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 feel for what the Akai APC40 is like up close and personal. It’s no accident that Jay himself is a VJ. I really imagine that a number of these devices might be brilliant for running live visuals, though we still have yet to find out exactly how the APC works. I assume it’ll run as a standard MIDI controller outside Live, but I’m unclear on the specifics of what that will mean.

Thanks to Jay for sharing these photos with CDM.

Now I can’t wait to get another look at Livid’s own controller line and what may be next for it; see its wooden crossfader below. Previously:

Hands-On: Livid’s New Ohm Controller, Custom Control Geared for Visualists