Akai Pro just announced Fire, a dedicated Midi controller made specifically for the FL Studio digital audio workstation.
Fire has been made in partnership with FL Studio developer Image-Line and has four rows of 16 pads designed to resemble the widely-used DAW’s distinctive step sequencer.
It’s got a 4×16 grid of velocity-sensitive pads, an OLED display, four rotary knobs, transport controls, utility buttons and mute / solo switches. You can connect up to four Akai Pro Fires for a massive 8×32 grid matrix letting you create complex patterns and giving you more controls for performance. It also comes with FL Studio Fruity Fire software to get you started making beats straight away.
Its matrix of 64 pads are reminiscent of NI’s Maschine Jam, and allows beats to be sequenced in a similar way, though the Fire’s velocity sensitive pads give it more potential for finger-drumming.
The controller also access the kind of browser functionality found on NI’s Maschine and Ableton’s Push hardware, using a rotary encoder to preview and load both sounds and devices with the aid of an OLED screen.
As with most pad-based MIDI controllers, the Fire has several modes for different styles of play: a note mode for playing chords and melodies, a drum mode for beats and a performance mode for triggering clips.
The Akai Fire also has controls for recording as well as muting and soloing tracks, touch-capacitive knobs for filter, resonance, volume and EQ together with buttons for expanding the grid matrix.
The AKAI Fire costs $199 and includes FL Studio: Fire Edition software. Mac users rejoice as FL Studio finally made its way to OS X earlier this year.
Check the Akai Pro site for more details