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Akai Pro intros Rhythm Wolf analog drum machine & bass synth

Akai Professional has announced Rhythm Wolf, an analog drum machine and bass synthesizer module with built-in sequencing.

Akai Rhythm Wolf

The Rhythm Wolf is an authentic analog instrument that combines the coveted sounds of early electronic and hip-hop music with genuine Akai Professional workflow. Inspired by the classic analog beat machines and synthesizers of the past, Rhythm Wolf enables today’s musicians to harness iconic analog sounds for music production and performance. The drum machine consists of five highly-tweakable drum sounds and includes a kick, snare, open & closed hi-hat, and metallic percussion. Onboard controls allow users to customize the tuning, amplitude envelopes, and volume of each drum voice separately for precise real-time adjustment. The bass synthesizer features a selectable oscillator (sawtooth or square wave), classic filter design, a filter envelope with variable decay, and is capable of creating powerful bass sounds and squelchy leads.

Outfitted with six genuine MPC pads and a built-in 32-step sequencer, the Rhythm Wolf provides an ultra-responsive interface with a classic drum machine layout. Drum patterns can be fine-tuned using the Swing function, Pattern Select, and Tempo Control knob. A custom distortion signal path, activated by the “Howl” knob, adds grit and character for additional tone shaping. Rhythm Wolf features USB-MIDI, MIDI In/Out, a gate trigger, and integrates seamlessly with modern and vintage equipment. Two audio outputs enable producers and performers to mix percussion sounds and bass independently.

Rhythm Wolf features

  • 5-voice analog drum machine and synth—authentic analog design that references classic rhythm machines and synthesizers.
  • Legendary analog drum sounds—kick, snare, open & closed hi-hat, and metallic percussion.
  • Synth-bass module—selectable square or sawtooth wave with classic filter design for warm, deep basses and squelchy leads..
  • Onboard 32-step sequencer—classic drum machine workflow for quickly laying down grooves and melodies.
  • Six genuine MPC pads—responsive controls for sequencing and finger drumming.
  • Howl knob—custom distortion circuit for additional sound design.
  • USB-MIDI and MIDI In/Out—flexible MIDI connectivity for easy integration into modern studios.
  • Gate Trigger—triggering via modular synths, vintage sequencers, or external sound sources.
  • Independent audio outputs—dedicated outputs for the drum machine and synth-bass module for precise mixing.

The Rhythm Wolf will be available in Summer 2014, distributed worldwide with a $199.99 USD street price.

Akai Professional will unveil the Rhythm Wolf at Musikmesse, Hall 5.1, Booth B45, March 12-15 in Frankfurt, Germany.

More information: Akai Pro

Akai Pro intros MPX16 sample recorder & player

Akai Professional has announced the MPX16, an advanced sample player with onboard sound recording.

Akai Pro MPX16

The portable MPX16 plays and records .WAV samples using SD cards for powerful, reliable performance in live and studio situations. Like the popular MPX8, samples are triggered internally from the highly responsive MPC-style pads or an external MIDI device via USB-MIDI and 3.5mm (1/4-inch) MIDI inputs. Also a feature-packed MIDI pad controller, the MPX16 is equally capable of launching clips or adding trigger pads to a producer’s studio.

Samples are captured at CD-quality via dual 6.3mm (1/4-inch) inputs or the on-board stereo microphone and saved to an SD card. The user may assign audio clips to the pads and apply tuning, filters, envelopes and “choke” grouping for creative, dynamic performances. An LCD screen and illuminated trigger pads provide visual feedback during use, and the MPX16 may be powered from a USB port or the included power supply. Naturally, users may load existing sound files onto an SD card or use the MPX16 as an SD card reader for drag-and-drop convenience on a Mac or PC. A software tool for even easier sample management is included via download.

MPX16 features

  • Record and play back stereo .WAV samples using any SD card.
  • 16 ultra-responsive, velocity sensitive backlit trigger pads.
  • Sample via 6.3mm (1/4-inch) inputs or internal mic.
  • MIDI In/Out easily integrates into your performance or studio setup.
  • Filter, tune, envelope and choke grouping on each pad.
  • CD quality sampling and playback.
  • Includes computer software editor for efficient loading and editing of samples.
  • Acts as an SD card reader for loading sounds over USB.
  • Powered by USB or the included power supply; SD card included.

The MPX16 will be available in Summer 2014, distributed worldwide with a $199.99 USD street price.

Akai Professional will unveil the MPX16 at Musikmesse, Hall 5.1, Booth B45, March 12-15 in Frankfurt, Germany.

More information: Akai Pro

Akai Pro announces APC40 mkII, APC Key 25 & APC mini

Akai Professional has announced the APC40 mkII, APC Key 25, and APC mini, three new Ableton Live controllers.

