Arturia KeyStep Pro vs Akai Fire: A Comprehensive Review and Comparison

You're ready to make a big purchase, but you're having trouble deciding between these two powerhouses, the Arturia KeyStep Pro and the Akai Fire.

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 KeyStep Pro


Akai Fire

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Key Differences Between The Arturia KeyStep Pro And The Akai Fire

Arturia KeyStep Pro vs Akai Fire

The main differences between Arturia KeyStep Pro and Akai Fire are primarily based on their distinct features, compatibility, users' needs, and preferences.

The Arturia KeyStep Pro is particularly recognized for its exceptional sequencing and arpeggiation capabilities in a compact form. It offers the following features:

  • Four independent polyphonic sequencers, each capable of controlling any synth, module, or drum machine.
  • An integrated 24-part drum sequencer.
  • An advanced chord mode that can handle both predefined or user chords.

Conversely, Akai Fire, which is specifically designed to integrate seamlessly with FL Studio software, offers unique attributes:

  • A 4 x 16 control matrix with velocity-sensitive pads, ideal for multifaceted control in music production.

In terms of keyboard quality,
The Arturia's keyboard is often perceived as higher quality than that of some Akai models, boasting longer keys that offer a soft yet consistent touch often described as feeling less cheap.

The best choice between these two MIDI controllers depends largely on your specific needs and software use.

For instance,
If you extensively use FL Studio software,Akai Fire might be your go-to option due to its specialized design integration,

On the other hand,
If you prefer advanced sequencing options or value the tactile feel of a high-quality keyboard,Arturia KeyStep Pro could be better suited to your needs,

Whether prioritizing portability and integration (Akai Fire)
Versus polyphonic sequencing/keyboard feel (Arturia KeyStep Pro),
Your selection should prove to be an exceptional tool for any music production demands.

FeaturesArturia KeyStep ProAkai Fire
TypeMIDI ControllerMIDI Controller
PadsNone64 RGB
Drum SequencerYesYes
ConnectivityUSB, MIDI In/Out, Clock In/OutUSB
PowerUSB or Power AdapterUSB
Dimensions23.2 x 8.2 x 1.5 inches12.44 x 6.55 x 1.85 inches
Weight7.1 lbs1.68 lbs
Price Range$400-$500$100-$200

What You Need To Know About Arturia KeyStep Pro

Arturia KeyStep Pro vs Akai Fire

The Arturia KeyStep Pro is an all-in-one performance controller that brings your musical ideas to life with ease. It's like a smart keyboard, sequencer, and arpeggiator all in one sleek tool. It's got super-sensitive slimkeys that respond to your touch, giving you complete control over your tunes.

This isn't any ordinary controller – it's loaded with cool features like Chord Mode, Quick Edit, Time Shift, and Touch Strip Looper that make creating intricate sequences a breeze. You can build complex melodies in no time or even store entire live performances with polyphonic sequencing and 16-pattern chaining.

But what makes the KeyStep Pro a real winner is how it connects every part of your setup. It doesn't matter if you’re working with Eurorack modules, analog synths or VST instruments – they can now perform in harmony thanks to this tool's unmatched connectivity options!

This includes everything from 4 CV, Gate and Mod outputs to 8 dedicated drum Gate outputs and even a solo metronome output!

That's not all – this controller also ups your game when it comes to making beats. With Track 1’s dedicated drum sequencer, you can create hard-hitting rhythms whether you're using a drum machine or your DAW.

Plus let’s not forget about the intelligent sequencing and arpeggiation features! Just hit record and start playing – whether it’s detailed step sequencing or custom arpeggios you’re after, KeyStep Pro makes every note count.

With the Arturia KeyStep Pro at the heart of your setup, creating music is going to feel more intuitive than ever before. For more information on what this performance controller can do for you, click here.

My 1 Month Review Of The Arturia KeyStep Pro

Initial Impressions

Upon first glance, the Arturia KeyStep Pro looked like a stylish, sleek addition to my music studio. It definitely has an aesthetic appeal that would suit any modern music setup.

