Akai Force Forum: Everything relating to the Akai Force, the new 64 pad, clip-based standalone sampler/groovebox from Akai. While not an MPC, it shares many similar software features to the MPC X/MPC Live including the same underlying code-base.
By Ton618 Mon Aug 30, 2021 10:47 pm
Hi all,
For those producing techno on the Force: which technique you use to apply rumble to your hard/dark/raw techno tracks kicks? Do you use simply “pre-rumbled” samples or any other more versatile and controllable method??
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By Koekepan Tue Aug 31, 2021 12:57 am
Techno and its relatives aren't my main focus, but I've played in that pool a bit.

I use a couple of methods, but my favourite is to use the kick plugin, tweak the EQ and drive and compressor options to get some noise into the drum and bring it up. Then I use the tubesynth plugin, depending on the exact genre, to add some bassrumble (carefully filtered way down the spectrum) and use the motherducker to gently seat it beneath the kick. Slap them together through a submix for some common treatment (again, details depending, but bus compression along with other drums sort of glues that all together) and I have a rumbly drum.

Force makes it pretty easy.
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By 83dude Tue Aug 31, 2021 6:05 am
You could add some subtle, short reverb tha‘s filtered. Even better some gated reverb, but I‘d guess that‘s not doable properly on a Force.
By Ton618 Tue Aug 31, 2021 7:21 am
I will use the Force mainly as a live device for techno sets but I don’t rule out trying some production on it.
When producing on a DAW there are many ways to add the rumble to a generic kick sound and most of them involve a multichannel split and a massive use of FX and EQ.
At the end of the job the kick and its rumble are located in 2 or more separated channels.
Keeping kick and rumble separated helps to have more flexibility to use the rumble itself in the song arrangement.
An intuitive way to transpose this on the Force for live is by resampling the kick+rumble in multiple version clips. Another apparently more flexible way could be resampling the rumble loops only in separated clips and combine them on the Force in different tracks (1 drum track for the kick, 1 audio track for the rumble…) driving them on a sub mix, in this way it’s possibile to treath the kick and the rumbles separately with the onboard effects, this seems more efficient and creative for live use…
But these are only my ideas based on intuition, I don’t have a direct experience on the Force yet.
What do you think about these approaches?? Does someone has more suggestions especially when trying to use the Force for the production of techno music?
By pitchblender Tue Aug 31, 2021 12:10 pm
You might know this already but the Force has individual effects not only on each channel but each individual drum pad. Select a drum pad in NOTE mode (using SELECT+PAD) then press SHIFT+CLIP. At the far bottom right of the screen select EFFECTS. You can send individual drums to the 4 sends too (right side) and add up to 4 fx including Mother Ducker send/receive so I’m sure you can experiment from there. Saves using up the channel fx.
And don’t forget the ENV FOLLOWER in MACROS screen (MENU>bottom left icon)! The envelope can be any source, including synced LFOs for that cheat ducking or another track for precision control of any variable in your project. Fkin amazing potential, again without using up fx slots.
Also, if you do find the perfect effect and resample it separately from the kick you’re using (as suggested above) you can layer up to 4 samples on one pad and adjust the balances between them in PAN VELOCITY menu on the same screen.
Another feature which might be handy is LFO MODULATION in SHIFT+CLIP screen - top middle LAYER option RAN chooses a random layer every time it’s triggered, so you could have up to 4 versions of the kick/noise combo on the same pad, adding subtle (?!) variations automatically.
Sorry if this is not exactly what you’re after but I hope it helps :)
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By Koekepan Tue Aug 31, 2021 2:53 pm
A multichannel split is pretty easy to achieve on the Force, you can use a send channel to create an independent, wet-only reverb effects set.

Alternatively, you could resample a kick track and then independently chew through it as an audio layer for your other treatments. The envelope follower macro is also a great idea that could take you a long, long way depending on your needs.

The Force is pretty cool for live work, but I'm really coming to appreciate it for production as well. Not only are the plugins cool, but the internal effects and mixing are pretty powerful. The main limitation is the track count, but there are many ways around that (especially if you're including outboard gear and those 128 available MIDI channels).
By Ton618 Tue Oct 05, 2021 12:56 pm
After some testing I decided to go with an "hybrid" strategy:
I prepare the drum rumbles on Ableton then I resample them including all the shaping effects.
I load separately the kick and the related rumble samples in 2 drum tracks (better to use drum tracks with 128 track nr. limit instead of audio tracks with a limit of 8 only...).
Then I apply "gluing" effects by merging the tracks audio in a sub mix. For this purpose I use a subtle distortion (mainly used as a saturation effect), an EQ (to reduce a little in the mid range...) and a limiter to merge and pump-up. The Force effects regulation must be very accurate cause they are very impactful on the sound, for this stage I need a very subtle general "colouring and gluing" effect, not a massive sound processing.
I'm still "fine tuning" this approach but it seems possible to get a good result...
Any further suggestion?
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By Koekepan Tue Oct 05, 2021 3:21 pm
I think that you're on the right track, it just seems to me that you hardly even need Ableton for this.

I'm not arguing with your approach, I just think that the Force can do everything on your list, unless you have some special juice in Ableton.