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Microphone Month 4

Akai Professional APC40 Reviews

5.0 stars based on 13 customer reviews

Sweetwater Advice

  • Scott DeMarko

    AKAI and Ableton have teamed up to bring one of the most exciting new controllers on the market with the APC40. With an almost endless amount of buttons, knobs, faders, and full-on control, this USB controller delivers in more ways than any controller has before. The APC40 will sync up immediately to Ableton Live. Ableton Live users have a great new toy to enjoy both in the studio and on the road!

  • Carson McClain

    Every IDM, house, techno, electro DJ I know wants this for their Ableton rig. If you own Ableton Live, you have to get this, no questions asked. A friend of mine is adding this to his rig which already has an MPD and a Novation. This will give you the complete control you need.

  • Kenny Bergle

    I own an Akai APC40, and it's an amazing thing to have such great control over such great software!

  • from September 22, 2014Music Background:
    Pro Drummer, Pro Musician, Recording Engineer, Producer, STUDENT, Astronaut.

    APC40

    Absolutely worth it. Extremely functional, great for Ableton right off the bat, but works great for lighting, visual performance, or almost anything else you can think to map it to.
    Zero complaints, except that with very (and sometimes aggressive) extensive (and sometimes aggressive) use the faders sometimes wear down. But for almost all intents and purposes, will work great and last a long time. Definitely worth it for the money.
    APC + MPK = Boss.

  • from Hayward, CA June 18, 2014Music Background:
    Bass, Ableton, Dj

    APC + Live = Pro

    This is a necessary tool for ableton users. Mk1 or Mk2, it is the way to play inside of the session view.

  • from Reston, VA USA March 16, 2014Music Background:
    Engineer, producer, musician

    Must have for Ableton Live

    I use it in the studio. I take it on the road. Combined with my Rane sixty nine and my Mac this is the tool that I use for every live dj gig I do, and in messin' round in the studio with EDM and while remixing. This thing makes Live a joy to use.

  • from United States September 29, 2013Music Background:
    professional dj, professional session and touring drummer, recording engineer, producer, live sound engineer

    Must have for Ableton

    This is seriously the best controller for ableton period. Idc what anyone else says. The way it's pre mapped is perfect, but it's always good to mess around and midi map to your liking. It's built well. It never glitches or freezes up. It's a flawless unit that has made for many hours of performance.

  • from Santa Clarita, CA. USA September 6, 2013Music Background:
    DJ, Recording Engineer, Composer

    Ableton Users Get This!!!

    I had the APC20 for a few months and loved it so much, I upgraded to the 40. The APC40 hasn't let me down since I bought it 2 years ago. I use it in the studio and out and about, djing. I absolutely love mapping out the midi for this. Incredibly fun to use.

  • from Austin, TX August 31, 2012Music Background:
    Live Sound Engineer/Production Student

    Buy this.

    I purchased the Ableton Suite and have never been as satisfied or entertained by the software as I am after a few hours of owning this controller.

    It streamlined the process of operating Ableton to make a novice feel like a pro. This might be my final nudge away from other DAW's to use Ableton as my primary!

  • from Atlanta, GA August 4, 2012Music Background:
    Hip Hop Production, Sound Design

    The G.O.A.T. controller for a DAW

    The Greatest Of All Time midi controller (with Niative Instruments' Maschine running a close second). This has so much bang for buck value. You certainly could not build this controller for $299 or $250 if you catch it on sale. Go to Livid Instruments and see how much it costs to piece something like this together. I have a a double rack keyboard stand with an Akai MPK 61 on the bottom and an APC 40 on top and it works like a charm. You can really trick this thing out when you start using MaxForLive and different midi remote scripts. I use my APC 40 as a transport controller and a Step/FX sequencer more than a Performance controller and it really makes production faster.

  • from Cedar Falls, IA March 22, 2012Music Background:
    Producer/DJ/Guitarist/Vocalist

    Fantastic Control Surface

    I have owned this for about six months now and I'm not sure how I ever navigated Ableton without it. This is ESSENTIAL for Ableton based performances and comes with all the knobs, faders, and buttons necessary to do damn near anything you can think of. Now I will mention that this is fantastic out of the box, but with some extra MIDI remote scripts in your arsenal this thing is unstoppable. I have used this for dubstep and other electronic music, as well as live rock and hip/hop and for recording purposes as well. If Ableton is your weapon of choice, this is definitely a must.