The Setup

Right out of the box, I found that this compact yet powerful MIDI controller was pretty straightforward to set up. The included instruction manual was clear and simple to follow.

Usability and Software Compatibility

After having played around with it for a month now, I really appreciate its versatility. Arturia's KeyStep Pro is fully compatible with my DAW and all my synth hardware.
A few key features I've loved:
– Its ability to sequence drums.
– Syncing perfectly with most of my vintage gear.
– Intuitive chord mode for creating harmonious melodies.
These are just a few examples that make this device feel ahead of its time.

It's worth mentioning there were some minor glitches at first but after a quick firmware update, everything worked flawlessly.

The Feel

When it comes to the tactile experience of using the KeyStep Pro, I am genuinely impressed. The keys have a nice weighty feel to them which makes playing more enjoyable than many other controllers in this price range.

The drum pads too are soft under the fingers and respond accurately no matter how hard or soft you hit them.

However, there is one gripe I have: knob quality could be better as they feel slightly loose when turned.

Connectivity Options

The plethora of connectivity options provided by this controller cannot be overlooked – from MIDI In/Out and USB connections all in one sturdy panel at the back. This has made it easier for me integrating it into my existing system without running into compatibility issues or needing any additional equipment.

Overall though, despite its minor flaws (which no product is entirely free from), having used the Arturia KeyStep Pro extensively over the past month I must say, it has been an enjoyable experience which has helped enhance both my creative process and productivity levels.

In conclusion, if you're looking for something compact yet comprehensive in your MIDI control device then this could well be worth considering!

What You Need To Know About Akai Fire

Arturia KeyStep Pro vs Akai Fire

The Akai Fire is a unique USB MIDI hardware controller made just for the FL Studio DAW platform. You'll have no trouble connecting it because it's all plug-and-play ready. This device is perfect for creating music patterns in the step sequencer and recording notes or synth parts in performance mode, all thanks to its 64 velocity-sensitive RGB Pads.

What makes this MIDI controller stand out? Well, imagine having an MPC Style 16-pad layout right at your fingertips – that's what you get with Akai Fire's drum mode! It's a must-have tool if you're into beat making.

But there's even more! The Akai Fire has four banks of touch-capacitive MIDI knobs/encoders that can be assigned to control various settings such as mixer, channel, and user-assignable mappings.

Getting around the device is easy too. The integrated controls allow you to effortlessly navigate through channel rack, browser, tool bar and playlist windows. Plus, browsing through audio and project files is a breeze thanks to the clear feedback provided by the OLED display.

One more cool thing about this little gizmo: it comes with FL Studio Fruity Fire Edition (which you'll need to download). This complete Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) not only provides unlimited tracks but also offers on-board effects and virtual instruments as well as full automation functionality.

And just so you're aware: this product was crafted in China.

To learn more about the Akai Fire or check out some other awesome products from Akai Professional, feel free to visit their official website.

My 1 Month Review Of The Akai Fire

Initial Impressions

I was ecstatic when I first unboxed the Akai Fire. It has a sleek design with a sturdy build, feeling absolutely complete in my hands. The first glance at the neon pads stirred anticipation in me. I could tell from the start that this was going to be a fun journey.

First Setup

The setup process was fairly straightforward. The provided instructions were clear, and I had it up and running within 15 minutes. My initial concerns about compatibility vanished – it worked seamlessly with my system. Right from the get-go, Akai Fire proved to be an incredibly user-friendly device.

The Learning Curve

There is definitely a bit of a learning curve with the Akai Fire, especially if you've never used any similar software or hardware before. However, once I got past those initial hurdles, everything started to click into place.
• Easy access grid of 64 pads
• Touch-capacitive knobs
• Step sequencing & note modes
It took about a week or two for me to feel completely comfortable using it, but once you get over that hump, it's pretty second nature.

The Performance

After one month of extensive use, I need to say this: Akai Fire is an absolute beast! The performance quality blew me away – it's fantastic for creating beats on the fly and live performances as well.
The tactile feel of its controls makes for quite an enjoyable experience. You can really get creative and dynamic when mixing your tracks!
The built-in OLED display certainly needs some getting used-to but once familiarized with it, navigation becomes effortless.

