In the US, manufacturers need to submit designs ahead of manufacture to ensure that government standards are met for things like power supplies, RF interference and whatnot. This process is supposed to be confidential, but Akai have once again fallen foul of the system which briefly left documents open to public access.
It appears this loophole has now been closed - impressive, since the US administration has been shut for the last 13 days or so... - (we can't wait for that immigration queue at LAX for NAMM!)
But German website Sequencer.de grabbed a number of shots while it was public. And it appears there are plans afoot to create a new piece of hardware in the MPC Live/ MPC/X series - called the APC Live.
Now just because this is on the FCC website does not mean its the final design or indeed is about to be released, or may ever be, but the fact that there was a draft manual also uploaded does appear to indicate its pretty far down the line.
Essentially, the APC live seems to combine elements of the look of the original Push - which was a collaborative hardware design between Akai and Ableton, together with the MPC Live layout which is the upper section so would imply a touchscreen element.
We know that the MPC Live has built in CPU and OS running MPC Live Software, and is a stand-alone music workstation with on board CPU and audio interface. Rear connections also indicate that there are CV/Gate outputs as with the MPC X.
Additionally, there's USB 3.0 Host and destination connections plus an Ethernet port - would be great if this supported RTP MIDI, but appears to be labeled "LINK".
If this is something that Akai are planning to debut at NAMM, we're all over it - we have our appointment booked. So we'll bring you everything we can as soon as we hit the ground.