APC40 - Front
APC40 - Angle
APC40 - Back
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APC40 - Front APC40 - Angle APC40 - Back
Overview
Features
Specs
Requirements
FAQs
Docs & Downloads
  • Ableton Live software is a powerful, flexible environment for creating, performing, and producing music. This unique software demands an equally unique control instrument. Akai Professional and Ableton are proud to present the APC40: the Ableton Performance Controller. Combining the APC40 with Ableton Live transforms your experience from constructing tracks on a computer to fluid, musical creation.

    The APC40 is the link between human and computer that perfectly balances analytical parameter control with creative expression. Whether you are an electronic music artist and Live is your canvas, a DJ using Live to mix or remix tracks, or a more traditional musician using Live on stage or in the studio, you will find the APC40 to be the intuitive, powerful instrument that directly links your inspiration with Ableton Live.

    Direct Design

    Because Akai Professional and Ableton designed the APC40 specifically for Ableton Live, you don’t need to map its controls to talk to the software. Just connect your laptop to the APC40 via USB and you're ready to make magic. The APC40 is plug and play, so you don't need to install drivers. First-time setup is literally three steps: load Ableton Live, plug in and power up your APC40, and select the APC40 as Ableton Live's controller. That's it. No mapping, no setup, no hassles.

    The APC40 comes pre-mapped for instant use with Ableton Live software, so if you're new to it, you'll find using the APC40 to be easy to get around on. And if you're an experienced Live user, you'll be happy to note that you can custom-map every single knob, button, and fader on the APC40 to completely customize the controls for the way you like to work.

    Virtual View

    The APC40 talks directly to Ableton Live and Live talks directly to the APC40. This bidirectional communication makes the APC40 an advanced controller in that it can receive feedback from the software and display it on its clip matrix of 40 triggers and on LED rings surrounding each knob. The clip matrix gives you an instant view of all clip statuses: what's loaded, what's playing, and what's being recorded. Each state displays on the matrix in a different color so you can get a quick picture of each clip current state. You can shift your clip focus and get an overview of the clips you have loaded for your set. The APC40 has 16 knobs, each surrounded by a ring of LEDs. These LED rings make it easy to see your settings on dark stages, indicating the currently selected parameters' values.

    Premium Feel

    Ableton selected Akai Professional as its partner in developing the APC40 because of Akai Pro's leadership position in great-feeling controllers that are rock solid, rugged, and precise. From the legendary MPC series that changed the way music is made to the industry-standard MPD and MPK controllers, Akai Professional is revered by musicians, DJs, and producers everywhere for creating the feel that powers their creativity. The APC40 is built with a rugged, metal chassis and slip-proof rubber detailing. All of the knobs and faders are solid and precise for pinpoint performance. It even features a high quality, replaceable crossfader for transitioning between clips and loops assigned to "A" or "B".

    Creative Control

    The APC40 comes with Ableton Live Akai Professional APC40 Edition software, which is fully functional for performance and production. Owners of standalone editions of Ableton Live 7 or 8 can also work seamlessly with the APC40. Live 7 with the latest automatic update has full support for the APC40 and all versions of Live 8 are APC40-ready.

    The APC40 has two banks of eight knobs. The first set controls Global parameters so you'll always have instant access to your main sends, pans, and other essentials. The second bank of eight knobs is dynamically reassigned to the Track you select. You can control eight track parameters at a time, and as you switch channels, the Track knobs follow your focus. For example, you might be working with the Beat Decoder on track two. When you switch to track four, the eight Track knobs that you had been controlling the Beat Decoder with are now controlling the Flangeverb on track four. You'll even notice that the settings for each knob load on the light rings so you'll immediately see each knob's status.

    The APC40 also enables special clip-status views and feedback that only the APC40's matrix can display. The matrix is not limited to only 40 clips: you can scroll and shift, enabling you to access, control, and perform with an unlimited number of cells.

