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AKAI APC40 (Ableton Performance Controller): Hands-on Review
Old 3rd March 2014
Gear Head
Marcellino's Avatar
🎧 5 years
AKAI APC40 (Ableton Performance Controller): Hands-on Review

I got this baby from Musikhaus Korn in Germany about a week ago. I must say, I was quite skeptical about AKAI at first, wanted to buy Push originally, but then after reading some reviews I decided to give this white board a try....

And the white board really delivers!

Here it is - my first recorded session with the new AKAI APC40 Limited Edition in White. In a sheer dubstep style (this piece is titled "Cure for a Dubstep Monster")

AKAI APC40: Hands-on Review & Live Performance (Dubstep, High Quality) - YouTube

Now, moving onto my short review of the board.

First, you don't have to install ANY drivers at all - it is wonderfully natively compatible with Ableton Live 9. So it's all just plug and play.

Second, it's super intuitive to use. Even if it wasn't, there is the User Manual for APC40 included in the User Manual of Ableton itself.

Third, don't get fooled by the small size of the 8x5 matrix. There are arrows allowing you to move the matrix within your session view in a jiffy. There is also this magic button - SHIFT. Once you press SHIFT, you can even program Ableton to move the start point of your matrix wherever you want in the view... Amazing!

Every component on the board feels solidly manufactured and attached. The board has metallic chassi, is very sturdy, and seems to take a lot of manipulation, if you know what I mean...

The design of the board is just perfect for my needs. As a beginning DJ, coming from the guitar world, this suits my every need just fine for now.

All in all, I am quite happy about the purchase. The only thing I miss with the board are touch sensitive controllers as found with some more expensive, or custom-made boards. But you can assign the upper section of potentiometers to control pretty much anything, so I can live without that, for now. My next board will most definitely be custom-made.

Now, I know there were mistakes in my performance. Pardon me these, it was my first recorded live performance. I will get better, I promise...

What else to add. Ah, gear. OK, here it goes:

Gear used:
- AKAI APC40 Limited Edition
- RME Babyface
- MacBook Pro 17"

Software used:
- Ableton Live 9 Suite
- Steinberg Wavelab 7
- iZotope Ozone 5 Advanced

Also, I have had trouble getting the "right" mastered sound here. I guess it is the problem of working with 3-rd party wavs. The plan is to buy NI Komplete with Machine (shame on me, still don't have this) and produce from that instrument. The sound will get much more defined and clearer then...

Anyway, I hope you will still enjoy the performance!

The link one again:
AKAI APC40: Hands-on Review & Live Performance (Dubstep, High Quality) - YouTube
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