M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro vs Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61: A Comprehensive Comparison and Review

You're ready to make a big purchase, but you're having trouble deciding between these two powerhouses, the M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro 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…

At A Glance:

M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro


Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61

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Key Differences Between The M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro And The Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61

M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro vs Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61

The main differences between M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro and Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61 are based on their design, key count, technology integration, price, and suitability for particular user needs.

M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro is characterised by its full-sized, 88-key USB powered MIDI keyboard with hammer-action keys. It incorporates Smart Chord and Smart Scale technology, enabling users to play chord progressions and melodies in any key with just one finger.

Also noteworthy is its praised realistic feel that's akin to a conventional piano due to the inclusion of piano style weighted hammer & SP2.

In contrast, the Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61, as implied by its name, has a smaller number of keys at 61. It's designed with a focus on total compatibility with Native Instruments' Komplete plugins – featuring a high-quality Fatar keybed for an extraordinary playing experience.

The S61 boasts custom controls devised explicitly for use with the software suite from Native Instruments. This makes it an attractive option if you're currently using or intend to use these tools in your music production framework.

The difference in keys count and specific software integrations become key deciding factors. If more keys and weighted action without any particular software integrations are your preference – then M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro is the way forward.

Conversely, if you prefer fewer keys but highly value high-quality Fatar keybeds combined with deep integration into Native Instrument's software – consider going for the Komplete Kontrol S61 MK2.

A detail not to overlook is that there exists a significant price difference between these two controllers. Some users question whether the extra cost of Kontrol S61 (or even the more expensive model – S88) warrants its advantages over less pricey alternatives such as the Hammer 88 Pro.

In conclusion, your personal requirements as a musician or producer will determine which one of these two keyboards is better suited for your workflow and budget.

SpecificationsM-Audio Hammer 88 ProNative Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61
Number of Keys8861
Type of KeysFully Weighted, Hammer actionSemi-weighted, Synth action
SoftwareAbleton Live Lite, Pro Tools First M-Audio EditionKomplete Kontrol, Maschine Essentials, Ableton Live 10 Lite
Power SupplyUSB bus power, 12V DC power supply (sold separately)USB bus power, 15V DC power supply (included)

What You Need To Know About M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro

The M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro is a fantastic tool for musicians and producers. It's a MIDI Controller that features fully-weighted keys, making it feel like you're playing on a real piano.

Even better, these keys are velocity-sensitive and graded with hammer action and aftertouch. This gives you the ability to play virtual sampler instruments and virtual synthesizer plugins with a unique level of expression.

This device is not just about the keys though! It also comes with 16 RGB backlit drum pads. These are not ordinary drum pads either – they're MIDI assignable and super sensitive to how hard you hit them. This makes them perfect for beat production, launching clips, triggering soundboards, and more.

Music production requires control over your sound, right? The Hammer 88 Pro brings the control to your fingertips with its 8 assignable knobs & buttons and 9 assignable faders. You can use these to tweak your virtual instruments, effect plugins, DAW controls – basically anything in your music production software!

But there's even more! The Hammer 88 Pro boasts auto-mapping for DAW & plugin parameters which makes it easier for you to coordinate your hardware with your software setup; plus Smart Chord & Scale modes that provide instant access to different chord progressions and scales; an Arpeggiator feature that automatically creates complex lines of notes based on the chords you play; as well as pitch & mod wheels along with multiple pedal inputs.

Now let's talk about what comes in the box – apart from this amazing controller itself – a complete software production package! You'll get Pro Tools | First M-Audio Edition, MPC Beats, Ableton Live Lite plus several virtual instruments from AIR Music Tech & Akai Professional MPC Expansion packs.

Interested so far? Why not check out on the official page for more details or to order yours today? Remember – making great music requires great tools like the M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro. So why wait? Start creating masterpieces now!

My 1 Month Review Of The M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro

My 1 Month Review Of The M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro

Initial Impressions

From the moment I unboxed the M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro, I knew I was in for a treat. Straight out of the box, its sleek design and imposing presence stood out. It felt like a solid piece of equipment that could handle my rigorous playing habits. Its layout looked very intuitive and user-friendly, which piqued my interest.

Setting Up & Installation

Installation was a breeze. It plugged into my computer effortlessly and was up and running in no time. The provided software had a smooth installation process, with no issues to report.

Playing Experience & Performance

After using this for over a month now, I must say this keyboard is nothing short of impressive! The hammer-action keys feel incredibly authentic, almost like playing on an actual grand piano. They are fully-weighted and velocity-sensitive, responsive to the slightest touch or forceful strumming.

The range of controls is simply amazing – with the mod wheels, knobs and buttons all within easy reach during performances. My creativity soared as I experimented with different sound combinations via its built-in DAW presets.

But what truly sets this apart for me are the assignable pads that can trigger beats or clips during live performances – something not often found in other MIDI keyboards! They're sensitive but not overly so – just right for pounding out rhythms on-the-fly.

Durability & Build Quality

Concerning durability, it's obvious that M-Audio didn't cut any corners. After weeks of use (and somewhat abuse), everything still works as it should. The keys have maintained their sturdy feel without any noticeable wear or loss in responsiveness.
Additionally, its robust build quality has held up well against accidental bumps or falls.

