By Dan White On Sep 27, 2018
Ableton Live has the Push, Maschine has the many Maschine models, but what does FL Studio have? Until now, producers using the prolific production DAW FL Studio (long ago called Fruity Loops) were resigned to using whatever MIDI controller best fit their workflow.
But today Akai is announcing a new controller, the Akai Fire, designed with FL Studio users in mind and created in collaboration with Image-Line (the software developers behind the app). Keep reading for details.
Gear: Akai Fire
Manufacturer: Akai Professional (owned by InMusic – thus the Denon gear in the video’s background)
Included: FL Studio Fruity Fire edition (a light version of FL Studio)
Only earlier this year did FL Studio finally become a cross-platform app, releasing a macOS port in late May. Now the company is breaking into another first – a bespoke controller for the software designed by Akai Professional.
The controller is centered around four rows of 16 velocity sensitive RGB pads, designed to be used primarily as step sequencers for instruments. Here’s the full feature set from the official press release:
Plug-and-play integration with FL Studio
Quickly input patterns along the timeline in the step sequencer
4 x 16 Matrix of Velocity-Sensitive RGB Pads
Expandable up to four units, creating the potential for an 8 x 32 Matrix
Record notes in Performance mode
Graphical OLED display
4 banks of assignable Touch-Capacitive Knobs
Instantly navigate the Channel Rack, Browser, Tool Bar and Playlist windows
Use dedicated controls to quickly browse audio and project files
Dedicated Transport controls
USB Bus Powered
Being able to automatically sync four Fire units with one computer is a powerful feature – it allows expandability for larger studio setups. Being able to have a simple, portable hardware device that can go anywhere is highly desirable these days, and that’s exactly what the Fire offers.