Akai APC Series - Frequently Asked Questions

apc40 web largeWe've put together answers to some of the most common questions about the Akai Pro APC40 and APC20.  With the tips in this FAQ under your belt, you'll have even better control over your new hardware.

Contents

  1. What are the physical dimensions and weight?
  2. Is the Crossfader on the APC40 user-replaceable?
  3. Is the APC40 dual voltage (without the need for a transformer) for playing abroad?
  4. Can it be bus powered?
  5. Can you use two at once? Can you use more than two at once?
  6. When using two APC40's can Device Control be used with independent effects and instruments?
  7. Can I use this on Ableton 5, Ableton 6, Ableton 7, Ableton 8?
  8. Can you use the clip buttons as MIDI notes
  9. Can you use the APC40 in other programs?
  10. Will Akai Professional release a template editor for the controller mappings?
  11. Do I need to own Max for Live to make the APC40 work?
  12. Does the APC40 simply send out MIDI messages or is there a secret handshake between the APC40 and Live?
  13. Will the secret handshake prevent us from turning a Monome + BCR into an APC?
  14. What is the action like on the buttons?
  15. The faders are not motorized. How does that work if you bank through channels?
  16. How many tracks/scenes can I navigate to?
  17. Can you suggest some foot pedals that you know are compatible with the APC40?
  18. Can we map the new APC40 the usual way by clicking MIDI Map in Ableton?
  19. Does the APC40 lock out the mouse?
  20. When I get to the end of my audio tracks and keep hitting the bank button, will it go to the Return tracks?
  21. Can I use another MIDI controller and/or MIDI remote at the same time as the APC40?
  22. How many knobs do I have? 64?
  23. Does the APC40 have MIDI ports?
  24. Can I control a Hardware Synth or Drum Machine with the APC40?
  25. Will the APC40 work with Pro Tools or another DAW as the REWIRE master?
  26. Akai Professional Technical Support & Warranty Information

 

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the physical dimensions and weight?

Dimensions - 16.88” x 13.13” x 2.62” (WxDxH) / 429mm x 334mm x 67mm (WxDxH) Weight - 5.80 lbs / 2.64 kg

Back to Top

 

Is the Crossfader on the APC40 user-replaceable?

Yes it is. Should a replacement be necessary, the crossfader can be easily replaced in the field by removing a small 2-screw access panel on the underside of the APC40.

Back to Top

 

Is the APC40 dual voltage (without the need for a transformer) for playing abroad?

Same unit and same adapter for (110V) US and (220V) Europe. It is a switching power supply 100-240V. If you buy it in the US and need to go to Europe with it, you will need the European Prong Adapter, and vice versa.

Back to Top

 

Can it be bus powered?

No, it has too many LEDs (around 380) to be bus powered. It uses an included Power supply with the output - 12V 2.0A pin positive (US).

Back to Top

 

Can you use two at once? Can you use more than two at once?

Yes, you can use up to six APC40s at the same time. In Ableton a red box around the clips is indicated for the first APC40. A yellow box is indicated for the 2nd APC, and so on. Each will show a different colored ring around the clips.

Back to Top

 

When using two APC40's can Device Control be used with independent effects and instruments?

Yes. To control parameters for two independent effects or instruments right-click the device in Ableton and choose to lock one APC40 to the device, and by the same method, lock the alternative APC40 to another. By default, when both APC40's have the same bank selected, movements of Device Control knobs used on one APC40 will be mirrored on another APC40. Independent Device Control banks can be used to control an individual effect or instrument. However, moving between instruments and effects using the Device Control cursors will default the Device Control bank for both devices back to 1.

Back to Top

 

Can I use this on Ableton 5, Ableton 6, Ableton 7, Ableton 8?

You need Live 7 with the latest update. This update adds the APC MIDI template to remote control in MIDI preferences, or you can use Ableton 8 which comes ready for the APC40.

Back to Top

 

Can you use the clip buttons as MIDI notes

The clips send MIDI notes so they can technically be played to play a synth or drum machine in Live. You would have to turn off remote control in MIDI preferences to do this however. Also, they are not velocity sensitive so you can't send 'varied' performances into Live.

Back to Top

 

Can you use the APC40 in other programs?

This was made to be a controller for Ableton Live. Yes, you can use it in other programs but you will have to manually map it out in the other programs. Akai will not be issuing any MIDI control templates for other DAWs and programs. If you do manually map things, a DAW with the learn feature in MIDI mapping mode, will easier to map then one without. (APC40 has no screen and the CC#s and MIDI Note numbers it is assigned to can't be edited - you either need a DAW program with MIDI learn or a second program such as MIDI monitor or MIDI ox opened at the same time as mapping so you know what MIDI messages the APC40 is set to). Possibly some other companies will add APC40 support themselves. You cannot change the midi note numbers and CC numbers that the APC40 is assigned to.

