Akai Professional APC40 Ableton Performance Controller

Akai Professional APC40 Ableton Performance Controller

Akai Professional APC40 Ableton Performance Controller

No Longer Available

Product Highlights

  • 40 Multi-Color Communicative Triggers
  • Designed in Partnership with Ableton
  • Plug and Play, No Drivers
  • Ableton Live Lite APC Edition Included

Akai Professional APC40 overview

  • 1Description

The APC40 Ableton Performance Controller from Akai Professional was designed from its inception to be the perfect hardware companion to the popular production and performance software Ableton Live. If you've never used Live before, you can simply plug the APC40 into a computer and get acquainted with the included Ableton Live APC Edition software without hassle, because it's designed to plug and play on both Mac and Windows. If you already use Live for music production, performance, songwriting, DJ'ing, post-production video, television production, live theater, art installations, or in any capacity - you will immediately appreciate the APC40's exclusive ability to "talk" to the software.

The unusual front panel of the APC40 is packed with glowing buttons. It looks this way because it's designed to let you to take complete control of Live's unique Session View. Session View features a grid that allows you to load audio and MIDI clips into its cells. You can play and stop each of these clips in any sequence, and you can launch groups of clips together as a "scene." You can choose to have the software time-stretch and quantize all of these sounds so they flow together musically. It's an extremely simple yet wildly creative approach to manipulating sound, but until now there has been no true hardware solution that could free the user from staring deeply into their computer monitor with a mouse in their hand.

The APC40 has finally answered the need for a dedicated Session View controller for Live. When you press a button on the APC40, the command is sent to Live and the software carries out the task. The new and exciting capability here is the result of your command being fed back to the APC40 and displayed on its respective control. For example, if you don't have an audio or MIDI clip loaded into a cell in the software, the respective button on the APC40 will not be illuminated. If you put a clip into a cell in the software, the respective button will illuminate orange. If you press on an orange glowing button to fire a clip, the button will turn green while the clip is playing. If you decide to record into a cell, the respective button will glow red.

You are not limited to the 8 tracks and 5 scenes in the matrix. You can create as large of a Live Set as you please, and use the navigation buttons on the APC40 scroll around to access any of your clips. The portion of the program you currently have control of with the APC40 will be highlighted in red in Live's GUI.

The APC40 also has 8 track faders and a master fader, with the ability to change banks. Each of the 8 tracks has a dedicated mute, solo, and record button. The solo buttons can also be used as cue buttons for DJ'ing. The APC40 also features 16 endless encoder knobs, each with its own LED ring. The upper right portion of the APC40 is the Track Control section with 8 of these knobs. This area acts as a global control for which ever bank of 8 tracks you currently have selected. You can quickly access track panning and control sends A, B, and C. Pressing one of the Track Selection buttons located below the clip launching matrix will assign the other set of 8 knobs on the lower right portion of the APC40. The knobs will map to the device (such as an effect or an instrument) the chosen track holds. There are dedicated buttons for turning devices on and off, scrolling from device to device, and for switching between Clip View and Track View.

If you don't care to use the APC40's pre-mapped controls, all of its 109 buttons, 16 knobs, 9 45mm faders, and replaceable 60mm dual rail-guided crossfader are freely assignable so you can customize its workflow in any way you please. The freedom to reinvent the APC40 doesn't stop there. Users can purchase an additional piece of software called Max For Live, which runs seamlessly within Live 8. Max For Live (which was created in collaboration with Cycling '74) allows users to edit and invent their own custom devices within Live 8, and utilize all of the control capability of the APC40 as a blank canvas. For example, a user can build a custom step sequencer with Max For Live and program the trigger matrix of the APC40 to act as an input device for building sequences, rather than launching clips.

However, you don't have to commit all of your time and energy to building custom instruments and effects with Max For Live. The multitude of different devices that hardcore users build will be shared amongst the Ableton community, so you can download and use the fruits of other users' labor. With an APC40, Live 8, and Max For Live, the only limitation for what can be accomplished is the collective imagination of its global base of creative enthusiasts.

Session View Controller
8 track x 5 scene triggering matrix with real-time feedback from the software
Dedicated Controls
Tap tempo button

+/- Nudge buttons for real-time syncing with live musicians, turntables, performers, etc.

