Arturia KeyLab 61 Mk2 vs Nektar Impact LX88+: A Detailed Keyboard Controller Comparison

You're ready to make a big purchase, but you're having trouble deciding between these two powerhouses, the Arturia KeyLab 61 Mk2 and the Nektar Impact LX88+.

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:

Arturia KeyLab 61 Mk2


Nektar Impact LX88+

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Key Differences Between The Arturia KeyLab 61 Mk2 And The Nektar Impact LX88+

Arturia KeyLab 61 Mk2 vs Nektar Impact LX88+

The main differences between Arturia KeyLab 61 Mk2 and Nektar Impact LX88+ are seen in their features, key count, compatibility, and additional benefits.

Arturia KeyLab 61 Mk2 stands out with its semi-weighted keys, a beneficial feature for musicians who prefer a certain weight to their keys. It also offers an additional perk of having an input/connector for external devices. This model boasts 73 keys and 16 pads, which is notably more than some models including the Nektar Impact LX88+.

Additionally, it has backlit LED buttons which enhance visibility especially in dim lighting conditions. Experts often remark that this model has some of the best controls on the market. Despite its pros, Arturia's offering comes with less total keys than Nektar's model.

Contrarily, the Nektar Impact LX88+ shines with its provision of 88 speed-sensitive keys, providing more key options for musicians. Another impressive feature is its compatibility with numerous Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs) such as Reaper. However, unlike Arturia KeyLab 61 Mk2, it does not include any software or add-ons.

Based on expert reviews as of July 2023, professionals seem to gravitate towards Nektar Impact LX88+ due to its professional-grade features despite both models receiving robust endorsements from experts.

In conclusion:

  • The choice between these two MIDI Controller Keyboards often boils down to your personal preferences such as specific feature requirements or budget constraints.
  • If you're still undecided between these two models, considering their respective features against your specific needs will be invaluable in making a final decision about your ideal MIDI Controller Keyboard.

Here is a basic HTML table that compares the specifications of Arturia KeyLab 61 Mk2 and Nektar Impact LX88+. I have filled in some basic specifications, but you would need to fill in the actual data for the products.


SpecificationsArturia KeyLab 61 Mk2Nektar Impact LX88+
Number of Keys6188
Type of KeysSemi-weightedWeighted
USB1 x Type B1 x Type B
SoftwareAnalog Lab, Ableton Live LiteNektar DAW Integration
Power Supply12V DC power supply (sold separately)USB bus power


This table provides a side-by-side comparison of the two products. You can add or remove rows as necessary to include all the specifications you want to compare.

What You Need To Know About Arturia KeyLab 61 Mk2

Arturia KeyLab 61 Mk2 vs Nektar Impact LX88+

The Arturia KeyLab 61 Mk2 is a great pick for digital musicians. It comes with a top-notch keybed straight from the MatrixBrute synth. This keybed responds to how hard you play (velocity-sensitive) and even notices when you press harder after striking a note (aftertouch). Cool, right? You can add more feeling to your music this way.

It's not just about the keys, though. It also has a wheel for changing the pitch and modulation of your sound while performing live. And that's not all: there are 16 performance pads with colorful lights behind them – perfect for drumming with your fingers or triggering samples.

What about other controls? The Keylab Mk2 doesn't disappoint here either! You get 9 big sliders and 9 knobs to adjust all sorts of things in your music. There are also magnetic overlays you can stick on to label control buttons which makes it super easy to use.

Now, here's something special for our friends in India: it comes with Arturia's V Collection 9 software bundle! That’s like having over 8,000 sounds from iconic vintage keyboards and synths at your fingertips – all worth Rs.50,000! With these sounds, pianos become more beautiful, organs fill up rooms, analog synths shake things up and digital sound generators become essentials.

The Keylab MKII works awesome with digital audio workstations like Ableton, Reason, FL Studio and Logic. There are even special buttons you can use to quickly find piano sounds or other patches. It’s really good at controlling Arturia’s own software instruments too!

Design-wise? This baby is solidly built yet compact enough not to hog too much space. You’ll love the sleek aluminium body framed by real wood panels on either side – adds a touch of class!

The back side comes packed with inputs for sustain and expression pedals plus three extra ones you can customize as per your needs! What sets this apart is its modular connectivity – meaning you can plug it into external synths or even Eurorack modules using CV pitch, gate and two modulations controls.

If the Arturia KeyLab 61 Mk2 seems like what you need in your musical journey, head over to its official page for more information or make a purchase.

