One user asked us how to setup the Akai MPK49, and the Akai APC40 with Ableton so that both devices act as Control Surfaces, while allowing the APC40 (only) to also be manually mapped to additional controls.

This is a great question, and something we thought a lot of other people out there may want to do as well.  So here's the walkthrough...



To allow both the MPK49 and APC40 to act as a Control Surface while allowing only the APC40 (and not the MPK49) to be manually mapped to other controls.  Setup the Ableton MIDI Sync preferences window as follows:


You can choose which connected MIDI devices are seen as Remote Control devices.  To prevent the MPK49 from being seen as a Remote, perform the following:

  1. In Ableton, go to Preferences ? MIDI Sync.
  2. Under MIDI Ports, locate the MPK49, and for all Inputs, set…

    Track to On
    to Off
    to ON


    The Remote setting will not affect the MPK49’s status as a Control Surface, which is setup at the top of this same window:



We've included a description of the differences between Remote and Control Surface below.


Control Surfaces


Both the APC40 and the MPK49 can be setup as Control Surfaces in Ableton.  This allows them to communicate with the software in using sophisticated pre-made mappings built right into Ableton.

Setting up a device as a controller is done in Preferences ? MIDI Sync ? Control Surface.


Remote Control Devices

You can also manually assign MIDI control messages to the knobs and sliders on the screen in Ableton.

Allowing a connected MIDI device to be manually mapped to a control is done in Preferences ? MIDI Sync ? Remote.

Note: Control Surface and Remote settings are independent form one another.  This means that you can have a device setup as a Control Surface that is not setup as a Remote (and visa versa)

Any device that is enabled as a Remote can be mapped to a control in the software by pressing Ctrl+M (Command+M on Macintosh).


To prevent MIDI messages from a device being seen by manually mapped knobs and sliders in Ableton, set Remote to Off.




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