AKAI Professional has announced the APC mini Mk2 and APC Key 25 Mk2. Apart from a new design, the company’s smallest controllers for Ableton Live look very similar to their predecessors – so what’s new?
AKAI APC mini Mk2
The newly refreshed AKAI APC mini MK2 is still the company’s smallest dedicated controller for Ableton Live. The design has been refreshed and brought in line with the MPK Mini Mk3 and other current AKAI controllers. The 8×8 Clip Matrix with 64 RGB-illuminated pads is of course still there, as are the arrow buttons for navigating the Grid. However, the pads now also have a more squared shape, and AKAI says they’re “new”.
Like the predecessor, the APC mini MK2 features nine faders for controlling volume, pan, send, and Ableton Live Devices. You can quickly change the fader assignment using a set of four buttons, which are now conveniently located to the left of the arrow keys. To the right of the grid, you’ll find the familiar line of eight Scene Launch buttons, which do double duty for activating the Clip Stop, Solo, Record Arm, Mute, and Select modes. The bottom line is – not much has changed in the hardware department apart from the design.
However, it turns out that there is something new, after all. The new AKAI APC mini MK2 features a drum mode that allows you to control Drum Racks in Ableton Live. In this mode, a 4×4 section of the grid is repurposed for drums, while you can still use the rest of the matrix for something else. In addition, the pads can also now be used as a chromatic keyboard with a variety of scales to choose from. This makes the tiny controller more useful for recording your musical ideas, rather than just launching pre-recorded clips.
AKAI APC Key 25 Mk2
If you find yourself wanting to play and control virtual instruments a lot, you might opt for the APC Key 25 Mk2 instead. Not surprisingly, the keyboard has also received a new look with red sides. It offers many of the same features as the APC mini but adds a velocity-sensitive keyboard with 25 slim keys, complete with – still awkwardly placed – octave and sustain buttons. The trade-off is that the matrix only consists of five rows of RGB pads instead of eight. However, the Scene Launch and Navigation buttons are all the same as on the keyless version.
Instead of the faders, the APC Key 25 Mk2 offers eight rotary knobs for controlling volume, pan, send, or Device parameters as specified using the Knob Control buttons.
Needless to say, both new controllers come pre-mapped to Ableton Live, so you can get started right away. A copy of Ableton Live Lite is included. Like their predecessors, the APC mini Mk2 and APC Key 25 Mk2 connect via USB-B and run on bus power.
Price and availability
The AKAI APC mini Mk2 and APC Key 25 Mk2 controllers are available now for €99 each at Thomann*.
More information about the AKAI APC controllers
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- APC mini Mk2: AKAI Professional
- APC Key 25 Mk2: AKAI Professional
- AKAI APC Mini Mk2: AKAI Professional
- AKAI APC Key 25 Mk2: AKAI Professional