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.
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.
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.
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”.
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.