Akai MPK Mini Mk3 vs Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61: A Comprehensive Comparison for Music Producers

You're ready to make a big purchase, but you're having trouble deciding between these two powerhouses, the Akai MPK Mini Mk3 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 MPK Mini Mk3 vs Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61: A Comprehensive Comparison for Music Producers

At A Glance:

 

Akai MPK Mini Mk3

 

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Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61

 

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Key Differences Between The Akai MPK Mini Mk3 And The Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61

Akai MPK Mini Mk3 vs Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61

The main differences between Akai MPK Mini Mk3 and Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61 are primarily related to their size, design, key count, functionality and target user base.

Akai MPK Mini Mk3 is a compact, 25-key controller often considered one of the best MIDI keyboards for beginners. It comes with 16 pads, proper modulation, transport, pots for adjustments and represents fantastic value for money.

This keyboard is highly praised for its hardware quality and especially its drum pads. Furthermore, it's bundled with pro-grade software that aids in music creation.

Contrarily, Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61 is more professional-grade regarding its features and integration capabilities. The S61 excels in integrating with all virtual instruments through its Smart Keyboard Controller feature.

It can automatically map all key parameters to its touch-sensitive controller knobs due to the Native Map technology. It has either 49 or 61 semi-weighted keys with aftertouch on a pro-grade Fatar keybed that offers an expressive hands-on music-making experience.

The key differences are:

  • The Akai MPK Mini Mk3 has 25 keys while the Komplete Kontrol S61 comes with either 49 or 61 keys.
  • The MPK Mini Mk3 offers basic functionalities suited for beginners whereas Komplete Kontrol S61 provides advanced features aimed at professionals.
  • Komplete Kontrol S61's Smart Keyboard Controller feature enhances its integration capabilities compared to the MPK Mini Mk3.
  • The model’s touch-sensitive controller knobs can automatically map all parameters due to Native Map technology, a unique feature of Komplete Kontrol S61 not present in Akai MPK Mini Mk3's design.

In summary, if you're just starting out or want something portable yet functional - go for the Akai MPK Mini Mk3.

However, if you're seeking an advanced MIDI controller that offers deeper control over your virtual instruments and don't mind spending more - consider investing in the Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61.

SpecificationsAkai MPK Mini Mk3Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61
Number of Keys2561
Type of KeysMini SynthFatar Keybeds
Pads8None
Encoders/Pots88
FadersNoneNone
MIDI I/OUSBUSB, MIDI
SoftwareMPC Beats, Hybrid 3, Mini GrandKomplete Kontrol, Maschine Essentials, Monark
Power SupplyUSB bus powerUSB bus power, AC adapter
Weight1.65 lbs14.5 lbs

What You Need To Know About Akai MPK Mini Mk3


Meet the Akai MPK Mini Mk3, your new best friend in music making. This USB powered MIDI controller brings studio production to your fingertips with 25 mini MIDI keyboard velocity-sensitive keys. These keys are perfect for creating beats, controlling a virtual synthesizer, and much more!

But wait, there's more! This little device lets you take control like never before with a 4-way thumbstick for pitch and modulation control. There's even a built-in arpeggiator you can adjust to just how you like it.

Ever heard of the MPC experience? We've got that too. The MPK Mini Mk3 features 8 backlit velocity-sensitive MPC-style MIDI beat pads. These are great for programming drums, triggering samples or controlling your DAW controls.

Not enough? How about complete command of your Virtual Instruments and FX? Yes, that’s right!

With 8 360-degree knobs that you can assign to all your music studio plugins for mixing and tweaking synth controls.

And just when you thought we were done...we're not! The Akai MPK Mini Mk3 comes packed with over 1500 sounds and everything else you need for professional production.

It’s a complete Music Production Starter Kit including MPC Beats, 6 Virtual Instruments and even 2GB of sound content!

This is truly an all-in-one solution for any music producer who wants powerful tools at their fingertips. Want to learn more? Head on over to the official page where you can find all the details about what this little beast can do!

What You Need To Know About Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61


The Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61 is a smart keyboard controller that acts like your personal musical maestro. It's made especially for all your virtual instruments, guaranteeing endless possibilities of creating wonderful music.

Let's talk keys! This gadget has 61 semi-weighted keys that are professional-grade Fatar keybeds with aftertouch. That means you get to experience a super responsive keyboard that feels great to play on.

When it comes to control, the Komplete Kontrol S61 has got you covered. It features ergonomic pitch and mod wheels, as well as a touch strip. These tools give you total expression control while playing so each note comes out exactly how you want it.

Guess what? This controller is already pre-mapped for KOMPLETE instruments and many other Native Kontrol Standard (NKS) instruments from popular manufacturers.

