Akai Professional APC40 MKII MIDI Pad Controller (Discontinued)

94 out of 100. Incorporating 1000+ ratings and reviews.
Akai Professional

Gearank Recommended

The APC40 MKII appeared on our recommended list for MIDI Pad Controllers from when we first published it in August 2017 through July 2020 when it was out-ranked by other models.

It came back onto the list in June 2021 where it remains today.

Rating Source Highlights

Website Source *Rating Value
Sound On Sound Simon Sherbourne 80/100
DJ Tech Tools Chris Brackley 80/100
macProVideo G.W. Childs 96/100
*Displayed values are prior to the Gearank Algorithm’s adjustments it makes when evaluating the source.


In 2009, Akai, in collaboration with the creators of Ableton Live, developed a hardware controller called the “Ableton Performance Controller” or better known as the APC40.

It was a piece of hardware designed with controlling the functions of software like Ableton Live with live performances in mind.

The APC40 MKII is not just an updated APC40 but a total rework in a more compact footprint.

Other enhanced features include RGB clip-launching grid, reinforced fader design, and a revised knob lay out.

The pads’ LED color lighting helps you get immediate performance feedback when it comes to triggering clips, mixer, or FX processing without looking at the screen.

The nine reinforced faders provide control over volume, pan and other parameters, while the eight channel control knobs provide visual feedback and let you easily access control options.

If you’re a purely an Ableton Live user, The APC40 MKII pairs great with the DAW as it was designed with that specific purpose in mind. You may need additional setup if you wish to integrate the controller with other software.


  • Pads: 40 (5×8 matrix) clip-launch pads with RGB feedback
  • Buttons: 5 x Scene Launch Buttons, 9 x Clip Stop Buttons, 9 x Track Selector buttons, 8 x Track buttons, 8 x Device Control buttons, 3 x Transport Buttons, 3 x Assignable buttons, 4 x Bank Select buttons
  • Knobs: 8 x Assignable knobs, 8 x Control knobs, 1 x Tempo knob
  • Other Controls: 9 channel faders, 1 Crossfader
  • Standalone Mode: No
  • Power: USB-powered
  • Connectivity: USB Slot, Footswitch Input, Kensington Lock Slot
  • Compatibility: Mac with Mac OS X 10.5, Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8 or 10
  • Software Bundle: Ableton Live Lite with Puremagnetik Effect Racks, Hybrid 3 by AIR Music Tech, SONiVOX Twist, Prime Loops sample packs, and Toolroom Records artist launch packs
  • Dimensions: 16.7″ x 10″ x 1.8″
  • Weight: 3.97 lbs

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