Akai Pro APC series 2014

In 2009, Akai Professional partnered with the creators of Ableton Live, a powerful performance and production software environment, and introduced the original Ableton Performance Controller. With the debut of the APC40, Akai Pro raised the standards for controller design and revolutionized Ableton Live software and hardware integration. Akai Pro now unveils the reimagined APC40 mkII along with two compact Ableton Live controllers—APC Key 25 and APC mini.

APC40 mkII

Akai Pro’s flagship Ableton Live controller, the new APC40 mkII, incorporates five years of user feedback into its design for extended functionality, countless musical capabilities, and improved workflow. The APC40 mkII features a 5×8 RGB LED clip-launching matrix, assignable A/B crossfader, 8 rotary knobs, 8 channel faders, and a send button for quick access to send busses.

Akai Pro APC40 mkII

Included with the APC40 mkII is a suite of software, samples, and loops for out-of-thebox electronic music production: Toolroom artist launch packs, Prime Loops sample packs, Hybrid 3 by AIR Music Technology, and SONiVOX Twist give users endless music production possibilities with hand-selected samples & loops and high-definition virtual synthesizers. The APC40 mkII is USB-powered and supports plug-and-play.

APC40 mkII features

  • 5×8 RGB LED clip matrix—launches clips with visual feedback.
  • 8 channel faders, 1 master fader, and 8 device controls—map to Ableton Live directly.
  • Intuitive layout—revised knob layout with in-line controls for smarter workflow.
  • A/B crossfader—can be assigned on the fly for dynamic mixing.
  • Send button—press and hold Send and use the Track Selects to choose one of 8 sends.
  • Music production content—Toolroom artist launch packs, Prime Loops sample packs, Hybrid 3 by AIR Music Technology & SONiVOX Twist.

APC Key 25

APC Key 25 is the first controller designed for Ableton Live that is equipped with a highperformance keyboard. Uniting the power of a clip-launching panel with a keyboard interface, the APC Key 25 couples real-time control of Ableton Live with traditional composition tools.

Akai Pro APC Key 25

The controller includes 25 synth-action mini keys, a 5×8 clip-launch matrix with tri-color visual feedback, 8 control knobs, USB power, and plug-and-play connectivity. The APC Key 25 comes mapped to Ableton, but can also be used as an all-purpose MIDI controller.

APC Key 25 features

  • Ableton Live controller with keyboard—25 synth-action mini keys.
  • Tri-color clip matrix—launches clips and multicolor lighting displays clip status.
  • 8 assignable control knobs—hands-on-control of any Ableton Live parameter.
  • Octave Up, Octave Down, and Sustain—expands keyboard range and expression.
  • Music production content—Toolroom artist launch packs, Hybrid 3 by AIR Music Tech & SONiVOX Twist.

APC mini

APC mini is the most portable all-in-one Ableton controller solution with Akai Pro build quality. Engineered for the mobile musician or producer, APC mini concentrates the essential features of the APC40 mkII into a space-saving design.

Akai Pro APC mini

An expanded 8×8 multicolor clip-launching grid, 8 channel faders, and a compact chassis provide unprecedented hands-on control over Ableton Live with a small footprint. The APC mini is also USB-powered and supports plug-and-play.

APC mini features

  • Tri-color clip matrix—8×8 grid launches clips and multicolor lighting displays clip status.
  • 8 channel faders & 1 master fader—provide hands-on-control of Ableton.
  • Compact construction—portable design for mobile performers and producers.
  • Music production content—Toolroom artist launch packs & Hybrid 3 by AIR Music Tech.

The APC40 mkII, APC Key 25, and APC mini will be available in Summer 2014, distributed worldwide with the following street prices: APC40 mkII ($399.99 USD), APC Key 25 ($129.99 USD), and APC mini ($99.99 USD).

Akai Professional will unveil the APC40 mkII, APC Key 25, and APC Mini at Musikmesse, Hall 5.1, Booth B45, March 12-15 in Frankfurt, Germany.

More information: Akai Pro

Akai Pro announces new models in MPK line of keyboard controllers

Akai Professional has announced four additions to its MPK USB keyboard/pad controller series— the 25-key MPK225, 49-key MPK249, 61-key MPK261 and an update to the ultra-portable MPK Mini.

Akai Pro MPK49
Akai Pro MPK249 USB/MIDI Performance Keyboard.

Housed in a slimmer, all-new design, each full-size model features RGB backlit trigger pads lifted straight from the MPC Renaissance and a 20-character LCD screen with comprehensive parameter feedback. Designed to erase the line between hardware control and software performance, the new MPK family also includes the ability to send QWERTY-style commands using soft-controls, a low-power mode for iOS connectivity via the Camera Connection Kit and enhanced response from the refined keybed.

