Akai Announces Three New APC Controllers

Akai_Pro_APC40_MKIIAt Musikmesse 2014: Today, Akai Professional announced three new additions to its APC line of Ableton Live controllers: the re-imagined APC40 mkII, along with two compact controllers, APC Key 25, and the APC mini.

APC40 mkII: The APC40 mkII (pictured, above right) features a 5×8 RGB LED clip-launching matrix, assignable A/B cross-fader, 8 rotary knobs, 8 channel faders, and a send button for quick access to send busses.

Included with the APC40 mkII is a suite of software, samples, and loops for out-of-the-box electronic music production: Toolroom artist launch packs, Prime Loops sample packs, Hybrid 3 by AIR Music Technology, and SONiVOX Twist.

Akai_Pro_APC_miniAPC mini: APC mini (right) is the most portable all-in-one Ableton controller from Akai Pro, engineered for the mobile musician or producer. APC mini concentrates the essential features of the APC40 mkII into a compact design. It boasts an expanded 8×8 multicolor clip-launching grid, 8 channel faders, and a diminutive but tough chassis for hands-on control over Ableton Live with a small footprint. The APC mini is also USB-powered and supports plug-and-play.

APC Key 25: Akai’s APC Key 25 is the first controller designed for Ableton Live that is equipped with a “high-performance” keyboard, combining a clip-launching panel with a keyboard interface. The APC Key 25 controller (right) includes 25 synth-action mini keys, a 5×8 clip-launch matrix with tri-color visual feedback, 8 control knobs, USB power, and plug-and-play connectivity. The APC Key 25 comes mapped to Ableton, but can also be used as an all-purpose MIDI controller.

Akai_Pro_APC_Key25APC Series Highlights:

  • Ableton Live integration: seamlessly integrates 1-to-1 with Ableton Live
  • USB-powered and class compliant: no power adapter required
  • Ableton Live Lite: music creation software from Ableton included

Pricing and Availability

Akai Professional’s new additions to their APC line, the APC40 mkII, APC Key 25 and APC mini, will be available worldwide later this summer, with street prices as follows:

  • APC40 mkII ($399.99 USD)
  • APC Key 25 ($129.99 USD), and
  • APC mini ($99.99 USD).

For additional information, see the Akai Professional website.

18 thoughts on “Akai Announces Three New APC Controllers

  1. As a Logic user, I get all snorty and puffy over Ableton being so popular. How dare the market reward what works well instead of catering to ME??? 😀 Nah, I’ve seen Ableton recover from that stumble of a while back and really blossom with refinements and great instrument options. Its basic form doesn’t grab me, but its utility and range sure do.

    So my question is aimed at those of you who perhaps have 2 or more “drum machines.” I know the general MPC family is high on the list for hardiness, but even then, you’re beating the hell out of a box full of circuit boards. What are you playing, how long have you had it and how well has it held up over time? Can you compare a high-end model with a lower one of the same family? If you had a couple of pads die on a unit, what fresh hell did you encounter in getting it repaired? I know the sound is good. I’d like some insight on the build life.

    1. Just sold my APC40 last month after getting an MPC1000, and haven’t looked back. Ableton just does not play well with external synths. The APC can be a wonderful production tool, but the amount of time I was wasting fixing software issues, getting everything to sync up… Now I can turn everything on and it just works. Build is solid, haven’t had any issues, and there seems to be a ready availability of replacement parts. But then I don’t do anything with it I wouldn’t do with a laptop.

      I wouldn’t really call the MPC’s drum machines, although they certainly can be used to program drums. I recommend trying one out if you can, it takes some messing about to get one’s head around the features and composition paradigm. The 1000/2500/5000 will all get the job done with varying levels of knobs/ins/outs/screen sizes. There are some software feature differences but nothing major, just avoid the underpowered 500. JJOS is also worth it.

      I’m honestly surprised how little has changed in the new APC revisions. A couple more buttons, blue led’s, send encoders moved to the top, all entirely reasonable stuff but no real reason for previous owners to upgrade. It would have been nice to see something like a built-in step sequencer, velocity sensitivity or some like. Also would have gone with encoders rather than faders on the mini, they are much more useful (albeit more expensive).

  2. the mini hits nicely with that intro price, I’m looking to get 2x of those instead of more launchpads. the faders just put the icing on the cake – make the 9th fader on the 1st mini control crossfade, and leave the 2nd mini’s 9th fader to control master level. beauty-full.

  3. not sure if you’re really talking about the controllers or the hardware but the mpc line is rock solid, they last for years and in most cases outlast their owners. sometimes a user replaces a pad set or the odd knob/fader
    the repairs are cheap, super quick for even the most dire repair and easy. they are also known for being super beat up and playing just fine. I think the key to the mpcs quality is the metal frame they’ve got under the skin, definitely made to take a beating and keep on ticking. and the take any mpc even a 500 and add an iphone and you’ve got the best portable setup bar nun pre track out!

    I wasn’t too impressed with the current apc controllers, I’m interested in these though, will have to see them up close.

  4. Hmm, will be interesting to see comparisons between Launchpad mini and the APC mini. Been saving up for a pad controller to fit into the small desk space I have left!!

  5. Imho the original APC40 looks better to me… It’s built like a tank, minus the knob caps, but this looks more like a thin piece of plastic with all rubber buttons, which are fine for the pads but not so much for the function button, for me at least.

  6. My biggest wish would be for these to be velocity sensitive like the Push controller, but I’m maybe asking for too much considering the pretty low price they are asking for them.

  7. Should’ve added a way to browse and load clips directly from the controllers. Otherwise you’re still always reaching for the mouse. That, and more dedicated knobs per channel. I’m glad at least they moved those transports out of the way of the crossfader!

  8. wow, my mk1 finally gave up the ghost last week! got really excited about this post, but they reduced the knobs by half? can always put a secondary controller to the side, but 16 knobs was a big reason the apc40 goes with me to every gig: band, dj, and live pa!

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