AKAI Announces 5 New Products for 2014! APC40 MKII, Rhythm Wolf, APC Mini, MPX16 +

5 New AKAI products announced at Musikmesse 2014: a drum machine / synth called Rhythm Wolf, the MPX16 Sampler, and three new variations on their popular APC line of controllers for Ableton Live. 

New Akai Gear 2014

AKAI Announces 5 New Products for 2014!

AKAI is on a roll this week. They’ve announced numerous new products this year including a portable hardware sampler, a $200 drum / synth instrument, and three new variations on their popular APC40 controller. All five products should hit music stores and home studios sometime this summer.

Rhythm Wolf Drum Machine / Bass Synth

Akai Rhythm Wolf Drum Machine

Following in the recent footsteps of Korg’s Volca series and Roland’s Aira boxes, AKAI has announced a $200 rhythm and synth machine called Rhythm Wolf. The instrument is based around a six MPC pads and a 32-step sequencer that drives a five-voice analog drum machine and mono synth. We are excited to see that a swing function has been added to the layout, but how much swing you can control is yet to be determined. We are a bit bewildered by the wolf logo and name (as well as the “howl” knob), but for the price of $200 we are eager to hear what this device sounds like.

Rhythm Wolf Highlights

• 5-voice analog drum machine and synth—authentic analog design
• Analog drum sounds—kick, snare, open & closed hi-hat, and metallic percussion
• Synth bass module—selectable square or sawtooth wave with classic filter design
• 32-step sequencer—classic drum machine workflow
• Six MPC pads—responsive controls for sequencing and finger drumming
• Howl knob—custom distortion circuit
• USB-MIDI and MIDI In/Out—flexible MIDI connectivity
• Gate Trigger—triggering via modular synths, sequencers, or external gear
• Independent audio outputs—dedicated outputs for the drum machine and synth-bass

APC40 MKII

Akai APC40 MKII

Now here’s one we didn’t expect. AKAI’s ubiquitous APC40 has been updated with a new (smaller) form, some layout updates (notice those knobs above the faders and buttons) and a lower-profile design. Akai claim that they have incorporated five years of user feedback into the design of the APC40 MKII for “extended functionality, countless musical capabilities, and improved workflow.” From our view the new design looks a lot more space-friendly (our APC40′s and Maschines often fight for desk space) and offers a better layout.

The APC40 mkII features a 5×8 RGB LED clip matrix, assignable A/B crossfader, 8 rotary knobs, 8 channel faders, and a send button for quick access to send busses. The APC40 mkII is USB-powered / class compliant and supports plug-and-play. APC40 MKII will hit the market this summer with a price of approximately $399.

APC40 mkII Highlights

• 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

APC Mini

Akai APC Mini

The new APC Mini is a replacement to the APC20 that looks like it’s taken some design cues from Novation’s Launchpad (notice buttons on side and bottom of the grid matrix). The new design features an 8×8 clip grid with 8 channel faders. It’s USB powered and class compliant for easy setup. The APC Mini will sell for approximately $99 this summer.

“The APC40 was the original performance controller designed for Ableton Live and has become an essential instrument for Ableton Live users. Now we are able to deliver three new APC instruments for musicians, composers, and mobile performers that allow comprehensive, hands-on control of AbletonLive in any performance or production environment.”

APC Key 25

Akai APC Key 25

 

The APC Key 25 is a new device that offers keys and a plethora of buttons and knobs in a compact format. 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 will cost approximately $129.99 when it releases this summer. 

MPX 16 Sample Player / Recorder

Akai MPX 16

Lastly in this lineup of new AKAI gear we have the MPX16 Sample Player / Recorder. This update from last year’s MPX8 offers WAV file recording and playback with SD card storage, 16 velocity-sensitive pads, 4 knobs, a microphone, MIDI integration, and USB connectivity / power. The MPX16 also functions as a MIDI controller via USB. Available this summer for approximately $200.

“The versatility and capability of the MPX16 will make it a workhorse for performers of all types,” explains Akai Professional Product Manager Dan Gill. “We knew that an affordable sample player with practical MIDI integration would fit the needs of people wanting a no-nonsense way to access samples without computer dependency.”

 

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