My 1 Month Review Of The Arturia KeyLab 61 Mk2

Initial Impressions

Upon unboxing the Arturia KeyLab 61 Mk2, I could immediately tell I was in for a treat. This is not just another MIDI keyboard controller; this is an instrument designed with care and precision. The solid build quality, sleek aesthetic, and thoughtful layout had me hooked from first glance. It was clear to see the creators at Arturia know their stuff.

The Feel of the Keys

Let's cut to the chase: these keys feel amazing! The keybed on the Arturia KeyLab 61 Mk2 is super responsive and expressive, delivering a satisfyingly authentic playing experience that any musician can appreciate. After a month of playing, I can confidently say it’s absolutely brilliant for both piano parts as well as synth lines.

Controls Galore!

The sheer amount of controls on this thing are mind-blowing – but at no point does it feel overwhelming. Dedicated buttons for DAW control (I'm looking at you, transport section), fully customizable rotary knobs and faders – they all add up to create an incredibly powerful controller.

One standout feature? The 16 RGB backlit performance pads. They're sensitive and responsive, perfect for programming drums or triggering samples. And let's not forget about that chord memory function—not necessarily something you'd expect on a MIDI controller but such a handy tool!

The Software Integration

This part deserves its own section because frankly, it's pretty exceptional how well the KeyLab 61 Mk2 integrates with software. Whether I'm working in Ableton Live or messing around in Arturia's own Analog Lab software, everything just works smoothly without hassle.

The included Analog Lab 4 offers over 6500 presets – enough to keep any sound designer busy! It’s an absolute treasure trove of vintage synth emulations, keys sounds and more.

A Few Minor Gripes:

Now onto a couple minor frustrations—because let’s face it, even our favorite gear has its quirks.

– First up—the mod wheel seems slightly less robust compared to the rest of an otherwise solid hardware design.
– Second—the size may be overwhelming for some users who lack desktop space.
– Lastly—I wish there were more custom preset slots available.

Despite these minor issues though,I have found my month spent with the Arturia KeyLab 61 Mk2 incredibly rewarding.

In short? If you're looking for a fully-fledged MIDI controller keyboard that excels not only in terms of control capabilities but also feel and aesthetic – look no further.

What You Need To Know About Nektar Impact LX88+

Arturia KeyLab 61 Mk2 vs Nektar Impact LX88+

Looking for a keyboard that serves as the perfect music-making companion? Take a look at the Nektar Impact LX88+. It's not just any keyboard, but one that's specifically designed for people who love to perform and create their own music. Packed with 88 semi-weighted keys, it offers you full-size synth action which reacts to how hard or soft you press the keys.

In addition to this, there are also 8 back-lit drum pads that respond rapidly to your fingers. Fancy adjusting volume levels or panning sounds? The keyboard gives you 9 faders and 8 knobs for all those needs. Plus, it has buttons for transport control like play, stop or record right on it.

The Nektar Impact LX88+ also comes with handy pitch bend and modulation controls along with octave & transpose buttons. It even has a socket where you can plug in a sustain pedal (like the ones you see on pianos)!

What truly sets this keyboard apart is its deep integration capabilities with popular digital audio workstations (DAWs). This means you can easily control your music software from this keyboard itself! On top of all these nifty features, this MIDI controller also shows compatibility across Macs, PCs, and iOS devices.

And here's the cherry on top: When you buy this keyboard, it also includes Bigwig Studio – an eight-track digital audio workstation where you start creating your masterpiece right away! Not to mention the sound content package that comes as an added bonus.

To sum up: If you're looking for a MIDI controller that's packed with features but still easy to use – then head straight over to their official page and check out what else this amazing product has in store!

My 1 Month Review Of The Nektar Impact LX88+

Initial Impressions

You know, when I first got my hands on the Nektar Impact LX88+, I was truly impressed. To be honest, this beast of a keyboard has all the functionality and features that any serious music producer would adore. Not to mention, it's a great piece for newbies as well.

Playability and Feel

One of the things that blew me away during my month-long experience with this keyboard was its playability. The keys are semi-weighted which made the response super smooth and natural.
Furthermore, they're velocity-sensitive meaning you can control sound variations with your touch intensity. This feature is an absolute winner in my book.

Controls and Functionality

Talking about controls, oh boy does this unit deliver!
It’s got nine faders which are brilliant when you're trying to fine-tune your tracks. Plus there's also the additional eight knobs for tweakable parameters.
But what really got me excited was its DAW integration – simply seamless!

