Gadgets

Akai Force Review – Ditching the Laptop Made Possible

Although modern music producers and DJs are wedded to their laptops and computers, it’s now possible to ditch that bulky device with the new Akai Force.

Akai has been making a name for itself since the 1990s, producing some of the most affordable yet high-quality S-series samplers and MPC. Over the years, the brand has become a mainstay in the industry. Its latest brainchild is the all-in-one Akai Force workstation. If there is one idea that is clear about the Akai Professional Force, is that it aims to remove laptops and computers in the workflow.

While other workstations help limit the use of laptops, they usually still require one to run. Meanwhile, the Akai Pro Force eliminates the need for separate devices while performing.

Check out this comprehensive Akai Force review and find out what this all-in-one workstation can bring on the table.

The Good:

  • Easy and quick to master the basic operations
  • Excellent connectivity with Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, audio, USB, MIDI, and CV
  • All necessary plug-ins come in the box

The Bad:

  • It’s an expensive system

Akai Force

Akai Force Key Specs:

  • Standalone system (no laptop or computer required)
  • 7-inches multi-touch screen display
  • 8×8 clip launch matrix
  • With RGB LEDs
  • Three inputs – Mic, Line, and Instrument
  • 1/8-inch TRC inputs – MIDI In, MIDI Out, MIDI Thru
  • 5-pin DIN adapters included
  • Graphical OLED display
  • (8) touch-sensitive knobs
  • (4) configurable CV/Gate outputs
  • Real-time pitch shift/time stretch
  • Comprehensive AIR effects set
  • 16-GB built-in storage
  • 2-GB of RAM
  • Can record (8) stereo tracks
  • (2) USB 3.0 ports for MIDI controllers or thumb drives
  • (10) gigs of sound included
  • Dimensions – 350 x 389 x 72.5 mm
  • Weight – 3.87 kg

What Does the Akai Force Do?

The Force from Akai is an all-in-one workstation. This device can work as a sampler, an effects processor, and a sequencer all on its own. It also comes with a bright display for the effects and offers tons of connectivity and tactility to other devices and accessories.

More than that, Akai’s Force also features a hybrid status unlike any other workstation out there. While you can use the device without your laptop, you can also connect it to a computer and use the Force as an Ableton Live controller.

Overall, there are tons of work you can do using Akai’s Force, from importing samples, recording, looping, key grouping, slicing, and warping, among many others.

With the Akai Force, you can quickly and conveniently start creating music without having to stare on your computer all day.

What’s Inside the Box?

The box of the Akai Force is a bit heavy, especially as the device itself weighs around 3.87kg. At its size of 350 x 389 x 72.5 mm, this workstation is a little bit bulky to be a back-pack friendly. You may need to have another bag to carry this one around.

Meanwhile, what you get aside from this all-in-one workstation are pre-installed contents, a power supply, an ethernet cable, a quick-start user guide, and the three MIDI adaptors.

Akai Force

Design and Construction

Akai Force is good-looking on photos, but it stands out even better in person. One of the standout features of this workstation is the 6.9 inches touchscreen display with the eight knobs placed neatly below the screen. There are also 64 pieces backlit RGB pads that add to the fresh and sleek look of the workstation.

With this combo, you can easily view up to three data sets simultaneously. Plus, aside from these elements that you need from any workstation, there are also several backlit buttons, a crossfader, and massive data entry dial.

The front panel of the device, there is the volume dial, an output and knob for your headphone, and a MicroSD card slot. The rear edge comes with the switches for mic and line levels, two inputs, four Gate/CV outputs, and MIDI jacks. Plus, there is also a USB-B port you can use to connect Akai’s Force to your computer and two USB-A ports for attaching external storage and a controller. More than that, the rear panel features an ethernet port as well.

Further, the Akai Force features a 2GB of RAM and 16GB of built-in storage. At the bottom of the device, there is a hatch, which you can use if you want to upgrade your storage space.

How Can You Use the Force?

Aside from its impressive design and build, another standout feature of the Akai Force is its fast and smooth hardware setup.

Connect your headphone on the all-in-one workstation, switch the device on, and the touchscreen display will view a comprehensive list of demo projects available. Loading a specific demo is as easy as clicking it o from the screen display. After that, you can start your work of art by launching the scenes and the clips using the pads. Even the crossfader is pre-assigned on the demo projects in the system, which will be easier on your part.

If that process is not as straightforward as you think, you can always consult the user manual anytime. You can also check online for updates. You can do that through a USB drive or by connecting the device to your computer.

The Ableton Link on your device also makes syncing to other hardware and software straightforward once it gets connected to the internet through Wi-Fi. If you don’t want to connect to a Wi-Fi network, you can take advantage of the ethernet connection instead.

Four Instruments Available

With the Akai Force, you can make use of four different instruments. The ones available are Electric piano, TubeSynth, the Hype synth, and the Bassline mono synth.

Although you may think that four built-in instruments aren’t a lot, the workstation comes equipped with countless of presets that you can use to create your masterpiece. You can also expect more to come as Akai release more preset collection for the upgrades in the future.

Bottomline

Akai’s Force is an innovative workstation that conveniently allows you to ditch your computer or laptop if you want to. You don’t necessarily need this device if you are already rocking a system that you’re happy using.

Akai’s Force is more like a device that you buy if you want it, and you’re highly attracted to its self-contained nature. Especially if you’re looking to lighten up the load, the Akai Force workstation is an excellent investment for you.

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