    The APC40 has a wide range of controllers. The eight Global knobs can access four banks of controls; the eight Track knobs control nine different track parameters each. This gives you a massive total of 72 controllers that are dynamically reassigned each time you switch tracks. Channel faders, bus faders, and a crossfader give you smooth control of key values. You have even more control power with special controls including Tap Tempo, Tempo Nudge, record enables, solo/cues, and two assignable footswitch inputs.

    Designed in partnership with Ableton, the APC40 is the most advanced Live controller for the most advanced performers. The APC40 is Ableton Live performance... perfected.

    Ableton and Ableton Live are trademarks of Ableton AG.

    • Designed in partnership with Ableton for Ableton Live
    • Unique clip matrix with multicolor lighting displays current clip status
    • No mapping required; every knob, button, and fader is customizable
    • Bidirectional communication between APC40 and Ableton Live
    • Solid, professional feel with rugged, metal chassis and premium controls
    • Comes with Ableton Live Akai Professional APC40 Edition software
    • Works with standalone editions of Ableton Live
    • USB plug-and-play connection for Mac and PC
    • Premium controller with rugged, metal chassis
    • Dimensions: 16.88” x 13.13” x 2.62” (WxDxH) / 429mm x 334mm x 67mm (WxDxH)
    • Weight: 5.8 lbs / 2.64 kg
    • Power supply: 12V 2.0A pin-positive, included
    • Communication: USB-MIDI with proprietary hardware/software handshake
    • Inputs: USB, Two assignable footswitch inputs
    • Mac: G4 or faster/Intel Mac recommended, 512 MB RAM/1 GB recommended, OS 10.3.9, 10.4 or later. recommended, QuickTime 6.5 or higher, DVD-ROM drive, USB port
    • PC: 1.5 GHz or faster, 512 MB RAM/1 GB recommended, Windows XP or Vista, Windows-compatible sound card/ASIO driver support recommended, QuickTime 6.5 or higher, DVD-ROM drive, USB port
    • 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 has been added in Live 8.

    • How long is the throw on the APC40 and APC20 faders?

      The channel faders and crossfader (APC40 only) have 45mm of travel.

    • Can I map the APC40 the usual way by clicking MIDI Map in Ableton Live?

      Yes.

    • Is the crossfader replaceable?

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

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

      Yes.

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

      The APC40 comes with a switching power adapter that switches from 100V-240V. If you buy it in the U.S. and go to Europe, you will need prong adapters for European outlets and vice versa.

    • How many knobs does the APC40 have?

      There are 16 physical rotary knobs, each of which accesses four banks of controls for a total of 64 knob-controlled parameters. In TRACK CONTROL there are four banks of eight knobs (32). You press PAN, SEND A, SEND B, SEND C to access the 4 separate banks. There is no way to bank through the sends to go to a fourth or fifth send in Live such as SEND D or SEND E. In DEVICE CONTROL there are four banks of eight knobs (32) CLIP TRACK (1), DEVICE ON/OFF (2), (3), and (4) are 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.

    • What kinds of foot pedals are compatible with the APC40?

      Virtually any momentary, non-latching switch (a.k.a. an on/off switch) will work. You can use a sustain pedal, a simple open-close foot pedal, or any momentary non-latching switch.

    • 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.

    • Does the APC40 have traditional multi-pin MIDI ports?

      No. The APC40 sends MIDI via USB.

    • Can it be bus powered?

      No, it has too many LEDs (around 380) to be bus powered. The 12V (2.0A pin-positive) power supply is included.

    • Does the APC40 lock out the mouse?

      The APC40 does not lock out the mouse.

    • Can I use a Monome + BCR as an APC?

      Because of the unique handshake between the APC40 and the software, only the APC40 with work with its preset in Live.

    • Does the APC40 simply send out MIDI messages or is there a special type of communication between the APC40 and Live?

