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Akai Professional APC20 Ableton Live Performance Controller

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The Akai Professional APC20 transforms your Ableton Live 8 software experience from constructing tracks on a computer to a fluid, musical creation. Ableton Live 8 software is a powerful, flexible envi... Click To Read More About This Product

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The Akai Professional APC20 transforms your Ableton Live 8 software experience from constructing tracks on a computer to a fluid, musical creation. Ableton Live 8 software is a powerful, flexible environment for creating, performing, and producing music. This unique software demands an equally unique control instrument. The second model in the APC series, the APC20 offers a smaller footprint than the APC40, enabling musicians to more easily create a personalized setup with multiple APCs, effects controllers, and other devices.

The Akai APC20 is the link between human and computer that perfectly balances analytical parameter control with creative expression. Whether you are an electronic music artist and Live is your canvas, a DJ using Live to mix or remix tracks, or a more traditional musician using Live on stage or in the studio, you will find the APC20 to the intuitive, powerful instrument that directly links your inspiration with Ableton Live 8.

Instant perfomance:
Because Akai Professional and Ableton designed the APC20 specifically for Ableton Live 8, you don't need to map its controls to talk to the software. Just connect your laptop to the APC20 with the included USB cable and you're ready to make magic. The APC20 is plug-and-play, so you don't need to install drivers. First-time setup is literally three steps: load the included Ableton Live software, plug in and power up your APC20, and select the APC20 as Ableton Live's controller. That's it. No mapping, no setup, no hassles.

The APC20 comes pre-mapped for instant use with Ableton Live software, so if you're new to it, you'll find using the APC20 to be easy to get around on. And if you're an experienced Live user, you'll be happy to note that you can custom-map every single button and fader on the APC20 to completely customize the controls for the way you like to work.

Visual feedback:
The APC20 talks directly to Ableton Live, and Live talks directly to the APC20. This bidirectional communication makes the APC20 an advanced controller in that it can receive feedback from the software and display it on its Clip Launch matrix. The Clip Matrix gives you an instant view of clip status: what's loaded, what's playing, and what's being recorded. Each state displays in the grid in a different color so you can get a quick picture of clip state. You can shift your clip focus and get an overview of the clips you have loaded for your set.

Professional construction:
Ableton selected Akai Professional as its partner in developing the APC20 because of Akai Pro's leadership position in great-feeling controllers that are rock solid, rugged, and precise. From the legendary MPC series that changed the way music is made to the industry-standard MPD and MPK controllers, Akai Professional is revered by musicians, DJs, and producers everywhere for creating the feel that powers their creativity. The APC20 is built with a rugged, metal chassis and slip-proof rubber detailing. There's no flimsy plastic here. Faders are solid and precise for pinpoint performance.

Creative control:
The APC20 comes with Ableton Live Akai Professional APC Edition software, which is fully functional for performance and production. Owners of the full edition of Ableton Live 8.1.3 or higher can also work seamlessly with the APC20. Live 8.1.3 has full support for the APC20.

The APC20 also enables special clip-status views and feedback that only the APC20's matrix can display. The matrix is not limited to only 40 clips: you can scroll and shift, enabling you to access, control, and perform with an unlimited number of cells.

The APC20 has nine faders, which you can assign to volume control, pan, sends, and a choice of three user-mapped modes. You have even more control power with special controls including Tap Tempo, Tempo Nudge, record enables, and solo/cues. A new User Mode enables you to use the Clip Launch buttons to control instruments and the Drum Rack.

Designed in partnership with Ableton, the APC20 is the ideal controller for musicians who like to perform in a small amount of space for maximum portability. It's also perfect for players who want to combine multiple controllers in their setup thanks to its small footprint. Don't settle for cheap, plastic imitations. From the company whose name is synonymous with the word "production," the APC20 is the serious choice.


Designed in partnership with Ableton, mapped for Live 8, and fully customizable
Clip Launch matrix with multicolor lighting displays current clip status
No mapping required; every button and fader is pre-mapped
Bidirectional hardware/software communication for visual feedback on APC20
Solid, professional feel with rugged, metal chassis and premium controls
Comes with Ableton Live Akai Professional APC Edition software
Works with standalone editions of Ableton Live
USB plug-and-play connection for Mac and PC
Power supply: 12V 2.0A pin-positive (included)
Communication: USB-MIDI with proprietary hardware/software handshake
Inputs: USB

Minimum system requirements:
Mac: G4/Intel recommended, OS X 10.3.9/10.4+ recommended
PC: 1.5GHz, Windows XP or Vista, Windows 7
Windows-compatible sound card/ASIO driver support recommended
512MB RAM/1GB recommended, QuickTime 6.5 or higher, DVD-ROM drive, & USB port
  • Customer Reviews

Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
Akai ProfessionalAPC20 Ableton Live Performance Controller

(based on 3 reviews)

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Reviewed by 3 customers

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(7 of 7 customers found this review helpful)


one word... WORKFLOW!!!

By jAy-MeN

from New York

Comments about Akai Professional APC20 Ableton Live Performance Controller:

this little machine has made recording a breeze. there is nothing like being able to control your software with something other then a mouse and a keyboard. This thing is one of the main reasons i use live above any other program

(3 of 8 customers found this review helpful)


Innovative and lots of fun

By Andy Mawson

from Cumberland MI

Comments about Akai Professional APC20 Ableton Live Performance Controller:

I bought the APC40 about 6 months ago once I decided Ableton would be my primary DAW. It's robust yet light weight -- installation was problem free and operation is straight forward and intuitive (and actually a lot of fun.) It has definitely made life much easier and I would not be without it now for working in Ableton. As a first iteration, I think it's great -- but for future versions I'd like see the APC40 be modular so you can easily and quickly link together modules to control more than five channels at a time. Currently, the method of moving the 'red-box' focus to each group of five channels you want to control with the APC40 is OK, but can get a little confusing and cumbersome if you are working with many tracks. Motorized faders would be great too (yes, I know it would add a couple of hundred bucks to the price). Also perhaps most importantly, the ability to manage recording and track arming from the APC40, not just mixing.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


Not just another control surface.

By Joseph Godoy

from Hartford, CT

Comments about Akai Professional APC20 Ableton Live Performance Controller:

The APC20 is an excellent control surface - it really allows for a greater, out-of-the-box control of Ableton Live. The signature Launchpad clip-launching pads, are a bit more wobbly than I might have expected, but they still work like a charm. If your version of Live comes with M4L, there are scripts that allow you to repurpose your APC as a step-sequencer, or even a spectral analyzer, as outlandish as that may sound. Anyways, I digress. The APC20 is an excellent MIDI device, and I don't regret purchasing it one bit.

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