Akai Professional intros Timbre Wolf & Tom Cat

Akai Professional has announced the Timbre Wolf and Tom Cat, two new all-analogue instruments.

The Timbre Wolf is an authentic analog 4-voice polyphonic synthesizer.

Akai Pro Timbre Wolf

Configurable as 4 mono synths, a 4-voice unison or a 4-voice polysynth, Timbre Wolf includes a professional quality 25-key custom Akai Pro keybed.

The user can easily customise the sound of each voice independently as they play, and there is a 32-step sequencer for each voice. An LED display and Octave +/- controls add further control and flexibility for the user.

Timbre Wolf adds a distinctive, convincing traditional voice to any musician’s repertoire of tools.

Tom Cat is an exciting true analog drum machine with five built-in percussion voices, including Kick, Snare, and Clap sounds with chromatically tunable Disco Toms.

Akai Pro Tom Cat

Onboard controls—all continuously variable—enable users to customise the tuning, amplitude envelopes, and volume of each drum voice separately for precise real-time adjustment.

Outfitted with six MPC-style pads and a built-in 32-step sequencer, Tom Cat 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 signal path, activated by its unique “Maul” circuitry, lets the user ‘dirty up’ their drum beats for just the right effect.

Timbre Wolf and Tom Cat will be available in Q2 with MSRPs of £299.99 GBP and £149.99 GBP, respectively. Visit Akai Professional at NAMM, Booth number 6700 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, CA, January 22-25.

More information: Akai Professional

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Akai Professional announces Advance Keyboard Series

Akai Professional has announced the introduction of its Advance Keyboard Series. Available in 25-, 49-, and 61-key sizes, the Advance 25, Advance 49, and Advance 61 provide unprecedented playability and advanced manipulation of any virtual instrument via an interactive, full-colour display complemented by performance friendly hardware controls.

Akai Pro Advance Keyboard Series

Designed to fuse the power of software instruments with the live playability of a keyboard workstation, the Advance Keyboard series transforms computer-based plugins into an entirely hands-on playing experience. The keyboard surface features an integrated highresolution full-colour 4.3-inch display, providing real-time control and feedback of any and all virtual instrument parameters. The screen instantly adapts itself to the selected plugin’s controls, delivering immediate 1:1 access to the instrument and various editable functions. Better yet, the Advance Keyboard series works with any VSTi virtual instrument. Using the Advance Keyboard’s custom designed Virtual Instrument Player (VIP) software application, your entire VSTi library can be controlled in one application. VIP can operate as a plugin inside any major digital audio workstation (DAW) or as a stand-alone application on both Mac and Windows operating systems.

Dedicated physical controls are thoughtfully included, with Akai Professional’s hallmark RGB backlit, velocity- and pressure-sensitive pads integrated into each keyboard surface. Rubberised pitch and modulation wheels deliver player-preferred note manipulation with highly musical action. Large, continuously-variable endless knobs invite frequent use, letting the user make parameter adjustments with granular or dramatic effect. A custom semiweighted, velocity-sensitive keybed—another Akai Professional specialty—supports aftertouch, making it an elite keyboard for seasoned live performers and studio producers alike.

“The Advance Keyboard series represents a giant leap forward for keyboard players,” says Dan Gill, Product Manager for Akai Professional. “Until now, software-based instruments leaned heavily on computer interaction, which caused creative and logistical bottlenecks, especially during live performances. We’re combining the processing power of your computer, the flexibility of your virtual instrument collection, and the hands-on immediacy of a traditional keyboard workstation. The result is a powerful and inspiring user experience.”

Included with each Advance Keyboard is the Virtual Instrument Player (VIP) application. VIP gives Advance Keyboard users access any virtual instrument in their collection with or without a DAW—a powerful way to play virtual instruments live or integrate them into a recording session. VIP software users can also create setlists that provide on-demand access to usercurated instruments for stage performance and studio work. With a single button press on an Advance Keyboard, the player can adapt to song changes as the live performance progresses—without ever reaching for the computer. Performers of all types will welcome VIP’s facilities for hyper-fast instrument and patch browsing, key zone splitting, layering of up to 8 instruments per VIP instance, expansive custom mapping capabilities, and support for any VSTi plugin. Advance Keyboard users may run as many instances of the Virtual Instrument Player as their computer allows. VIP runs as a VSTi, AU, RTAS or AAX plugin, allowing you access to VSTi’s in virtually any DAW, such as Pro Tool, Logic Pro X and Ableton Live.