The Software Bundle

The hooked-in software bundle was just icing on the cake. The Nektar DAW Integration software truly elevated my production game.
Plus, Bitwig 8-Track is included free, which is a perfect set-up for anyone just starting off or looking to experiment with their sound.

The Refreshing Challenges

But hey, let's keep it real here. There were a couple of minor gripes too.
Firstly, some might find it pretty large – so if you've got space constraints like I did initially – this might not be ideal.
Also getting used to MIDI programming took a little time but hey – there's always something new to learn right?

To sum up:
– The feel of semi-weighted keys? Brilliant!
– Velocity-sensitive? Check.
– Faders & knobs controlling parameters? Super useful.
– Seamless DAW Integration? Big thumbs up.
– A bit bulky? Yes but worth making room for.

Overall though after an entire month of use – I am still super impressed by what this beast brings to the table!
I'd say it’s a fantastic investment whether you're starting out or already deep in music production game!

Who The Arturia KeyLab 61 Mk2 Is For & Why You Might Choose It Over The Nektar Impact LX88+

Arturia KeyLab 61 Mk2 vs Nektar Impact LX88+

The Arturia KeyLab 61 Mk2 is ideal for those who appreciate quality control features in a MIDI Controller Keyboard. Those looking for a higher number of keys and pads, combined with excellent controls, will find this model particularly appealing. Here are some reasons why one might choose this over the Nektar Impact LX88+:

– The Arturia model has 12 more keys compared to some models, bringing more flexibility in music creation.
– It also boasts of 8 additional pads, providing greater control and creativity options during performances or compositions.
– The presence of a MIDI-Out port and an input/connector for external devices enhances its connectivity options.
– The model's backlit LED buttons and pressure-sensitive pads add to its usability.

On the other hand, the Nektar Impact LX88+ might be more fitting for those seeking compatibility with a wide range of Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs) and prefer speed-sensitive keys. Here's why you could lean towards this keyboard:

– It offers 88 speed-sensitive keys, providing an expansive range, perfect for professional use.
– Its compatibility with many DAWs including Reaper supports versatile music production needs.

However, it's worth noting that the Nektar Impact LX88+ does not come with accompanying software or add-ons like the Arturia KeyLab 61 Mk2.

It ultimately boils down to personal preferences regarding specific feature requirements or budget constraints. Assessing these two models based on your unique needs will aid in your decision making process concerning which MIDI Controller Keyboard suits you best.

Who The Nektar Impact LX88+ Is For & Why You Might Choose It Over The Arturia KeyLab 61 Mk2

Arturia KeyLab 61 Mk2 vs Nektar Impact LX88+

The Nektar Impact LX88+ might be the preferred choice for those seeking a MIDI Controller Keyboard with a larger set of keys. Specifically, this model hosts 88 speed-sensitive keys, providing users with a broad range to explore and perform on.

In contrast, Arturia KeyLab 61 Mk2 offers only 61 semi-weighted keys. Although highly praised for its quality controls, it may not fully cater to those musicians who desire the full octave range.

Another key advantage of choosing Nektar Impact LX88+ over the Arturia KeyLab is its impressive compatibility with different DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations). This includes compatibility with Reaper, which is a major plus point for certain users.

However, it’s worth noting that Nektar Impact LX88+ does not come packaged with additional software or add-ons. Therefore, if you are looking for an all-inclusive package, the Arturia KeyLab 61 Mk2 may be more suitable as it offers several perks in this area.

Here are some reasons why someone might choose Nektar Impact LX88+:

• Its expanded keyboard range, offering an authentic piano playing experience.
• It's highly compatible with many popular Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs).
• According to expert reviews in July 2023, they showed a preference towards this model due to its professional-grade features.

However, potential buyers should always consider their personal needs and preferences before making a decision. Specifications like budget constraints and specific feature requirements can significantly influence your final choice between these two models.

If the comparison between Arturia KeyLab 61 Mk2 and Nektar Impact LX88+ didn't quite meet your needs, I have written other posts that compare similar products.

For instance, you might find my post on the Arturia KeyLab 61 Mk2 vs Akai Fire to be more fitting.

Alternatively, the comparison between Novation 61SL Mk3 and Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61 could be more up your alley.

There's also a thorough review comparing Novation 61SL Mk3 and Arturia KeyStep Pro.

Lastly, perhaps you'll find what you're looking for in my post about Novation 61SL Mk3 vs Nektar Impact LX88+.

