NAMM 2019 is shaping up to be an exciting one, but now the Akai Force is taking it up a notch. Well-known for its now iconic MPC music production and beat making hardware, Akai is going next level with its new high-end standalone music making DJ controller.
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Akai Force is built upon some of the best features found in its Akai MPC-X and MPC Live products while turning things up in a major way. This new standalone hardware features a nice 7-inch touch display, Ableton style clip launching, CV jacks, on-board sampling, built-in synthesizers, and a lot more. Already being referred to as a possible game-changer by some, Akai Force might be one of the most powerful standalone DJ music production rigs we have seen yet.
The no-computer required machine features an 8×8 grid matrix of drum pads for everything from banging out beats and sequencing melodies, to clip launching and more. Reminiscent of the matrix grid Akai built for the first Ableton controller, Force adds a gorgeous-looking 7-inch touch display to support its Live-like clip launching features, among many other things. All of that is in addition to the touch-sensitive knobs equipped with graphical OLED displays.
Akai Force I/O:
As for physical inputs and outputs, Akai has spared almost no expense here. Along with the ability to sample directly onto the machine’s built-in 16GB of storage, you’ll find a pair of mic/instrument/line combo jack inputs, 4 main outputs, CV connectivity and full MIDI (In, Out, Thru) implementation (1/8″ TRS inputs, 5-pin DIN adapters included). There are extra USB ports for MIDI controllers or thumb drives along with a user-expandable 2.5″ SATA connection (SATA or HDD) and and SD-card slot. In other words, it has almost everything you could ask for and more including loads of opportunity for expanding your mobile storage capacity. Although, I can imagine myself wanting more than 4 outputs in a studio situation, but maybe that’s just me.
While it is largely designed around the idea of freeing musicians from their laptops like Push and Maschine, it most certainly features deep integration with Ableton Live and your Mac. But clearly Akai is aiming to land at the top of the charts when it comes to the live, electronic musician-meets DJ space that has become so popular over the last few years.
Included Library Content & More:
It ships with 10GBs of sound content on the internal drive and features 4 built-in software synthesizers as well as FX (AIR effects and Hype, TubeSynth, Bassline and Electric synths). Akai is already starting to release some great tutorials and overviews over on its official YouTube channel.
Price & Availability:
So far the Akai force is looking like it might really shake things up in this space, but only time will tell at this point. It certainly has what it takes by the looks of it. But with all those great features comes a price to match. If you were like me and were already thinking $1,000, we were wrong. Expected to become available starting on February 5th, 2019, Akai Force will run you a cool $1,499.
More from Akai:
Redefine your expectations. Force blurs—no, eliminates!—the lines between contemporary music production solutions and next-generation DJ performance technology, setting the precedence for a new industry standard. Fusing clip-launching, step sequencing, sampling, synth engines and tactile touch screen control into a standalone, performance-driven device, Force combines must-have modern functionality with an ultra-intuitive workflow that harnesses your creativity for maximum expressive capability.
At the heart of Force is an intuitive clip-centric workflow that forms the creative core of your performance. Combine multiple Modes with Plugin Tracks, MPC-Style Drum tracks, Audio tracks, Keygroup tracks, MIDI tracks and CV tracks to define clip types, then sculpt clips via step sequencing, drum pad performances and note data.