Compatibility

This is a firmware update.

Firmware

This release is for Force hardware.

Downloading the Update

To download the 3.0.3 Firmware Update, navigate to the Force product page and click on Downloads to find the link:

For instructions on installing the update, please visit our knowledge base article here.

New Features

Step Automation

You can now input, edit and view automation in the Step Sequencer.  Press the Menu button and choose Step Sequencer :

  • By default the Step Sequencer’s Parameter field displays Velocity. However you can now change this field to display any of the parameters that have been automated on the current track. Double tap the Parameter field to reveal its drop down menu. From the drop down menu choose an existing automation parameter, or use the Add New option then select a parameter to create an empty automation lane. You can now freely draw in automation using a touch drag gesture.
  • The Knobs Screen mode emulates traditional knob based step sequencers giving you tactile control of each step’s automation value on the Force’s Knobs. Use Bank 1 of the Knobs to adjust Steps 1 to 8 and Bank 2 to adjust Steps 9 to 16.
  • As you adjust a step via the TUI or a Knob the value of the step is displayed in the top right hand corner of the Parameter field. 
  • Hold Shift and push the ‘Clear Auto’ f-key to clear the current automation parameters events.
  • Hold Shift and push the ‘Clear Bar’ f-key to clear the current automation parameters events within the current bar.
  • Use the Slider on the right hand side of the Step Sequencer to increase or decrease the automation steps for the visible time range. 
  • To experiment with preset automation shapes such as Saw or Triangle waveforms for any automation parameter draw in a some automation using a touch drag gesture. Next, press the Presets button and push one of the Saw, Square, or Triangle buttons to quickly transform the existing automation to preset automation shapes. Pushing a preset button multiple times will cycle through faster variations of the shape. Beneath the preset shapes are two further buttons, the >I< button will flip the automation events within the current bar. The Up I Down button will invert the values of the different steps within the current bar.
  • Nudge the events for the current automation parameter left or right using the < Nudge > buttons. The Nudge operation is performed at the current TC value.

Grid Automation

You can now input, edit and view automation in the Clip Event/Region editors. On a MIDI track go to Clip Edit then select the Event tab, on an Audio track go to Clip Edit then select the Region tab :

  • On a MIDI track tap the up arrow on Parameter Bar to display the Velocity/Automation lane. By default the Velocity/Automation lane displays Velocity however you can now change this field to display any of the parameters that have been automated on the current track. Double tap the Parameter combo box to bring up its drop down menu. From the drop down menu choose an existing automation parameter or use the Add New option, then select a parameter to create an empty automation lane. You can now freely draw in automation using the Pencil tool.
  • Use the Pencil tool to draw in a single automation event by touching inside the automation lane, draw in multiple automation events using a touch drag gesture. 
  • Use the Eraser tool to erase a single automation event by touching the event, erase multiple automation events using a touch drag gesture.

Ableton Live Set Export - you can now export your Force project to an Ableton ALS project file. Push Save and from the Save selector choose Ableton Live Set. When using Plugin, Drum or Keygroup tracks you can choose to render those tracks as Audio to preserve the sound of the instruments or render them as MIDI. You can also bypass volume, pan and insert effects and set Audio Tail, Bit Depth, and Sample Rate.

Export all clips or export a single clip - you can now export the clips in your Force project to audio, MIDI or MPC Pattern files. Push Save and from the Save selector choose All Clips. When using Plugin, Drum or Keygroup tracks you can choose to render those tracks as audio to preserve the sound of the instruments or render them as MIDI. You can set the Base Name field so your exported files use either the track name or clip name. You can also bypass volume, pan and insert effects and choose Audio Tail, Bit Depth, Sample Rate. Once you have configured your settings pushing Export will create a folder for each track and then render the tracks clips into it. To export a single clip select the clip you want to export and then push the Save button and from the Save Selector choose Clip As Audio or Clip As MIDI.

Matrix Mode enhancements - You can now copy, paste, create and delete clips from the Matrix mode. Press and hold on a Clip slot to bring up a drop down menu of options. 

Convert to Keygroup - On a Drum track you can now quickly convert a sample assigned to a pad into a Keygroup track so you can play the sample chromatically. To create a Keygroup track from a drum pad, on a Drum track, go to Notes mode, hold Shift + Edit and tap a drum pad or on a Drum track go to Track Edit and from the TUI toolbar push the keyboard+ icon. 

Play scales from your external keyboard. Hold Shift and push Notes to bring up the Notes Config dialogue. The new MIDI Input field has three states As Played, Snap to Scale and Filter to Scale. As played - the external MIDI input is unchanged, Snap to Scale - notes played that are outside the current scale snap to notes within the scale, Filter Out - notes played that are outside the current scale are filtered out.

Step Sequencer - For melodic track types (Plugin/Keygroup/MIDI/CV) there is now a new Step Sequencer mode - Mono Lanes. In this mode when you enter a new note it will erase any other notes at that time position making it fast to create single line melodies or basslines. 

The Force’s Mixer now contains eight submixes. To assign a track to a submix, go to the Mixer mode, then Inserts and I/O tab and double tap the Output field of a track, from the drop down menu choose Sub 1-8. To add effects to a Submix or adjust its level or pan swipe right go to the Master section of the Mixer, the Submixes are located to the left of the Return and Output strips.

When your Force is in Computer Mode it now works as an audio interface.

Akai Vintage effects now have custom TUI layouts.

