Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61 vs Nektar Impact LX88+: An In-Depth Comparison and 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 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:

Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61


Nektar Impact LX88+

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Key Differences Between The Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61 And The Nektar Impact LX88+

Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61 vs Nektar Impact LX88+

The main differences between Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61 and Nektar Impact LX88+ are evident in their features, brand reputation, key quality, prices, and number of keys.

Komplete Kontrol S61, produced by the reputable Native Instruments, is known for its superior quality. It comes with 61 semi-weighted keys that provide a high-quality synth-action feel due to its Fatar key-bed.

Its ergonomic design also includes pitch and mod wheels plus a touch strip and it offers pre-configured mapping for all virtual instruments. However, the S61 is on the pricier side with a retail price around $599.

In contrast, Nektar Impact LX88+ is an 88-key USB-powered keyboard that also offers DAW control via nine sliders. Its keys are speed-sensitive but aren’t as refined as the S61's keys. This product provides excellent value with a significantly lower price at approximately $179.95.

Key differences can be summarized as follows:

  • Komplete Kontrol S61: Superior quality; 61 semi-weighted keys; ergonomic designs including pitch and mod wheels plus touch strip; versatile with pre-configured mapping for all virtual instruments; pricier ($599).
  • Nektar Impact LX88+: More affordable ($179.95); 88 speed-sensitive keys; extensive DAW control via nine sliders.

Ultimately, the choice between these two MIDI keyboards will depend largely on your specific needs and budget considerations.
If you prioritize premium key quality and have a larger budget, consider the Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61.
However if you're after affordability paired with functionality – particularly if requiring more keys – then Nektar Impact LX88+ may be your preferred choice.
When selecting between these options especially for beginners or those new to MIDI keyboards always refer back to requirements of functionality based on usage alongside budget constraints.

SpecificationsNative Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61Nektar Impact LX88+
Number of Keys6188
Type of KeysFatar keybed, semi-weightedSemi-weighted
PadsYes, 2 x 8Yes, 8
Other ControllersPitchbend, Mod WheelPitchbend, Mod Wheel
SoftwareKomplete Select, Maschine EssentialsNektar DAW Integration
USB1 x Type B1 x Type B
Pedal Inputs21
Power Supply9V DC power supply (included)USB bus power

What You Need To Know About Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61

Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61 vs Nektar Impact LX88+

The Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61 is a smart keyboard controller that's perfect for controlling all your virtual instruments. It's got 61 semi-weighted keys made by Fatar, one of the best in the business. They're professional-grade and include aftertouch, meaning they respond to pressure after the initial key press for more expressive playing.

This controller is also packed with ways to shape your sound. It has pitch and mod wheels right where you need them, plus a touch strip that lets you add extra expression to your performance.

One of the coolest things about this keyboard is how it works with software. It's pre-mapped to control KOMPLETE instruments from Native Instruments and plenty of others that use the Native Kontrol Standard (NKS). This means you can pretty much plug-and-play with tons of instruments from different manufacturers.

The Komplete Kontrol S61 also has full support for VSTi plugins, opening up a world of sounds for you to explore. To run this baby smoothly, you'll need macOS 10.12 or later with the latest update, an Intel Core i5 processor, and at least 4 GB RAM.

Interested in learning more? Head on over to its official page on Native Instruments' website!

Remember folks – great music starts with great gear like the Komplete Kontrol S61!

My 1 Month Review Of The Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61

My Journey with the Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61

A month in, and I'm still just as excited about the Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61 as I was on day one.
The first thing that strikes me when I sit down to play is how natural the keys feel. They have a semi-weighted action that gives them an authentic piano-like touch. Not too heavy, not too light, they're just right!

The Feel of the Keys

I have explored quite a few midi keyboards in my time, but I find that this one stands out because of its expressive controls. The pitch and modulation wheels respond smoothly to my touch, allowing me to manipulate sound seamlessly while keeping up with the flow of my creativity.

The Light Guide Feature

Now let's talk about the Light Guide feature. To say it’s useful would be an understatement! It's like having your very own tutor sitting next to you guiding your every move – it’s been invaluable for identifying chords and scales.