      The APC40 sends simple MIDI messages, but most of the banking and Session View control is handled internally in Live. There is also a special communication protocol with a hardware-software “handshake” that makes the system work together. Connecting another controller and selecting the APC40 preset will not work, even if that controller sends the same MIDI messages.

    • What does the action feel like on the clip-trigger buttons?

      They are similar to those on an Akai Pro XR20.

    • Can I use two APC40s at once?

      Yes, you can use up to six APC40s at the same time. In Ableton Live, 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.

    • How many tracks/scenes can I navigate to?

      With the bank buttons, you can move around a 64-track by 125-scene grid. For example, when you press the shift button and press the second button down in the second row, you'd be moving the ring to tracks 9-16 and scenes 6-10. The scene buttons 1-5 move you to extra banks of scenes. For example, the 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.

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

      The APC40 and its included software are a complete system. However, for more advanced users, Max for Live enables you to perform some extremely advanced functions such as editing the standard template and making the clip lights function like a step sequencer.

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

      The faders follow the takeover mode (see Takeover Mode in the Ableton Live manual for more info). If the volume on the screen is 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.

    • Can I use Ableton Live 5, 6, 7, or 8?

      If you elect to use a standalone version of Ableton Live, it must be Live 7 with the latest update or Live 8. The update adds the APC40 MIDI template to remote control in MIDI preferences.

    • Can I use the clip buttons as MIDI note triggers?

      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. Also, they are not velocity sensitive so you can't send 'varied' performances into Live.

    • Can I use the APC40 or APC20 with other programs?

      Both the APC40 and APC20 were designed to be controllers for Ableton Live. That said, you can use it in other programs but you will have to manually map it out in the other programs. Akai Pro 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 be easier to map than one without. You cannot change the MIDI note numbers and CC numbers that your APC is assigned to.

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

      In each Live Set, you can edit what any controller or button does by going into MIDI mapping mode in Live. If you want to change how the default APC40 mapping acts in Live, you would need to purchase Max for Live, available from Ableton’s Web site. Akai Professional will not be releasing a separate template editor.

  • Documents
    APC40 - Quickstart Guide [revD] Communications Protocol Document

APC40

Ableton Performance Controller

Awards

Overview

Ableton Live software is a powerful, flexible environment for creating, performing, and producing music. This unique software demands an equally unique control instrument. Akai Professional and Ableton are proud to present the APC40: the Ableton Performance Controller. Combining the APC40 with Ableton Live transforms your experience from constructing tracks on a computer to fluid, musical creation.

The APC40 is the link between human and computer that perfectly balances analytical parameter control with creative expression. Whether you are an electronic music artist and Live is your canvas, a DJ using Live to mix or remix tracks, or a more traditional musician using Live on stage or in the studio, you will find the APC40 to be the intuitive, powerful instrument that directly links your inspiration with Ableton Live.

Direct Design

Because Akai Professional and Ableton designed the APC40 specifically for Ableton Live, you don’t need to map its controls to talk to the software. Just connect your laptop to the APC40 via USB and you're ready to make magic. The APC40 is plug and play, so you don't need to install drivers. First-time setup is literally three steps: load Ableton Live, plug in and power up your APC40, and select the APC40 as Ableton Live's controller. That's it. No mapping, no setup, no hassles.

The APC40 comes pre-mapped for instant use with Ableton Live software, so if you're new to it, you'll find using the APC40 to be easy to get around on. And if you're an experienced Live user, you'll be happy to note that you can custom-map every single knob, button, and fader on the APC40 to completely customize the controls for the way you like to work.

Virtual View

The APC40 talks directly to Ableton Live and Live talks directly to the APC40. This bidirectional communication makes the APC40 an advanced controller in that it can receive feedback from the software and display it on its clip matrix of 40 triggers and on LED rings surrounding each knob. The clip matrix gives you an instant view of all clip statuses: what's loaded, what's playing, and what's being recorded. Each state displays on the matrix in a different color so you can get a quick picture of each clip current state. You can shift your clip focus and get an overview of the clips you have loaded for your set. The APC40 has 16 knobs, each surrounded by a ring of LEDs. These LED rings make it easy to see your settings on dark stages, indicating the currently selected parameters' values.

