APC Mini is a piece of shit. New Spam free thread.

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
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TomViolenz
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APC Mini is a piece of shit. New Spam free thread.

Post by TomViolenz » Sun Dec 14, 2014 9:37 am

This Topic is too importent for me to just let a spammer dilute it like this, so I copy the legit conversation we had in the other thread here, so that we can continue to ring the unacceptable crappieness of this Akai Product to everyones attention. So maybe they will fix it or at least no one else get's trapped with that piece of shit :x

TomViolenz
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Re: APC Mini is a piece of shit. New Spam free thread.

Post by TomViolenz » Sun Dec 14, 2014 9:38 am

Just bought an APC Mini, because I have quite a few uses for the layout. But I have no use for any scripts, clip triggering or track faders etc.

I just want it as a class compliant Midi controller without any script hand holding, only to assign the button matrix to on/off parameters and the faders to some continuous parameters.

First: It seems whatever I try to assign, it constantly initializes midi ports :evil: WTF That's unusable

But it gets worse!

Once the pads are assigned to an on/off button, it switches the device on/off, but the lighting of the pads don't show you that, they stay lid in the same intensity. This makes it impossible to keep track of what is active and what is not. Again rendering it totaly unusable :x

The software for download is some crappy synth and some more loops and yet another time Live lite, but no Midi editor! So no help from there either.

So I tried to use Bomes MT to trick the pads into changing the lighting and possibly the colors, but note off messages don't turn of the lights either. They just stay on until I unplug the USB.

Akai's web site has nothing but promotional crap, the support doesn't link to any Midi specifications either.

Am I missing something big here, or is this controller as useless as it appears unless you use it with a script?!

I really wanted this thing, as it'd fit very well with the needs I have atm, if it worked. But it doesn't :x

Should I return it?!

TomViolenz
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Re: APC Mini is a piece of shit. New Spam free thread.

Post by TomViolenz » Sun Dec 14, 2014 9:38 am

S4racen wrote:
TomViolenz wrote:J
First: It seems whatever I try to assign, it constantly initializes midi ports :evil: WTF That's unusable
What do you mean by this Tom?? I know i get resets of stuff when i move in and out of MIDI mapping and Macro Mapping modes...

I haven't had my hands on one yet, but it's got the Push scripting so it can be easily configured using max4live, i know this won't be the answer you're looking for but AKAI set a precedence with the APC40 that there is no editor...

Cheers
D

TomViolenz
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Re: APC Mini is a piece of shit. New Spam free thread.

Post by TomViolenz » Sun Dec 14, 2014 9:39 am

TomViolenz wrote:
S4racen wrote:
TomViolenz wrote:J
First: It seems whatever I try to assign, it constantly initializes midi ports :evil: WTF That's unusable
What do you mean by this Tom?? I know i get resets of stuff when i move in and out of MIDI mapping and Macro Mapping modes...

I haven't had my hands on one yet, but it's got the Push scripting so it can be easily configured using max4live, i know this won't be the answer you're looking for but AKAI set a precedence with the APC40 that there is no editor...

Cheers
D
Yeah the no editor thing seems to be the Akai/Ableton school of thought. This is a very poor showing :x

(Shame on Ableton for not at least making one for Push!)

The reinitiating of Midi ports happens all the time when I'm in Midi assign mode AND after I left it and use each assignement for the first time. After that it seems to work. (Now I tested it again and it doesn't happen any more. Hm, I will keep it under observation.)

Regarding the mapping of the device, I found the different values for the lighting and pads. So I will probably keep it and make a Bomes template for it. But if you don't have Bomes (or M4L) this is useless since the lights don't change (even to off) no matter what you do.
Say about Novation and Automap what you want, but at least they give you an editor and User Mode 2!)

So if anyone is interested here is the mapping.

Pads: from left to right and lowest to highest row.
These are notes:
Row1: 0-7
Row2: 8-15
Row3: 16-23
Row4: 24-31
Row5: 32-39
Row6: 40-47
Row7: 48-55
Row8: 56-63

The velocity values for the different lightings are:
00:off
01:green
02:green blink
03:red
04:red blink
05:amber
06: amber blink
07-127: green

The extra button row on the bottom left to right:
64-71
the extra button column on the right: top to bottom
82-89
The velocity values for the different lightings are:
00:off
01:red
02:red blink
03-127: red

The shift button is note 98. I could not get it to light up.

The buttons always send a velocity of 127.
When pressed a note on message and when released a note off message.
The Midi channel is channel 1

You really shouldn't need extra software like M4L and Bomes to just use it as a dumb Midi controller though :x

TomViolenz
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Re: APC Mini is a piece of shit. New Spam free thread.