Gill continues, “Keyboard players have been straddling two worlds for the better part of the decade. A standalone keyboard workstation was only as current as the sounds inside of it, and similarly, virtual instruments were only as good as the best controllers. The Advance Keyboard series delivers uninhibited access to any virtual instrument in your library without losing focus of the instrument in front of you.”

Each Advance Keyboard ships with a 16GB download of over 10,000 sounds from industryleading developers at AIR Music Technology, SONiVOX, and Prime Loops. Purchased separately, this comprehensive collection of nine plugins is valued at over $1,000.00 USD and provides Advance Keyboard owners with an instant palette of contemporary and coveted sounds for live performance and studio production.

Akai Pro Advance 25

Advance Keyboard Series features

  • Keyboards for advanced virtual instrument performance.
  • Integrated 4.3-inch high-resolution full-colour screen with dedicated interface buttons.
  • Screen provides 1:1, real-time feedback of plugin parameters.
  • Available in 25-, 49-, and 61- key sizes.
  • Includes Virtual Instrument Player software for unprecedented virtual instrument preset management, control mapping and multi patch creation.
  • Premium, semi-weighted velocity-sensitive keybed with aftertouch.
  • 8 large, endless and continuously variable control knobs.
  • 8 velocity- and pressure-sensitive MPC-style pads with RGB illumination.
  • Dedicated pad bank, transport control, octave, and performance buttons.
  • Note repeat, time-division, pattern arpeggiator, and tap-tempo buttons.
  • Rubberised Pitch and Modulation wheels.
  • Expression pedal and footswitch inputs.
  • USB and 5-pin MIDI Input/Output for use with any MIDI capable software or hardware.
  • Also functions as a standalone controller.
  • Includes a 16GB download with more than 10,000 sounds from leading virtual instrument designers including AIR Music Technology, SONiVOX and Prime Loops.

Virtual Instrument Player Software features

  • Plays virtually every VSTi compatible plugin.
  • Operates as a standalone virtual instrument player for your computer.
  • Also operates as a plugin within any AU, VST, or AAX compatible DAW.
  • Organises your plugin collection with intuitive browsing by plugin, artist collection instrument type, timbre, and more.
  • Access, edit, and mix up to 8 virtual instruments at one time.
  • Setlist feature lets live performers switch between patches from any plugin instantly from the keyboard.
  • Extensive key zone splitting, custom mapping, and instrument mixing options.
  • Pre-mapped to hundreds of industry-leading virtual instruments.
  • Unlimited instances of VIP may be run in a DAW.

Advance 25, Advance 49, and Advance 61 will be available in early 2015 with an MSRP of £299.99 GBP, £389.99 GBP, and £469.99 GBP, respectively.

More information: Akai Pro / Advance Keyboard Series

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Akai Pro updates MPC software to v1.7.2

Related: , , , , Posted in news on Dec 10, 2014 - comment 0 comments

Akai Professional has released a version 1.7.2 update of its MPC software, with which Akai Pro wishes to foster a community of expansion builders.

This new update brings a number of useful bug fixes, stability enhancements and two new features.

Q-Link Assign
Streamline the way you can assign Q-Links in main mode. Now you can simply drag a pad to the pad panel straight in the Q-Link from the GUI. The Q-Link will automatically be assigned to the pad.

Expansion Files
Now available with the MPC expansion builder app. Simply drag in a directory and enter the details of your pack; the title, name, cover image, version number and some info about your creation, then hit “Do It”. The expansion builder will create an XPN file that you could share to the world. Drag that XPN file into MPC 1.7.2. No windows of Mac installers needed, just a seamless expansion installer experience.

To celebrate this update they have teamed up with Sonivox, the creators of the current MPC Expansions, to bring you a 50% discount (now $99.99 USD) on Playa Producer Pack (The discount is automatically applied in cart).