Premium Feel

Ableton selected Akai Professional as its partner in developing the APC40 because of Akai Pro's leadership position in great-feeling controllers that are rock solid, rugged, and precise. From the legendary MPC series that changed the way music is made to the industry-standard MPD and MPK controllers, Akai Professional is revered by musicians, DJs, and producers everywhere for creating the feel that powers their creativity. The APC40 is built with a rugged, metal chassis and slip-proof rubber detailing. All of the knobs and faders are solid and precise for pinpoint performance. It even features a high quality, replaceable crossfader for transitioning between clips and loops assigned to "A" or "B".

Creative Control

The APC40 comes with Ableton Live Akai Professional APC40 Edition software, which is fully functional for performance and production. Owners of standalone editions of Ableton Live 7 or 8 can also work seamlessly with the APC40. Live 7 with the latest automatic update has full support for the APC40 and all versions of Live 8 are APC40-ready.

The APC40 has two banks of eight knobs. The first set controls Global parameters so you'll always have instant access to your main sends, pans, and other essentials. The second bank of eight knobs is dynamically reassigned to the Track you select. You can control eight track parameters at a time, and as you switch channels, the Track knobs follow your focus. For example, you might be working with the Beat Decoder on track two. When you switch to track four, the eight Track knobs that you had been controlling the Beat Decoder with are now controlling the Flangeverb on track four. You'll even notice that the settings for each knob load on the light rings so you'll immediately see each knob's status.

The APC40 also enables special clip-status views and feedback that only the APC40's matrix can display. The matrix is not limited to only 40 clips: you can scroll and shift, enabling you to access, control, and perform with an unlimited number of cells.

The APC40 has a wide range of controllers. The eight Global knobs can access four banks of controls; the eight Track knobs control nine different track parameters each. This gives you a massive total of 72 controllers that are dynamically reassigned each time you switch tracks. Channel faders, bus faders, and a crossfader give you smooth control of key values. You have even more control power with special controls including Tap Tempo, Tempo Nudge, record enables, solo/cues, and two assignable footswitch inputs.

Designed in partnership with Ableton, the APC40 is the most advanced Live controller for the most advanced performers. The APC40 is Ableton Live performance... perfected.

Ableton and Ableton Live are trademarks of Ableton AG.

Features

  • Designed in partnership with Ableton for Ableton Live
  • Unique clip matrix with multicolor lighting displays current clip status
  • No mapping required; every knob, button, and fader is customizable
  • Bidirectional communication between APC40 and Ableton Live
  • Solid, professional feel with rugged, metal chassis and premium controls
  • Comes with Ableton Live Akai Professional APC40 Edition software
  • Works with standalone editions of Ableton Live
  • USB plug-and-play connection for Mac and PC
  • Premium controller with rugged, metal chassis

Tech Specs

  • Dimensions: 16.88” x 13.13” x 2.62” (WxDxH) / 429mm x 334mm x 67mm (WxDxH)
  • Weight: 5.8 lbs / 2.64 kg
  • Power supply: 12V 2.0A pin-positive, included
  • Communication: USB-MIDI with proprietary hardware/software handshake
  • Inputs: USB, Two assignable footswitch inputs

System Requirements

  • Mac: G4 or faster/Intel Mac recommended, 512 MB RAM/1 GB recommended, OS 10.3.9, 10.4 or later. recommended, QuickTime 6.5 or higher, DVD-ROM drive, USB port
  • PC: 1.5 GHz or faster, 512 MB RAM/1 GB recommended, Windows XP or Vista, Windows-compatible sound card/ASIO driver support recommended, QuickTime 6.5 or higher, DVD-ROM drive, USB port

FAQs

  • 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 has been added in Live 8.

