Gallery: The Music and Visual Controllers of NAMM, Up Close

Jay Smith of Livid Instruments may be in the business of making controller hardware himself, but that doesn’t stop him from appreciate the knob-laden goodness of the NAMM show floor. Jay’s own gear reveals a not-so-secret love of knobs and buttons and faders, and if you’re into that sort of thing, this year’s NAMM music trade show had plenty to love – Akai’s APC40 controller for Live, Akai’s MPK keyboard, the Alesis MasterControl, Arturia’s Factory Experience controller for their soft synth emulations, and even another brutish-looking computer-in-a-keyboard, now with pads, from Open Labs. The shots give you a particularly good …

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Akai APC40 Video from Ableton; More Controllers Coming

When Ableton refers to controllers, they do use “controllers,” plural. So you can expect more Ableton-official controllers coming soon. Ableton does have a video where you can see more in action. (Video via the terrific audioporncentral.) What I need you to tell me is what you can’t see in this video, so I can sit down with Jesse in New York and cover that leisurely. Briefly, there, it looks like the APC is ready to do its impression of the scene in Close Encounters. Grab your ARP emulation and Max in Live, and we could, um, actually do that with …

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Maschine and APC Answers: It Does Have Hardware MIDI, It Doesn’t Need Max

As I read through comments, it seems worth some additional notes and clarifications on Native Instruments’ Maschine hardware/software drum machine combo and Akai’s APC40 controller for Ableton Live. (That’s not to say that the two are comparable – though I do hope to see them running side by side soon!) Maschine: It Has Hardware MIDI (Sort Of) I’m only going to say one thing about Maschine: it has hardware MIDI inputs and outputs. A number of folks missed this yesterday. This to me is a big deal, because Maschine is a really strong sequencer. I still want software MIDI output, …

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What Makes the APC40 Special: Interactive Clip, Device Control, Dedicated Buttons

I was able to get additional clarification from Ableton on the Akai APC40. Specifically, it’s worth talking about what makes this unique as a controller. It’s not for everyone – that’s what’s wonderful about computers, that you can control them with lots of different devices. And using Max for Live (more on that today and next week), you will have new options for custom controller applications. But here’s some exclusive info on what’s cool about the APC: Clip status: Green means playing, red means recording, orange means a clip is loaded. And yes, this means the images Akai generated are …

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