Navigating The Interface

Switching between presets and tweaking parameters is made easy by this keyboard's intuitive layout. The screens are crisp, displaying all relevant information while keeping my workflow streamlined. Navigating through software has never been so simple thanks to this.

Moreover, its integration with popular DAWs works like a charm too! For anyone working with Ableton or Logic Pro X like me, you’re going to love how well these play together – it's quite literally plug-and-play.

Semi-Weighted Keys & Features

One downside? The keys are semi-weighted – great for some styles of music but maybe not all will find them suited for their needs. There truly isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ in music production gear so bear that in mind.

Also, be ready for a bit of learning curve if you’re new to MIDI controllers or don’t have much experience with software synthesizers – there’s quite a lot onboard here which could be overwhelming at first glance.

In conclusion-, after a month of tinkering away on this gem of an instrument I've found it invaluable for producing music at home or when inspiration strikes on-the-go while traveling.

I cannot stress enough how user-friendly it is considering its extensive features; mixing tracks feels intuitive rather than burdensome thanks to crystal clear navigation screens and controls.

I'd highly recommend the Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61 – yes it has its quirks (like anything), but overall? It has been worth every penny.

What You Need To Know About Nektar Impact LX88+

Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61 vs Nektar Impact LX88+

The Nektar Impact LX88+ is a top-notch MIDI controller keyboard. It's perfect if you're a performer or producer needing hands-on control over your music. Imagine playing on 88 semi-weighted full-size keys that respond to how hard you press them – it feels like playing a real piano! Plus, there are 8 light-up drum pads that are super sensitive to touch, perfect for creating beats.

This keyboard also has 9 faders, 8 knobs, and 6 transport buttons. These controls make adjusting volumes and effects very easy. You'll also find pitch bend and modulation buttons to add character to your sounds. Want higher or lower notes? No worries! The octave and transpose buttons got you covered. And the best part is there's even a socket for attaching a sustain pedal.

What makes the LX88+ really stand out is its ability to seamlessly integrate with most popular music-making software (DAWs). Whether in Mixer mode or Instrument mode, creating your masterpieces becomes much smoother when everything works together seamlessly.

Are you worried about compatibility? The Nektar Impact LX88+ works like a charm whether you're using a Mac, PC or iOS device! Now we're talking about true flexibility!

But wait – there's more! When you buy this keyboard, it comes with Bigwig Studio 8-track DAW + sound content package. This means you can start making amazing music straight from the box!

To sum it up – this isn't just any MIDI controller keyboard; it’s one packed with great features designed to suit your creative needs perfectly.

For more info on this power-packed beauty of an instrument, just head over here: Nektar Impact LX88+

My 1 Month Review Of The Nektar Impact LX88+


After a month of use, I'm here to give my honest thoughts on the Nektar Impact LX88+. In short, this midi controller has really impressed me, a seasoned musician who's been around the block with various pieces of musical gear.

Keyboard Action

Despite initial skepticism about switching from a weighted to a semi-weighted keyboard action, I've been won over by the response and feel of this semi-weighted keyboard.

Yes, it took some getting used to. By week two though? This transition was smooth sailing.
And let's not forget about those velocity-sensitive keys – they've brought an unprecedented level of control and expressivity to my performances.

Pitch Bend & Modulation Wheels

Coming up next are the pitch bend and modulation wheels. Honestly, at first, I didn't think I'd be using these features much. Boy, was I wrong! They've spurred on bursts of creativity that I didn't know were possible.

The sensation when using these wheels is impeccable due to their well-built mechanism. Smooth transitions in sound? Check!

Faders & Pads

The eight faders have become an essential part of my workflow – truly versatile and responsive tools for live adjustments or studio mixing.

Eight drum pads are also included with this controller. While they're not mind-blowing by any means (they could be more sensitive), they do their job and offer additional functionality.