Workflow enhancements :

  • In Sample Record mode, after recording a sample the Keep or Discard Sample popup now has f-keys to Save or Edit your sample.
  • Holding Shift illuminates METRONOME and LENGTH buttons if those things are switched on
  • Pressing Shift + tapping Metronome or Length (Fixed Length) toggles the setting on/off.
  • Pressing Shift + holding the Metronome or Length button opens the settings for that item.
  • Arpeggiator now feels more responsive and operates with lower latency.
  • Launch/Note mode improvements. When your current track is a melodic track a long press of the Note button now opens the Note Mode selector to make it faster to switch between scale or chord layouts. On a Drum program a long press of the Note button now opens the TC selector.  Whilst in Launch/Notes  Shift + Launch or Shift + Note brings up their config dialogue.
  • You can now use the Delete button to erase notes in realtime as a clip is playing. Play a clip that has MIDI events inside, push and hold the Delete button, now when you hold pads in Notes mode they will erase any corresponding events for the duration they are held. 
  • To make it easier to navigate your internal Akai/AIR effects all effects are now split into well-named groups.
Slated for future release : Undo History - Press the Menu button and from the Mode Menu’s Toolbar bar press the clock icon to bring up the Undo History.

Stability and reliability

Audio Tracks

  • Monitor settings are now saved with the project
  • It is no longer possible to accidentally change Input while recording

Clip Edit

  • Functions on the Clip page can now be undone correctly
  • Relative Snap now works for MIDI events when using the Data Dial
  • Events can no longer be placed before 1:1:0 on the timeline
  • Marquee-selected audio regions now remain selected when the current tool is changed
  • List Edit no longer allows notes to be longer than 999 bars
  • The playhead no longer causes visual glitch in Track Edit overlay and on Preferences pages
  • Inserting a sample to a stopped audio clip no longer triggers sample playback
  • Loading an audio clip with a faster embedded tempo than current session tempo no longer creates excess clip bars
  • Switching between Clip and Event pages no longer causes Knobs OLEDs to flash Clip End data
  • Region Edit: Don’t Snap function will now always work correctly after pressing the Shift button
  • Viewable space is now reset correctly after using Trim Clip
  • The Create New Clip page no longer shows active f-keys
  • The Beat Bar Tick field no longer disappears during clip recording
  • The Length value on the Create New Clip page will now always reflect changes to the Default Clip Length value

Clip Matrix

  • Launch Quantization setting no longer overrides fixed length recording
  • The correct clip status is now shown when stopping a queued row and then launching another one
  • Phasing/superposition no longer occurs when copying a clip in playback
  • Using Insert and Capture during recording no longer inserts too many rows

File Browser

  • An unavailable drive name is no longer referenced when accessing a favorite folder that belongs to an unavailable drive
  • The file list cursor position is now retained when deleting a file

Installer

  • Untrue “Program may not have installed correctly" message no longer appears after updating firmware from Windows

Knobs

  • Edited knob assignments for Audio/Drum/MIDI Tracks are now load correctly from saved projects
  • Using the Loop f-key in Clip Edit no longer corrupts Knob assignments
  • Parameter assignments that are identical across project loads now load their correct values
  • Setting an assignment’s behaviour to Momentary now saves and loads with the project correctly

MIDI Sync

  • MIDI Clock synchronization is now more stable when changing modes
  • MIDI Clock synchronization is now more stable when pressing control surface buttons

Overlays

  • Settings for deleted tracks are no longer accessible
  • The Time Correct dialog no longer remains up when the current track is deleted

Plugin Hosting - Effects

  • Undoing and redoing deletions of Akai effects will no longer cause a crash
  • The Type filter for the list of effects is now On by default
  • Mother Ducker: Parameter value displays now update correctly when loading a saved preset
  • Mother Ducker: Saved presets are now accessible from the Presets field
  • AIR Channel Strip: On/Off parameters now toggle when the Data Dial is pushed in
  • AIR Para EQ: Touch targets for band On/Off parameters are now larger

Plugin Hosting - Instruments

  • TubeSynth: All notes will now play correctly when changing clips
  • Hardware focus position is now restored correctly after leaving an overlay

Preferences

  • The default setting for Audition Auto Play is now 30 seconds
  • Clip Edit f-keys no longer appear on Preferences pages
  • Ethernet fields are no longer empty by default
  • Ethernet address information now clears when disconnecting from a network

Sample Record

  • The maximum recording time value can no longer be changed during a recording
  • The current track is now selected in the Keep or Discard dialog
  • Newly recorded samples no longer load onto every pad after copying a drum track
  • It is now possible to select a pad when assigning a recorded sample

Saving and Loading

  • It is now possible to save and reload a project that contains no tracks

Startup and Shutdown

  • Deleting the Expansions folder no longer causes a freeze on next startup

Step Sequence

  • Preset button states no longer cycle on first new touch
  • Holding the Shift button no longer displays numbers that do not reflect current steps in the current track
  • Lanes Mode: Base Note’s default value is now C2

Track Edit

  • Incorrect settings are no longer shown when undoing the copying of a track

Track Edit - Drum

  • Knobs update correctly when changing pad envelopes to AHDS
  • Pads saved in a muted state no longer play on first tap when the project is reloaded

Track Edit - MIDI

  • OLEDs now recall values correctly when changing modes and current track 

Track Edit - CV

  • The error “Unsupported CV ports” will no longer appear when loading a project containing CV tracks with Gate Port set to Off

Transport

  • Session transport will now loop playback indefinitely in new projects
  • Matrix Mode’s BPM display now updates correctly when receiving MIDI Clock

Undo/Redo

  • Track creation undo messages now specify track type

Warping

  • Changing a stopped clip's Warp setting while another clip is playing will no longer launch it

XYFX

  • XYFX no longer latches when the control area is held and the mode is changed