A Few Shortcomings (But Not Dealbreakers!)

Just to keep things balanced here – not everything about this product is perfect. While Akai Fire's build quality feels excellent overall; there were times when certain knobs felt slightly loose or wobbly which left me wishing for better quality control from Akai’s end.
I also found myself yearning for more visual feedback on the device itself instead of having to rely heavily on my computer screen.

The Final Verdict?

In conclusion – after using Akai Fire extensively over a month – yes! It’s absolutely worth investing in if you're serious about music production.
This machine has immensely improved my workflow and opened new avenues for creativity.
Despite its few minor shortcomings, Akai Fire remains an impressive piece of equipment that truly stands out in today’s oversaturated market.

If music production is your passion, then give Akai fire a shot! You'll not regret this decision – trust me on this one!

Who The Arturia KeyStep Pro Is For & Why You Might Choose It Over The Akai Fire

Arturia KeyStep Pro vs Akai Fire

The Arturia KeyStep Pro is perfect for musicians who require advanced sequencing and arpeggiating capabilities, along with a high-quality keyboard feel. Designed to interact seamlessly with any synth, module, or drum machine, this MIDI controller shines when it comes to its unique features.

Here's why you might choose the Arturia KeyStep Pro:

Four Independent Polyphonic Sequencers: Allows for simultaneous control of multiple synthesizers or modules.
Integrated 24-part Drum Sequencer: Great for building complex drum patterns and sequences.
Advanced Chord Mode: Enables the use of both predefined and user-created chords.
Superior Keyboard Quality: Long keys with an even touch provide a premium feel that is often described as less cheap than other models.

On the other hand, if you're deeply embedded in using FL Studio software, the Akai Fire could be your go-to MIDI controller. This device is specifically designed to integrate effortlessly into your FL Studio workflow.

Here's why you might choose the Akai Fire:

Built Specifically for FL Studio: Offers seamless integration and intuitive control of your software.
A 4 x 16 Control Matrix: Velocity-sensitive pads which can be used for controlling various production elements are at your fingertips.
Portability: Compact design makes it easy to carry around or fit into any studio setup.

The choice between these two highly regarded MIDI controllers essentially boils down to what features are most crucial to your music production needs. The Arturia KeyStep Pro offers unparalleled sequencing possibilities and a high-quality keyboard feel while the Akai Fire excels in its integration capabilities with FL Studio and portability.

Who The Akai Fire Is For & Why You Might Choose It Over The Arturia KeyStep Pro

Akai Fire 2 2

Who is the Akai Fire for?
The Akai Fire is specifically designed for individuals who heavily use FL Studio in their music production process. This grid controller integrates seamlessly with the software, making it an ideal choice for FL Studio users.

Features of Akai Fire

  • 4 x 16 control matrix:

The Akai Professional Fire features a 4 x 16 velocity-sensitive control matrix which can be used to manage different elements of your production.

Why choose Akai Fire over Arturia KeyStep Pro?
While both MIDI controllers are highly regarded, certain features make the Akai fire stand out:

  • Software Integration:

The standout feature of the Akai Fire is its seamless integration with FL Studio. If you predominantly use this software in your music production, you'll find that the Fire streamlines your workflow and enhances usability.

  • Portability:

The compact form factor of the Akai Fire makes it a more portable option compared to some other MIDI controllers on the market.

On contrast, while some users argue that the Arturia KeyStep Pro offers better keyboard quality and advanced sequencing options, this may not outweigh its lack of integration with specific software like FL studio.

In conclusion, if portability and integration with your audio production suite are high on your priority list when choosing a MIDI controller, then you might prefer Akai Fire.

If you didn't find the comparison between the Arturia KeyStep Pro and Akai Fire to your liking, I have created several other product comparisons that might be more suited to your needs.

You can check out my detailed examination of Nektar Impact LX88+ vs Akai Fire, where I dive into the specifics of these two unique products.

Alternatively, you might find the comparison between Akai MPK Mini Mk3 vs Arturia KeyLab Essential 49 more interesting if you're in search of compact yet powerful MIDI controllers.