The latest members of the full-size MPK series also come with advanced music production software titles including Ableton™ Live Lite and MPC Essentials – a powerful sample-based groove production application – and spectral morphing synth Twist from SONiVOX. Owners of the MPK249 and MPK261 will also receive AIR Music Tech’s high-definition Hybrid 3 virtual synth, while MPK261 owners also receive SONiVOX Eighty-Eight Ensemble.

MPK (full-size models) features

  • New full-size, semi-weighted keybed in 25-, 49- and 61-key models.
  • Backlit, velocity-sensitive RGB trigger pads derived from the MPC Renaissance.
  • Includes industry-leading music creation software from Ableton™, Akai Professional, AIR and SONiVOX.
  • New layout with LCD screen for faster access to essential DAW-based functions.
  • 8 assignable control knobs; 8 assignable faders on 49- and 61-key models.
  • USB-MIDI with 5-pin MIDI input & output; sustain and expression pedal inputs.
  • Hyper-responsive pitch bend & modulation wheels; octave controls.

The refreshed MPK Mini Laptop Production Keyboard remains true to its name as the ultimate portable keyboard controller.

Akai Pro MPK Mini
The new MPK Mini Laptop Production Keyboard.

It’s comprised with an impressive array of controls in the small 25 mini-key frame including an all-new joystick control for pitch and modulation functionality, trigger pads ported from the MPC Renaissance, famed Note Repeat, a full-size USB connector, and an improved keybed.

MPK Mini features

  • Ultra-compact design lets you create anywhere; 25 synth-action mini keys.
  • 8 backlit, velocity-sensitive trigger pads derived from the MPC Renaissance.
  • New 4-way thumbstick for dynamic pitch/modulation control.
  • 8 assignable control knobs for mixing, tweaking plug-ins and more.
  • USB-powered; no power adapter required.

The new range of full-size MPK controllers will cost $249.99 USD (MPK225) / $399.99 USD (MPK249) / $499.99 USD (MPK261), and the MPK Mini will be $99.99 USD.

Akai Professional will unveil the MPK keyboard controllers at the 2014 NAMM Show in Hall A, Booth 6700, January 23-26 in Anaheim, California.

More information: Akai Pro

Numark NS7 II performance DJ controller now shipping

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Numark has announced the availability of the NS7 II, a dramatically enhanced and updated version of the industry’s most advanced and best-selling 4-channel motorised DJ controller/mixer.

Numark NS7 II

Numark has set a breathtaking pace for digital DJ’ing for more than 20 years, empowering DJs with cutting-edge technology to continually advance the art form to hitherto unparalleled heady heights. In 2007, Numark and Serato® unleashed the original NS7, a clever controller/mixer combo that brought a level of performance with digital media that had never before been achieved, accurately reproducing the look and feel of vinyl, beautifully blurring the boundaries between different DJ’ing eras so successfully that it made them almost indistinguishable. Since then, the powerful practice proffered by the NS7 has defined top-tier DJ performance, perfectly setting the bar by which all other controllers can be justifiably judged. Until now, that is!

Now Numark is pushing contemporary DJ performance capabilities even further forward with its all-new NS7 II, incorporating iconic technology from Akai Professional, music production technology trendsetter and creator of the MPC legendary lineup. The NS7 II’s 16 MPC® pads can be instantly assigned to control five dynamic performance features in Serato DJ — namely, CUES, AUTO/ROLL, LOOP, SAMPLER, and SLICER. Moreover, each pad features RGB illumination, allowing for an almost endless amount of colour variations via MIDI. Vinyl platter control has never felt more familiar courtesy of its high- and low-torque motorised platters with real slip mats and real vinyl sitting on 3,600 ticks of resolution!

NS7 II features

  • 7-inch motorized turntables with ultra-high-resolution MIDI (3600 ticks per rotation).
  • 4-channel mixer and 24-bit audio interface built in.
  • 16 multi-color MPC® pads from Akai Professional.
  • Capacitive touch-sensitive filter, EQ, and effects knobs.
  • Genuine vinyl discs and real felt slipmats for unmatched tactile control.
  • The most intuitive and seamless control for Serato DJ available.
  • Connect and mix CD players, turntables, MP3 players, or any other external source.
  • Mixer can operate standalone, with or without your computer.
  • High- and low-torque turntable settings.
  • Comprehensive Loop, Sample, Slicer, and Hot Cue controls.
  • Strip Search™ virtual needle-drop technology.
  • Serato DJ software included.
  • Curve-adjustable CP-Pro crossfader.
  • Dedicated iZotope® effects controls.
  • Rugged all-metal construction.

The NS7 II costs 1,199 EUR / $1,499.95 USD / £999 GBP.

More information: Numark / NS7 II

Akai Pro intros MPC Element

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Akai Professional has announced MPC Element, a new MPC unit which combines with the all-new MPC Essentials software at a groundbreaking price to make the iconic MPC music-making experience available to everyone.

