Novation 61SL Mk3 vs Akai Fire: A Comprehensive Comparison of Features and Performance

You're ready to make a big purchase, but you're having trouble deciding between these two powerhouses, the Novation 61SL Mk3 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:

Novation 61SL Mk3


Akai Fire

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Key Differences Between The Novation 61SL Mk3 And The Akai Fire

Novation 61SL Mk3 vs Akai Fire

The main differences between Novation 61SL Mk3 and Akai Fire are quite evident when it comes to performance, control, compatibility, and price.

Novation 61SL Mk3, known for real time recording and note input per step, allows you to play and edit sequences from the keyboard directly.
It stands out with its unique capacity to record your movements as automation into the sequencer, which enhances overall control during music production.

Furthermore, the Novation model offers comprehensive features that can harness full power of any InControl- or HUI-compatible DAW using its pads, buttons, faders, and knobs. The device is conceived as an all-sequencing hub meant to connect all your music-making tools.

On the contrary, Akai Fire, promoted as a professional fire performance controller is specifically applauded for offering superior control for FL Studio users.
While specific details regarding its features are fewer in search results compared to Novation's model.

Both models offer versatility working with or without a computer connected. When it comes to drum pads size which might impact a user's workflow and requirements:

  • Both controllers have larger drum pads but preferences may vary among different users.

Price could make another crucial difference between these two models:

  • The Novation 61SL Mk3, according to available data on web search results tends to be more expensive than Akai Fire.

So if budget matters this difference could affect your choice between these two options.

In conclusion,

  • The Novation 61SL Mk3‘s stand out feature is its sequencing capabilities
  • Akai Fire, offers integration advantages with FL Studio
  • Budgetary considerations will also need to be factored in while making comparisons.

Each of these two MIDI controllers may be an excellent choice depending upon distinct user requirements related to sequencing capabilities or integration with DAWs like FL Studio.

SpecificationsNovation 61SL Mk3Akai Fire
Keys61 keysNo keys
Pads16 RGB backlit velocity sensitive pads64 RGB backlit velocity sensitive pads
SequencerInternal 8 track pattern based sequencerStep sequencer specifically designed for FL Studio
Knobs8 rotary knobs4 rotary knobs
Faders8 fadersNo faders
CompatibilityMac and WindowsFL Studio
ConnectivityUSB, MIDI In/Out/ThruUSB
PowerUSB bus poweredUSB bus powered

What You Need To Know About Novation 61SL Mk3

The Novation 61SL Mk3 is your ultimate music-making buddy. It's perfect if you want to bring your MIDI hardware and CV/Gate synths together – it's like a hub for all your gear. You won't have any trouble integrating this beauty with your Digital Audio Workstation (DAW). It's designed to work seamlessly, making music production easier and more fun.

This controller goes especially well with the Ableton Live music-making software. But don't worry if you use something else, it works with other popular DAWs too! With its internal 8-track pattern-based sequencer, you can create, edit and play sequences directly from the device.

It also has a routable clock that keeps everything in time across your setup. And the best part? Novation offers a 3-year warranty on the 61SL Mk3 and all their products!

Want to know more about what this amazing product can do? Check more details here.

My 1 Month Review Of The Novation 61SL Mk3

My 1 Month Review Of The Novation 61SL Mk3

Getting Started

First impressions certainly matter and with the Novation 61SL Mk3, they were fantastic. I was instantly taken aback by the sleek design and intuitive layout of the keys. It felt like a piece of equipment that had been designed with user experience in mind.

Unpacking it and setting it up for the first time was a breeze. The simplicity of simply plugging in a USB cable and launching my DAW was refreshing.

Quality & Design

I can’t stress enough on how impressive the overall quality of this MIDI keyboard is. The semi-weighted keys give it a professional feel that would be equally at home on stage or in a recording studio.

As far as design is concerned, its layout is compact yet fully functional, making it perfect for my small home setup. I found all essential controls within easy reach, which significantly improved my workflow over this past month.

