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Akai Professional Force Standalone Music Production System
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Manufacturer's ID: Force
Introducing FORCE, the ultimate in standalone end-to-end production workflows, complete with every tool you need to produce, remix, mashup and perform your tracks live. Fusing clip-launching, a linear arranger, MIDI Multi capability, step sequencing, sampling, synth engines, tactile touch screen control and much more, all in a singular standalone device, FORCE is primed for any setting, from the studio to the mainstage – no computer needed.
The heart of your FORCE experience. Launch Clips, browse your sounds, edit MIDI data, manipulate samples, arrange your composition, apply XYFX, sculpt synth sounds and much more, all from FORCE’s 7-inch, full-colour, capacitive multitouch display
Tactile Performance Tools
Find your creative flow with FORCE’s arsenal of tactile controls. Trigger scenes/clips, step sequence, finger drum and play note data with an expandable 8x8 clip launch matrix. Discover new ways to supercharge your performance via 360-degree rotary encoders with OLED feedback for immediate real-time access to all core controls or any assignable parameter. Fast-track your workflow with FORCE’s collection of smart controls for navigation, playback/recording control, note expression, crossfading and much more.
Connectivity and Storage
Stream or load your samples from a USB thumb drive or SD card, or expand FORCE’s storage with the SATA drive bay. Capture audio with (2) XLR/1⁄4-inch combo inputs with phantom power, switchable to line/instrument level. Route your audio to two stereo 1⁄4-inch outputs, selectable per track within FORCE’s UI. Use the headphone out as a cue bus to audition clips/scenes. Take control of your modular gear with four independent CV/ Gate outputs and unite your peripheral MIDI equipment courtesy of MIDI In/Out/Through ports and USB via FORCE’s unprecedented MIDI Multi capability. With Disk Streaming and Class Compliant Audio Interface support, connectivity and storage restrictions are things of the past!
From sparking that initial idea to arranging and final mixdown, everything your production demands is here. Record, program and sequence with multiple track types including Plugin Tracks with MPC-style DrumTracks, Audio Tracks, Keygroup Tracks, MIDI tracks and CV tracks. Sketch out song sections in performance mode, then arrange these on FORCE’s linear arranger. Add the final polish to your track using dozens of processors and effects from the AIR FX suite, all controllable via smart assignments on the rotary encoders or the displays on the touch user interface.
For the DJ, FORCE immediately connects to your live rig either as a feature-rich side-cart or a solo centrepiece. Remix and mashup tracks on FORCE’s 8x8 clip matrix. Import multiple stems, then time-stretch and pitch-shift your content all in real-time. Assign tracks to FORCE’s crossfader and load full tracks, stems or loops to FORCE’s 8x8 matrix. Add an extra dimension to your performance with tactile XYFX. Connect FORCE to your wireless network and sync your project with any Ableton Link compatible application or hardware device. The creative possibilities are only as limited as your imagination - adding an extra dimension to your DJ performance has never been simpler.
FORCE is your instrument, the heart of your performance and the perfect platform to reimagine your production live. Combine an intuitive clip-centric workflow, multiple payback modes and track types to sculpt clips with real-time step sequencing, drum pad performances and note data.
Meet the Synth Engines
Hard-coded into the FORCE Architecture are four premium synth engines, each with full editing capability for immersive sound sculpting potential. Sequence via a traditional piano roll, apply the onboard Arpeggiator or switch up to Note Mode for instant access to intelligent chord, progression and scale options.
- Hype | Cover everything from hard-hitting plucks to sultry melodic leads with this preset and macro-based synth combining multiple synth engines (wavetable, FM, subtractive, sampling) and a giant preset library into a single easy-to-use package
- Tubesynth | Emulate the sound of classic vintage analogue poly-synths with an advanced analogue modelling algorithm, packaged with five integrated AIR effects
- Bassline | Access the sounds of a classic mono synth with variable oscillator waveshapes, sub/fifth oscillators, LPF & HPF options and four integrated AIR effects
- Electric | The ultimate in classic e-piano emulation with Pickup, Envelope, Bell and Noise parameter sections, five AIR effects and dozens of pre-sets to get you started
- Mellotron | The legendary tape-sample keyboard instrument with the iconic choir, woodwind, and stringed instrument sounds
- Solina | The polyphonic string and brass instrument keyboard instrument with AIR Music Technology’s Flavor section for added sound processing and shaping
- Odyssey | The WayOutWare Odyssey plugin instrument is a faithful plugin instrument version of the only authorised, circuit-modelled recreation of the iconic synthesiser
- DrumSynth | A hybrid drum synthesizer plugin with FM, analogue model, physical model, and sample-based synthesis engines for futuristic drum and percussion sound design
Insert Effects by AIR Music Tech
FORCE features a wide collection of insert effects plugins to elevate your compositions and productions. Powered by the award-winning AIR Music Technology, these versatile plugins enable the crafting of a world-class audio mix & master or creative remixing, arranging, and performance of your FORCE projects. Dial up exciting glitch audio FX with Stutter or instantly create the modern down-tempo vibe with Half Speed. When your project is ready to be finalized, industry standard mix insert effects like AIR Enhancer and Limiter ensure your projects will translate and stand-out anywhere, in any listening environment.