Post by TomViolenz » Sun Dec 14, 2014 9:40 am

Ok, that is unacceptable :x

It just keeps initializing the Midi ports over and over and over, no matter if I'm in Midi mode or not.
(And each time the spinning beach ball too)

Plugging in my Launchpad causes no such thing. Only when the APC Mini is plugged in.

Is this a known bug with the APC Mini or did I catch a faulty unit?!

Anyone know?! I would like to hear especially from people who tried it without the script.... :(

Edit:
Ok, here's an idea.
The APC Mini works on Midi channel 1.
I have already used this channel on some other Midi controllers for other controls. (Not the same notes/ccs though).
Could this be what's leading to these problems?!

What's weird though, is that I had already used Midi channel 1 on the Launchpad (and the other controller) - again without overlapping CCs or notes. And in this case I never had any problems.
And they weren't even plugged in at the same time.

But is that something that leads to conflicts when two controllers utilize the same Midi channel?

Edit2: :x
No that wasn't it either. Deleted all the assignments to channel 1 and the initializing still goes on and on and on. Live becomes totally unusable.
It's like it constantly tries to find the script or something...

TomViolenz
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Re: APC Mini is a piece of shit. New Spam free thread.

Post by TomViolenz » Sun Dec 14, 2014 9:40 am

Ok, further trouble shooting tells me that it must be a faulty unit, or the Midi of that device is VERY instable.

It wasn't the not using the script. I tried using it through the script, still constant initializing.

Then I started deleting the Midi mappings I had for the other controllers (which were NOT plugged in!).

Any sort of stability (not contant reinitalizing) was only reached once I was down to a total of about 60 midi assignments. With twice that it was already more stable, but it still happened every minute or so of clicking around wildly within Live. (During use, not with Midi mapping activated!).

More than that and just a few clicks led to the spinning beach ball and reinitializing the ports.

What triggered it was mostly when I changed the selected track.

I never heard before that having too many Midi assignements makes Midi controller use instable.
Sending too many messages at the same time, yes, but not just currently unused assignements.

So off to the store I go, let's see if another unit behaves better. 8)

TomViolenz
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Re: APC Mini is a piece of shit. New Spam free thread.

Post by TomViolenz » Sun Dec 14, 2014 9:41 am

Ok, I brought it back to the store and exchanged it for another unit.

Just got back and tested the new unit. Same behavior :x

If I leave all my Midi mappings intact, Live becomes unusable as soon as the APC Mini is plugged in.
(Constant initializing of Midi ports as described above)

If I reduce my mappings to about 50 assignments, it works. (Which is not an option for me)
I'm surprised I'm the first, who reports any such issues.

On Akais website there is nothing of help, only self-congratulatory bullshit.

Maybe it's a driver issue (no drivers for it on Akais website) or something else. Who knowns...

This is on a MBPro 2012 i7 16 Gig RAM Mavericks 10.9.2
Live 9.1.4 64 Bit

Fact is, this piece of shit is unusable and the last Akai product I'll ever buy! :evil:

Be warned!!!


TomViolenz
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Re: APC Mini is a piece of shit. New Spam free thread.

Post by TomViolenz » Sun Dec 14, 2014 9:42 am

Buleriachk wrote:I agree about the port discussion, but for me, the absolutely worst thing about the controller is the lack of Session Overview (also missing in the APC Key 25). So you can't transfer back and forth between banks; you're stuck with moving the matrix incrementally by track/scene. This is absolutely useless, since the only reason for using the indicator would be accessing a wider range, but this is done in banks.

I think the engineer/designer/manager who did this should be fired... it makes the unit practically worthless for anyone who has designed his sessions in banks. The really stupid decision to derive the script in the APC Mini from the APC Key 25 Python script means that they had to ignore the difference between the 8x8 matrix in Push and the 5x8 matrix in the APC 40, so these devices are severely crippled.

Really, really stupid on the part of Ableton/Akai. I can't believe thay did this; I have contacted them numerous times, and the feedback from Ableton is "That's the way it is, deal with it." Same with Akai, although they have been more empathetic...

Both of them are devices for the beginner who doesn't use more than one bank... other than that, they are like a dog walking on its hind legs; it is never done very well, but you're surprised it is done at all.

And they don't mention this in their marketing material. At all.
By the time I became aware of this, it was past the return period. (I jumped on them the day they became available; and the literature on Ableton's site said that you could change banks for a couple of months before they changed it..)

I really, really want my money back.

TomViolenz
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Re: APC Mini is a piece of shit. New Spam free thread.

Post by TomViolenz » Sun Dec 14, 2014 9:42 am

The sad thing is that the hardware is really good (not only for the price). It looks good, it feels good and it has a great layout. I really wanted it and already have a full use in my live set carved out for it. And now it's back to square one :(

TomViolenz
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Re: APC Mini is a piece of shit. New Spam free thread.

