When Simon Sherbourne reviewed the Akai Force back in the June 2019 issue of Sound On Sound, it's fair to say he was smitten. With its combination of audio playback and sampling, plus MIDI and CV sequencing, it was the standalone studio hub that many had been waiting for. One of our only criticisms of it was that it didn't have a full-song 'arrange' mode — but that has now been addressed in a major firmware update.
The new Arranger in version 3.05 lets you set up distinct song sections, by playing clips alongside your linear arrangement to add and remove musical elements on the fly. When you've arranged your masterpiece to your satisfaction, you can then export the results as either a stereo master, incorporating the Force's onboard effects, or as separate multitracks for mixing.
MIDI functionality has also been enhanced, with the ability to address up to 32 MIDI channels simultaneously, via USB. You can even connect class-compliant USB devices, such as MIDI hubs and the like, and send your MIDI data out through those.
Those are the headlines, but firmware v3.05 bring a number of other improvements too. To find out more, and to update your Force to the latest version, follow the link below.