The Akai APC40, the result of a collaboration between Akai and Ableton, has made its way into the wild. Here’s the first hands-on video – I have to say, I love the green lights. Who would have thought that Matrixsynth green would be the shade this year? You can thank for getting the loaner out in the world.

Not a whole lot to see in this very first video, but it does give you a feel for what the hardware itself is like.  Update: AKAI requested that the first video in this story be removed by its author on Vimeo, so we no longer have a video to embed.

The integration between software and hardware we should see revealed more over the coming weeks. I’m hoping to get my hands on one myself in the near future; I haven’t yet.

Of course, the APC isn’t alone. I’m still eagerly awaiting the Ohm64 from Livid, a beautiful controller with a wooden body, made with care in the US. Unlike the APC, the Ohm has a customizable MIDI response — the way the hardware itself responds is programmable. And, of course, there’s still the classic monome (site | cdm tag), open source hardware with an elegant minimalist design. Custom Max control patches have made the monome a favorite, especially for those with the chops to not only use the community-made patches, but build their own – by coincidence, the monome folks just posted a link to a library of Max monome objects. For both the Ohm and monome, it’ll be easier and more powerful to integrate Max objects with Live when Max for Live ships later this year. Even the APC will get its own custom patches. And, as Hédi points out, there’s also the elegant, compact, solidly-built Faderfox, which could also get a new lease on life with Max patching.

The upshot of all of this: even if people are using the same controller, they won’t necessarily use it the same way, which is how it should be. Stay tuned.

Update: this just in — a second video of the APC, this one sent to us by our friend Stephan Vankov ( We’ve seen Stephan before, tearing up a wild audiovisual remix of The Karate Kid with the crew at the CDM NAMM party last year. It’s nice to see the APC out of the trade show floors, naturally.