The Software Integration

Straight out of the box, it’s compatible with all major DAWs – just plug it in and play.
I use Logic Pro X for productions and while some MIDI controllers have given me headaches trying to map instruments or controls correctly – Not here! The Nektar DAW integration software has made everything so straightforward which is absolutely brilliant.

In Conclusion…

To summarise my month-long experience with the Nektar Impact LX88+:

– It's got great key action
– The pitch bend/modulation wheels enhance expressivity
– Faders are practical for live adjustments
– Drum pads could do better but still useful
– Excellent software integration

All in all? My verdict is that it's an incredibly solid MIDI controller at an affordable price point. The Nektar Impact LX88+ now forms an essential part of both my creative process and live setup.
For anyone seeking expressive control over your music without breaking the bank – definitely consider adding this bad boy into your arsenal!

Who The Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61 Is For & Why You Might Choose It Over The Nektar Impact LX88+

Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61 vs Nektar Impact LX88+

Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61: Who's it for?
The Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61 is ideally suited for professional musicians, seasoned DJs, and music producers seeking top-notch quality. The reasons include:

  • The brand reputation of Native Instruments which is synonymous with superior quality.
  • The 61 semi-weighted keys provide an exceptional feel, making it a treat for proficient pianists.
  • The intuitive user interface facilitated by the ergonomic pitch and mod wheels along with a touch strip.
  • The highly lauded Fatar key-bed that offers a high-quality synth-action feel.

Why choose Komplete Kontrol S61 over Nektar Impact LX88+?

One might prefer to invest in the Komplete Kontrol S61 over the Nektar Impact LX88+ due to:

  • Quality of keys: The semi-weighted keys of the S61 are of higher quality than the speed-sensitive keys offered by LX88+.
  • Versatility: Pre-configured mapping for all virtual instruments makes it more adaptable and versatile compared to its counterpart.
  • Premium Feel: The Fatar key-bed provides a premium synth-action feel which isn't as prominent in the LX88+.

However, there's a notable price difference between these two models. With a retail price around $599, the Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61 is on the higher side compared to Nektar Impact LX88+ priced at approximately $179.95.

Ultimately, this decision depends on individual needs and budget considerations. For those prioritizing top-grade quality and exquisite keyboard experience regardless of price point, choosing Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61 would be compelling. On contrary, if one requires an affordable but functional alternative offering good value for money then Nektar Impact LX88+ could be their ideal choice.

Who The Nektar Impact LX88+ Is For & Why You Might Choose It Over The Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61

Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61 vs Nektar Impact LX88+

The Nektar Impact LX88+ is ideally suited for intermediate to advanced level musicians who are on a budget but still want a fully functional MIDI keyboard controller.
Here are some reasons why someone might prefer it over the Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61:

88 Keys: If you aspire to play complex compositions which require more than 61 keys, then the Nektar Impact LX88+ with its 88 keys is an ideal choice.

Affordability: Priced at around $179.95, the Nektar Impact LX88+ offers great value and is significantly cheaper than the Komplete Kontrol S61.

Detailed Control: With nine sliders for extensive DAW control, this keyboard provides a high level of customization.

On the other hand, there might be reasons why someone would prefer spending more on The Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61:

Fatar Key-bed: For those prioritizing touch and feel of the keys, this keyboard's Fatar key-bed might justify its higher price tag of about $599.

Ergonomic Design: Its ergonomically designed pitch and mod wheels plus touch strip facilitate an intuitive user-interface.

Semi-weighted Keys: If semi-weighted keys are a preference, then The Komplete Kontrol S61 has that edge over the Nektar Impact LX88+.

In conclusion: The choice between these MIDI keyboards ultimately depends on personal needs and budget constraints – whether it's the affordability and additional keys of Nektar Impact LX88+, or the premium touch-feel experience and ergonomic design of Komplete Kontrol S61.

If the Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61 and Nektar Impact LX88+ comparison in this post didn't quite hit the mark for your needs, do not fret. I have a series of other posts where I delve into comparisons between similar products that may pique your interest.

For instance, you can check out my comparative analysis on the Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61 vs Akai Fire.

If you are more inclined towards Arturia and Nektar brands then my Arturia KeyStep Pro vs Nektar Impact LX88+ post could prove beneficial.

