down your hard-earned money on a MIDI keyboard, it's crucial to identify what you really need and prefer. This step is often overlooked when buyers get dazzled by the shiny new music production tools on offer. Are you more into beat making, or are you primarily using your MIDI controller for melody lines?

If your primary focus is beat making, an integrated drum machine like the Akai MPC Studio might be a better fit for you. It’s designed with beat makers in mind, boasting a groovebox and sampler built-in.

On the other hand, if your musical ambitions involve more nuanced melodies and chord progressions, something like the Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61 might be significantly more beneficial.

2. Understand Your DAW Compatibility

Next up on our list of tips: checking how well your chosen MIDI keyboard can integrate with your digital audio workstation (DAW). Some keyboards are better suited to certain DAWs than others so be sure to check that yours will play nicely with all of its intended housemates before moving it in!

For example, if you're currently using Ableton Live as your main music software, some MIDI controllers may offer better integration and workflow enhancements compared to others.

3. Size Matters – Key Count and Portability

When purchasing a MIDI keyboard online, size does matter! The number of keys on a board impacts playability – fewer keys mean less range while more keys provide greater flexibility but may not be as portable or space-saving.

If portability is key for you (pun intended), opt for smaller units with fewer keys which allow ease of movement from gig to gig or studio session to home practice.

4. Additional Features Are Your Friends

It’s worth looking at the additional features that come along with various models because they can provide remarkable convenience in enhancing your music production process immensely – little extras such as built-in drum pads, knobs, sliders or even touch strips!

More than just being afterthought bonuses these components can serve integral roles within productions depending upon setup style; offering synthesizer control surfaces alongside traditional keyboard function

5.Check Out Reviews From Other Buyers

Never underestimate the value of other people's experiences! Before making any purchase online—music gear included—it's always prudent to check out reviews from fellow musicians who have already used that equipment themselves extensively through their own individual processes.

Note: information provided via forums generally contains valuable insights regarding long term usage; offering clarity beyond initial impression based product descriptions found on seller websites directly.


“Have past users encountered any problems? How did they rate customer support? Do they recommend this particular model?” are just few among many questions answers can influence decision effectively.


If budget is a concern (and when isn't it?), watching out for sales events such as Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals could significantly reduce overall expenditure—once again proving patience indeed virtue!

Furthermore availing finance options offered by several online retailers provide viable solution all too tempting immediate acquisition urges—transforming prohibitively expensive items accessible through manageable monthly payments!

Finally ”Bundle Deals” extremely popular within industry presenting opportunity save big addition attaining full operational environment outside box shopping spree.

Some examples would include:

Akai Professional MPC Studio Music Production Controller bundled complete set speakers headphones necessary cables

Alternatively Native Instrument Komplete Kontrol S61 combined package similar components accompanying original Keyboard plus software license essential plugins rounding off comprehensive collection one fell swoop!

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