APC80 / APC40 / APC20 Performance Template Suite – Version 4


APC80 Template Includes



What I have in my headphones and speakers is exactly what I expect from my regular old hardware tech 12s and mixer…but in software format! Holy SHIT…this thing is tight! I’m able to slam my own tracks left and right in perfect sync via Ableton w/ the comfort of a hardware cross fader. I think I finally fully appreciate what you did w/ this template.. Very clever…you gave me one of those “wish I had thought of that” moments. – William W.

APC80 Template Features

  • Clip button color on the APC controlled by clip color in Ableton – Make the clip red, and it shows up red, make it any other color, and it shows up yellow.
  • Clip played memory – Once you play a clip, it will flash to let you know it has been played.
  • Three free tracks, chopped and ready to go
  • Super easy and fast visual navigation of very large live sets, easily supports up to 1,000 scenes. Never look at your laptop during a set again!
  • VU Meters for Master, Deck A, Deck B, AND every individual channel
  • Momentary Solo and Mute buttons
  • Awesome DJ effects racks
  • Smart EQ
  • Smart Volume
  • Smart Headphone Cueing

This script requires a working copy of Ableton Live 9.1.2.

For Live 9.1.3 and above, get Version 4.1.

These scripts optimize the APC 80 (Akai APC 40 and Akai APC 20 used in tandem), APC40, and APC20 to be effective live performance tools, going far beyond their stock abilities.

Setting a clip in Ableton to either the very top left red color, or the reddish-brown directly below will make the button on the APC light up red. ANY OTHER COLOR will make the button light up Yellow.

When a clip is playing it will mark that is has been played in the ‘already played’ memory after 50% of the clip has been played. It will start flashing yellow at 75%, and quickly red at 90%. These values are all configurable in the Settings.txt file.
When editing Settings.txt, make sure to edit the one where you installed your scripts. For APC80 on OS X, for example, the file is at /Applications/Live 9.*.*/App-Resources/MIDI Remote Scripts/APC80_40/Settings.txt

I separate all my clips onto pages by BPM. So each page as I scroll up and down on my APC will be dedicated to only one BPM. I generally have multiple pages per BPM grouped together, but never different BPMs grouped together on one page.

Name your clips ‘BPM – Clip Name’. So a 120bpm clip named ‘Fire’ should be labeled as ‘120 – Fire’ in Ableton (without the quotes obviously).

Now when you view the page this clip is on with your APC, if the BPM is correct, none of the Clip Stop buttons will light up. If the clip is slower than the current BPM and is therefore playing faster than it should, the Clip Stop buttons will light up in a pattern moving quickly to the right. If the clip is faster than the current BPM and is therefore playing slower than it should, the Clip Stop buttons will light up in a pattern moving slowly to the left.

Also when you press Shift and zoom out, any pages that match the current BPM of Ableton will appear Green instead of Yellow. These two features let you always be in the correct BPM, without ever looking at your laptop during a gig.

Sample clips are almost always best triggered with Gate mode, so they stop when you release the button. Though sometimes it’s fun to have a nice long sample on Trigger mode that you can hit between tracks or during fills as well.

I included some sample tracks, so you can see how I use it. Just delete them and put your tracks where you want them.

The Up/Down scroll buttons are set to scroll by page (6 rows) rather than row by default. I find it much easier to arrange things by Page than by Row. It’s not only easier to remember where you/tracks are in a set, but to navigate to them quickly. Because you will never scroll sideways in this set, the right/left buttons are mapped instead to a Punch effect. Like all the other FX included in the template, it’s designed to be tweaker or replaced with your own preferred FX.

I have separated the pages in this version, this makes it much easier to not only lay your set out, but to set up looping follow-actions. You’ll notice the scenes that are greyed out on the right and don’t have stop buttons. These are page separators. So now you can easily lay out a set without having your APC plugged in or having to count rows.

The left vertical row of knobs from the top down is a one knob filter (left is lows only, right is highs only). Then a smart high, mid, and low pass filter, turning left cuts said frequency, turning right boosts it slightly while lowering that range from the other deck. The second row of vertical knobs are smart gain (wiggle room in the middle with no effect, fully left kills sound, fully right boosts a ton), LFO gate, crush + reverb, and delays. The right deck mirrors these on the other side, with the mixer knobs for deck B on the far right, and effects next to them to the left. (Look at the layout graphic for an easier time locating them.)

I find it best and easiest to use identical decks on both sides. To start, import a track, set it up how you want it on deck A, then duplicate it to the other side. This opens up a lot of possibilities with live remixing of tracks, as well as makes it easier to navigate through the set.

The volume faders don’t control the volume of the track actually, but instead a crossing high/low pass filter. This lets the mids in first, and then the highs and lows at the end. It sounds much nicer than normal volume. They are meant to be slammed at the top to be a fully loud signal.

The track selection buttons are BPM controls. You can configure these to any BPM you like by renaming the scenes at the very bottom of the Live set. The defaults from left to right are: 75, 85, 95, 110, 120, 130, 140, 150. These too are configurable in Settings.txt. The BPM will slide from it’s current BPM to whichever one you hit over a period of 8 beats.

All effects are tweaked by the master fader and cue level knob. The button below the low filter on either deck is a beat repeat. Master slider affects beat length, cue level knob affects decay rate. You can make your own vinyl stop effects by tweaking these two parameters at once. Next is a flanger. Rate controlled by master slider. The button below the ‘mid’ EQ knobs is a Fade To Gray, start with the Master Slider at the top, and pull it to the bottom slowly. The button below the LFO Gate knob is a Freezer, use it the same way as Fade To Gray.

You can change cross fader modes by selecting either Detail View for Quick Cut, Rec Quantization for High Pass A Low Pass B, MIDI Overdub for High Pass B Low Pass A, or Metronome for classic crossing levels.

The template features ‘smart cueing’, if you have the crossfader to the left of center, you will hear the right deck in your headphones. Likewise if you have the crossfader to the right of center, you will hear only the left deck in your headphones. You can also mix in the currently selected deck by tweaking the cue level, allowing for in-headphone mixing (useful when you can’t hear the speakers well or there is a delay).

For full layout info, watch the videos at http://youtube.com/MrGangsterish and/or check out the included layout images.



The amazing Ableton / EDM community
Tom Cosm
Will Marshall
Hanz Petrov