In Use: Performance & Features

The keybed of the Novation 61SL Mk3 absolutely blew me away. The fine balance between weight and response made playing it an absolute joy. Whether I was working on intricate piano melodies or punchy synth lines, this keyboard delivered consistently top-notch performance.

I found myself particularly impressed with the integration into my DAWs (Ableton Live and Logic Pro X). The intuitive mapping to software instruments streamlined my creative process. I could dive right into tweaking parameters without having to waste time setting things up.

Sophisticated Control Capabilities

With eight rotary encoders and eight sliders on board, there was always plenty of hands-on control available. I’ll not forget to mention The LED feedback system, a lifesaver when working in low-light conditions or just wanting visual confirmation that your tweak has been registered correctly.

A Few Cons

Despite being overwhelmingly positive about this piece of kit, there have been a couple minor points which could be better:

– Firstly, The price tag might seem steep. But considering its capabilities – from seamless integration to high quality build – I see value for money here.
– Secondly – although this might not apply to everyone – because its features are so advanced, beginners may struggle at first understanding every functionality.

In Conclusion:
After one month with the Novation 61SL Mk III under my fingers, I must say that it’s lived up to its reviews and even exceeded some expectations! Its impressive feature set coupled with an equally impressive build quality make it worth every penny… As long as you're comfortable navigating through some complex features.

Would I recommend this? Absolutely! Especially if you're looking for deep DAW integration matched by high-quality performance in one MIDI controller!

What You Need To Know About Akai Fire

The Akai Fire is a cool tool that connects to your computer with a simple USB cord. It's made just for FL Studio, a program for making music. The Akai Fire lights up with 64 colorful pads that you can use to make sounds and patterns in the step sequencer. You can also use it as a keyboard controller to record notes or synth parts.

You know what else is neat? This gadget has something like the MPC style 16-pad layout for creating beats in drum mode – it's truly a beat-maker's dream! And there are four zones where you can assign touch-sensitive knobs and encoders to control your mixer or channel maps.

With the Akai Fire, moving around in FL Studio is easy peasy – you’ve got controls that let you go through the channel rack, browser, toolbar, and playlist windows. Plus, there’s even an OLED display so you can easily see and select audio files and projects!

And guess what? When you buy the Akai Fire, it also includes a special edition of FL Studio (called Fruity Fire Edition). This means lots of tracks, effects and virtual instruments at your fingertips! Plus full automation functionality- oh boy!

You gotta check this out at Official Akai page. Just remember though – this product comes from China. So keep that in mind if things like shipping times or country of manufacture are important to you!

My 1 Month Review Of The Akai Fire

My 1 Month Review Of The Akai Fire

Initial Impressions

Opening the Box:
There's something magical about getting a new piece of tech, especially when it's as sleek and sexy as the Akai Fire. As I lifted the lid, I was immediately taken in by its compact design and robust build.

First Use:
Once I got past my initial awe, it was time to put this baby to work. And let me tell you – this thing is a beast. It powers up quickly and is incredibly easy to use – even for someone who isn't a professional music producer.

Daily Use After A Month

I've been using the Akai Fire every day for a month now and it certainly doesn’t disappoint. It fits perfectly into my workflow and has enhanced my overall productivity exponentially.

Post one-month use, here are some key observations:

– The pads are responsive, smooth to touch, and very reliable.
– The in-built browser sucks you right into your work; less time spent looking at samples on your computer screen means more time making music.
– There's an abundance of shortcuts that will make any producer’s life easier.

Performance & Capabilities

The Beat Grid:
What sets Akai Fire apart, in my opinion, is its Next-Level Beat Grid. With four banks of 16 velocity-sensitive RGB pads right at your fingertips, there’s so much creative energy just waiting to be unleashed!

The Step Sequencer:
As for the Step Sequencer? Just wow! It adds another dimension altogether. Programming drum patterns has never been easier or faster.

The OLED Display:
The OLED display deserves mention too – not only does it look cool, but it also keeps things practical and simple.