  • How long is the throw on the APC40 and APC20 faders?

    The channel faders and crossfader (APC40 only) have 45mm of travel.

  • Can I map the APC40 the usual way by clicking MIDI Map in Ableton Live?

    Yes.

  • Is the crossfader replaceable?

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

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

    Yes.

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

    The APC40 comes with a switching power adapter that switches from 100V-240V. If you buy it in the U.S. and go to Europe, you will need prong adapters for European outlets and vice versa.

  • How many knobs does the APC40 have?

    There are 16 physical rotary knobs, each of which accesses four banks of controls for a total of 64 knob-controlled parameters. In TRACK CONTROL there are four banks of eight knobs (32). You press PAN, SEND A, SEND B, SEND C to access the 4 separate banks. There is no way to bank through the sends to go to a fourth or fifth send in Live such as SEND D or SEND E. In DEVICE CONTROL there are four banks of eight knobs (32) CLIP TRACK (1), DEVICE ON/OFF (2), (3), and (4) are 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.

  • What kinds of foot pedals are compatible with the APC40?

    Virtually any momentary, non-latching switch (a.k.a. an on/off switch) will work. You can use a sustain pedal, a simple open-close foot pedal, or any momentary non-latching switch.

  • 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.

  • Does the APC40 have traditional multi-pin MIDI ports?

    No. The APC40 sends MIDI via USB.

  • Can it be bus powered?

    No, it has too many LEDs (around 380) to be bus powered. The 12V (2.0A pin-positive) power supply is included.

  • Does the APC40 lock out the mouse?

    The APC40 does not lock out the mouse.

  • Can I use a Monome + BCR as an APC?

    Because of the unique handshake between the APC40 and the software, only the APC40 with work with its preset in Live.

  • Does the APC40 simply send out MIDI messages or is there a special type of communication between the APC40 and Live?

    The APC40 sends simple MIDI messages, but most of the banking and Session View control is handled internally in Live. There is also a special communication protocol with a hardware-software “handshake” that makes the system work together. Connecting another controller and selecting the APC40 preset will not work, even if that controller sends the same MIDI messages.

  • What does the action feel like on the clip-trigger buttons?

    They are similar to those on an Akai Pro XR20.

  • Can I use two APC40s at once?

    Yes, you can use up to six APC40s at the same time. In Ableton Live, 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.

  • How many tracks/scenes can I navigate to?

    With the bank buttons, you can move around a 64-track by 125-scene grid. For example, when you press the shift button and press the second button down in the second row, you'd be moving the ring to tracks 9-16 and scenes 6-10. The scene buttons 1-5 move you to extra banks of scenes. For example, the 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.

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

    The APC40 and its included software are a complete system. However, for more advanced users, Max for Live enables you to perform some extremely advanced functions such as editing the standard template and making the clip lights function like a step sequencer.

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

    The faders follow the takeover mode (see Takeover Mode in the Ableton Live manual for more info). If the volume on the screen is 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.

  • Can I use Ableton Live 5, 6, 7, or 8?

    If you elect to use a standalone version of Ableton Live, it must be Live 7 with the latest update or Live 8. The update adds the APC40 MIDI template to remote control in MIDI preferences.

  • Can I use the clip buttons as MIDI note triggers?

    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. Also, they are not velocity sensitive so you can't send 'varied' performances into Live.

  • Can I use the APC40 or APC20 with other programs?

    Both the APC40 and APC20 were designed to be controllers for Ableton Live. That said, you can use it in other programs but you will have to manually map it out in the other programs. Akai Pro 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 be easier to map than one without. You cannot change the MIDI note numbers and CC numbers that your APC is assigned to.

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

    In each Live Set, you can edit what any controller or button does by going into MIDI mapping mode in Live. If you want to change how the default APC40 mapping acts in Live, you would need to purchase Max for Live, available from Ableton’s Web site. Akai Professional will not be releasing a separate template editor.

Official Merchandise