Akai is launching two new controllers for Serato DJ that have a small form factor but unlock full control of the software. We’ve got details on the AFX, an effects and cue point focused controller, and the AMX, a two channel mixer with a soundcard.
SLIMLINE MODULAR CONTROLLERS
When Serato DJ launched, it was clear that the formerly digital-vinyl centric company was finally starting to take a controller friendly approach to their DJ software. But unlike their major competing software, Traktor, most of the controllers that came supported in Serato DJ have been all-in-one devices that incorporate jogwheels, a mixing section, and effects control – if not many more control surfaces.
Akai’s new controllers fill a clear gap in the Serato controller world, modular controllers that are akin to the Kontrol X1/F1/Z1 lineup, suitable for use next to a variety of other controllers or just by themselves.
AKAI AFX: EFFECTS, SAMPLES, AND FLIP CONTROL
The AFX takes a secondary controller approach to Serato DJ, much like the DDJ-SP1 subcontroller from Pioneer. This controller has a 8 velocity-sensitive pads with RGB feedback backlighting, allowing for control of cue points, loops, slicer, samples, or even the just-announced Serato Flip feature (read more here).
There’s also browsing/loading control, a strip-search touch strip at the top of the unit, and of course, 6 knobs for controlling FX levels, assignment, rate, and dry/wet levels. The FX knobs are touch sensitive, just like those found on the Numark NS7 II, allowing the FX to be activated quickly with a tap, or permanently with a twist.
The AFX will be available “this fall” for an expected price of $199.99 / £139.99 / € 179.99. That includes codes for unlocking Serato Flip (normally $29) and the Back Pack FX pack ($20).
AKAI AMX: THE MIDI MIXER YOU’VE BEEN WAITING FOR
We’ve long heard digital DJs clamoring for more options in low-cost MIDI mixers with integrated sound cards. Native Instruments had their crack at it with the Kontrol Z1, and now Akai is bringing the same level of functionality to the Serato DJ world with the AMX controller.
The AMX is a two channel mixing controller with a 24-bit/96kHz audio interface – two sets of RCA Phono/Line inputs for Serato DJ timecode control, as well as a pair of RCA output ports. Conveniently the AMX comes with the full version of Serato DJ – yes, that means that the software will run in a fully-functional live mode with just this controller plugged in.
The controls on the AMX are fairly standard – two line faders, gain/EQ/filter knobs (also touch sensitive), and a mini innoFADER resting in the crossfader position. Browse and loading controls are also prominent on the controller, as well as basic transport controls (cue/sync/pause/play) – something that the Kontrol Z1 was sorely missing.
The AMX will also be available this fall, with an expected price of $249.99 / £179.99 / € 229.99. This includes a full version of Serato DJ, but if you want to unlock DVS control, that will be sold separately as an additional update.
Think that Akai’s new offerings are worth picking up? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.