Alternatively, a comparison between Arturia KeyStep Pro vs Akai Fire and Nektar Impact LX88+ vs Akai Fire might offer useful insights for your decision-making process.


What makes the Fatar key-bed on the Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61 stand out?

The Fatar key-bed used in the Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61 is a highly regarded feature. It provides a u003cbu003esynth-action feelu003c/bu003e that is praised for its quality and responsiveness. This Italian-made keyboard technology brings an unparalleled touch sensitivity to virtual instruments, offering musicians an immersive, realistic playing experience.

How do the speed-sensitive keys on the Nektar Impact LX88+ compare to those of higher-priced MIDI keyboards?

While still functional, it's noted that the speed-sensitive keys on the Nektar Impact LX88+ are considered just okay when compared to those of more expensive models like NI Komplete Kontrol S61. However, they still offer u003cbu003esufficient responsivenessu003c/bu003e for average users and beginners in music production.

In terms of DAW control options provided by each keyboard model, which offers more versatility?

Both keyboards offer comprehensive DAW control options. The Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61 comes with u003cbu003epre-configured mapping for all virtual instrumentsu003c/bu003e, making it quite versatile across different software platforms. On the other hand, Nektar Impact LX88+ provides extensive DAW control via nine sliders – this gives users granular control over their audio tracks when producing music.

In what contexts would someone prefer using NI Komplete Kontrol S88 MkII over Nektar Panorama P6 despite their price difference?

The preference between these two largely depends on individual needs and budget considerations. The NI Komplete Kontrol S88 MkII is seen as superior due to its higher-quality keys and integrated features but commands a heftier price tag compared to the Nektar Panorama P6. However, if budget considerations are not overly restrictive and quality is paramount or one seeks advanced features like u003cbu003eFatar Key-bedu003c/bu003e, then opting for NI Komplete Kontrol could be justifiable despite being pricier.

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

1. Determine Your Needs

The first step in buying a MIDI keyboard online is determining your needs. Are you an aspiring music producer? A composer? Or perhaps a live performer? Considering what you'll be using the MIDI controller for will help guide your decision-making process. If you're into music production, models such as the Komplete Kontrol or the Nektar Impact LX88+ are excellent choices due to their deep DAW integration and wide range of performance control options.

2. Check Keyboard Size and Key-count

It's also important to consider how many keys you'd like on your MIDI controller. Smaller, more portable models often come with 25 keys, which can be enough for basic melody creation or triggering virtual synths and drum machines. However, if you plan to play more intricate parts or want a piano-like experience, look into larger options that mimic a full-sized piano keyboard with 88 keys.

3. Consider DAW Compatibility

DAW integration is another crucial factor when choosing a MIDI keyboard online. The capacity of your chosen device to interact seamlessly with your preferred Digital Audio Workspace (DAW) can make all the difference in terms of functionality and ease-of-use.

4. Prioritize Performance Control Options

In this digitized realm of music production, versatility is key – pun intended! A good MIDI controller should provide extensive control over software instruments within your DAW beyond just playing notes on a keyboard. For example, knobs for tweaking synth parameters or faders for adjusting volume levels add depth to performance control.

5. Look Out For Software Inclusion

Some MIDI controllers come bundled with beneficial software instruments and tools – anything from virtual synths to effects processors and drum machines – which could save money in the long run if these align with what you need.

6.Assess Audio Interface Compatibility

MIDI keyboards have evolved beyond simple note triggers; they now offer sophisticated audio interface compatibility.
Before making that final purchase decision, ensure that any prospective model integrates smoothly with your current audio setup – whether it's an existing sound card interface in your home studio or audio software on your laptop.

7.Check Customer Reviews and Ratings

Lastly but not leastly, pay close attention to customer reviews and ratings when buying online! These testimonials will give invaluable insights about issues such as build quality, key response times etc., providing valuable information about real-world usage that product descriptions might omit.

Remember: every musician's needs are unique so spend time doing thorough research before making a purchase decision for best results!

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