Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61 vs Arturia KeyStep Pro: A Comprehensive Comparison Review

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

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:

Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61


Arturia KeyStep Pro

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Key Differences Between The Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61 And The Arturia KeyStep Pro

Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61 vs Arturia KeyStep Pro

The main differences between Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61 and Arturia KeyStep Pro are primarily evident in their features, functionality, and design.

One of the key differences lies in the keys themselves. The Komplete Kontrol S61 is equipped with 61 semi-weighted Fatar keys with aftertouch, praised for an excellent feel and response. In contrast, the Arturia KeyStep Pro features 37 velocity-sensitive mini-keys, also providing aftertouch.

The two models also differ significantly in terms of additional control elements. The Komplete Kontrol S61 has a streamlined design and does not include any faders or pads. The Arturia KeyStep Pro, however, offers more control options with its additional sliders and knobs which provide greater flexibility when mapping plugins.

Two distinct features stand out for the Arturia KeyStep Pro: a built-in sequencer and arpeggiator, making it highly suitable for synth users. Furthermore, it includes CV/Gate outputs that render it compatible not just with digital setups but also analog synths, effectively linking these two domains.

In terms of software integration, Native Instruments' device integrates seamlessly with its proprietary Komplete Kontrol software , offering users a streamlined workflow experience. On the other hand, no specific mention is made about Arturia's software compatibility in this context.

Notable extra features provided by the KeyStep include step sequencing capabilities and various interconnectivity options like CV out; these might not be available on the NI’s S61 model.

As per cost comparison, both fall into higher price brackets indicating they're high-quality instruments designed to cater to your studio setup regardless if you are a beginner or professional musician.

It's important to note that individual requirements can vary widely depending on usage scenarios (music production/studio work/live performance etc.), personal preferences (key action/type of control elements etc.) or even hardware/software ecosystems one is already invested in (Arturia/NI). Therefore your individual needs should guide your final decision.

SpecificationsNative Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61Arturia KeyStep Pro
TypeMIDI Keyboard ControllerMIDI Keyboard Controller
Number of Keys6137
Key TypeSemi-weightedSlim key
USB PoweredYesYes
Bundled SoftwareKomplete Kontrol, Maschine Essentials, Ableton Live 10 Lite, Monark, etc.Ableton Live Lite
Hardware Requirements – MacIntel Core i5 or higher, 6GB RAM or more recommended1.6GHz processor or faster, 2GB RAM or more recommended
Hardware Requirements – PCIntel Core i5 or higher, 6GB RAM or more recommended1.6GHz processor or faster, 2GB RAM or more recommended
Dimensions39.6″ x 11.6″ x 3.4″23.2″ x 8.2″ x 1.5″
Weight14.4 lbs5.9 lbs

What You Need To Know About Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61

Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61 vs Arturia KeyStep Pro

The Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61 is a smart keyboard made for managing all your virtual instruments. It has pro-grade Fatar keybeds with aftertouch and includes 61 semi-weighted keys. Designed for excellent performance, these keys give you the feel of playing on a real piano.

On this keyboard, there are also ergonomic pitch and mod wheels which makes it easy to change the sound as you play. Plus, there's a touch strip you can use for more control over your expression as you play.

One of the best features? This keyboard is pre-mapped to control KOMPLETE instruments. That means that loads of instruments from top manufacturers using the Native Kontrol Standard (NKS) are ready to go from the moment you connect it!

For those who use different sound systems, this keyboard has full VSTi support. Plus, it's compatible with macOS 10.12, 10.13, and 10.14 (latest update). However, please note that it will do its best work with an Intel Core i5 and at least 4 GB RAM.

Whether you're a professional music producer or a passionate hobbyist, this could be the perfect tool to create great tunes right from your home studio! To learn more about it or buy one yourself, visit the official page.

My 1 Month Review Of The Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61

Unboxing Experience

When my Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61 finally arrived, the unboxing itself was quite an experience. The packaging was sleek and well designed, presenting the product in a way that gave off a high-quality vibe right off the bat. I could tell that this wasn't just another piece of tech gear; this was something special.

