updated 03:10 pm EST, Fri January 16, 2009
Akai intros APC40 at NAMM
At the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) expo, Akai showed the APC40 MIDI control surface it has developed in conjunction with Ableton, making it the first such device to be ready to run out of the box with the Ableton Live music editing software. As there is no need to load drivers, users simply plug in their notebooks via a USB port and can begin mixing or otherwise modifying their music using Ableton Live. The APC40 is being touted as the simplest, most direct hardware interface with the popular software, yet still allows advanced users to assign the board's 40 buttons, knobs and fader controls to any virtual controls in the software.
Each control on the APC40 lights up in a different color to give users an instant indication of clip state. Likewise, the 16 knobs are lined by a ring of LED rings that perform the same functions. Akai points out the APC40 makes controlling music at live events much quicker and easier, taking the connected source, most often a notebook or desktop PC or Mac, out of the equation.
Akai has not released detailed shipping dates nor pricing information for the APC40. [via CNET]