M-Audio Keystation 61 MK3 Or Yamaha NP-12?

Yamaha NP12

You’re wanting to get a new 61 key, affordable setup but are unsure between M-Audio Keystation 61 MK3 Or Yamaha NP-12 and want to get impartial advice.

Welcome to our friendly comparison of two popular keyboard options: the M-Audio Keystation 61 MK3 and the Yamaha NP-12! If you’re looking to dive into the world of keyboard playing or expand your musical horizons, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll explore the features, capabilities, and overall vibes of these two fantastic instruments. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned player, we’ll help you navigate the differences and find the keyboard that suits your needs. So grab a cup of your favorite beverage, relax, and let’s embark on this musical journey together.

M-Audio Keystation 61 MK3 vs Yamaha NP-12

Choosing between the M-Audio Keystation 61 MK3 and the Yamaha NP-12 depends on your specific needs and preferences. Here’s a comparison of both keyboards to help you make an informed decision:

  1. M-Audio Keystation 61 MK3:
    • Number of Keys: 61 semi-weighted keys.
    • Features: Pitch bend and modulation wheels, volume control, transport controls, octave shift buttons, and assignable buttons.
    • Connectivity: USB-MIDI connection for connecting to a computer, MIDI output for controlling external MIDI devices.
    • Software: Includes software like Pro Tools | First M-Audio Edition, Ableton Live Lite, and AIR Music Tech Xpand!2.
    • Price: Typically more affordable compared to the Yamaha NP-12.

  2. Yamaha NP-12:
    • Number of Keys: 61 touch-sensitive keys (non-weighted).
    • Features: Yamaha’s Advanced Wave Memory Stereo Sampling for high-quality piano sounds, built-in speakers, metronome, and various instrument voices.
    • Connectivity: USB-MIDI connection for connecting to a computer, MIDI connectivity for external devices.
    • Portability: Lightweight and compact design, suitable for on-the-go musicians.
    • Price: Generally priced higher than the M-Audio Keystation 61 MK3.

Consider the following factors to help you decide:

  1. Playing Experience: If you prefer a more piano-like feel, the M-Audio Keystation 61 MK3’s semi-weighted keys might be more suitable. If touch sensitivity is important, the Yamaha NP-12 offers touch-sensitive keys for expressive playing.
  2. Additional Features: The M-Audio Keystation 61 MK3 provides assignable buttons, pitch bend, modulation wheels, and transport controls, making it suitable for controlling software and MIDI devices. The Yamaha NP-12 offers built-in speakers, a variety of instrument voices, and a metronome.
  3. Portability: If you require a lightweight and portable keyboard, the Yamaha NP-12’s compact design makes it a convenient option for transportation.
  4. Budget: Consider your budget and choose the keyboard that offers the features you need within your price range.

Ultimately, it’s essential to try out both keyboards if possible and consider your specific requirements to determine which one feels more comfortable and suits your musical needs.

M-Audio Keystation 61 MK3 Or Yamaha NP-12

M-Audio Keystation 61 MK3:


  1. Number of Keys: The Keystation 61 MK3 offers 61 semi-weighted keys, which provides a wider range for playing different musical pieces.
  2. Controls: It features pitch bend and modulation wheels, volume control, transport controls, octave shift buttons, and assignable buttons, giving you more control over your playing and performance.
  3. Connectivity: The keyboard has USB-MIDI connectivity, allowing you to easily connect it to a computer or MIDI-compatible devices.
  4. Versatility: It is compatible with various music production software and virtual instruments, expanding your creative possibilities.
  5. Portability: The Keystation 61 MK3 is lightweight and portable, making it easy to transport and use in different settings.


  1. No Built-in Sounds: Unlike digital pianos, the Keystation 61 MK3 does not have built-in sounds. You would need to connect it to external software or hardware to produce sounds.
  2. Limited Features: While it offers essential controls, it may lack some advanced features found in more specialized MIDI controllers or digital pianos.

Yamaha NP-12:


  1. Portability: The NP-12 is lightweight and compact, making it highly portable and convenient for musicians on the go.
  2. Built-in Sounds: It comes with a variety of high-quality built-in sounds, including pianos, electric pianos, organs, and more, allowing you to play without the need for additional software or hardware.
  3. Touch-sensitive Keys: The NP-12 features touch-sensitive keys, meaning the volume and tone change depending on the strength of your playing, providing a more expressive performance.
  4. Beginner-Friendly: It is designed with beginner musicians in mind, offering a simple and user-friendly interface that is easy to navigate.
  5. Battery Powered: The keyboard can be powered by batteries, giving you the flexibility to play anywhere, even without access to a power outlet.


  1. Limited Number of Keys: The NP-12 has 61 keys, which may be limiting for advanced players or those requiring a full 88-key range.
  2. Less Control Options: Compared to MIDI controllers, the NP-12 has fewer control options and lacks features like pitch bend and modulation wheels or assignable buttons.
  3. Limited Connectivity: While it has USB connectivity for MIDI communication, it may have fewer connectivity options compared to MIDI controllers.Yamaha NP-12 connectivity

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, the choice between the M-Audio Keystation 61 MK3 and the Yamaha NP-12 depends on your specific needs and preferences. If you prioritize versatility and control for music production, the Keystation 61 MK3 may be a better choice. On the other hand, if you value portability, built-in sounds, and beginner-friendly features, the Yamaha NP-12 could be more suitable.

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