Aesthetics and Build Quality

Out of the box, the S61 looked impressive with its seamless integration of keys, buttons, knobs and screens. But it wasn’t just about good looks; what impressed me more was its build quality. This keyboard controller is rock solid – no wobbly parts or flimsy buttons here! It feels like a high-end instrument that can withstand even the most intense studio sessions.

The touch-sensitive knobs are particularly worth mentioning – they have a smooth action to them that makes them feel ultra tactile and responsive. The whole interface is intuitive and easy to use which really helps keep your creativity flowing.

Playing Experience

Now onto what got me excited most – playing on this beast! After using it for a month now, I can confidently say that I’m in love with how it feels to play on these keys.

The Fatar keybed, with its semi-weighted keys offers an excellent balance between resistance and speed – great for both piano aficionados as well as synth enthusiasts like myself. The aftertouch provides additional expressiveness to your playing which makes you feel even more connected to your music!

• Extremely responsive Fatar keybed
• Impressive aftertouch sensitivity

Software Integration

If there's anything where Native Instruments hit it out of park with S61—it’s software integration! With Komplete Kontrol software included, accessing my sounds became incredibly easy.

I found myself scrolling through thousands of presets across hundreds of instruments from my Komplete collection faster than ever before – all thanks to the sleek dual displays on board.

The Light Guide, featuring different colors for different types of notes (scales/modes), takes sound designing capabilities up several notches! It's ingenious; helping me pick out harmonically interesting notes within my chosen scale without getting lost in theory!

Overall, after a month-long rendezvous with Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61 keyboard controller – I'm smitten by its build quality, intuitive interface and extensive software integration capability. It's elevated not only my workflow but also enriched my music production skills immensely.

I'd recommend it in heartbeat to anyone wanting to step up their music production game!

What You Need To Know About Arturia KeyStep Pro

Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61 vs Arturia KeyStep Pro

The Arturia KeyStep Pro is a powerful mix of a MIDI keyboard, sequencer, and arpeggiator. It packs many features to boost your music creativity. With its comfortable velocity-sensitive slimkeys and hands-on controls, you'll have full authority over your performance.

Creating complete songs is simple with KeyStep Pro's diverse offerings. It has Chord Mode, Quick Edit, Time Shift and Touch Strip Looper features which are perfect for making intricate tunes quickly. You can create complex melodies or store entire live performances using its 16-pattern chaining, Scenes mode and more.

If you have different music devices like Eurorack modules, analog synths or VST instruments, the KeyStep Pro links them all together. It does this through its impressive connectivity options such as 4 CV, Gate and Mod outputs; 8 drum Gate outputs; Clocks; MIDI in/out; solo metronome output; sustain pedal input; and USB for easy DAW/softsynth control.

Recording ideas is easy with the intelligent sequencing and customization arpeggiation options in the KeyStep Pro. Whether it's detailed step sequencing or Chord mode to automation – every note counts!

The device also works as a mastermind in beat-making. Build hard-hitting beats quickly using Track 1's dedicated polyrhythmic drum sequencer with individual Gate outputs.

Take your musical performance to another level by exploring more about the Arturia KeyStep Pro.

My 1 Month Review Of The Arturia KeyStep Pro

Initial Impressions

When I first got my hands on the Arturia KeyStep Pro, I was over the moon. It felt like a proper upgrade from my previous setup. The build quality of this machine is simply top-notch.

Ease of Use

One thing that struck me, right out of the box, was how user-friendly this tool is. They say you don't need to be a pro to use the KeyStep Pro and it's absolutely true! After a month with this kit, I've found it easy to navigate and comprehend.

• The manual is well-written and intuitive.
• The interface is clear, with no obscure menu diving.
• It provides great connectivity options – USB, MIDI, CV/Gate – making it super versatile.

Features and Functionality

The features are just astounding! I mean, having four independent polyphonic sequencer channels in one compact instrument? That's impressive.

Here are some of my favourite points so far:

• The pads are velocity-sensitive.
• The unit offers lots of control for fine-tuning your sequences.
• In-built metronome function comes in handy when jamming out ideas.

