Akai Professional New Release Roundup

Akai Professional New Release Roundup

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It’s been a busy few weeks for Akai Professional as the brand has announced an assortment of new products and updates. These include plugins, hardware, software synths, and free updates.

First up is the MPK Mini Plus, which is a very compact mini-key MIDI controller. It features 37 keys with the Gen 2 Dynamic Keybed for expanded melodic and harmonic creation. Since it covers three full octaves, it allows for two-handed chords, arpeggiation, solos, and soundscapes. The keys also offer a wider velocity range for superior dynamics and response. In addition, it has dedicated pitch bend and modulation wheel controllers and an assignable joystick controller. Musicians can assign parameters to the x- and y-axis of the joystick, which can then be morphed between for unique and interesting textures. The MPK Mini Plus also makes DAW-less jam sessions possible with its onboard polyphonic 2-track step/live Sequencer. Along with an onboard arpeggiator, it offers eight notes of polyphony per step and 16 notes per drum step. The eight MPC drum pads are all velocity-sensitive and RGB backlit. They can also assign program changes, trigger additional CC parameters, and play dynamic beats and programming drums. 

Every function, including filters, automation, pan controls, and much more, can be dialed in with the eight assignable 360-rotary knobs of the MPK Mini Plus. In addition, it features chord mode for playing multiple notes and inversions with a single key and scale mode for only playing notes in the selected scale. Fifteen scale settings are available, along with many creative options for either mode. MPK Mini Plus has USB, 5-pin MIDI, and CV/GATE connectors, while control mapping makes it easy to use with your favorite DAW. Speaking of DAWs, it includes the powerful MPC Beats software, which features plenty of drum sounds, samples, plugin instruments, and more. Check out the hardware overview video embedded below and visit the official website (https://www.akaipro.com/mpk-mini-plus) for the full specifications. The MPK Mini Plus is available to purchase at the cost of $169.00. 

Also new by Akai Professional is Mini D, which is now available for MPC and FORCE owners. According to Akai Professional, Mini D was designed to allow users to experience the legendary American synth sound of one of the most iconic synths ever made, the Minimoog.

Mini D is a four-voice polysynth with a painstakingly modeled oscillator section that includes eight authentic oscillator waveforms and multiple LFO shapes. Mini D also has two filters and over 400 presets that range from basses and leads to percussion and synth FX. In addition to the “Classic” ladder style filter Mini D also has a more “modern” style filter that emulates the style of feedback filters that have become more popular in recent years. There’s no need for outboard gear or additional effects to add color to the sounds, as it comes with three effects on the end of the signal chain. These are EQ with Low/Mid/High bands and gain control, stereo chorus, and Delay. In addition, Mini D supports Q-LINK mapping, which places the most valuable instruments right at the fingertips of users. 

For more information or to download the demo, visit the official website (https://www.thempcstore.com/mpc-plugin-instruments/mini-d.html), where Mini D is also available at an introductory price of $79.00 (regular price is $99.00). The plugin is only available for standalone MPC OS version 2.11.6 or MPC desktop version 2.11.6 or later. 

Finally, Akai Professional has also released a brand new update for FORCE, the powerful standalone music production system for studio production and live performance. The FORCE 3.2 update brings even more plugin FX, sounds, creative editing, arranging and vocal effects processing, and more. A big addition is that FORCE 3.2 is now fully compatible with all MPC Plugin instruments and effects. It also features a new sounds mode, which makes it easy to find and audition sounds during the production process. Other highlights include new air effects, new probability, and ratcheting, the ability to re-order tracks directly from the Matrix, Mixer, or Arrange windows, and the option to capture a snapshot of all automation parameters in your project. In addition, thanks to this update, FORCE now contains support for Ableton Link v3 as well. Visit the official website for the complete list of enhancements, improvements, and new functionalities (https://www.akaipro.com/force-forcexus)