Akai today formally announced the Force - and yes, its that leaked FCC specification we saw earlier this month, or certainly close to it.
Standalone music production/DJ performance device has clip launching, step sequencing, sampling, synths and a 7-in touch display and captures the modern clip-based workflow.
Force is a standalone music production device which builds on the tech of the Akai MPC-X and MPC Live adds additional UI elements designed for larger grid based techniques as well as deep Ableton Live integration. The Force operating system also will include standalone clip launching capabilities bringing it into line with the Live methodology (expected March 2019) and it would appear, making it perfect for live performance Live has been used to write and produce.
Combining elements from both the X and the Live, we also have CV connectivity alongside MIDI and audio, added to that is the pad matrix that was first seen on the original Push (which Akai made for Ableton, before they went solo with Push 2).
Akai Force will be available at $1499 from February 5th 2019 in the US and later in the month internationally.
Akai's own overview:
Standalone - no computer required
8x8 clip launch matrix with RGB LEDs
7" color capacitive multitouch display
Mic/Instrument/Line Inputs, 4 outputs
MIDI In/Out/Thru via 1/8" TRS inputs (5-pin DIN adapters included)
(4) configurable CV/Gate Outputs to integrate your modular setup
(8) touch-sensitive knobs with graphical OLED displays
Time stretch/pitch shift in real time
Comprehensive set of AIR effects and Hype, TubeSynth, Bassline and Electric synth engines
Ability to record 8 stereo tracks
16GB of on-board storage (over 10 gigs of sound content included)
2 GB of RAM
Full-Size SD card Slot
User-expandable 2.5" SATA drive connector (SATA or HDD)
(2) USB 3.0 slots for thumb drives or MIDI controllers
Force has really taken a lot of erm, inspiration from the Live workflow, there are a whole bunch of tuts on the AkaiProVideo Youtube channel, but this one focuses on the clip launching aspect of Force and really makes it clear that this could be a killer live machine.
Game changer is an overused term, but I think in this case we could allow it.