Tone Quality & Versatility

What really blew me away about Arturia's KeyStep Pro was its immaculate tone quality. Whether I'm working on an intricate synth sequence or laying down some beats straight into DAW via USB connection—the results always sound clean and professional.
I am truly impressed by its versatility. From making ambient drones to pumping techno sequences—it has become an integral part of my workflow.

Lasting Impressions

After a month with this kit, I can confidently say that it's one of the best investments I've made recently for my music creation process.
It’s not an overstatement when Arturia says their KeyStep Pro could potentially replace most other hardware pieces in your studio.
My studio has definitely seen much lesser clutter since this purchase!

Do note however it does come with certain quirks like being initially tricky to integrate with other equipment but once that’s sorted—It’s smooth sailing!

Overall, if you're someone who loves creating music and value flexibility & quality—the Arturia KeyStep Pro should definitely be on your radar.

Who The Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61 Is For & Why You Might Choose It Over The Arturia KeyStep Pro

Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61 vs Arturia KeyStep Pro

The Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61 is a prime choice for musicians and producers who take keyboard quality and software integration seriously. Here's why:

– Its 61 semi-weighted Fatar keys with aftertouch are praised for their excellent feel and response, making this MIDI keyboard a delight to play.

– The seamless integration with Native Instruments' Komplete Kontrol software makes it ideal for users seeking a streamlined workflow, especially those already familiar with the NI ecosystem.

However, it's noteworthy that the S61 does not come with faders or pads.

The Arturia KeyStep Pro, on the other hand, may be more appealing to:

– Producers who require a versatile MIDI controller packed with features such as a sequencer and arpeggiator.

– Synth users due to its CV/Gate outputs compatibility. It bridges the gap between digital setups and analog synths.

It's important to note that both keyboards fall into upper price ranges, indicative of their high-quality design tailored for enhancing studio setups. But remember:

  • The right choice depends on your specific needs.
  • The type of music production work you do matters – studio work versus live performance.
  • Your personal preferences like key action or control elements play an essential role.
  • Your investment in hardware/software ecosystems (Arturia/NI) also matters.

All these factors should guide your decision when choosing between Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61 and Arturia KeyStep Pro. After all, the best MIDI keyboard is one that gives you full control and fits perfectly into your music-making process.

Who The Arturia KeyStep Pro Is For & Why You Might Choose It Over The Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61

Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61 vs Arturia KeyStep Pro

Arturia KeyStep Pro: Who's it for?
The Arturia KeyStep Pro serves as a versatile MIDI controller, making it an excellent choice for those who want a variety of tools at their fingertips. This includes synth users seeking a robust on-board sequencer and arpeggiator, which the Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61 lacks.

The KeyStep Pro also appeals to studio musicians who use both digital and analog synths due to its CV/Gate outputs. This feature enables the KeyStep Pro to integrate with analog gear, thus bridging the gap between digital and analog setups.

If sliders and knobs are an important aspect of your workflow, then you'll appreciate how these additional controls on the KeyStep Pro give you more control over plugin mapping. On top of that, it offers features like step sequencing and expanded interconnectivity options like CV out.

Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61: Why choose Arturia instead?
While the Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61 offers 61 semi-weighted Fatar keys acclaimed for their touch response, some users may find Arturia's 37 velocity-sensitive mini-keys sufficient. Depending on your needs, you might not require as many keys as provided by NI's model.

Furthermore, if having faders or pads is crucial for your setup, then note that the Komplete Kontrol S61 does not have these features. In contrast, Arturia's keyboard offers more hands-on control elements.

Key reasons someone might choose Artura over NI:
+ Packed with unique features like sequencer and arpeggiator
+ Offers CV/Gate outputs for compatibility with both digital setups and analog synths
+ Provides sliders and more knobs than NI model
+ Additional step sequencing functionality

Remember though: A final purchasing decision should consider individual needs such as usage scenarios (music production/studio work/live performances etc.), personal preference (key action/type of controllers etc.) or existing hardware/software investments (Arturia/NI).

If you find that the Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61 or the Arturia KeyStep Pro didn't quite hit the mark for your music production needs, I've written several other posts comparing similar products. You might find these more suitable for your unique musical requirements.

Take a look at how the Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61 stacks up against the Nektar Impact LX88+.

Alternatively, you could consider my comparison of the Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61 and Akai Fire.

