Akai APC Mini Mk2 and APC Key 25 Mk2, Ableton Live controllers get a facelift

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The APC Mini Mk2 and APC Key 25 Mk2 are the next generations of Akai Pro’s best-selling Ableton MIDI controllers.

One of the most used pattern-based DAWs is Ableton Live. For musicians who have only worked with linear DAWs such as Logic Pro or Cubase, working in Ableton or Bitwig is different. Here you work more in the form of a performance with clips etc. For such pattern-oriented DAW, there are also controllers that try to support this unique workflow.

Ableton’s own controller, the Push 2, is the ultimate premium product. But there are also cheaper ones that are perfect for getting started. For example, Akai Pro’s best-selling APC Mini and APC Key 25 MIDI controllers. These are portable and super affordable. And now available in a revised Mk2 facelifted version.

Akai APC Mini Mk2 APC Key 25 MK2

Akai APC Mini Mk2

Let’s start with the APC Mini Mk2. It has all the useful features of the first generation: nine faders for controlling volume, pan, send, and of course, Ableton Live devices. You can easily modify the fader assignment using a set of four buttons, which are now located above the faders.

On the right side, you have eight scene launch buttons again that can handle multiple functions at the same time: clip stop, solo, record arm, mute, and select modes. At first glance, it looks very familiar from what we know from the Mk1 version. However, there are new functionalities.

Akai APC Mini Mk2

The new Akai APC Mini MK2 has an all-new drum mode that allows you to control the drum racks in Ableton Live. A function that users of the Push 2 know. Once activated, you get a 4×4 section on the grid where you can work with drum sounds. The rest of the matrix still remains active for other functions.

Then, it incorporates a new option to use it as a chromatic keyboard with a variety of scales to choose from. This makes the controller more versatile and not so limited to clip launching and mixing.

Akai APC Key 25 Mk2

Akai APC Key 25

The APC Key 25 has also received a neat Mk2 update. This also comes with a new, more modern design and larger pads. The basic functions have not changed to the Mk1 generation.

It features a velocity-sensitive keyboard with 25 slim keys with octave and sustain buttons and a five-row pad matrix. The latter has many of the same features as the APC Mini Mk2 MIDI controller and comes with the scene launch and navigation buttons as well.

Instead of the faders, the APC Key 25 Mk2 offers eight rotary knobs for controlling volume, pan, send, or Device parameters. These can also be conveniently assigned directly on the controller.

Interestingly, the new APC MIDI controllers don’t offer USB-C but a classic USB-B connection. This transmits the data to the computer and supplies the controller with power, aka bus powered. Further, both controllers are pre-mapped to Live and come with a copy of Ableton Live Lite.

Nice updates for the Akai APC entry-level MIDI keyboards. For people looking for an entry-level keyboard for Christmas that will play well with Ableton Live, this could be an interesting deal.

The new Akai APC Mini Mk2 and APC Key 25 are available now for $99 USD/99€ each.

More information here: Akai Pro

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