    Main downside: the caps on top of the knobs are kind of easy to lose if you gig with it all the time like I do. This doesn't effect functionality though, so I still consider it a 5 star product.

  • from New York, New York September 1, 2011Music Background:
    Jazz Musician and Dj hobbyist

    WHOA!

    I can't imagine using ableton live without this controller. Not only are the premapped functions great, but you can map it to do just about ANYTHING! The amount of possibilities are endless! Best 300 bucks I have ever spent.

  • from Fremont,Ohio July 7, 2011Music Background:
    Pro Musician

    Wow!

    I ordered this along with the Ableton Live 8.2 Software and I am ever glad that I did!, It has made my control of the software much easier than trying to use an mouse. If you buy the software then you SHOULD also get this and when you do then you'll understand my meaning.

  • from Queensland, Australia June 18, 2011Music Background:
    Studio Engineer, Live Engineer, DJ

    Akai APC40

    The fastest delivery I have ever received from an online store. Excellent product, will buy from you guys again.

  • from Thessaloniki, Greece, Europe November 5, 2009Music Background:
    Music producer, sound engineer, studio gear geek

    More than expected unit!

    apc40 is truly an AMAZING midi controller. I am an ableton live user since version 1 and i own a lot of midi controllers. BUT! apc40 was made in partnership with ableton. That means total control over ableton live! I love the fact EVERY vst and EVERY effect is auto assigned to the apc40 once opened (YEY! NO MORE MIDI MAPPING!) Thats the most handy feature for ableton users! Built quality on this midi controller is amazing too. It feels heavy and well made like a tank. The 9 faders have a quite strong resistance while sliding and that helps users to have an accurate control over track volumes. All the soft-push led buttons are very well made too and respond great to the gentliest of push. Led knobs feels good too and provide a very precise visual feedback about every vst and vsti parameter. Dedicated buttons on each track (for activation, solo and arm) are genius and you really don't have to use your mouse for almost anything at all! The best part for an advanced user is to turn that thing into a step sequencer or even better, to a monome emulator! Overall, apc40 gives a new dimension to ableton live, making it the most amazing controller i ever had for it! Now all the other midi controllers except my midi keyboard are left over to dust & rust. I just wish Akai & Ableton had come up with it a few years back. I would also like to thank Trip Irish from Sweetwater for all the info and service he provided me with it.

  • from Portland, OR July 26, 2009Music Background:
    Composer, Producer, Sound Designer, Electronic Music Performer, Mad Scientist

    Seamless, solid, intuitive interface - a must for Live users!

    I admit, I was in love with this thing before I even laid my hands on it. I was looking for a controller to use with Live, to trigger samples and tracks and to use as an interface to control Live's new "Looper" function with footswitches. But when I pulled the APC40 out of the box, I was even more impressed.

    In reading the literature that comes with it, I was happy to see that the crossfade module can be swapped out easily should it wear out - good news for DJs that will be putting that particular control through its paces!

    The unit is sleek and feels truly solid. The faders, knobs and controllers are all smooth and well designed. Set-up was so easy - I was up and running in approximately 2 minutes. Live immediately recognizes the APC, and the default positions of all the controls, echoed on screen in Live, are useful starting points, from both a production and performance standpoint. Unlike many other hardware controllers, the multiuple functions of each bank of controls are easy to page through, and the lights are not only pretty (OK, I'm a sucker for pretty lights!) but they are vital visual feedback. Someone really did their homework here.

    After less than a week with the APC, I used it last night in a performance - under intensely crazy stage conditions - and it was like having a real partner onstage.

    One thing I did notice is that when I used the trigger buttons as "drum" style trigger pads - to quickly play a one-shot sample - they were a little bit stiff. Subjective, I know, but thought it worth mentioning. Could be my playing, but I might add a dedicated drum pad or controller if I wanted to do a lot of that kind of playing.

    Like Live, the APC is fluid, intuitive, and is constructed in a way makes musical sense. I purchased it for onstage use, but I now can't imagine using Live in any context without it. I've already started using in it my studio production work with Live - and it's really enhancing my workflow.

    I love this thing.

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