dubSpot Kicks of Live 8+APC Workshop Tour in San Francisco – CDM Discount

Guitarist/composer/musician Christopher Willits is on faculty for the dubSpot series. Photo (CC) Buzz Andersen. dubSpot, the West Coast + East Coast music technology training center is doing an eight-city tour of the US to talk about Ableton Live 8 and the Akai APC40 controller. They’re enlisting some of my favorite people to do the workshops. I like the curriculum: it’s not just “here’s how to use Live,” but a real focus on music production, finishing actual music, and pushing the envelope with live visuals, onstage performance and controllers. We also have a $25 discount exclusively for CDM readers if you …

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APC Questions and Answers from Ableton

Jesse Terry of Ableton has some detailed answers to questions about the upcoming APC40. It’s a good chance to clear up some confusion (even some confusion of my own). I actually have some other pretty specific questions – how Max for Live will work with the APC and how it integrates with other hardware and Live itself, and what message lights up those buttons for bi-directional communication. These sorts of things seem to be of interest to you folks, too, so I’ll keep you in the loop; more in the next couple of weeks. And I think the release of …

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Akai APC40 Will Be a Many-Buttoned Controller For More Than Ableton Live

Akai was one of the music manufacturers that stole the show at this year’s NAMM trade conference. The simple reason: the APC is a rare combination of a whole mess of colored buttons with a whole bunch of faders and knobs. Now, the APC’s big selling point is its out-of-box experience with Ableton Live. Contrary to what you may have heard, there are people who don’t exclusively use Ableton Live – including some Live users who use other software (drum machines, VJ apps) on the side. Looking at the APC’s layout, you see a combination of stuff that would work …

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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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Ableton: You’ll Be Able to Customize Akai’s APC40 Using Max for Live

The APC40 is physically completely unlike the monome, but one important way it did learn from the experience of Live users’ desire to hack: you’ll be able to make your own, custom setups, using Max. Ableton founder and CEO Gerhard Behles explains to Akai in an interview released this morning: Owners of the APC40 who also own Max for Live can change the way the APC40 controls Live, and completely customize their experience. This means things like step sequencers and drum rack support and other things that only feel right with hardware will now be available for people who own …

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Akai APC40 Ableton Live Controller, in Detail: Plug-and-Play Live Control For Everyone?

It’s been eight years since Ableton Live introduced its signature screen layout for live performance: clips, scenes, sends, tracks, and devices. For the first time, a single controller combines all the basic elements of that Live set in a single hardware layout. Akai’s APC40 is a plug-and-play, driver-free hardware controller developed with Ableton. The APC has certainly got enough buttons and knobs and faders to cover those Live features, but it also raises a couple of questions. One is, does one-size-fits-all work for Ableton Live? The other is, will Ableton open up the “exclusive bidirectional communication” used for clip status …

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