Resample your clips or capture audio from FORCE’s collection of inputs and discover the endless creative possibilities of looping. Backed by an intuitive touch user interface and full audio routing capability, FORCE’s Looping capability is perfect for studio-centric inspiration or adding something truly original to your performance.
Out-the-box, FORCE comes preloaded with 10GB+ of must-have sounds from industry leading sample content providers, including SampleTools by CR2, MSX Audio and Sample Magic. With 248 kits, 16 demo projects, 2,500+ loops and 500+ patterns, FORCE’s core library provides immediate access to the most sought-after sounds to inspire your creativity from the get-go
Simplify your sample browsing and auditioning with on-board Splice integration in FORCE. Splice Sounds fuels the creativity of producers around the world with millions of high-quality, royalty-free samples, sounds, presets and loops, covering nearly every musical style. With Splice natively embedded in FORCE, experience immediate Wi-Fi access to your own Splice library directly from the touch screen user interface.
Ableton Live Integration
FORCE comes pre-mapped to Ableton Live with clip launching, control of the mixer and control of Ableton macros over a Wi-Fi network via Ableton Link - or an ethernet cable between FORCE and your computer. Enjoy the seamless flexibility to instantly switch FORCE between standalone operation and Live Control mode without ever stopping playback from either ecosystem. For the ultimate standalone experience, bring your Ableton projects into FORCE for a workflow completely free of computer tethering using the Ableton Live Project Import function.
Don’t settle for stock drum libraries, your drum sounds should be as unique as your production. With 3.0.6, FORCE arms the production community with a groundbreaking selection of 8 synth engines powering 9 incredible DrumSynth plugins. Packed with must-have contemporary sounds, and backed by powerful sound generators driven by all-new FM synthesis, analogue & physical modelling and sample based algorithms, every synthesised drum sound the modern producer should have at their disposal is here. DrumSynth empowers FORCE users with powerful synthesis, incredible presets and precise sound design sculpting capabilities to develop their own unique sounds
Like all FORCE instruments, DrumSynth plugins harness the refined tactile touch user interface for an inspiring, easy-to use workspace that accelerates workflow and puts the control you demand only a touch away!
The 8 engines include Kick, Snare, Clap, Hi-Hat, Crash, Ride, Tom and Percussion. Additionally, all the engines can be accessed in one multi mode instrument for a powerful combination program. Fuse this with built in sound effects including a transient shaper, tuning, EQ, compression, delay, reverb and more, and DrumSynth is poised to supercharge the FORCE workflow and elevate your creative process even higher
FORCE 3.1 FIRMWARE UPDATE
- Disk Streaming - Audio files can now be streamed from disk
- From Preferences > Audio/Export use the Disk Streaming tick box to enable disk streaming. Now any audio that is loaded or recorded onto an audio track will be streamed from disk.
- A sample can be set to stream from disk or memory. By default, Drum and Keygroup samples are loaded into memory as this works better for rapid on demand triggering of multiple simultaneous voices. To change a sample from streaming to memory, go to the Mode Menu and then tap the Folder icon in the Toolbar to bring up the Project Overview. From here you can now filter your sample pool to show samples that are Streaming or those in Memory. Samples streamed from disk are shown with a green waveform icon and those in memory are shown with a white waveform. To change a sample from memory to streaming, push and hold on the sample’s name and from the callout menu choose Stream From Disk. Note: Using streamed samples with Drum and Keygroup tracks can cause performance issues when triggering multiple streamed voices or triggering samples at high rates.
- When the sample list is displayed in a combo box it is now organised into Streaming and Memory hierarchies.
- A sample’s streaming or memory state is saved and recalled with the project.
- If a project is too large to be loaded into memory, Force now loads the project and displays the missing samples in the Project Overview with a waveform with a red minus icon. Once enough memory has been freed up, missing samples can then be loaded from the Project Overview screen. Push and hold on a sample’s name and from the callout menu and choose Load To Memory
- Note: Disk streaming relies on the performance of the disk you are streaming from. For best operation we recommend using an SSD drive attached to Force’s internal SATA port. Once you have saved a project to your SSD drive, your files will stream from that location. For an unsaved project Force uses a temporary file location to stream audio files from. For best operation go to Preferences > Project Load/Save and set the Temporary File Location field to your SSD drive.