Back to Top

 

Will Akai Professional release a template editor for the controller mappings?

If you want to change how the default APC40 mapping acts in Live, you would need to purchase Max for Live. And of course in each Live Set, you can edit what any controller or button does by going into MIDI mapping mode in Live. Akai Professional will not be releasing a separate template editor. You cannot change the midi note numbers and CC numbers that the APC40 is assigned to.

Back to Top

 

Do I need to own Max for Live to make the APC40 work?

No, you do not. Max for Live has been developed and released around the same time as the APC, but you don't need it to use the APC40. If you do get max for Live you can do some advances things with your APC40 such as edit the standard template and make the clip lights function like a step sequencer.

Back to Top

 

Does the APC40 simply send out MIDI messages or is there a secret handshake between the APC40 and Live?

The APC40 Sends simple MIDI messages however most of the banking and Session View control is handled internally in Live. Connecting another controller and selecting the APC40 preset will not work, even if that controller sends the same MIDI messages.

Back to Top

 

Will the secret handshake prevent us from turning a Monome + BCR into an APC?

Yes.

Back to Top

 

What is the action like on the buttons?

They are similar to an Akai XR20.

Back to Top

 

The faders are not motorized. How does that work if you bank through channels?

As motorized faders were not possible at this pricing, these will follow the takeover mode (see 23.1.3 Takeover Mode in the manual for more info). If the volume on the screen is down at the bottom, and the fader is at the top, Live won't start responding until you move the fader up to the top position it really is at (in the software), then the fader and Live control will sync and move together.

Back to Top

 

How many tracks/scenes can I navigate to?

With the banking buttons, you can move around a 64 track by 125 scene grid. i.e. when you press the shift button, and press the second button down in the second row, you'd be move the ring to tracks 9-16 and scenes 6-10. The scene buttons 1-5 move you to extra banks of scenes, i.e. scene 1 button lets you select 5 banks of scenes from 1-25, scene button 2 brings up 5 more banks of scenes from 26-50, and so on.

Back to Top

 

Can you suggest some foot pedals that you know are compatible with the APC40?

Any momentary, non-latching switch (a.k.a. an on/off switch) will do. So you can use a sustain pedal, or a simple open close foot pedal, any momentary non-latching switch.

Back to Top

 

Can we map the new APC40 the usual way by clicking MIDI Map in Ableton?

Yes. You can map the APC40 in the usual way by clicking map in Live.

Back to Top

 

Does the APC40 lock out the mouse?

The APC40 does not lock out the mouse.

Back to Top

 

When I get to the end of my audio tracks and keep hitting the bank button, will it go to the Return tracks?

Yes, this feature was added with the newest updates to Live 8.

Back to Top

 

Can I use another MIDI controller and/or MIDI remote at the same time as the APC40?

Yes.

Back to Top

 

How many knobs do I have? 64?

There are 16 physical rotary knobs on the top of the unit. They each have 4 banks. This makes 64.

  1. TRACK CONTROL there are 4 banks of 8 knobs (32). You press PANSEND ASEND BSEND C to access the 4 separate banks. There is no way to bank through the sends to go to a 4th or 5th send in Live such as SEND D or SEND E.
  2. DEVICE CONTROL there are 4 banks of 8 knobs (32) CLIP TRACK (1), DEVICE ON/OFF (2), (3), and (4) are your bank buttons. To access the different banks press SHIFT + DEVICE CONTROL (1), SHIFT + DEVICE ON/OFF (2), SHIFT + (3), SHIFT + (4). There is no way to bank through to go to a 5th bank.

Back to Top

 

Does the APC40 have MIDI ports?

No. The APC40 only has a USB port.

Back to Top

 

Can I control a Hardware Synth or Drum Machine with the APC40?

The APC40 was designed to be a controller for Ableton Live software.

If you wanted to control a hardware synth or drum machine you would have to have a computer and software in the middle between the APC40 and the Hardware Device.

The MIDI note numbers, channels and CC numbers cannot be edited on the APC40 (unless you use Max for Live), so you would have to edit the Hardware device to conform to the APC40.

Back to Top

 

Will the APC40 work with Pro Tools or another DAW as the REWIRE master?

Live APC edition does not have Rewire Support. If you have a full version of 7 or 8, then you do have rewire support.

The APC40 will not work in LIVE when LIVE is the REWIRE slave to Pro Tools. The control surfaces selection is not present when Live is the REWIRE slave. You would have to select your control surface from within Pro Tools (the Master), and we do not provide a Pro Tools template that maps the controller and provides light feedback for Pro Tools.

Back to Top

 

Akai Pro Technical Support & Warranty Services

Whether you are a customer or dealer, if you already own an Akai Pro product, or if you just have pre-sales questions, the Akai Pro technical support team is available to help!

Visit the link below to connect with any of the following support options: online community support, phone support, email support.

Back to Top