Akai APC40 Ableton Controller, $249!

Overview: The AKAI APC40 is a MIDI controller designed specifically for use with Ableton Live software. Launched in 2009, it was developed in collaboration with Ableton, providing seamless integration and an intuitive interface for live performances, music production, and DJing. The APC40 is known for its robust build, extensive controls, and user-friendly design.

Key Features:

  • Controller Layout:
    • Clip Launch Matrix: 5×8 grid of backlit clip launch buttons for triggering clips and scenes in Ableton Live
    • Track Controls: 8 dedicated track control knobs with LEDs for visual feedback
    • Device Control: 8 device control knobs for manipulating parameters within Ableton Live
    • Faders: 8 channel faders plus a master fader for precise volume control
    • Crossfader: Assignable crossfader for smooth transitions between tracks
  • Dedicated Controls:
    • Transport Controls: Play, stop, record, and navigational buttons for easy control of playback and recording
    • Scene Launch Buttons: Dedicated scene launch buttons for triggering scenes in Ableton Live
    • Solo/Mute/Arm Buttons: Dedicated buttons for soloing, muting, and arming tracks
  • Connectivity:
    • USB: USB port for connection to a computer
    • MIDI In/Out: Standard MIDI input and output ports for connecting other MIDI-compatible gear
    • Power Supply: External power adapter
  • Build and Design:
    • Material: Sturdy plastic and metal construction for durability

Integration with Ableton Live:

  • Seamless Integration: Designed to work seamlessly with Ableton Live, providing hands-on control of all essential functions
  • Plug-and-Play: No need for additional drivers or software; just plug it in and start playing
  • Visual Feedback: LED lights and indicators provide clear visual feedback for clip status, track levels, and device parameters


  • Live Performance: Ideal for live performances, allowing musicians and DJs to trigger clips, control effects, and mix tracks on the fly
  • Music Production: Useful in the studio for hands-on control of Ableton Live, enhancing the workflow and creative process
  • DJing: Suitable for DJ setups, providing extensive control over tracks, effects, and transitions

Notable Users:

  • Electronic Music: Deadmau5, known for his complex live setups and innovative use of technology, has used the APC40 in his performances.
  • Live Performance: Moldover, often called the “Godfather of Controllerism,” has utilized the APC40 for its intuitive layout and powerful control capabilities.
  • DJing: Various DJs and electronic music producers have adopted the APC40 for its seamless integration with Ableton Live and robust performance features.

The AKAI APC40 is a versatile and powerful MIDI controller designed for seamless integration with Ableton Live. With its intuitive layout, extensive controls, and robust build quality, the APC40 is an excellent choice for live performers, music producers, and DJs. Whether used on stage or in the studio, this controller provides hands-on control and enhances the creative workflow, making it a valuable tool for any electronic musician or DJ.