- Buses (Submixes/Returns/Masters) can now be automated
- Automate parameters. The recording, playback and editing of automation follows the same workflow as other tracks.
- Create, record, or play clips containing automation data.
- Record automation from clips into Arrange.
- Select a bus like a normal track to view, edit and input your automation.
- Push the MASTER button or Master f-key to select buses and view automation in Arrange.
- Double tap on a bus track header to bring up the Track Settings dialogue from here you can rename the bus, or change the colour of the track header.
- FX Racks and their FX Rack knob assignments now work on buses.
USB class audio support
Use any class compliant USB audio interface with your Force. From the TUI go to the Preferences > Audio Device section and choose your USB soundcard from the audio device field.
To use up to 32 simultaneous inputs and outputs: Preferences > Audio section tick the max input/output setting. Note that increasing the number of simultaneous inputs and outputs will increase CPU overhead, and that for performance reasons sample rate is locked to 44.1 kHz.
New Plugin Instruments
- AIR Mellotron - The AIR Mellotron is a software recreation of the classic tape keyboard.
- 6 Tape Sets of the original Choir, Flute and Strings tape samples
- Dirty and cleaned versions of the original tapes
- Change the Formant, Age and Sample Start to further shape the sound
- Key on and key off samples
- 30 factory presets
- Gorgeous touch interface
- Built-in Effects
- New AIR Flavor - distort and transform your patches into lo-fi heaven all inside a single multi-effect. Apply eq simulations of radios, phones and tape machines to dramatically change the timbre of a patch, distort, add noise and tape flutter to access a range of lo-fi treatments.
- AIR Compressor
- AIR Four band EQ
- AIR Spring Reverb
- AIR Delay
- AIR Solina - The AIR Solina is a software recreation of the classic string machine.
- Split, layer, pan and balance sampled versions of the original contrabass, cello, violin, viola, trumpet, horn layers more flexibly than on the original classic instrument.
- LFO for Vibrato effects
- Formant, Filter and Age parameters to further shape the sound
- 75 factory presets
- Gorgeous touch interface
- Built-in Effects
- AIR Flavor
- AIR Chorus
- AIR Four band EQ
- AIR Spring Reverb
- AIR Delay
- WayOutWare Odyssey - The WayOutWare Odyssey is a faithful reproduction of the analogue classic. The Odyssey captures the character and nuance of the original using WayOutWare’s experience and expertise in circuit modeling and signal processing.
- Dual oscillator, LFO, Sample and Hold, Ring-mod, high-pass and low pass filters.
- Circuit modeled oscillators and filter
- Gorgeous touch interface
- Expression pedal modulation, velocity and channel pressure support.
- The WayOutWare Odyssey contains many enhancements over the original Odyssey
- Use the Odyssey mono, duophonic or as a polyphonic synth with up to 4 simultaneous voices
- A faithful reproduction of the classic 1970s movable head tape delay
- 150 factory presets
- All parameters can be automated
New Air Vocal insert effects suite
- AIR Vocal Tuner - pitch correction for natural sounding or hard tune vocal effects
- AIR Vocal Harmoniser - a four part vocal harmoniser effect. Create realistic four part vocal harmonies or complex doubling effects. Each part has its own level, delay, formant, mode and interval parameters.
- AIR Vocal Doubler - create realistic vocal doubles or add width and thickness to a vocal line.
New Air insert effects
- AIR Half Speed - quickly create half speed versions from any input material with this must-have contemporary effect. Filter the processed audio using the built-in high pass and low pass filters to create more dramatic transitions. Use the Fade In and Out parameters to create tempo synchronised transitions between the dry and effected audio.
- AIR Stutter - a mind-blowing glitch effect plugin capable of a wide range of volume, pan and pitch stutter effects
- AIR Diode Clipper - when used subtlety adds a type of distortion that’s perfect for adding a bit more flavour and grit to drum breaks, when used aggressively the Diode Clipper is capable of crazy distorted mayhem.
- AIR Improved AIR Diffuser Delay - the Diffuser Delay adds Low Cut, Width, Sync and Pan parameters to improve the flexibility of this amazing delay effect.
- AIR Limiter - A lookahead limiter perfect for mastering or mixing.
New Akai insert effects
- Akai Granulator - process your audio in new and creative ways. Granulator turns your incoming audio into grains which can be looped, pitch shifted and manipulated in new and interesting ways.