Post by TomViolenz » Sun Dec 14, 2014 9:43 am

Buleriachk wrote:
TomViolenz wrote:The sad thing is that the hardware is really good (not only for the price). It looks good, it feels good and it has a great layout. I really wanted it and already have a full use in my live set carved out for it. And now it's back to square one :(
I fully agree; that's why I jumped on both units - so near and yet so far. They really could have been Launchpad killers. (I keep two sessions organized in 8x8 and 5x8 matrices, since I have both a Push and Apc40 (mk2), BOTH of which have session overview. Oh well, at least I still have my Launchpad and my nanoKontrol...

It is hard for me to believe that some who work for Ableton and Akai are this stupid, but there it is. (there is also the schmuck who refuses to include a tuner device in Ableton).

TomViolenz
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Re: APC Mini is a piece of shit. New Spam free thread.

Post by TomViolenz » Sun Dec 14, 2014 9:43 am

Buleriachk wrote:
TomViolenz wrote:The sad thing is that the hardware is really good (not only for the price). It looks good, it feels good and it has a great layout. I really wanted it and already have a full use in my live set carved out for it. And now it's back to square one :(
I fully agree; that's why I jumped on both units - so near and yet so far. They really could have been Launchpad killers. (I keep two sessions organized in 8x8 and 5x8 matrices, since I have both a Push and Apc40 (mk2), BOTH of which have session overview. Oh well, at least I still have my Launchpad and my nanoKontrol...

It is hard for me to believe that some who work for Ableton and Akai are this stupid, but there it is. (there is also the schmuck who refuses to include a tuner device in Ableton).
I want to point out a main difference about both our complaints though: Yours is that the device doesn't work the way you'd like it to (which I agree with mostly btw).

Mine is, that the damn thing is broken :x
I can simply not use it in ANY way unless I delete all my Midi mappings.

I think that this is way worse!

TomViolenz
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Re: APC Mini is a piece of shit. New Spam free thread.

Post by TomViolenz » Sun Dec 14, 2014 9:44 am

Buleriachk wrote:
TomViolenz wrote:
I want to point out a main difference about both our complaints though: Yours is that the device doesn't work the way you'd like it to (which I agree with mostly btw).

Mine is, that the damn thing is broken :x
I can simply not use it in ANY way unless I delete all my Midi mappings.

I think that this is way worse!
Re: the title of your thread. I am just helping to point out the many ways; not just yours...

That said: I've never run into your problem (Midi mapping in Live, if I understand it correctly) with the APC's (or at least I never noticed it, since my mappings work fine, and are persistent - I can plug other controllers - Push, APC40 Mk2, in and out without issues, etc. - I Midi mapped scene buttons to Clyphx clips, since I don't use scenes, and everything works as expected, even transferring sets to/from my mid-tower to my laptop.), but I empathize. Are you using Mac or Win? (I am win7 x64)

TomViolenz
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Re: APC Mini is a piece of shit. New Spam free thread.

Post by TomViolenz » Sun Dec 14, 2014 9:45 am

Buleriachk wrote:
TomViolenz wrote:
I want to point out a main difference about both our complaints though: Yours is that the device doesn't work the way you'd like it to (which I agree with mostly btw).

Mine is, that the damn thing is broken :x
I can simply not use it in ANY way unless I delete all my Midi mappings.

I think that this is way worse!
Re: the title of your thread. I am just helping to point out the many ways; not just yours...

That said: I've never run into your problem (Midi mapping in Live, if I understand it correctly) with the APC's (or at least I never noticed it, since my mappings work fine, and are persistent - I can plug other controllers - Push, APC40 Mk2, in and out without issues, etc. - I Midi mapped scene buttons to Clyphx clips, since I don't use scenes, and everything works as expected, even transferring sets to/from my mid-tower to my laptop.), but I empathize. Are you using Mac or Win? (I am win7 x64)
Mac
How long is your list of things you Midi mapped? Bigger than 60?!

I would really like it if people, who use a lot of Midi mappings and have the APC Mini could report here if they have the same problems.

I have more than 500 parameters mapped and plugging in the APC Mini makes Live unusable. This is with only the APC Mini plugged in. The other contollers that the mappings belong to are unplugged.

TomViolenz
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Re: APC Mini is a piece of shit. New Spam free thread.

Post by TomViolenz » Sun Dec 14, 2014 9:45 am

Buleriachk wrote:Well, I gotta admit, I only have 10 at the most - 500 is a little out there for me. So are we to let Ableton accuse BOTH us of attempting too use these products in a way for which they were not designed? Maybe your OS?

I guess it depends on which ox is gored...

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