– Compact but solid construction
– Durable materials
– Smooth-action keys

Software Integration & Ease-of-use

The integration with software has been flawless thus far – whether it's Ableton Live, Pro Tools or MPC Beats. And having direct control over my DAW from the keyboard itself? Pure convenience! Mapping controls couldn't be easier thanks to M-Audio's user-friendly interfaces.

I've found myself reaching less for my mouse while producing tracks; more time creating music and less time navigating tedious menus!

In conclusion…

All in all, I wholeheartedly recommend the M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro.
It combines functionality with an authentic piano-play experience like no other MIDI keyboard controller does at this price point.

Whether you're an aspiring producer looking for versatile gear or an experienced player demanding high-quality action from your keys – you won't be disappointed!

What You Need To Know About Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61

The Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61 is a smart keyboard controller that will really make your virtual instruments sing. This isn't just any keyboard; it has 61 semi-weighted keys and uses pro-grade Fatar keybeds with aftertouch. What does that mean? It means you'll have professional quality touch and feel when playing this instrument.

It also comes with ergonomic pitch and mod wheels, plus a special touch strip for added expression control. This makes it easier to get the sound you want, whether you're composing or performing.

This keyboard isn't picky; it can control KOMPLETE instruments as well as hundreds of other Native Kontrol Standard (NKS) instruments made by top manufacturers. It's all pre-mapped, which means less frustrating set-up time for you!

Have some other software in mind? No worries! The Komplete Kontrol S61 supports full VSTi and is compatible with macOS 10.12, 10.13, 10.14 (with latest update), Intel Core i5, and requires 4 GB RAM.

Don't just take my word for it – check out the official page to learn more about the amazing features packed into this versatile keyboard controller!

My 1 Month Review Of The Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61

My 1 Month Review Of The Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61

Initial Impressions

After a month of using my Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61, I can confidently say it's been an enjoyable journey. As an avid music producer, I was looking for a new MIDI keyboard that could elevate my production experience. The Komplete Kontrol S61 has not only met but surpassed my expectations.

The Feel and Build Quality

The first thing I noticed when I unboxed this beauty was its impressive build quality. The key-beds are semi-weighted, providing just the right amount of resistance which is perfect for expressive playing.
The keys are surprisingly sensitive and responsive, making it easy to lay down a variety of intricate dynamics. You can really jump between soft piano melodies or heavy pounding beats with no trouble.
What surprised me even more were the pitch and mod wheels which have a rubberized coating that offers an excellent grip (a small but very meaningful detail).

Functionality and Ease-of-Use

The Native Instruments software integration is what truly sets this unit apart.
Navigating through the numerous presets was a breeze using the browser knob. Trust me when I say, this saves so much time and keeps your work flow smooth.
The keyboard's LED light-guide is not just eye-candy – it does wonders in helping you quickly identify scales, chords, or arpeggios on the fly.

Sounds and Plugins

Where to start? The Komplete Kontrol S61 came with a plethora of sounds and plugins!
From vast pads to punchy drums, every aspect of electronic music production is covered here – there's something for all genres.

Mixing Experience

The experience while mixing has been phenomenal thanks to eight touch-sensitive knobs.
These offer DAW control over volume, pan, sends, etc., giving you almost tangible control over your mix – It’s like having your mixing console within your fingertips.

In Conclusion

This month with my Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61 has been enlightening.
From its superior build quality to its vast array of sounds,
from smooth software integration to quick navigation capabilities – it ticks all boxes for me!
Whether you're producing EDM or scoring films – this MIDI keyboard should undoubtedly be on your radar.<

Who The M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro Is For & Why You Might Choose It Over The Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61

Who The M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro Is For & Why You Might Choose It Over The Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61

The M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro is a top choice for musicians and producers who value a full-sized, 88-key keyboard with hammer-action keys. This is an excellent feature for those that want the feel of an authentic grand piano.

Its USB powered capability adds to its convenience and ease of use. The following features make the Hammer 88 Pro stand out:

• Smart Chord and Smart Scale technology: This technology lets you play chord progressions and melodies in any key with a single finger.

• Piano style weighted hammer & SP2: This elevates the realistic feel when playing the keyboard.

The Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61, on the other hand, suits those seeking superior integration with Native Instruments' Komplete plugins. Its Fatar keybed offers premium playing experience, but it only has 61 keys.

• Custom controls for Native Instruments' software suite.

While both are exceptional MIDI keyboards, your choice may be influenced by specific needs:

M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro: If you're after a more extensive range of keys, weighted action but don't need specific software integrations.

Komplete Kontrol S61:If integration with Native Instrument's software is critical to your workflow or you prefer the feel of high-quality Fatar keybeds.

Note there's a considerable price difference between these two. Whether the advantages offered by Kontrol S61 justify its higher price over cheaper alternatives like Hammer 88 Pro will depend on individual preference and budget constraints.

Who The Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61 Is For & Why You Might Choose It Over The M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro

Who The Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61 Is For & Why You Might Choose It Over The M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro

The Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61 may appeal particularly to producers and musicians who highly value the integration with Native Instruments' software suite.