(5) Dedicated scene launch buttons

(8) Stop clip buttons

(1) Stop all clips button

Reassign any pre-mapped control to your liking. Reinvent the functionality of the hardware with Max for Live
Includes Ableton Live lite Akai APC edition
In the Box
Akai Professional APC40 Ableton Performance Controller
  • Ableton Live Akai Professional APC Edition Software CD (Mac and Windows)
  • USB Cable
  • Power Supply
  • Limited 1-Year Warranty
  • Table of Contents
    • 1Description

    Akai Professional APC40 specs

    Connection USB
    Faders 9 45mm track faders, 1 replaceable 60mm dual rail-guided crossfader
    Transport Controls Play, Stop, Record
    Rotary Controls 16 endless encoder knobs with LED rings
    Multiple Units Up to six APC40's can be used with Live simultaneously
    Included Software Ableton Live Akai Professional APC Edition Software
    Software Supported Ableton Live, and any software that features assignable MIDI capability
    System Requirements Mac and Windows compatible
    Dimensions (WxDxH) 16.5 x 13.2 x 2.6" (420 x 335 x 65mm)
    Weight 5.8 lbs (2.64kg)
    Specialties Exclusive ability to communicate with Ableton Live. Provides visual feedback of the software in the hardware, and the software updates its GUI according to what you assign in the hardware.
    Packaging Info
    Package Weight 8.05 lb
    Box Dimensions (LxWxH) 21.1 x 15.8 x 5.5"

    Akai Professional APC40 reviews

    APC40 Ableton Performance Controller is rated 4.8 out of 5 by 39.
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Finally I have the control I desire! So, I have been playing with my APC40 for a few weeks now. I think its great. Previously I had been quite frustrated in my attempts to play with Ableton with nothing more than a mouse because doing so is very much like trying to play a musical instrument while only having one finger! Now with the APC40 I can use all of my fingers and feel that I can finally use Ableton to its fullest potential. It makes it less like software and more like an actual hands-on musical instrument with endless possibilities. I look forward to developing my skills on this fun and powerful new tool.
    Date published: 2011-11-01
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best controller available for Ableton Hands down the best controller out there for Ableton Live. This is the single piece of equipment I use most (aside from my computer keyboard). The out of the box MIDI mappings for Ableton are fantastic. I plugged it in and I haven't needed to adjust anything. Everything is mapped out very intuitively and the lower-right bank of knobs change to control the device you currently have selected. It took me a day or two to get the hang of it, but now that I did, I would never go back. It is a huge productivity booster to have everything right at your fingertips.
    Date published: 2010-04-27
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Definite must, even for Ableton newbs While somebody that's just invested upwards of $600-800 on an Ableton-software-based DAW might not want to hear it, this hardware might as well be bundled with the software from the get-go so that you receive both at the same time and don't waste weeks or months before coming to the realization that you need this device. Shell out the $200+ with confidence and never look back. I don't know a whole lot about Ableton yet as I'm still a newb, but I can't imagine learning it with a pure mouse-&-keyboard approach, given all of the more complicated aspects of the application - the thought/memory alone makes me cringe, and with my poster-child-grade ADHD issues, I honestly think I would never maintain enough interest to work through that process without the engagement the APC40 offers in terms of actually feeling your skillset growing as you move along. Any other experienced Ableton user would probably tell you its an absolute must for performing, but I think it's a real must for learning and working if you're serious about getting to know the application to begin with.
    Date published: 2011-11-07
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from APC 40. LOVE IT Absolutely love this product! If you need a live controller, this is it. Easy to use out of the box, comes with basic software. If you want to actually make tracks, you need Ableton Live 8 at least. I make tracks in Logic, bounce down to wave, then just drag them into the APC and set it up how you wish. Very sturdy machine and easy to use. Great addition to my studio and live shows. B&H was great. I was skeptical after seeing a few scam websites with similar prices, but I saw nothing but good reviews about B&H. GREAT price ...
    Date published: 2010-06-23
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Simple, easy to use right out of the box I need something I don't have to spend a week figuring out. This was reported to be excellent and it has exceeded my expectations. The device was so simple and fast to set up, I thought something was wrong (note I already have Live installed). By the end of my first session, it felt like I'd been using it for years. Although portable, it has a pretty big footprint and might not fit into a standard backpack. It also requires a plug. But for the price B&H charges, it simply is a no brainer if you are an Ableton user.
    Date published: 2010-06-20
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from If you use ableton, this MIDI is a must. I'm new to the producing/mixing game so I was a bit apprehensive about getting something too complex. However, after owning the APC40 for almost a month I was easily able to become familiar with the interface within a matter of hours and program in any of my own customizations (literally every button/switch/knob is programmable).
    Date published: 2011-08-11
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from I would buy this product again and again The product is dj controller, used for mix programs djs or music producers softwares ( abelton Live, Traktor Pro etc... ) Advantage plug and play, strong buttons and intuitive comunication for Abelton live. Used too for controllers 4 decks the Traktor Pro
    Date published: 2010-07-27
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Enormous potential Absolute must for an Ableton user. Opens completely new possibilities with existing software (e.g. you can solo multiple tracks at a time by hitting multiple solo buttons simultaneously, etc.) Very intuitive. A couple of down sides and good to have-s: 1. When computer comes out of sleep (tested on PC only), and you had Ableton open, there is no way to synchronize APC40, so you have to restart Ableton software). 2. Definitely could have used more launchpad buttons so you could have more visibility into the scenes. 3. Scene launch buttons don't stay lit, so you really don't know what scene is playing (yes, you could have clips from multiple scenes going simultaneously, but even then showing active scenes would be very helpful). Other than that it's truly a great solid product.
    Date published: 2011-08-04
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