So, no need to worry about spending extra time setting things up!

Plus, this brilliant device fully supports VSTi plugins which opens up a world of sound exploration.

To make sure everything runs smoothly, ensure your computer has at least macOS 10.12, an Intel Core i5 processor, and 4 GB RAM.

Ready to make some magic with the Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61? Get more information by visiting their official page here.

My 1 Month Review Of The Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61

Akai MPK Mini Mk3 vs Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61

First Impressions

Having spent a month with my Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61, I can confidently say that it brings a whole new level of control and versatility to my music production. From the moment I unboxed it, its sleek design and full-color displays caught my eye. It just looked like the kind of instrument that meant business.

Getting Started

Installing and setting up was a breeze, thanks to the clear instructions provided. The Komplete Kontrol software worked seamlessly with my DAW. Before I knew it, I was exploring the vast range of presets that came with this powerhouse of a keyboard.

The Keys and Feel

Right off the bat, let me say - these are some of the most responsive keys I've played on! The semi-weighted Fatar keybed felt great under the fingers, nicely balancing sensitivity and resistance. As someone who appreciates good aftertouch, this really elevated my playing experience.

A World of Sounds

The real game-changer for me was diving into the world of sounds courtesy NKS (Native Kontrol Standard) plugin format.

Instrument browsing became so intuitive, quick and easy — every sound at your fingertips in an instant! This is perfect for someone like me who loves exploring diverse soundscapes.

- Rich orchestral elements
- Earth-shattering synths
- Delicate pianos
- Exotic world instruments

It's all there within accessible reach thanks to NKS!

The Control Surface

The control surface is simply fantastic! With eight touch-sensitive knobs and dedicated function buttons for various DAWs, it felt like having complete control over every aspect of my music production.

Plus, those super slick color screens make everything look so much cooler.

Maschine Integration

I'm already a big fan of Native Instruments' Maschine series, so imagine how thrilled I was to find out about seamless integration between this keyboard and Maschine software/hardware?

Truly turned my creative process up by several notches!

In conclusion,
After one month with the Komplete Kontrol S61; it's safe to say we're in a committed relationship now! Whether you're an experienced producer or just getting started in your musical journey - this could be just what you need to bring your creativity alive.

Who The Akai MPK Mini Mk3 Is For & Why You Might Choose It Over The Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61

Akai MPK Mini Mk3 vs Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61

The Akai MPK Mini Mk3 is ideal for beginners and those looking for a compact, portable MIDI controller. Reasons to choose this over the Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61 include:
- Its reputation as one of the best MIDI keyboards for novices.
- A comprehensive set of features including 25 keys, 16 pads, modulation and transport controls.
- High praise for its hardware quality, specifically its robust drum pads.
- The bundled pro-grade software which aids in music creation.

Meanwhile, the Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61 serves users seeking a more advanced, professional-grade MIDI controller. Reasons one might opt for this over the Akai MPK Mini Mk3 include:
- A high level of integration with virtual instruments through its Smart Keyboard Controller feature.
- Automatic mapping of all key parameters to touch-sensitive controller knobs using Native Map technology.
- Option of either 49 or 61 semi-weighted keys with aftertouch on a pro-grade Fatar keybed.

This keyboard also provides comfort during extended sessions and has less resistant pads akin to the Maschine-style responsiveness from Native Instrument.

Who The Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61 Is For & Why You Might Choose It Over The Akai MPK Mini Mk3

Akai MPK Mini Mk3 vs Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61

Who is the Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61 for?
The Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61 is primarily for professional musicians, music producers, and anyone who requires advanced features in a MIDI controller. It's ideally suited for those who value deep integration with virtual instruments and superior controller functionalities.

Why choose Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61 over Akai MPK Mini Mk3?
While both models are high-quality MIDI controllers, they serve different user needs. Here are some reasons why one might opt for the Komplete Kontrol S61 over its counterpart:

  • Sophisticated Controls: The S61 boasts a Smart Keyboard Controller feature, offering high-level integration with all virtual instruments. The innovative Native Map technology allows automatic mapping of all major parameters to its touch-sensitive controller knobs.
  • Premium Keybed: Unlike the 25-key Akai MPK Mini Mk3, the S61 model comes with 49 or 61 semi-weighted keys with aftertouch. These keys sit on a professional-grade Fatar keybed for an expressive hands-on music-making experience.
  • Better Responsiveness: Some users prefer this keyboard’s pads which demonstrate similar responsiveness to the Maschine style by Native Instrument. They're typically less resistant compared to the pads on other models like the Akai MPK Mini Mk3.
  • Durability & Comfort: Designed for long sessions, the S61 ensures comfort and ease of use, setting it apart from more compact options like the Akai MPK Mini Mk3.