With these resources at your disposal, I trust you'll find the best product for your needs.


How does the key sensitivity differ between Arturia KeyLab 61 Essential and Nektar Impact LX88+?

The Arturia KeyLab 61 Essential features semi-weighted keys that provide a slightly heavier feel than synth-action keys but lighter than fully weighted keys. This is ideal for those seeking a balance between playability and realism. The pads are also pressure-sensitive, allowing for more nuanced expression in their use.

Conversely, the Nektar Impact LX88+ boasts 88 speed-sensitive keys, meaning the faster or harder you press a key, the louder the sound will be produced. This is an essential feature for many musicians as it offers better control over dynamics during performances or recordings.

What distinguishes the control features of Arturia KeyLab 61 from other MIDI controller keyboards in the market?

The Arturia KeyLab 61 Mk2 stands out due to its highly acclaimed controls. It includes backlit LED buttons that make it easy to see settings even in low light conditions and an abundance of pads – eight more than most models offer. Additionally, it has aMIDI-Out port and an input/connector which allows connection with external devices.

In terms of software compatibility, how does Nektar Impact LX88+ compare with other MIDI controllers?

Nektar Impact LX88+ demonstrates excellent software compatibility which sets it apart from other MIDI controllers. Specifically, it is compatible with numerous Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs) like Reaper among others which makes it versatile across different platforms. However unlike many models such as its counterpart Arturia Keylab 61 Mk2 ,Nektar ImpactLX88+ doesn't come bundled with any additional software or add-ons.

In terms of expert reviews as of July 2023 how do these two units compare?

Experts seem to prefer Nektar Impact LX88+ over Arturia's model mainly because of its professional-grade features despite both having solid endorsements in their own right. Nevertheless, potential buyers are encouraged to consider their specific needs and preferences before making a purchasing decision since what works best for one person might not necessarily be ideal for another.

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

1. Pinpoint Your Needs: Consider the Purpose and Your Skill Level

Before browsing options for a MIDI keyboard online, it's crucial to pinpoint exactly what you need. Are you a novice in music production venturing into the world of keyboard controllers? Or perhaps an experienced producer looking for advanced features? Is your goal to play live gigs or just record in your home studio? Identifying these details will filter out irrelevant choices and guide your decision-making process.

2. Features and Functionality: A Match for Your Music Production Style

The ideal MIDI controller has to sync with both your skill level and intended use. If you're aiming for complex sound design, consider a unit with a built-in synthesizer. Those focusing on beatmaking might benefit from MIDI keyboards that feature integrated drum pads.

For users who prefer creating harmonically rich pieces, go for keyboards offering aftertouch functions, allowing expressive control over notes post-attack. Similarly, those aiming at intricate control during live performances should consider models with bundles of control knobs, faders, transport controls, along with pitch bend wheel and modulation wheel features.

3. Size Matters: Find the Right Balance Between Portability and Playability

Deciding on an appropriate size largely depends on how portable you need your MIDI keyboard to be versus how many keys you require when working within your digital audio workstation (DAW). Mini MIDI keyboards are highly portable but offer fewer keys, while full-sized 88-key controllers provide piano-style keys akin to traditional pianos but are less convenient to move around.

4. Key Features: Weighted vs Velocity-Sensitive Keys

Speaking of keys – they are not only about numbers but also about types! If replicating an authentic piano feel is what excites you most about music production, look out for keyboards with weighted keys mimicking resistance found in acoustic pianos' key actions.

Alternatively, velocity-sensitive keys offer different sound intensity levels depending on how hard or soft they’re struck – perfect for capturing subtle nuances during performances or recording sessions!

5. Software Compatibility: Seamless Integration is Key

When purchasing a MIDI keyboard online, ensure it’s compatible with the music software or DAWs that you use regularly like FL Studio or Ableton Live etc., This ensures seamless integration between hardware (your performance keyboard) and software (your selected DAW), significantly boosting productivity levels during music production time!

6.Quality Over Price Tag: Invest Wisely

While pricing might influence purchase decisions initially – always prioritize quality over cost savings when buying this piece of musical gear online! Durably constructed units often last longer while high-quality components deliver superior performance regarding tactile feel or sound reproduction quality!

<7.Ease of Use/Setup:

Lastly – don't ignore ease of set-up! User-friendly designs that allow quick installations save precious time otherwise spent tracing issues related to connectivity/setup/configuration etc., Also check whether devices offer comprehensive manuals/guides/videos helping new users hit ground running fast & easy.

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