Akai MPC Element

Adding to their industry-leading MPC line, which includes the flagship MPC Renaissance and slimline MPC Studio controllers, Akai Professional has now introduced MPC Element along with its new software platform, MPC Essentials. With dimensions similar to popular tablet computers, MPC Element is Akai Professional’s most portable MPC yet, and it’s also the most affordable with a price of just $149.99 USD.

“This is professional music-making capability for everyone,” said Dan Gill, Product Manager, Akai Professional (@Akai_Pro).

An MPC for Everyone

MPC Element includes classic MPC Note Repeat, Swing, Full Level, 16 Level, and Tap Tempo technologies and, like MPC Renaissance and MPC Studio, MPC Element’s pads are multicolor as well as pressure- and velocity-sensitive. “It’s versatile. We’ve designed MPC Element to be as powerful as you need it to be. You can easily load your own samples, quickly make beats, or dive deep into the included sound library and get down into the details,” said Gill.

The MPC Element will be available to purchase in October 2013, priced at $149.99 USD.

More information: Akai Professional / MPC Element

AIR updates Ignite to v1.2

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AIR Ignite

AIR Music Technology has released version 1.2 of its Ignite music creation software.

Offering an entirely unique approach to making music with computers, Ignite v1.2 adds over a dozen features and enhancements, while delivering seamless integration with a growing list of top-name controller hardware from Alesis, AKAI professional, and M-Audio.

Ignite provides an original and musician-centric way to craft music. Free of the constraints of traditional DAW software, Ignite allows musical ideas to be quickly captured, combined, and arranged—with professional results. With Ignite v1.2, improvements have been made to the intuitive graphic interface. The Arranger screen now makes it simple to duplicate ideas (called Clips), encouraging experimentation. The timeline graphics have been updated, and other workflow enhancements have been added to advance the user experience.

“The response so far has been tremendous, with over 25,000 users having already downloaded Ignite. We’ve been getting a steady flow of feedback, some of which we have already used to drive the improvements in Version 1.1 and 1.2. Customers have started to post and share music they have created using Ignite,” said Samara Winterfeld, Principal Product Manager for AIR Music Technology. “We are thrilled with the response Ignite has received from our M-Audio customers and are equally excited to bring the same level of integration to Akai and Alesis customers.”

From day one, Ignite has offered seamless integration with M-Audio keyboard controllers, eliminating any time-consuming mapping and set-up chores. Ignite v1.2 now supports twelve popular Alesis and AKAI Professional keyboard controllers with this same plug-and-play integration, meaning that the vast majority of people using keyboard controllers now have full access to Ignite—for free.

Ignite v1.2 is available via download to owners and purchasers of supported products. In addition to keyboard controllers, Ignite will also be included with a select group of audio interfaces including the new M-Audio M-Track Series and the popular M-Audio Vocal Studio.

More information: AIR Music Technology / Ignite

Akai Professional releases MPC Studio

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Akai Professional has announced the release of MPC Studio, a slimline MPC for portable music production.

Akai MPC Studio
Akai’s MPC Studio offers the most streamlined MPC experience yet.

Following on the heels of MPC Renaissance, which became available in stores in September and sold out immediately, MPC Studio is Akai Professional’s most streamlined MPC experience yet. At less than one inch thin with low-profile controls and a brushed aluminum body, MPC Studio is made to move, merging real MPC pads, iconic MPC workflow, and the same MPC Software used by MPC Renaissance to give producers a fully integrated portable music-making solution.

“Since MPC Renaissance hit stores, we’ve already updated, expanded, and enhanced the MPC Software three times—we’re committed to making it one of the most advanced and powerful DAWs available,” said Dan Gill, Akai Professional Product Manager. “The bonus of The Bank and other free MPC Expansions make MPC Studio and MPC Renaissance instantly powerful production instruments right out of the box.”

In addition to MPC Software, with purchase of MPC Studio, customers will get The Bank—a 7-gigabyte 300-instrument virtual workstation exploding with all the essential sounds of modern production, including basses, leads, effects, keyboards, and more—plus The 809, an MPC Expansion full of classic and punchy analog drums.

MPC Studio features

  • Now with MPC Software version 1.3.
  • Fuses MPC production capability with your Mac or PC.
  • 16 MPC pads, 4 touch-sensitive Q-Link knobs.
  • Brushed aluminum body less than 1” thin.
  • USB-powered with low-profile controls.
  • MPC Note Repeat and MPC Swing.
  • Includes MPC Software, The Bank and 1 MPC Expansion.

MPC Studio is now available from music instrument retailers with an MSRP of $999 USD and an estimated street price of $599 USD. All three of Akai Professional’s new MPCs will be on display at Booth 6700 at the 2013 NAMM show, January 24-27 in Anaheim, California.

More information: Akai Professional / MPC Studio