New AKAI "FORCE" standalone MPC / grid controller

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Divinital

Re: New AKAI "FORCE" standalone MPC / grid controller

Post by Divinital » Sat Jan 18, 2020 7:48 pm

Akai has 3 products I'm now interested in to mess around with outside of the DAW and I can't decide.

MPC Live I can get new for $830, same with Akai Force... Now I have to factor the One in at $630...

Any suggestions or comments? I really don't make hip hop but I love trip hop beats such as Emancipator... Not really sure what I make, kinda like a modern '70s synth psychedelic rock I guess... Force looks appealing but again, the slow development and shit is a killer. Let me know what you guys think!

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slumberjack
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Re: New AKAI "FORCE" standalone MPC / grid controller

Post by slumberjack » Sat Jan 18, 2020 10:15 pm

if you're doing mainly the drums or some rhythmic pattern on the mpc and not you whole sequencing/composing I'd say keep the footprint down.

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ziggomatic
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Re: New AKAI "FORCE" standalone MPC / grid controller

Post by ziggomatic » Fri Jan 24, 2020 2:23 pm

As an extensive Force user over the past year, just wanted to chime in and say if you are using Force in standlone production I would hold off on the 3.0.4 firmware update.

There is a critical bug I am consistently experiencing where Force suddenly out of nowhere stops playback altogether when you have a single clip running for extended periods of time in standalone mode. If you are starting and stopping songs a lot I guess its safer, but I am constantly using Force CV outs for clock triggers and various other modular control voltages, letting the CV clock clips run freely while I am experimenting and recording modular synth samples. The Force always stops at some random point between 15-30 minutes while the clip is looping endlessly. Im not even touching the Force during those 15-30 minutes, it just suddently stops and requires you to press play to get it running again. Crucial bug in my experience. Wrote it up here as well https://getsatisfaction.com/akai_profes ... -recording

Even being a heavy Force user, whenever I find bugs and send them to Akai it seems rather difficult to get any sort of support and/or confirmation that Dev's can reproduce the bug and have addressed it in a future update. For example there was a serious MIDI note "nudge" editing bug that after multiple attempts I got Akai to confirm, yet when a new update was released 2 months later (3.0.3) the MIDI bug I was told Dev's were aware of was still not fixed.

Thankfully yet sadly its fixed now in 3.0.4, but this playback stopping bug is causing me so many interruptions I am forced (pun intended) to revert back to 3.0.3 :-/

Stay tuned for updates I will report back when available.

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Re: New AKAI "FORCE" standalone MPC / grid controller

Post by thomachine » Fri Jan 24, 2020 5:52 pm

I think the problem you are having is that it stops after 999 bars. I’m guessing that even though it doesn’t have an arranger, it I still a bar counter in the background. I think I read something about that some place.

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ziggomatic
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Re: New AKAI "FORCE" standalone MPC / grid controller

Post by ziggomatic » Sat Jan 25, 2020 1:10 pm

thomachine wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 5:52 pm
I think the problem you are having is that it stops after 999 bars. I’m guessing that even though it doesn’t have an arranger, it I still a bar counter in the background. I think I read something about that some place.
Gotta test this 999 bar example out, thanks for the tip!

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ziggomatic
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Re: New AKAI "FORCE" standalone MPC / grid controller

Post by ziggomatic » Sat Jan 25, 2020 3:14 pm

thomachine wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 5:52 pm
I think the problem you are having is that it stops after 999 bars. I’m guessing that even though it doesn’t have an arranger, it I still a bar counter in the background. I think I read something about that some place.
Thanks so much for posting this info! You are correct the internal clock stops running whenever any single clip has been playing for exactly 999 bars. I just made a video of the bug happening to send to Akai development and hopefully they can get this squared away for the next firmware update.

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Re: New AKAI "FORCE" standalone MPC / grid controller

Post by thomachine » Sun Jan 26, 2020 8:55 am

ziggomatic wrote:
Sat Jan 25, 2020 3:14 pm

Thanks so much for posting this info! You are correct the internal clock stops running whenever any single clip has been playing for exactly 999 bars. I just made a video of the bug happening to send to Akai development and hopefully they can get this squared away for the next firmware update.
No problem. I think that the 3.04 update was very close to being released with the arranger in place. So some elements of that is in the background on this update. Im pretty shure they will fix this in the next update, as it would be catastrophic for live use if it stops after 999 bars. Specially when you cant actually see which bar you are on.

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Re: New AKAI "FORCE" standalone MPC / grid controller

Post by Mndscrpt » Sat Feb 01, 2020 2:54 pm

Spotted a drum synth in the newest (non public) beta on Namm2020. This is really nice as i requested such engine in the beta forum. Still- something about this machine does not tick with me. Either its all the bugs and short RAM or i my main concern is simply its form factor... i really got attracted to the MPC one only because of its footprint. :oops:
My thoughts after some gigs with ext. synths and stems:
As a production tool in the studio it can really do a lot of cool stuff and the OS is super deep in a cool way.
But i wouldn’t promote it as an alternative for gigging with ableton. It’s basically what everyone said about the octa back then:
„if your only goal is to replace the laptop you won’t get lucky.“
I also think there might be something wrong when the threads on such newbies count only some pages after one year on the market.

