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Akai APC40 Overview, Links, Videos, Availability and Price For The New Dedicated Ableton Live Controller


Out of all the controllers announced in the 2009 Winter NAMM, the Akai APC40 is the one I’m most excited about.

What is the AKAI APC40?
It’s a dedicated controller just for Live and is intended to offer real-time control of Live’s session view. It features 109 buttons, 16 endless encoders with LED rings, nine 45mm faders and a replaceable cross fader.

The APC40 features something called Direct Design which means that since it was designed specifically for life you don’t need to map controls. The APC40 works directly with Live using exclusive bidirectional communication so the state of the clip matrix buttons and LED rings surrounding knobs reflect what is going on inside the software.

If all this wasn’t cool enough, the APC40 can be further enhanced with custom Max for Live programs. For example, Ableton mentions a program that will allow you to use the Clip Launch Matrix as a step sequencer. Custom mappings can also be shared with Live 8’s new collaboration features.

It ships with an APC Edition of Live which looks a bit more like Live LE (see comparison chart).

Pricing and Availability of Akai APC40
It’s going to work with both Live 7 and 8, will be available in May. At only $399 I think this controller is a must have for Ableton Live users.

Update: Musicians friend is taking pre-orders and indicate that the delivery date is 5-22-09 – CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO.

The best way to get your mind around this product is to watch the videos below.

Here is an excellent walk-through video from Sonic State.

Here is a video from Ableton on the APC40.


Mark Mosher