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Microphone Month 4



When I get to the end of my audio tracks and keep hitting the bank button, will it go to the Return tracks?

-No, but you can MIDI-map the sliders to control your return faders

Can I map the APC40 the usual way by clicking MIDI Map in Ableton Live?


Is the crossfader replacable?

-Yes it is. Should a replacement be necessary, the crossfader can be easily replaced in the field by removing a small two-screw access panel on the underside of the APC40.

Can I user another MIDI controller and/or MIDI remote at the same time as the APC40?


Is the APC40 dual voltage (without the need for a transformer) for playing abroad?

-You can use the same unit for U.S. (110V) and Europe (220V) with different power adapters. If you buy it in the U.S. and go to Europe, you will need the European adapter and vice versa.

How many knobs does the APC40 have?

-There are 16 physical rotary knobs, each of which accesses four banks of controls for a total of 64 knob-controlled parameters. In TRACK CONTROL there are four banks of eight knobs (32). You press PAN, SEND A, SEND B, SEND C to access the 4 separate banks. There is no way to bank through the sends to go to a fourth or fifth send in Live such as SEND D or SEND E. In Device Control there are four banks of eight knobs (32) CLIP TRACK(1), DEVICE ON/OFF (2), (3), and (4) are bank buttons. To access the different banks press SHIFT + DEVICE CONTROL (1), SHIFT + DEVICE ON/OFF (2), SHIFT + (3), SHIFT + (4). There is no way to bank through to go to a 5th bank.

What kinds of foot pedals are compatible with the APC40?

-Virtually any momentary, non-latching switch (a.k.a. an on/off switch) will work. You can use a sustain pedal, a simple open-close foot pedal, or any momentary non-latching switch.

Can I control a hardware synth or drum machine with the APC40?

-The APC40 was designed to be a controller for Ableton Live software. If you wanted to control a hardware synth or drum machine you would have to have a computer and software in the middle between the APC40 and the hardware device. The MIDI note numbers, channels and CC numbers cannot be edited on the APC40 (unless you use Max for Live), so you would have to edit the hardware device to conform to the APC40.

Does the APC40 have traditional multi-pin MIDI ports?

-No. The APC40 sends MIDI via USB.

Can it be bus powered?

-No, it has too many LEDs (around 380) to be bus powered. The 12V (2.0A pin-positive) power supply is included.

Does the APC40 lock out the mouse?

-The APC40 does not lock out the mouse.

Can I use the Monome + BCR as an APC?

-Because of the unique handshake between the APC40 and the software, only the APC40 will work with its preset in Live.

Does the APC40 simply send out MIDI messages or is there a special type of communication between the APC40 and Live?

-The APC40 sends simple MIDI messages, but most of the banking and Session View control is handled internally in Live. There is also a special communication protocol with a hardware-software “handshake” that makes the system work together. Connecting another controller and selecting the APC40 preset will not work, even if that controller sends the same MIDI messages.

What the does the action feel like on the clip-trigger buttons?

-They are similar to those on the Akai Pro XR20.

Can I use two APC40s at once?

-Yes, you can use up to six APC40s at the same time. In Ableton Live, a red box around the clips is indicated for the first APC40. A yellow box is indicated for the 2nd APC, and so on. Each will show a different colored ring around the clips.

How many tracks/scenes can I navigate to?

-With the bank buttons, you can move around a 64-track by 125-scene grid. For example, when you press the shift button and press the second button down in the second row, you’d be moving the ring to tracks 9-16 and scenes 6-10. The scene buttons 1-5 move you to extra banks of scenes. For example, the scene 1 button lets you select 5 banks of scenes from 1-25, scene button 2 brings up 5 more banks of scenes from 26-50, and so on.

Do I need to own Mac for Live to make the APC40 work?

-The APC40 and its included software are a complete system. However, for more advanced users, Max for Live enabled you to perform some extremely advanced functions such as editing the standard template and making the clip lights function like a step sequencer.

The faders are not motorized. How does that work if you bank through channels?

-The faders follow the takeover mode (see Takeover Mode in the Ableton Live manual for more info). If the volume on the screen is at the bottom and the fader is at the top, Live won’t start responding until you move the fader up to the top position it really is at (in the software). Then the fader and Live control will sync and move together.

Can I use Ableton Live 5,6,7, or 8?

-If you elect to use a standalone version of Ableton Live, it must be Live 7 with the latest update or Live 8. The update adds the APC40 MIDI template to remote control in MIDI preferences.

Can I use the clip buttons as MIDI note triggers?

-The clips send MIDI notes so they technically can be played to play a synth or drum machine in Live. You would have to turn off remote control in MIDI preferences to do this. Also, they are not velocity sensitive so you can’t send varied performances into live.

Can I use the APC40 with other programs?

-The APC40 was designed to be a controller for Ableton Live. That said, you can use it in other programs but you will have to manually map it out in the other programs. Akai Pro will not be issuing any MIDI control templates for other DAWs and programs. If you do manually map things, a DAW with the learn feature in MIDI mapping mode will be easier to map than one without. You cannot change the MIDI note numbers and CC numbers that the APC40 is assigned to.

Will Akai Professional release a template editor for the controller mappings?

-In each Live Set, you can edit what any controller or button does by going into MIDI mapping mode in Live. If you want to change how the default APC40 mapping acts in Live, you would need to purchase Max for Live, available from Ableton’s Web site. Akai Professional will not be releasing a separate template editor.

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