Acoustic & Electronic Instruments, Musicians, News, Tutorials, Videos & Interesting Finds
Acoustic & Electronic Instruments, Musicians, News, Tutorials, Videos & Interesting Finds

Akai APC64 Ableton Live controller launched

Akai has announced the launch of its “next generation” Ableton Live controller, the APC64. Featuring 64 RGB velocity-sensitive poly-aftertouch pads in a familiar 8×8 grid, plus eight assignable touch strips for instant hands-on control of devices, pitch, modulation and more. It’s touted as an Ableton Live device but in reality it is also a standalone 32-step 8-track step sequencer and a controller for other devices as to has three MIDI ports and 8 CV/Gate outputs.

That said, Ableton users are squarely where this device is aimed at. The matrix of pads are supremely sensitive and tactile, offering the ability to play chords, synth leads, Ableton Live’s Drum Racks, and launching clips in session view.

The Touch Strips with RGB LED indicators offer control of Ableton Live’s devices including Auto Filter, Delay, Reverb, Impulse, Simpler and more. There’s easy adjustment of macros, mixer volume, panning, and effect sends as well as writing automation.

The smart colour LED screen with a fast push encoder gives real-time visual feedback of parameters. There are also dedicated transport controls (play, stop and record, 8-track mute and solo buttons).

Away from Live, the APC64 can be used as a standalone step sequencer for DAWless control of other equipment. This includes continuous control and expression using the touch strips and additional creative manipulation of MIDI notes using probability, velocity and mutate functions.

APC64 facilitates a seamless workflow within Ableton Live; from triggering samples and loops in Ableton Live’s Drum Rack, all the way to writing expressive melodies using the Notes, Scale, and Chord modes. Use the onboard Step Sequencer to generate inventive melodic patterns that can be instantly transferred to Ableton Live using the Send To Clip function. Apply swing and quantize to your beats or use APC64 to arm and record vocal tracks directly in Ableton Live sessions.

APC64 features a dedicated Drum Mode allowing you to play and record beats, loops, and slices using an Ableton Live Drum Rack or Simpler device. Capture additional inspiration using the 8 Touch Strips to control Ableton Live’s FX racks during beat making and performance.

The APC64 comes with Ableton Live Lite 11 if this is your first foray into the Live environment, as well as AIR Music instruments/plugins, and editor software for creating custom layouts.

Availability and pricing to be confirmed.