S2 vs APC40
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Thread: S2 vs APC40

  1. #1
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    Default S2 vs APC40

    Getting ready to invest in a proper controller to get going in a way that won't want me wanting right away so I can work on my chops and build my sets.

    I don't scratch. I just don't.

    So I was wondering, for all you EDM players out there, if you are content enough with an S2 or S4 or if something like an APC40 (mapped to Traktor) would be something more suitable for EDM?

    Price is about the same (including a usb interface for the APC) and they have about the same number of controls (well, maybe less knobs more faders, but mapping is mapping, anyone can get used to anything)

    Thoughts?

    (the only setup I've actually used for any period of time was a launchpad and a nanokontrol both of which I returned because I couldn't afford to really do it at the time)
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    I don't really scratch either, and I have owned the APC and the S4. The APC is great for launching clips and having lots of buttons to map at effects and just about everything you could think of.

    However, the inconvenience of not having jog wheels and the poor response of the buttons makes it a deal breaker for me. I sold mine because I never used it.

    If you are limited on money, though... the APC can be had for under $200.

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    I'm very limited on funds - where could I get an APC for under 200? I dont' even see them that cheap on ebay!

    BTW, you mention clip launching, but I'm not talking about using the APC with ableton live... I use reason for all my production work (and have never ever in the past 10 years found a good midi controller for reason.... anywho...)

    And I haven't used one - poor response on buttons - you mean latency, or just don't always trigger? Like I said, I had a LaunchPad and didn't have a problem with those (not arcade buttons, but not the worst)

    And what's the deal breaker about not having jog wheels if you don't scratch? you need them for scrolling through a track to find a cue point? Can't you map a knob to that? (especially since the apc has endless encoders)?
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    APC....

    In a few months...there will be the next controller out...and yours will be 'the older' model.

    The APC40 is a tough beast. You can keep on remapping it in the future and keep up with the software. With apps like Extreme Mapping...you can use it for years to come and keep it fresh.

    The S2 and 4 will be obsolete in a way...much like the VCI100 now.

    But then again....I am bias and kinda shy away from all in one controllers that lock you into something.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sarasin View Post
    APC....

    In a few months...there will be the next controller out...and yours will be 'the older' model.

    The APC40 is a tough beast. You can keep on remapping it in the future and keep up with the software. With apps like Extreme Mapping...you can use it for years to come and keep it fresh.

    The S2 and 4 will be obsolete in a way...much like the VCI100 now.

    But then again....I am bias and kinda shy away from all in one controllers that lock you into something.


    Are you referring to the F1? More of a sample controller than a replacement for the S2, but I suppose you could map it to do whatever you want.

    I'd go with the S2, and pick up an APC20 (<$100) when Traktor 2.5 comes out for managing samples.

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    I don't use jogs....so the APC80 works great for me and is obviously versatile in the sense that if you produce too, its a Ableton controller.

    Dunno what you mean with poor response on the buttons? I have no issue.

    Its a blank canvas that you can use over and over. At some point there will be another all in one controller to match the latest software and technology.

    But the choice is yours. If you just want jam...and mix tracks...be mobile and not have too many cables and connections to worry about....or don't know how to midi map...then the S2 is for you.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LmnLm3 View Post
    where could I get an APC for under 200?

    And I haven't used one - poor response on buttons - you mean latency, or just don't always trigger?

    And what's the deal breaker about not having jog wheels if you don't scratch? Can't you map a knob to that? (especially since the apc has endless encoders)?
    You can find them on craigslist and eBay used for $200 or less.

    By poor response, I mean they aren't very sensitive and are rather small. They are more or less useless for beat juggling.

    The jog wheels give you very precise control over setting cue points, loops, etc. Knobs do not. Also, at least from when I tried mapping my APC, the only knob that was genuinely "endless" was the master knob. The others were internally limited by the controller using a 1-127 value. But it could just be I wasn't sure what I was doing.

    Don't get me wrong, it's a fantastic controller. It just didn't fit with my workflow. I did love having lit buttons for just about every control I could imagine, though. If you're on a budget, I think it's a great choice.
    Last edited by sss18734; 03-02-2012 at 02:54 PM.

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    I had intentions of mapping my APC 40 to traktor after selling my Hercules RMX (which was a great and tough lil controller BTW)... but after multiple mapping attempts, which did work nicely, just nothing felt comfortable the way I play e.g. multiple fX unit twisting, multiple EQ knob turning at once and between 2 or more decks.

    Layer switching just doesn't cut it for me AT ALL.

    I like having a controller which represents the screen and I can't reach for any control I need and its just "there" and the S2 does that like a champ whereas the APC, it takes looking to make sure xyz modifier or shift is in the correct position so something silly like an EQ was going to actually operate.

    Doing pretty much anything normal on the APC felt jerry rigged, a "workaround" not a solution.

    I'd honestly go with a S2, don't forget you'll need to factor in the price of the software ($200) + an audio interface ($100) if you go with an APC or something.

    BTW having the APC "MADE" me go completely with Ableton rather than touch Traktor again.

    The jog wheels give you very precise control over setting cue points, loops, etc. Knobs do not. Also, at least from when I tried mapping my APC, the only knob that was genuinely "endless" was the master knob. The others were internally limited by the controller using a 1-127 value. But it could just be I wasn't sure what I was doing.
    I had that master encoder set up with multipurpose function based on modifiers which worked nicely.

    E.g. If track was paused it could be used to accurately scrub, if track was playing it would be used as pitch bend of course the issue being that it would only work on the selected deck (I had deck select set up on when cue was activated).

    I know you can pull off some pretty awesome stuff on it, but I like to be relaxed and fluid, throw knobs around when I play and the APC / Traktor combo made me feel like I was walking on eggshells every mix.

    My 2 cents and a half.

    Oh also I'll probably go with 2xK2's instead when they are released for same number of functions in a much smaller package (with sound cards).

  9. #9
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    I guess nobody has used a launchpad for full control. I wasn't going just for cues, but for all the buttons - pitch bend +/- cup, play, loop in/out, cues 1-4 (or 1-8 depending on my map) and I'm not sure if you can with the APC, but my LaunchPad map I customized all the LED colors (and blinky-ness)

    Just wondering if anyone had experience using an APC as a main traktor controller.

    (and I don't think the S2 will be "outdated" just outdone, perhaps, but that won't make it any less useful... guys still play with full technics (1200s and a mixer) with crates of vinyl and they're not really outdated, so I'm not buying into that marketing nonsense.

    I guess the only way would be to get one and see if I can get it to match my workflow (I'm fairly certain I would be all kinds of perfect with an S4 or S2 and a couple of fx controllers like the F1, but I don't have that kind of capital to invest right now. Rather work on my SKILLS not my COLLECTION ... er... setup....
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  10. #10
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    just re-watched the NI video, btw, and realized that the only advantage I'm seeing for the APC right now is more knobs (for FX) and a crossfader.

    Anyone know what that mixer is that is in the video? NI ever make a mixer? (or gossip about making one?) their hardware is pretty solid... and those pads look more like LP (or maybe maschine?) pads compared to AKAI which has little buttony buttons...

    Basically, I am on a super tight budget (think: begging my wife for money for gear) but I refuse to get something like a mixtrack that will be like garbage in a matter of months (no offense intended to anyone who likes them!)
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