Update 28.09.2018: AKAI officially announced the Fire controller the following day after the leak. The announcement confirms the information in this article as legitimate and describes FL Studio Fruity Fire Edition as a fully featured version of the DAW, complete with up to 500 tracks, piano roll, step sequencer, plug-in hosting, and 18+ virtual instruments. Visit the official product page for more information.
An American dealer has inadvertently let it slip that none other than AKAI is prepping a hardware controller for FL Studio! The as yet unannounced AKAI Fire FL Studio Performance Controller, as the device is verbosely titled, showed up in iDJnow’s online catalogue before being hastily pulled once word about it got out.
Such things happen from time to time and they are pretty great for us writers and self-professed gear nerds. Not so sure about AKAI’s marketing, though, but that’s really none of my business. Thus, here’s all we got to know about the new toy, straight from the guys that will be selling it…
AKAI Fire FL Studio Performance Controller
Developed in cooperation with Image Line, the FL Studio maker, the controller integrates tightly with the DAW, not unlike Ableton Push or NI Maschine. With 4 matrixes x 16 velocity-sensitive RGB pads, you are able to quickly input patterns and beats in FL’s step sequencer, or record notes on the go in Performance mode. You can actually connect up to four of these to a single FL Studio instance, so going mad with pad power is an option as well.
There’s a small OLED display portraying parameters, pattern length, and other relevant information. You also get four banks of freely assignable touch-capacitive knobs, presumably for parameter control and modulation, along with dedicated transport controls. The controller also lets you navigate FL’s Channel Rack, Browser, Tool Bar, and Playlist views without having to glance at the computer screen.
The device is USB bus-powered and ships with FL Studio Fruity Fire Edition, of which we know nothing at this point. Presumably, it’s enough FL Studio to get you going and eventually buying a more complete version that suits your growing needs.
Price and availability
Speaking of buying, the Fire should be priced around USD 199, which sounds quite comfortable for a controller this powerful and, by the looks of it, fairly intuitive for seasoned FL Studio users. Hopefully, no build quality compromises had to be made to get the price this low, because you will be beating the heck out of this thing live and in the studio. It better last!
In light of the situation, the Fire must be nearing launch, so we’ll be keeping our ears open and eyes peeled for a soon-to-be official announcement.