If you're seeking heavier-weight options with complete keyboard range, then don't miss out on my Akai MPK Mini Mk3 vs M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro comparison.

Lastly, for those considering a device from Akai's renowned MPC series, my evaluation of Akai MPK Mini Mk3 vs Akai MPC Studio could provide valuable insights.


What are some specific benefits of using the Arturia KeyStep Pro for music producers who prioritize advanced sequencing?

The Arturia KeyStep Pro offers unparalleled sequencing capabilities, with 4 independent polyphonic sequencers to control any synth, module or drum machine. This gives producers exceptional flexibility in building complex sequences and layers in their music. The integrated 24-part drum sequencer is ideal for creating intricate rhythm patterns and beats. Its advanced chord mode also allows users to either choose from predefined chords or create their own, adding to its versatility. This makes it an excellent choice for those who need complex sequencing options and enjoy hands-on control of their music production.

Key phrases: unparalleled sequencing capabilities, independent polyphonic sequencers, integrated 24-part drum sequencer, advanced chord mode

How can the Akai Fire enhance the workflow of FL Studio users?

The Akai Fire is designed specifically to integrate well with FL Studio software which can significantly streamline your workflow if you're a regular user of this program. It features a 4 x 16 matrix of velocity-sensitive pads which allow you to manipulate various elements in your production directly on the device itself, without needing to switch back and forth between hardware and software controls.

Key phrases: designed specifically for FL Studio software ,streamline your workflow ,4 x 16 matrix of velocity-sensitive pads

In what ways does the keyboard quality differ between Arturia KeyStep Pro and Akai models?

Some users have noted that they perceive a higher quality keyboard feel on the Arturia KeyStep Pro compared to certain Akai models. The keys on this model are longer with a soft even touch that feels less cheap than some alternatives. If key responsiveness is crucial aspect for you when making music then these factors could certainly influence your purchasing decision.

Key phrases: higher quality keyboard feel on the Arturia KeyStep Pro , longer keys with a soft even touch

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

1. Define Your Needs and Preferences

Before you start shopping for a MIDI keyboard online, it's crucial to have a clear understanding of your needs and preferences. Are you a beginner or a seasoned pro in music production? The more advanced your skills, the more features you may want in your keyboard controller, such as the Arturia KeyStep Pro, which boasts extensive sequencing capabilities and DAW integration.

2. Consider Your Studio Space

The size of the MIDI controller matters too; if your home studio is short on space, opting for a smaller model could be wise. You might find compact options just as effective without cramping up your work area. However, if space isn't an issue, feel free to choose larger models with extra keys that can enhance your performance tools.

3. Pay Attention to Keyboard Action Types

As experts will tell you, not all keyboard controllers are created equally when it comes to key action types. Depending on whether you're classically trained or self-learned, different key actions may better suit your playing style: synthetic weighted keys mimic traditional pianos while semi-weighted or non-weighted ones lean towards synth-action.

4.Investigate Device Compatibility

Ensure that whatever MIDI keyboard you opt for has compatibility with your Digital Audio Workstation (DAW). Several keyboards are designed specifically with certain DAWs in mind – like the seamlessly integrated Akai Fire, renowned as the first dedicated FL Studio beatmaking controller.

5.Look for Additional Programming Capabilities

When buying online, always take time out to look at what additional programming capabilities come with each model. Some come equipped with step sequencers and drum pads allowing for live performances while adding layers of complexity to compositions—an absolute must-have treat if beat making is part of the plan.

6.Reviews and Ratings Are Essential

Reading reviews from those who’ve used these products before can save us from some unpleasant surprises along our purchasing journey—theoretically speaking—some pitfalls by merely taking others' experiences into account while deciding on which product would make an ideal match for our needs.

7.Budget Wisely

Last but not least; determine how much you’re willing to invest in this purchase without risking financial strain down the line—a careful balance between quality & affordability should guide this part of the process From affordable entry-level models perfect for beginners right through high-end professional ones brimming with features like the powerful Akai Fire.

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