More information: Akai Professional

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Will Marshall releases DJ Template MkII for Ableton Live 9 & APC40 MkII

Will Marshall has announced the release of the DJ Template MkII, an out-of-the-box setup for DJing and performance in Ableton Live 9 with the new APC40 MkII.

Will Marshall DJ Template MkII

Elegant and intuitive, this template will have you ready to perform in minutes.

With awesome FX, on-the-fly looping controls, step sequencing, crystal-clear visual feedback and extensive workflow enhancements, the APC has never been more powerful. We’ve even written our own Remote Script to add features unachievable with Max4Live or MIDI mapping!

DJ Template MkII features

  • Full internal mixing.
  • DJ EQs.
  • Four deck mixing.
  • Smart faders.
  • Momentary, send, inline and dummy effects.
  • A visual metronome.
  • Volume meters on the APC.
  • A powerful drum sequencer.
  • Extensive video tutorials.
  • Online support.
  • Free updates.
  • A handy automated installer.

The template pack is available for purchase for $20 USD. A simplified free version is available to download.

More information: Will Marshall / DJ Template MkII

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Akai Professional updates MPC Software to v1.7 (incl. AAX)

Related: , , , , Posted in news on Sep 09, 2014 - comment 0 comments

Akai Professional has announced the release of version 1.7 of the MPC Software, the software platform for creating music with the MPC Renaissance and MPC Studio.

Akai Professional MPC Software v1.7

MPC Software version 1.7 introduces AAX compatibility for use with Pro Tools 10 and 11. In addition, the software’s audio structure has been optimized to allow for deeper manipulation of MPC programs including an enriched mixer interface, multi-processor audio path, improved metering accuracy, and new automation capabilities. Legacy MPC Software project files are supported by version 1.7 with the addition of enhanced creative control.

Continuing MPC’s track record for world-class content, MPC Software version 1.7 delivers a host of powerful new sonic tools. Hybrid 3, the bestselling synthesizer plugin from AIR Music Technology, is seamlessly integrated into the software. With automatic intelligent mapping of MPC’s controls, users can create lush, high-definition synth parts in the same environment as sample-based music. Version 1.7 also includes two free expansions from Prime Loops, the premier creator of sound libraries for music producers and DJs. The two expansions, Deep House Drums and Official Trap Drums, span over 30 new programs of fresh kits, loops, and demo tracks. A new expansion browser provides streamlined access to all instruments and sample expansion packs with better organization of programs, samples, and sequences.

The update also adds new creative workflow features. Direct Record brings a live loop-station-style sampling option to Sample Record Mode, letting producers build complex layered recordings effortlessly. For greater flexibility within the DAW environment, MPC users may export their project audio by program or track, as well as being able to mixdown insert return buses and the master effects insert.

“This is a monumental update for the MPC user,” noted Dan Gill, Akai Professional Product Manager. “We have added features and content that will ignite the creative process while giving the user more capability than ever within their favorite DAW. Even more, we are including an industryleading synthesizer and two expansions to push the sonic boundaries even further.”

Changes in MPC Software v1.7

  • AAX plugin compatibility for use with Pro Tools 10 and 11.
  • All-new audio mixer architecture with improved metering and control.
  • Multiprocessor audio path with enhanced performance.
  • Extensive track automation with in-depth visual feedback.
  • Hybrid 3 built-in; a virtual synth from AIR Music Technology.
  • Comprehensive audio export; export audio by program and track.
  • Direct Record mode: real-time loopstyle sample layering.
  • Mixer view filters for customized display of essential parameters.
  • All-new expansion browser with adjustable sample-audition volume.
  • Two free Prime Loops expansions; 30+ programs of kits, loops, and demo tracks.
  • New keyboard shortcuts for greater efficiency during common tasks.
  • Over 100 workflow and stability enhancements.

MPC Software version 1.7 is available now as a free update for MPC Renaissance and MPC Studio owners. Internet-connected computers will automatically prompt MPC Software users for an update upon program startup.

More information: Akai Professional / MPC Series

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