Akai’s APC line of Ableton Live controllers has seen a complete refresh just in time for the Musikmesse convention in Frankfurt, Germany. There are three new controllers that each target their own potential users. The original lineup was used by live performers around the world, and until Ableton’s Push was released, they were considered the most integrated controller option available for Ableton users. Check out all the details we have so far of each new unit below.
Want to grab one of these three units now? Check them out under Production Gear in the online DJTT boutique.
APC 40 MKII
The new APC40 MKII is the most familiar to previous APC owners, whose feedback has helped shaped this model. There’s the familiar 5X8 grid of clip launching buttons, now with full RGB backlighting. 8 of the knobs have been moved from the right side of the controller to above channels, making it a bit more easy to understand what control is associated with what channel. Also of note, the APC 40 MKII is USB-powered, requiring no external power source like its predecessor did.
Here’s the feature highlights according to Akai’s press release:
- 5×8 RGB LED clip matrix—launches clips with visual feedback
- 8 channel faders, 1 master fader, and 8 device controls—map to Ableton Live directly
- Intuitive layout— revised knob layout with in-line controls for smarter workflow
- A/B crossfader — ??can be assigned on the fly for dynamic mixing
- Send button — press and hold Send and use the Track Selects to choose one of 8 sends
- Includes Music production content—Toolroom artist launch packs, Prime Loops sample packs,
- Hybrid 3 by AIR Music Technology & SONiVOX Twist
APC KEY 25
Akai is claiming that this new controller is the “first controller designed for Ableton Live that is equipped with a high-performance keyboard” – although we’d note that any MIDI keyboard can be used with Ableton Live, but perhaps not with this level of integration on the non-key controls on the unit. The controller looks similar to some of Novation’s Launchkey offerings that integrated their Launchpad-style controls into a keyboard.
Note that the LEDs are just tri-color on this controller – not the same as the full RGB on the APC40 MKII. Here’s the feature highlights, again from Akai’s press release:
- Ableton Live controller with keyboard—25 synth-action mini keys
- Tri-color clip matrix—launches clips and multicolor lighting displays clip status
- 8 assignable control knobs – hands-on-control of any Ableton Live parameter
- Octave Up, Octave Down, and Sustain – expands keyboard range and expression
- Music production content—Toolroom artist launch packs, Hybrid 3 by AIR Music Tech & SONiVOX Twist
The APC Key 25 is also out now in the DJTT webstore for $129.99
The APC mini offers serious slimline control over Ableton (we’re still awaiting exact dimensions and weight), removing all of the knobs from the the unit and replacing the upfaders with a shorter set that limit the vertical height. Akai’s features of note:
- Tri-color clip matrix—8×8 grid launches clips and multicolor lighting displays clip status
- 8 channel faders & 1 master fader—provide hands-on-control of Ableton
- Compact construction—portable design for mobile performers and producers
- Music production content—Toolroom artist launch packs & Hybrid 3 by AIR Music Tech
Think you’ll add any of these controllers to your arsenal? Let us know in the comments below.