- Akai Sample Delay - a utility delay plugin, delay percussive material by small increments to loosen percussion elements, add stereo width to any input material but delaying the left and right channels by different amounts.
Drum and Keygroup program improvements
Drum and keygroup engines and TUI have been significantly reworked to add more features and improve the ergonomics of the editors.
- Akai sample tail - After chopping drum breaks or samples the ends of the chops often don’t decay smoothly and contain abrupt endings that sound unnatural. You can now quickly add an extra tail to any chopped sample. On a drum track from the Track Edit > TUI > Samples tab use the Tail Length parameter to give your chops a natural sounding smooth decay. Tweak the Tail Loop parameter to small values for delay effects or longer times for more obvious looping effects.
- Drum and Keygroup envelopes now have adjustable curve parameters for each time stage
- Drum and Keygroup programs now have a dedicated Pitch envelope
- Drum and Keygroup programs now have a new randomisation section. Add subtle variation to drum or keygroup samples by randomising volume, pan, pitch, filter, sample offset and envelope parameters. On a hi-hat sample in a drum track try adding a small amount of volume, pitch and attack randomisation to create the illusion of each note having a different hi-hat sample assigned. This is great for making acoustic drum samples sound more realistic.
- You can now quickly mangle your samples with a range of quick access drum effects. From Program Edit in the TUI / GUI there are now eight effects slots with RingMod, Bitcrush, Decimator, Tubedrive, Soft Clipper, Hard Clipper, Lowpass, Rectifier, Wavefolder, BassEnhancers, StereoWidth and Gain effects blocks.
- •The Drum and Keygroup Sample Play parameter now has the option for Note Off triggering
- Keygroup programs now have portamento Time, Quantise and Legato parameters.
After loading a new audio file, Force will now automatically calculate the key of a sample. Load an audio file that contains melodic content, on the TUI the Sample edit, Key Field displays the detected key. You can also see the detected key in the Track Edit > Samples tab. As you transpose a sample using the Track Edit Semi field the key will update to show you the transposed samples key.
MIDI & CV track improvements
From MIDI Track > Track Edit you can now edit the continuous controller and string assigned to each control. Your custom parameter names/assignments can be saved and recalled with a track. If you have an external synth whose parameters respond to continuous controller MIDI messages you can now create a simple editor for it. Assign the continuous controllers in the order you want and label them according to the synth parameter they control. You can now save that MIDI track and load it into any Force Project to reuse it again.
CV tracks can now be set to Melodic or Drum operation. When set to Melodic CV tracks behave as per previous Force versions, when set to Drum you can now configure any pad to output on any CV port.
MIDI Learn Project
You can now learn all automatable parameters from Force to a MIDI controller.
From the Mode menu go to MIDI Learn. From the left hand side of the TUI choose the automation parameter you want to control. To control that parameter using a MIDI controller, from the toolbar turn Learn On and then move the physical control on your MIDI hardware to learn it.
Load MIDI Files
You can now load MIDI files into your Force session.
- From the Browser you can now filter your file list to show just plugin instrument presets.
- You can now show your Wi-Fi password in Preferences.
- If Loop is on, pressing SHIFT + STOP now sets the playhead position to Loop Start.
- From the Mode Menu you can now access New Project, Save, Project and Preferences.
- Note Config settings, TC settings and track rec arm states are now saved and recalled with the project.
|Pads||(64) velocity- and pressure-sensitive pads, RGB-backlit|
|Knobs||(8) 360° touch-sensitive Knobs|
|(1) 360° encoder for display navigation and selection via push|
|(5) 270° knobs for gain, mix & level adjustment|
|Buttons||(56) dedicated function buttons; red-, amber-, or green-backlit|
|Display||6.9” / 176 mm (diagonal)|
|5.9” x 3.7” / 150 x 93 mm (width x height)|
|Full-color LED-backlit display with touch interface|
|Connections||(2) XLR+1/4” (6.35 mm) TRS inputs (Input 1/2)|
|(4) 1/4” (6.35 mm) TRS outputs (2 stereo pairs)|
|(1) 1/4” (6.35 mm) stereo headphone output|
|(1) 1/8" (3.5 mm) MIDI input|
|(1) 1/8" (3.5 mm) MIDI output|
|(1) 1/8" (3.5 mm) MIDI thru port|
|(4) 1/8” (3.5 mm) CV/Gate outputs|
|(1) Ethernet link port|
|(2) USB Type-A ports|
|(1) USB Type-B port|
|(1) SD card slot|
|(1) power adapter input|
|Power||via power adapter: 19 V, 3.42 A, center-positive, included|
|Dimensions (width x depth x height)||13.8” x 15.3” x 2.85”|
|350 x 389 x 72.5 mm|