Is APC40 more for producing, or performing?
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  1. #1
    Tech Mentor Sn0wday's Avatar
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    Default Is APC40 more for producing, or performing?

    I really want to get started in music production, I currently have a Numark Mixtrack Pro that I've been using with Traktor for a while, and a full midi keyboard (Casio LK-something)

    For music production, it seems ableton is the future, and I've dabbled with it here and there with just a mouse. I just got the keyboard and haven't actually hooked it up yet though.

    I've been looking into a new controller of some sort and it seems the APC40 is the best for ableton. I';ve watched quite a few demonstrations including Abletons video on it.

    I only see people performing music live with the APC40, which is great and eventually I want to do that too, but I hear it takes a very, very long time to become fluent enough with Ableton and have enough music of your own creation in order to use live effectively. In the mean time I'd like to just produce at my own pace (I've watched videos of live, and coming from using Traktor and the likes, it's kind of entirely different).

    So is the APC40 actually helpful in the process of CREATING music, or is it mostly for performing live and launching clips, etc? If so, I think with my limited budget it might not be in my best interest to get one until later considering i'll probably continue to perform and DJ with Traktor, but if it's very helpful and crucial for learning and using ableton to produce I'd love one.

    Overall, I'm stuck on the fence between an APC40 as you've read, and my ever-growing anxiousness for something better than the Mixtrack as I drool over every new gadget on the front page of DJTT everyday.

    Any advice would be great! I made a thread like this a little while ago, but this is geared of off the responses I got there, not trying to be redundant!

    Thanks, you guys always have the best advice.

  2. #2
    Tech Guru mostapha's Avatar
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    The APC40 is interesting for performing live. In some ways, it's the best thing of its kind.

    I–for one–think it's completely useless for production. There are some max4live patches that make it worthwhile, kinda…but I just don't see it.

    What are you wanting the DAW controller to do? That should be the first question you answer before you even look at specific products.

  3. #3
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    I really don't see it having a ton of use during production. You won't really be launching clips. However, you may find the knobs and sliders useful and time-saving during production. Using a mouse for everything is irritating.

    I would hold off on the purchase. Teach yourself Ableton first... If you find that you need the knobs/sliders, get one.

  4. #4
    RGAS Guru Xonetacular's Avatar
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    It's more for performing live. A lot of people use it for production too but I really hate it for producing to be honest and would not pick one up as a control surface for producing, pretty much why I sold mine.

    Considering the faders and knobs on the APC40 kind of suck imo I would much rather just use an iPad with Touchable to launch clips and do misc. ableton tasks. And for faders for mixing I would look at a control surface with better studio style faders. I really don't like akai's encoders so there are many controllers that beat it there too.

    But really the APC40 is just big and awkward and having a big clip grid isn't all that important to me while producing, and I think the ipad apps like Griid and Touchable do that much better anyway...
    Last edited by Xonetacular; 03-15-2012 at 06:29 PM.


  5. #5
    Tech Mentor Sn0wday's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mostapha View Post
    The APC40 is interesting for performing live. In some ways, it's the best thing of its kind.

    I–for one–think it's completely useless for production. There are some max4live patches that make it worthwhile, kinda…but I just don't see it.

    What are you wanting the DAW controller to do? That should be the first question you answer before you even look at specific products.
    Quote Originally Posted by sss18734 View Post
    I really don't see it having a ton of use during production. You won't really be launching clips. However, you may find the knobs and sliders useful and time-saving during production. Using a mouse for everything is irritating.

    I would hold off on the purchase. Teach yourself Ableton first... If you find that you need the knobs/sliders, get one.
    Quote Originally Posted by Xonetacular View Post
    It's more for performing live. A lot of people use it for production too but I really hate it for producing to be honest and would not pick one up as a control surface for producing, pretty much why I sold mine.

    Considering the faders and knobs on the APC40 kind of suck imo I would much rather just use an iPad with Touchable to launch clips and do misc. ableton tasks. And for faders for mixing I would look at a control surface with better studio style faders. I really don't like akai's encoders so there are many controllers that beat it there too.

    But really the APC40 is just big and awkward and having a big clip grid isn't all that important to me while producing, and I think the ipad apps like Griid and Touchable do that much better anyway...
    Welp, thats a wrap haha. I was under the impression it was used for production itself, and was so lost when scoring to find demonstrations of how this was.

    YIPEEEE, I felt almost obligated to get one because in the end, I want to create my own music more than anything else.

    thanks! Now.. what next...

  6. #6
    Tech Guru diezdiazgiant's Avatar
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    i think for productions its limited but what it can do it does it well. just started experimenting with using it as a mixer, mixing down the 8 channels from maschine going into ableton. i would prefer an a&h mixwizard, but for the pricepoint it makes a really nice mixing surface

  7. #7
    Tech Guru mostapha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sn0wday View Post
    thanks! Now.. what next...
    Start learning with the mouse, and when you find something you want to do differently…think about how you want to be able to do it, and then start looking at products that fill the void. And keep an open mind.

    If you want EQs and Faders that you can actually play with…the answer might actually be a mixer. If you want better control over soft synths, the answer might be to buy hardware synths. If you think you just want faders, the answer might be something simple. If you think you want transport controls, getting into keyboard mapping might work.

    Pieces of hardware solve interface problems…they're never necessary, and just buying things without thinking about how it'll make your life easier or better is not the right way to approach it.

  8. #8
    DJTT Infectious Moderator photojojo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mostapha View Post
    Start learning with the mouse, and when you find something you want to do differently…think about how you want to be able to do it, and then start looking at products that fill the void. And keep an open mind.

    If you want EQs and Faders that you can actually play with…the answer might actually be a mixer. If you want better control over soft synths, the answer might be to buy hardware synths. If you think you just want faders, the answer might be something simple. If you think you want transport controls, getting into keyboard mapping might work.

    Pieces of hardware solve interface problems…they're never necessary, and just buying things without thinking about how it'll make your life easier or better is not the right way to approach it.
    that pretty much sums it up.
    Chris Jennings FHP

    Podcast - Soundcloud - Mixcloud - Beatport Charts - x

  9. #9
    Tech Mentor Sn0wday's Avatar
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    when I said what next I meant like, now to go look at something that can provide what the numark mixtrack can't do (samples, 4 decks, better effects, more hotuces, etc.).

    but thanks, I tend to get ahead of myself with these kind of thing and need to realize it will simply take time.

  10. #10
    Tech Guru mostapha's Avatar
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    That's a completely separate question……were you looking for a studio piece or a DJ piece?

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