Mpk261 controller comparison


The MPK261 has to be the absolute best controller on the planet.


Actually…the best controller on the planet is…a wife. :grin:


That was awesome! During our last practice our bass player asked if we knew what the smallest measurement of time was. I exclaimed "the time it takes for my wife to get angry.


LMAO!! I have been pleasantly single for 12 yrs, but I remember. I just have to fight off all the ladies now by myself. It takes a lot of effort, but it has to be done. (Sigh). :rofl:


So, just to be really boring and return to the OP :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:, why do you like the Mpk261 more than the Arturia? Sooner rather later I’m gonna have to replace my trusty Novation SL II. (I hate the new Novation III–bunch of crummy sequencer trash built in to raise the price.) I don’t care about sw or give aways. Arturia has 9 faders, works with Windows class-compliant driver, and has Fatar keybed. They both look to be about the same street price.


Well you got me on that one. The 9th fader is critical. What I am afraid of is Arturia’s miserable record of lack of mapping customization. If that last fader labeled Master can actually be ignored and mapped as a drawbar, then it wins. The MPK261 says “Yes” to almost every customization you want. Arturia sometimes gives back a, “yeah, well, kinda, I can do that.” Maybe its different now. If so, that tops the MPK and I am going to sell one of my children and get it. Pads on MPK261 can be anything from program change to note to cc momentary, toggle whatever you want etc. The mistake Arturia makes is the assumption that you are only going use it with their software. The discouraging thing I see on the video is the labeling of the faders (God help us if they are doing the same stupid thing again)


Yup. It’s universal. One of my kids have to go. Arturia wins.


No, looks like the kids are safe. One thing I love about my MPK is that there is no question that it is solid and rugged. I had to fix the Mod wheel, but that was no biggy. However, the Arturia keybed sounds like a budget make. Like a Ford, it is feature rich but doesn’t go the miles. I am an active keyboardist and can’t afford keys dropping out. I want to trust this, but I need to know it’s going to work 100%. Can’t be fiddling around with returns, replacements, RMA’s. If a year from now it appears that they fixed the keybed quality issue, the kids are back on the hot seat.


In the “you probably know this, but…” category, there is a cheap version of the Arturia (Essential) and a high-end version. The high-end version is advertised as having a Fatar keybed. I would think that could take whatever excitable boy pounding we could dish out.

As far as mapping, I’ve been assuming Cantabile can “fix” any lame thing they throw out there. Maybe I’m wrong?


I own an Arturia keylab mkii 61 and I can say that mapping is very easy and flexible.

The keyboard comes with standard mappings for Arturia’s own Analog Lab as well as for Studio One, Cubase and some other DAWs, plus you can make your own keyboard maps, which I did for Cantabile.


So I read through the Arturia manual. I know, you’re not supposed to RTFM until all else fails, but…

There are a few non-assignable buttons like octave,MIDI channel, etc. But, the faders (all 9) are configurable, even with drawbar mode (DRAWBAR MODE!) And everything else can be configured and stored in 10 different user mode banks. The pitch wheel (aluminum) cannot be reconfigured—it is always a pitch wheel. However, the mod wheel (aluminum) defaults to cntl 1, but can be configured to any cntl/nrpn/rprn.

Many reviews seem to rave about build quality (aluminum, not plastic; keys seem to be plastic over metal) and keyboard feel is not hammer action, but that is available in the 88 key version.

I couldn’t find anything about SYSEX implementation. It’d be nice to know if you can send text to the display.

I’m leaning pretty heavily to the Arturia rather than the Akai. Guess I should read the Akai manual first.


FWIF I have a Keylab 88 - just about anything is assignable; the Arturia software to do that is pretty intuitive.


I have a child to sell. Just saying. It sounds like a good keyboard.


Just as I was getting ready to click the 3 easy payments on Sweetwater (that is how I get my stuff), I recalled that when I played the Hammond (long ago), VK-7, Electro 4D (that was a nice one), the drawbars were on the left. B3 and C3 upper drawbars were on the left hand side. I was planning on selling my MPK261 on Craigslist to absorb the cost of the Arturia MKii. However, do I want my drawbars on the right? No. Not really.

I am going to wait a year, and see how the MKii reviews. I have an SL-88 on the lower tier and I am gong to magnetize (black duct tape and magnets on the bottom) an Icon i-Controls - Potable 9-Fader MIDI Controller to the left of the SL-88 display. I mapped My MPK261 as 8 of the 9 drawbars before, but never used them because of them being on the right. Hated reaching over my right hand. Didn’t feel right.

Still, I love my Arturia V collection and, yes, the MKii 61 seems to take it, in this case.


Yep. I’d love to have the drawbars on the left. And I’d love to have some real estate on which to set my Babyface like on my Novation. Oh, well. Think I’ll wait until after NAM and see what new models come out.


Lots of folks have said nice things about this inexpensive 9-slider controller:



That looks very cool Terry! I have some pictures coming that will show how I made my own Studiologic Mixface. Mixface 250.00 and my Icontroller is 70.


Just noticed that those who own the Arturia V6 collection (like I do) get their new synth for 70 bucks. I had some paypal funds left from an ebay sale, and I got it. (Pig Mints). I am going to try it out after my holiday gigs are done.


Here is my setup. Just used it last night and it went really well! Nice little controller! It is held in playce with 6 small neodymium magnets duct taped to the bottom.


Love the mic cable John!! and the rig too …