Akai Force

I’ve been waiting for more news on this since the leaks came out, but now that I know the price is a little more than $2000, I wonder what some alternatives to it can be. here’s the link to an article about the Force

The official price I’ve seen elsewhere is $1499

Yeah, that’s the price given on the create digital music preview.

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here’s also more info on it from the company’s website I’ll look into it more, however what do you guys think about it?

Price wise is seems reasonable since it seems it could replace a whole laptop / DAW setup.

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It is the same hardware and software as the MPC Live and X, with the GUI slightly tweaked to match the new control surface. They’re promising control for Ableton Live soon.

If we can trust Dan from Akai who posts to Gearslutz, they are committed to growing the software for all three devices in step (and I’m guessing maybe add more devices).

I like what Akai are doing with this, this platform building. I have an MPC Live, and I think of it sort of like a computer made for music instead of writing longwinded forum posts (M E T A!!). I’ve never understood why the keyboard+screen devices are thought of as “general purpose computers” and should be the only computers we have when the interface makes no sense for music and they don’t have the ports I need without adding an external box. Pure touchscreen devices are very malleable with regards to UI, but they lack tactility and they also lack interfaces to other devices. I like the “one-box” nature of the MPC, it adds up to more even though it’s really just Linux and a touch screen and a USB audio interface and controller in a box.

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I’ve been considering the MPC Live for a while, and this would fit my workflow even better. I wonder about the level of live integration though: the easier it is for me to move tracks I’ve done in Live onto the device, the more likely I am to pick one up. I also wonder if they’ve implemented streaming audio from disk, which I believe is not available on the Live or X?

Agreed, and I like that it isn’t limited to that. It will be able to integrate into an existing Ableton Live setup.

Various workflow options seem possible. Standalone, Standalone then export to Live, Use with Live the entire time…
Standalone then export to Live and then use with Live…

So far it just seems like a glorified sample player with clip triggering. It can totally do what they say, and it can totally replace a computer, but I’d like to know more about the actual specs. What kind of CPU is it using? What ADC and DAC?

I see that it has 2gb of RAM, which for playing samples and such seems more than sufficient. Especially since you can run sample off of sd cards now with no problems.

I REALLY like contained hardware. I think that is a huge reason why Elektron has always appealed to me.

It’s the same hardware as the MPCs. I rambled a bit about that here:

https://niklasnisbeth.gitlab.io/mpc-internals

Note that the audio board will be different, so I can’t say about the conversion. I’m sure it’ll be fine, though.

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Ahh thanks for linking that, and for your efforts!

So for me it is using the same chipset as the Percussa SSP, only the SSP is using a FPGA as an interconnect bus between the CPU and the ADC and DAC, and the DAC and ADC are higher quality.

The A17 is beefy. Real beefy, but it isn’t exactly a PC replacement in terms of processing power.

Still more than enough to do what it is saying here.

I can buy that it replaces Ableton Live (for some uses and users). Good luck replacing Bitwig 3, though!

(Also, until you can host VSTs directly in the box, it’s an inferior replacement, in my book. I would never rely exclusively on stock DAW instruments/effects/EQ)

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Ironically this is something the SSP aims to do, albeit the VSTs must be recompiled for the ARM platform and conform to the controls and I/O of the SSP. It is great, and I agree with you, it is this kind of stepping forward that would be a really revolutionary type of advancement.

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Trying to not be too much of a downer, but I find the ideological attachment to “not using a laptop on stage” which this device (or at least the discussion around it) represents really confusing.

Is it really any more playable an instrument than a laptop, Ableton & Push? If you want a DAW with a grid controller, why would you use this rather than… a DAW and grid controller? Doesn’t a large part of the excitement and creativity in making “live” electronic music reside in getting away from the studio environment embodied in a DAW, and doing something more fluid, either through using the flexibility of software or the creative limitations of hardware? Isn’t an embedded, stripped-down DAW just the worst of both worlds?

Again, sorry if I’m being needlessly critical but I feel like I completely missed the memo here. Also, while aesthetics probably shouldn’t matter too much, it really is an ugly piece of gear.

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I’m not sure this is for people who are against laptops on stage in particular. I think the appeal is the simplicity of having the ‘computer’, audio interface, and controller all in one piece of hardware, with presumably an operating system that is focused on stability. In this respect it’s most similar to something like the Elektron Octatrack.

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You can’t check Facebook on it. It’s got that in the ‘pros’ column, at least!

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I guess if you specifically want to perform with a less-fully-featured version of Ableton then the stability & collation of devices makes sense. I just don’t understand why anyone would see that as creatively interesting.

I think the Octatrack is a useful comparison: for all that it processes and sequences parallel tracks of audio & MIDI, the way you interact with it is vastly different to working with Ableton. They’re obviously all just boxes and buttons, and god knows there are enough shitty Elektron live jams out there, I just feel like hardware designed as hardware, rather than as a facsimile of software, gets closer to interesting ideas of playability and performance (for me at least).

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You joke, but that thing Mat Dryhurst and Holly Herndon did where they pulled Facebook profiles of the people “attending” the gig & projected them was genuinely 1000% more interesting than another round of grid-bashing.

Although also yes, anything which gets you away from half-concentrating on making music while also scanning online detritus is unquestionably good.

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Anyone have knowledge of when Force will start showing up at sellers in the US?

Shipping 5 February to the USA.

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