Final Thoughts

After one month with the Akai Fire – would I recommend it? Absolutely! Whether you’re an FL Studio veteran or new to producing altogether, this gear will take your creativity to next levels.

Yes, there is a learning curve involved but nothing that can't be overcome with time. And trust me; once you get comfortable with how everything works… well… let's just say that amazing things start happening in your studio!

In conclusion: If you're serious about making music then seriously consider investing in the Akai Fire.+

Who The Novation 61SL Mk3 Is For & Why You Might Choose It Over The Akai Fire

Who The Novation 61SL Mk3 Is For & Why You Might Choose It Over The Akai Fire

Who is the Novation 61SL Mk3 For?
The Novation 61SL Mk3 is ideal for individuals seeking an all-in-one music production and sequencing hub. It's perfect for those looking to control their InControl- or HUI-compatible DAW fully and want to record, edit sequences, and integrate automation directly from the keyboard.

Might Choose Novation 61SL Mk3 Over Akai Fire Because…
You might select the Novation 61SL Mk3 over the Akai Fire due to its comprehensive sequencing capabilities. This keyboard stands out with its ability to facilitate real-time recording and note input per step, along with playing and editing sequences directly. Another standout feature is its ability to record movements as automation into your sequencer.

• Highly compatible with any InControl- or HUI-compatible DAW
• Facilitates real-time recording and note input per step
• Can play, edit sequence directly from the keyboard
• Able to record movements as automation into your sequencer

In contrast, if you are an FL Studio user looking for a professional fire performance controller, you may lean towards Akai Fire.

When it comes down to drum pad size preference, both controllers offer larger drum pads that can suit different music production workflows. Depending on your unique needs, one may be more suitable than the other.

Budget Considerations
Lastly, budget could also play a role in your decision-making process. The Novation 61SL Mk3 usually retails at a higher price than Akai Fire. Therefore if budget concerns are paramount, this information could influence your choice between these two models.

In essence, both options have unique strengths catered towards different user needs – whether it relates to sequencing abilities (where Novation has an edge), DAW integration (which seems stronger in Akai), or budget considerations.

Who The Akai Fire Is For & Why You Might Choose It Over The Novation 61SL Mk3

Who The Akai Fire Is For & Why You Might Choose It Over The Novation 61SL Mk3

The Akai Fire is a top-notch MIDI keyboard and controller, specifically tailored for FL Studio users. If you're someone who frequently uses FL Studio for your music production, this controller is likely to be more intuitive and efficient in navigating the software.

Unlike its counterpart, the Novation 61SL Mk3, Akai Fire offers excellent control specifically for FL Studio users. So if you're heavily invested in the FL Studio ecosystem and want a controller that integrates seamlessly with it, then the Akai Fire might be your best bet.

The size of drum pads can often be a personal preference. While both controllers offer larger pads, your choice might rely on your personal workflow and requirements.

• The Novation 61SL Mk3 has more features aimed at providing control over most InControl- or HUI-compatible DAWs.
• Meanwhile, details about specific features of Akai Fire are less available but it's known to offer excellent control specifically for FL Studio.

Finally, if you're working within a budget, Akai Fire tends to retail at a lower price range than the Novation 61SL Mk3. If cost-effectiveness is high on your list while still requiring decent functionalities from your MIDI controller or if you prioritize seamless integration with FL Studio over an array of sequencing capabilities offered by Novation 61SL Mk3 – then Akai could be an ideal choice.

Everyone's needs differ when it comes to music production tools. Recognizing what's most important to you – whether that's compatibility with specific DAWs like FL Studio or broad sequencing capabilities – will help guide your decision towards the right product.

As a devoted musician, I understand the importance of choosing the right music gear that matches your needs. If the Novation 61SL Mk3 and Akai Fire are not quite what you're looking for, I have other posts comparing similar products that may be of interest to you.

