Akai Professional Force 3.1 Firmware Update

19 October 2021

Akai Professionals new FORCE 3.1 Firmware Update brings a whole host of new features, including seven new plugin insert effects (including a Vocal Suite), three new synth plugin instruments, Disk Streaming and Class Compliant USB Audio Interface Support. Additionally, there are improvements and upgrades on elements within FORCE for both new and existing users.

Effect Plugins, Instruments and AIR Vocal Suite

The FORCE 3.1 update adds seven new plug-in effects to its array of features, including Half Speed, Diffuser Delay, Stutter, Stereo Delay, Granulator, Diode Clipper, and AIR Limiter. These new effects allow for enhanced performance capabilities, creative options, mixing choices and mastering selections. To go into more detail, Diode Clipper adds grit and distortion to any source, AIR Limiter brings dynamic signal processing for punch, and the others quickly add even more flair to tracks via unique drops, edits and transitions.

Three exciting new plugin instruments come with the latest update in the form of AIR Mellotron, AIR Solina and WayOutWare’s Odyssey. The new plugins provide authentic recreations of iconic synthesisers and keyboard instruments, with the addition of strong graphical interfaces providing outstanding visual feedback. Additional texture and character can be added using Noise, Flutter, Distortion and more through the AIR Mellotron and AIR Solina plugins.

Not only are there new Instruments and effects, but there is also a new AIR Vocal Suite that presents the ability to create, record and mix the vocals effortlessly directly inside the FORCE. Subtle pitch correction and modern auto vocal tuned sound can all be carried out via the Vocal Tuner, whilst AIR Doubler adds depth and dimension, and AIR Harmonizer instantly transforms a single voice sound into four-part harmony. Finally, the Vocal Suite offers built-in volume, delay, pan, and eq to add to vocal arrangements easily.

FORCE 3.1 Flyover

Disk Streaming

Disk Streaming allows users to benefit from a more manageable and efficient workflow using external storage devices. Better systems mean better performance and expanded creativity, and Disk Streaming allows precisely this. For example, longer audio tracks can be recorded and played, complete DJ sets can be performed, or more extensive keygroup programs can be created whilst project load times are speedier.

Class Compliant USB Audio Interface Support

As a result of the Disk Streaming, the hardware connectivity of the FORCE can be expanded using the Class Compliant USB Audio Interface Support. Using one USB cable, 32 audio inputs and outputs can be linked up to and from the FORCE.

Drum and Keygroup engine updates enhance performances with a new portamento function for gliding notes and percussion. Additionally, sample shapes can be perfected with a dedicated pitch envelope, Akai Sample Tail can be used to smooth out drum breaks, and chops and ten drum pad effects including Bitcrush, Ringmod, Lowpass, Tubedrive and more can be accessed.

With the new FORCE 3.1 update comes massive workflow enhancements in the form of new functions to Buses (Submixes/Returns/Masters). More control and creativity options have been added, including the workflow on Buses following the same Playback, recording and editing of automation as other tracks. Submix and master tracks can be controlled using ‘Select’, ‘Rename’ and ‘Clips’ functions whilst creating an automation on the fly. In addition, MIDI integration is expanded through loading and exporting MIDI files to and from FORCE and assigning the FORCE’s parameters to a third-party controller for even more control options.

Overview of FORCE 3.1 Features

  • Three new plugin instruments – AIR Solina, AIR Mellotron and Odyssey
  • Seven new insert effects, including AIR Vocal Insert Effect with auto Vocal Tuning, AIR Double and AIR Harmonizer Plugins
  • Disk Streaming
  • Class Compliant USB Audio Interface Support
  • New MIDI file compatibility
  • Drum and Keygroup Engine Enhancements
  • Ten new Drum Pad Effects
  • New Buses functionality
  • Automatic sample Key Detection

This new firmware update propels the FORCE hardware unit into a modern music era. It makes for a powerful standalone music production unit, allowing for ultimate performance capabilities, ground-breaking features and functionality, along with new sounds and sound processing skills.

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