If you're leaning more towards Arturia, then check out my post on the Arturia KeyStep Pro vs Nektar Impact LX88+ or how the Arturia KeyStep Pro fares against Akai Fire.

Each comparison offers in-depth insights to help guide your purchase decision.


How does the integration of Native Instruments' Komplete Kontrol software with Komplete Kontrol S61 enhance its functionality?

The integration of the Komplete Kontrol software with the Komplete Kontrol S61 MIDI keyboard allows users to browse and load sounds directly from the keyboard itself. This offers a streamlined workflow, enabling quick and easy access to a vast library of presets, loops, and samples. Furthermore, this deep integration also allows for meticulous control over Native Instruments' own software instruments.

What makes Arturia KeyStep Pro an ideal choice for synth users apart from its sequencer and arpeggiator features?

In addition to its sequencer and arpeggiator features, the Arturia KeyStep Pro‘s CV/Gate outputs make it compatible not only with digital setups but also analog synths. The extensive connectivity options that include CV/GATE outputs allow it to interface with modular gear seamlessly. This unique feature bridges both digital and analog worlds making it ideal for synth users who operate in both realms.

In what way does Arturia's keys lack when compared to NI's Fatar keys on Komplete Kontrol S61?

While some users might find that Arturia's mini-keys don't have as much travel or they might lack resiliency compared to NI’s semi-weighted Fatar keys on their Komplete Kontrol S61. The Fatar keybed is well-regarded among professionals due to their excellent feel of weightiness providing more expressiveness while playing than standard synth-action keys.

If I'm looking for additional sliders and knobs which MIDI controller out of these two should I consider?

If you're in need of additional sliders or knobs while mapping plugins or tweaking synthesized sounds in real-time, then you should consider opting for the Arturia KeyStep Pro.. It provides additional control elements including sliders along with an array of rotary knobs which are absent on Native Instrument’s Komplete Kontrol S61 model.

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

1. Understanding Your Needs

Before diving headfirst into the vast ocean of online MIDI keyboards, it's crucial to understand your individual needs. Are you a professional music producer or just a hobbyist? Your requirements will differ significantly based on your level of expertise. Consider whether you need a compact MIDI controller for on-the-go music production or are looking for something more robust like the Arturia KeyStep Pro, an excellent choice for professionals with its layers of performance control and superb DAW integration.

2. Choosing the Right Brand

The brand represents more than just a name; it's a marker of quality, reliability, and customer service support. Brands like Native Instruments create top-tier equipment favored by industry experts worldwide. A model such as the Komplete Kontrol S61, with its exceptional features, might be worth considering if your budget allows.

3. Checking Keyboard Controller Functionality

A significant factor when buying a MIDI keyboard online is scrutinizing its primary function as a keyboard controller. Key features should include responsive keys that allow expressive playing and easy access to important controls without having to constantly reach for the mouse.

4. Evaluating DAW Integration Capabilities

In today's modern age of digital music production, seamless DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) integration is paramount when choosing an online MIDI keyboard. A good controller should offer direct tactile command over your software synths, samples, and effects plugins with minimum fuss.

5.Combining Traditional and Modern: The Hybrid Synth Feature

While complete digital domination is advantageous in many ways, there's something incredibly satisfying about physical knobs and sliders when crafting sounds in your home studio or on stage performances. Therefore, consider how the device handles “hybrid synth”–a setup combining traditional analogue-style control surfaces alongside potent digital capability–which could be very beneficial to aspiring noise-makers.

6.Performance Control Quality

When buying an online MIDI keyboard controller you need one that won’t impede but rather enhance creativity during live performances by providing excellent performance controls< mark>. Whether using pitch bend/modulation wheels or triggering pads – these elements can play pivotal roles in transforming sonic ideas into reality.

7.< h2>Analyzing Device Connectivity Options

A great MIDI controller should provide extensive connectivity options- USB ports are standard nowadays but other connection points like traditional MIDI out/in jacks & CV/Gate outputs (for integrating older/analogue gear) can open up whole new avenues in your audio adventure.

Remember though each feature has its unique value & relevance so make sure do thorough research before purchasing – happy hunting!


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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