Who‘s got the force and is really into it?

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Dragonaut
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Re: New AKAI "FORCE" standalone MPC / grid controller

Post by Dragonaut » Sun Feb 02, 2020 6:53 pm

I'd be interested to hear some positive reviews as well. The NAMM video showed off some really interesting features but not too many people seem super hyped about this machine. Unfortunately the dude in the NAMM video almost seemed to imply that these really aren't selling well.
https://soundcloud.com/acaciabridge (IDM, Ambient, Bass, Downtempo)
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AdamJay
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Re: New AKAI "FORCE" standalone MPC / grid controller

Post by AdamJay » Mon Feb 03, 2020 1:30 pm

I am more hyped about it now than I was before. The MPC One announcement made me realize how much more I want those extra outs, internal SATA, and USB 3.0. And the grid makes more sense if you're working with stems.

But I am not giving Akai any of my money until disk streaming actually happens on this thing.
Getting a little tired of hearing it is coming and not even seeing a public beta or preview of the feature.

It could be my ideal live performance machine, with a pair of MIDI Fighter Twisters going into the host ports. I just need more than what the 2GB of RAM allows to do my thing live.

Till then, OT MK1 + Twister + iConnectivity ICM-0101 box will continue to be the main workhorse for my performances, mostly thanks to disk streaming from a 64GB card.

It is rather odd how large the Force is. I think to fit it into my carry-on approved HPRC hard case, it'd have to fit in diagonally.

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Re: New AKAI "FORCE" standalone MPC / grid controller

Post by thomachine » Tue Feb 04, 2020 3:05 am

Dragonaut wrote:
Sun Feb 02, 2020 6:53 pm
I'd be interested to hear some positive reviews as well. The NAMM video showed off some really interesting features but not too many people seem super hyped about this machine. Unfortunately the dude in the NAMM video almost seemed to imply that these really aren't selling well.
I love mine! It is a central hub in my studio controlling my other synths. I think one of the reason this isnt hyped more is that marketing went all over the place. And it was launched as something that did everything. It does do almost everything, but as it is a hardware box some compromises must be made. Some are kind of annoying, but all in all it is a lovely box.

What i love is how easy you can get ideas going. And how fast i can sample some clips while jam'ing. I only sample shorter 4-8 bar loops so i never run out of memory.

Another thing i do all the time is sample my synths as keygroups. I start up with a melody playing on my Pro-1 for example. Then i start the autosampler, and sample every second key from C-1 to C6. And i can start over again with the Pro-1. A bonus is i now have a polyphonic version of the sound.

If you have any questions about this box, i will try to answer what i can. :)

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Re: New AKAI "FORCE" standalone MPC / grid controller

Post by Fentune » Tue Feb 04, 2020 6:29 am

thomachine wrote:
Tue Feb 04, 2020 3:05 am
Dragonaut wrote:
Sun Feb 02, 2020 6:53 pm
I'd be interested to hear some positive reviews as well. The NAMM video showed off some really interesting features but not too many people seem super hyped about this machine. Unfortunately the dude in the NAMM video almost seemed to imply that these really aren't selling well.
I love mine! It is a central hub in my studio controlling my other synths. I think one of the reason this isnt hyped more is that marketing went all over the place. And it was launched as something that did everything. It does do almost everything, but as it is a hardware box some compromises must be made. Some are kind of annoying, but all in all it is a lovely box.

What i love is how easy you can get ideas going. And how fast i can sample some clips while jam'ing. I only sample shorter 4-8 bar loops so i never run out of memory.

Another thing i do all the time is sample my synths as keygroups. I start up with a melody playing on my Pro-1 for example. Then i start the autosampler, and sample every second key from C-1 to C6. And i can start over again with the Pro-1. A bonus is i now have a polyphonic version of the sound.

If you have any questions about this box, i will try to answer what i can. :)
Why did you sample every second key- and not every key- if you're making a key group?

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Re: New AKAI "FORCE" standalone MPC / grid controller

Post by Lemmy » Tue Feb 04, 2020 9:01 am

Not talking for thomachine but I also use this feature. It's just a compromise to bring down the file size of the program because there isn't a sample per note. The sample playback interpolates inbetween sampled notes. For some patches sampling every few notes doesn't make much audible difference to the final result. You can sample every key if you want to. The autosampler can also sample multiple samples per key at different velocity settings. So the program file could in theory get quite large.The last ones I made were less than 50MB.

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Re: New AKAI "FORCE" standalone MPC / grid controller

Post by thomachine » Tue Feb 04, 2020 11:31 am

Fentune wrote:
Tue Feb 04, 2020 6:29 am
[
Why did you sample every second key- and not every key- if you're making a key group?
To save some time, and sample space. I will never play a chord with to notes next to each other, so it will be hard to hear a note out of place. And still have some variation between all notes used in a scale. (Well, almost. But good enough for me.)

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