For instance, if you want to discover more about Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61's features compared to other midi keyboards like Arturia KeyStep Pro or Nektar Impact LX88+, check out my Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61 vs Arturia KeyStep Pro and Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61 vs Nektar Impact LX88+ reviews.

You might also find my comparison of Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61 vs Akai Fire helpful.

Additionally, I reviewed two popular selections in my post about Arturia KeyStep Pro vs Nektar Impact LX88+.

Remember, the perfect gear for your music journey is out there, and it's all about finding what fits you best.


What unique features does the Novation 61SL Mk3 offer for music production?

The Novation 61SL Mk3 has several standout features for music production. It offers u003cbu003ereal time recording and note input per stepu003c/bu003e, which allows artists to record and edit sequences directly from the keyboard itself. Additionally, the controller has a feature that records your movements as automation into the sequencer, giving an unprecedented level of control during music production process.

How is Akai Fire specifically beneficial for FL Studio users?

While detailed specifics aren't readily available in search results, it's known that Akai Fire provides excellent control capabilities specifically designed for u003cbu003eFL Studio usersu003c/bu003e. Its professional grade design and functionality make it a strong choice of MIDI controller for those who predominantly use this particular DAW.

How do these two models compare in terms of cost?

In terms of price range, there is a significant difference between these two models. The u003cbu003eNovation 61SL Mk3 generally retails at a higher priceu003c/bu003e than the Akai Fire based on available search results. Therefore if budget is a key consideration when choosing between these two models, then this factor could potentially sway you towards choosing the Akai option.

If I primarily work with an InControl- or HUI-compatible DAW, which model would be better suited to my needs?

For working with InControl- or HUI-compatible DAWs, the Novation 61SL MkIII seems to be more equipped due to its array of pads, buttons, faders and knobs which can harness full power of any such compatible DAW. This makes it an ideal choice if integration with these specific types of digital audio workstation is important in your workflow.

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

1. Identify Your Music Production Goals

The first step to buying a MIDI keyboard online is setting your music production goals. Are you looking to create intricate melodies or simple beats? Maybe you're more interested in drum programming and need additional drum pads, or you aspire to become an electronic music maestro with Ableton Live. Whatever your ambitions, it's crucial that the MIDI controller can handle them.

2. Choose the Right Controller for Your DAW Integration

The MIDI controller's DAW integration capability is also essential. Not all keyboards seamlessly integrate with all digital workstations. Software like Ableton Live and FL Studio have specific requirements, so make sure you choose a keyboard that's compatible with your software of choice.

3.Resources beyond Keyboard Keys: Performance Control Features

Don't limit yourself to controllers based only on their key features! Look for other performance control elements such as knobs, faders, buttons and pads—these additions offer more control over your music software and enhance creative flexibility during performances.

4.Physical Layout of Your Midi Keyboard

Consider what layout would be most conducive to your style of music production before making the purchase. Do you prefer a traditional piano-style arrangement, or are you looking for something more geared towards electronic composition? This could greatly influence which MIDI keyboard is best for you.

5.Consider Its Portability

A plus in the world of online purchasing is not having to worry about transport home! But don't let this make you forget about portability after purchase – especially if live performances are part of your plan! It's important to weigh up size against functionality; will a smaller setup suffice or do extensive functions require a larger keyboard?

6.Check Out User Reviews

This can be an invaluable tool when buying anything online – checking out user reviews! Other artists' experiences can help guide your purchase decision by providing insight into things like build quality, durability and functionality (including how well their new keyboard integrates into their existing setup).

7.Price Factor: Value vs Investment

Last but certainly not least…price! While everyone has an individual budget when starting out in music production – from hobbyists dabbling in sound creation at home to seasoned studio professionals – it’s worth viewing this as an investment rather than just another purchase.
The cost should reflect how often the device will be used (no point splashing out on high-end equipment if it’s going to gather dust), but equally remember that cheaper isn’t always better! Aim at striking that balance between affordability & value without compromising on quality too much – because ultimately this musical instrument will become an extension of yourself!
Remember these tips next time around when shopping for midi keyboards online!

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