If you're already using or planning to use these tools in your music production process, the custom controls designed specifically for this purpose make the S61 a compelling choice.

Here are some reasons why you might prefer the Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61 over M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro:

– The Fatar keybed in S61 provides a high-quality feel when playing, often preferred by experienced players.
– Its design is centered around deep integration with Native Instrument's software, which can streamline your workflow if you're a regular user of these tools.
– While it has fewer keys (61 against 88-key Hammer Pro), it's still plenty for most users – and can actually make the device more compact and easy to handle.

Nevertheless, it's important to consider that there may be a significant price difference between these two controllers.

While some users argue whether the added cost of Kontrol S61 or even its higher-end model, S88 justifies its advantages over cheaper alternatives like Hammer 88 Pro, it will ultimately depend on your specific needs and budget as a musician or producer.

Remember – what matters most is how well a controller fits into your personal workflow.

Should the products featured in this post, the M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro and Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61, not suit your needs, don't worry. I've got comparison write-ups on similar products that you might find more to your liking.

If you're considering alternatives to the M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro, check out my posts comparing it to the Arturia KeyStep Pro, the Nektar Impact LX88+, and even the Akai Fire.

Alternatively, if you're interested in a comparison of different brands entirely, I also have a post where I pit the Akai MPC Studio against the Arturia KeyLab 61 Mk2.

Explore these posts for more information to make an informed choice.


How does the Smart Chord and Smart Scale technology in M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro impact a musician's playing?

The Smart Chord and Smart Scale technology found in the M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro is designed to simplify chord progressions and melody playing. It allows musicians to play complex chord progressions or melodies in any key with just one finger. This encourages experimentation with different keys, scales, and chords which can result in more creative compositions.

What distinctive features of Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61 make it an ideal choice for users of Native Instruments' software suite?

The key feature that makes Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61 stand out among MIDI keyboards is its deep integration with Native Instruments' Komplete plugins. This controller has custom controls specifically designed for use with this software suite. If a user already uses or plans to use these tools in their music production process, the seamless connectivity between hardware and software provided by this keyboard controller will likely enhance their workflow.

What should a potential buyer consider when assessing the price difference between M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro and Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61?

When considering the price difference between these two MIDI keyboard controllers, potential buyers should weigh up whether the specific advantages of each model justify their costs. For instance, some might argue that if they don't require deep integration with Native Instrument's software, then they could save money by opting for cheaper alternatives like M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro. Others might feel that despite being more expensive, investing into models like Kontrol S61 or higher-end S88 offers better value due to its high-quality Fatar keybeds plus software compatibility advantage.

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

1. Identify the Type of MIDI Keyboard You Need

When it comes to buying a MIDI keyboard online, the first step is to determine the type of keyboard that best suits your needs. There are various types available, from professional keyboard controllers like the M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro, a fully-weighted studio keyboard perfect for professional music production, to smaller and more portable options, ideal for beginner musicians. Research thoroughly about the key features before making your selection.

2. Look For Weighted Keys

A significant aspect that impacts how your MIDI controller feels and plays is whether it has weighted keys. These resemble traditional acoustic pianos in terms of tactile feedback and sensitivity. Keyboards such as M-Audio Hammer 88 Pro come with fully weighted keys offering superior control and a realistic piano-performance feel- an essential feature for those transitioning from digital piano playing.

3. Think About Your DAW Integration Needs

DAW integration is essential when choosing a MIDI device because it allows easier control over your music production equipment directly through the device itself! The level of DAW integration offered by keyboards such as Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61 can streamline your workflow significantly by giving you hands-on access to transport controls, mixing tools, and virtual instruments right from your controller.

4. Check Virtual Instruments Compatibility

Imagine having a super-powerful studio keyboard that doesn't get along with any virtual instruments you use! It is crucial to ensure that whichever piece of gear you're looking at offers robust compatibility with most major plugin formats and virtual instruments. Again here, something like Komplete Kontrol S61 shines brightly considering its seamless integration with numerous plugins.

5. Budget Wisely

As an aspiring musician or producer shopping for new music production equipment online can be challenging due to pricing variations across brands and models. Costly doesn't always mean better performance. Consider options within your budget range without compromising on essential features like weighted keys or DAW integration capabilities.

6. Consider Size Specifications

Size does matter in case of studio keyboards – more so when they're meant for home studios or mobile rigs! It's important not just in terms of keys count but also physical size dimensions – whether it'll fit snugly into existing setup or require additional space configuration? Explore alternatives like compact yet powerhouse performing Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61; serenely balancing size dynamics alongside advanced features performing roles singularly suited for modern creative workflows.

7. Read User Reviews Online

Before adding any item to cart & hitting purchase button – invest time reading user reviews! Sure company product pages provide detailed specifications & sales pitches but real-world experiences shared by previous users often reveal honest insights into product performance usability matters – hidden glitches overlooked positives included! Having complete understanding ensures satisfaction once purchase done reduces chance regret later upon finding unforeseen deficiencies compromising musical pursuits.

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