In a nutshell, if you're after an advanced MIDI controller providing comprehensive control over your virtual instruments and are prepared to invest more, then consider buying the Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61.

If the Akai MPK Mini Mk3 or the Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61 don't quite tickle your fancy, fear not! I've got a whole slew of other product comparisons that could be just what you're looking for.

Perhaps the Akai MPK Mini Mk3 vs Arturia KeyStep Pro will pique your interest? Or how about comparing the Akai MPK Mini Mk3 with Nektar Impact LX88+?

Maybe you're an Akai enthusiast and my post on how the Akai MPK Mini Mk3 stacks up against Akai Fire would be more up your alley? For those leaning towards larger models, check out my comparison between Arturia KeyLab Essential 49 and M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro. Happy hunting!

FAQs

What are some of the key factors to consider when deciding between the Akai MPK Mini Mk3 and the Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61?

The key factors to consider include your skill level, budget, portability requirements, need for advanced features and integration capabilities. The Akai MPK Mini Mk3 is a great option for beginners due to its ease of use, compact size and affordability. However, if you need advanced control over your virtual instruments or plan on using the controller for long sessions regularly, then spending more on the professional-grade Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61 may be worthwhile.

What unique benefits does each MIDI controller offer?

The Akai MPK Mini Mk3 is praised for its hardware quality particularly its drum pads. It also offers pro-grade software bundled with it that aids in music creation. On the other hand, the Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61, with Smart Keyboard Controller feature and Native Map technology offers high-level integration with all virtual instruments and automatically maps all key parameters on touch-sensitive knobs.

In terms of keys' quality and responsiveness between these two MIDI controllers which one stands out?

Both keyboards have their own unique functionalities but when it comes to keys' quality and responsiveness - The Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61's semi-weighted keys stand out as they sit on a pro-grade Fatar keybed providing an expressive hands-on music-making experience. Some users also prefer this keyboard’s less resistant pads which are similar to Maschine-style responsiveness.

In terms of suitability according to user needs - who should opt for Akai MPK Mini Mk 3 or Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61 respectively?

Akai MPK Mini MK3 would be more suitable for beginners due to its simplicity, cost-effectiveness & portability while professionals seeking deep control over their virtual instruments or those who don't mind investing in a more advanced device would find a better match inNative Instruments Komplete Kontrol 561.

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

1. Understand Your Needs and Preferences

When preparing to buy a MIDI keyboard online, the first step is always to understand your specific needs and preferences. Ask yourself what kind of music production equipment you will be using the keyboard with, how it fits into your workflow, and what features you require for your style of music production.

A MIDI controller comparison can be extremely helpful in this initial stage. For instance, the Akai MPK Mini Mk3 vs Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61 presents two different ends of the spectrum – a compact, portable MIDI controller versus a larger unit with extensive keyboard controller features.

2. Consider Software Compatibility

An essential factor often overlooked is software compatibility with your chosen DAW or Digital Audio Workstation. The DAW integration feature should be seamless for any MIDI keyboard you choose as it plays a crucial role in enhancing your music production workflow. So before making that purchase, ensure that it integrates smoothly with the DAW software you are using.

3.Virtually Intriguing: Virtual Instrument Integration

A fundamental feature to consider while buying a midi keyboard online is virtual instrument integration. The ability of a MIDI keyboard to interface smoothly with virtual instruments can markedly amplify your creative potential and workflow efficiency.

4.Perfectly Portable: Seek Compact Form Factor without Compromising Features

When deciding on which model to buy, considering how portable you need your unit to be is vital if you intend on creating on-the-go or have limited studio space.. Reading through compact MIDI keyboard reviews, such as those comparing Akai MPK Mini Mk III versus others in its category could help inform this aspect of your purchase.

5.Take Control: Importance of Pad Performance Control

For beatmakers and electronic musicians especially, don't overlook the power embedded in pad performance control when purchasing a midi keyboard online; this feature can revolutionize their creative process significantly!

6.Peer Opinions Matter: Look at User Reviews

Before buying any piece of equipment online including both compact and full-size keyboards like Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61 or Akai MPK Mini Mk III - make sure to check out user reviews! They provide real-world insights about product reliability and functionality that manufacturers might skip out on covering!

7.Setting The Right Price: Determine Your Budget

Lastly but definitely not least important - setting out a budget for yourself before diving into product research prevents overspending while keeping an eye out for great deals.

Remember that more expensive doesn't necessarily imply better quality; striking balance between cost effectiveness & functionality should be key goal- especially since price points do vary widely across different models !

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.

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