Akai Professional Updates Force, MPC With Ableton Live Control

Today Akai Professional announced firmware updates for its Force and MPC controllers that include Ableton Live Control. The new firmware delivers control of Ableton Live’s session view, mixer, effects and devices via wi-fi for Force, MPC X and MPC Live.

Force and MPC come pre-mapped for tactile control of Ableton Live clip launching, mixer panel and Ableton devices. Ableton Live Control functions wirelessly over a wi-fi network via Ableton Link.

This level of Ableton integration from a standalone device is noteworthy, and Ableton Live Control mode has been designed to make it possible for users to switch between standalone operation and Live Control mode without ever stopping playback from either platform.

With Ableton Control integration, Akai Pro has bridged the standalone and Ableton worlds for, in the words of Akai Pro developers, “an unprecedented amount of creative power.”

Force and MPC plugin instruments Bassline and Tube Synth, sound processing FX and sample manipulation algorithms, paired with Ableton and the power of clip launching is here.

Ableton Live Control Features:

  • Matrix Tab – The Matrix tab displays an 8×8 section of Live’s Session View marked in the Live GUI by the colored session ring. Users have a complete overview of—and immediate access to—the scenes, clips, play status, recording status as well as control over playback, recording quantize functions and scene/ clip management.
  • Mixer Tab – The Mixer Tab provides instant access to Live’s key mixing functions, divided into three views for control of Levels, Main mixer parameters and Sends. Using Force’s touch interface, control any slider/knob or bring up a full screen editor for precise adjustments.
  • Device Control Tab – The device tab controls the device on the current track at Ableton Live’s Blue Hand position, providing control and key visual feedback on Ableton Instruments and third-party plugins.
  • Control Bar – At the top of the touch user interface, users can customize the Control Bar to display preset displays for Session, Arrangement and Performance modes including BPM, Phase Nudge Down/Up, Metronome, Follow, Overdub, Automation Arm and more.

Dan Gill, Senior Product Manager for Akai Professional said, “With every update, we redefine the products and extend the scope of their capabilities. With these firmware releases for Force and MPC, our standalone platforms join with Ableton Live to provide musicians, performers and producers unparalleled creative possibilities. … We are delighted to provide the production community with a control solution for Ableton Live, while harnessing the sheer creative power of the world’s greatest standalone production and performance solutions.”

For additional details of the firmware updates, or to download the latest firmware, visit akaipro.com.

23 thoughts on “Akai Professional Updates Force, MPC With Ableton Live Control

  1. Been waiting on a song mode since release. Saw the screenshots of the arrangement view after the last update, got excited. Then all the focus went into ableton integration, which was also promised, but a standalone machine you cant arrange a complete song is a bit lacking.

    Fingers still crossed for the linear sequencer, or even some way to launch clips in a song mode.

    1. this is why (along with bugs etc) that i lost faith in the force, along with the fact i dont like any of the sounds ive heard from it, i think the roland 707 is a much better product, hopefully eventually it will get a song mode aswell

        1. If you ever worked with the display from the force you would never go back to the endless menu diving system from roland… I like their synths but how to control them is in so many ways too complicated…

          1. Thats the reason why I will also rather get the force. The 707 looks really attractive. But for only 300€ more you get endless possibilities and a real screen. Price-wise they are to close to each other. They should sell the 707 for 699€.

    2. Why do you assume “all the focus” went to Ableton integration? Do you have a spy cam into Akai HQ? Just because one was released before the other doesn’t mean it took more attention.

      1. They mentioned work on the ableton integration and the Arranger when they announced the beta program. On the development side, one was a higher priority otherwise both would have been released in the same update. But maybe they didnt focus on one over the other, I’m just an outsider making opinions in the comments section, same as you.

        And I do have a spy cam, its just not really focused on anything right now.

  2. I cant shame the force for what its lacking since ive been pretty productive with it and getting away from the computer. But thats my focus, staying away from the computer. Doing motions graphics 40-60 hours a week doesn’t make you want to open up FL studio or Reason and continue working in the same spot on the same computer for more hours.

    1. With a max pattern lenght of 999 bars, why would it? conditrigs are elektron’s crutch for dealing with a max pattern lenght of 4 bars :p

      1. Actually, Conditional Trigs can be used as a workflow. I find it much more easier to hash out lengthy patterns, along with the inspiration I get from it.

  3. Great. Last time we got Slice, now Ableton. And we still don’t have multi midi capabilities. How about something actually MPC related, next time, Akai?

    1. Maybe they are not focused on Ableton Integration, or anything specific for that matter. Just working on everything exclusively but releasing things in an unfocused and unintentional way not based specifically on priority of any featured software DAW.

  4. I bought the MPC Live because it is standalone and i like the workflow ( was starting on an MPC 60 and 2000 ). I really enjoy the last updates ( Air plugins, Virtual instruments, bussing capability, Splice, etc ) But i’m not sure about the fact that it become a midi controller… I mean, why focus on computer stuff when you sold Standalone hardware? The MPC need to have better midi ( mulitimbral, midi channel input to Track, fast midi mapping with memory recall, an updated sampling capability for instruments ). Please Akai please! 🙂

  5. This is Akai finally being true to their word at launch that this would be available. I personally want track or song arrangement more, but that was never promised and has only been added to any potential roadmap due to user feedback. I am glad this is out as now they can and hopefully will focus on other updates like HD streaming and arrangement mode.

    1. They may not have said it will have a song mode, but it sort of needs a song mode. It was released without export options but that shouldn’t have been less of a priority than Ableton Integration because “they gave their word on extra features” over required ones.
      The small subset of people who will actually produce seriously with the force and ableton tightly integrated is probably pretty low. Its a nice to have but if your intention is to use ableton with a controller, there are a world of options but substantially less standalone hardware that you can produce on from start to finish all in the box. Maybe focus on boosting that feature set.

  6. great job Akai, these units were already flexible but they keep getting better, so many ways to use them with various workflows, keep up the good work.

    1. yup, kudos to them for building the first standalone hardware workstation grooveboxes with quadcore arm processor. native never tried it when they were big. what a shame.

  7. It looks impressive enough but it’s definitely not something for which I’d trade in my Push. Some things look very out of touch to me.. for example, the touch screen may look cool but I don’t see that being too useful in the heat of the moment. After all: how many times have you misfired something when using your phone? That’s something you don’t want to happen in a Live situation…

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