Controlling 'Drum Racks' with Akai 'APC40'

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ultraplay
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Controlling 'Drum Racks' with Akai 'APC40'

Post by ultraplay » Thu May 12, 2011 10:53 am

Hi,

A quick question about controlling 'Drum Racks' with the Akai APC40...

What I want to be able to do is turn each drum part on and off when recording - by using the clip buttons on the APC40. I know this is easily done when each drum part (Kick, Snare etc) is on a separate track in session view, BUT... to save space I've built a Drum Rack with all it's Kick, Snares etc embedded into the one Track, which has made things difficult to control...

In one way this is great as the drum rack uses up only 1 track in session view, but the problem I now have is that I can't find a way to be able to use the usual clip buttons on the MPC40 to control & turn on/off these embedded drum parts because the buttons are all assigned to the major tracks (not the embedded ones in the drum rack).

Is there an efficient way to get around this problem so that I can use the clip buttons on the APC40 to control the Drum Racks - without messing up the regular button assignment? Is there a shift key or something to get a dual use out of 1 button?

That wasn't a quick question was it!? Sorry, new to Ableton! any help appreciated!
Last edited by ultraplay on Fri May 13, 2011 7:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

DJVespers
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Re: Controlling 'Drum Racks' with Akai MPC40

Post by DJVespers » Thu May 12, 2011 6:04 pm

Hey mate. Do you mean the Akai APC40? Please clarify what you want to do. Are you recording MIDI data? Playing the drums live? If you had an Akai MPD or MPK it would be a lot easier to play them. You can hard map things in the APC40 to do the same thing but it's clip triggers aren't as great for playing drums if, indeed, that's what you want to do.

If what you're attempting to do is activate or deactivate individual drum chains in the Drum Rack, you can easily do this in Session view by expanding the Drum Rack track using the arrow button to show all the chains/sounds contained within it.

Please fill me in and I'll do my best to help.
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ultraplay
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Re: Controlling 'Drum Racks' with Akai APC40

Post by ultraplay » Fri May 13, 2011 8:25 am

DJVespers wrote:Hey mate. Do you mean the Akai APC40?
Hi Vespers, yes sorry I meant APC40 (not MPC40)!

I created a drum rack following your Exploring Drum Racks tutorial on MacProVideo. (Good tutorial BTW!). Sliced up a drum loop sample & have each drum part loaded into the internal tracks of the Drum Rack. I then inserted specific midi info into the sequencer to fire off the drums to create a new loop to be used as the main drums in a minimal Techno track. So I need to be able to take certain drums parts out throughout the final track.
DJVespers wrote:If what you're attempting to do is activate or deactivate individual drum chains in the Drum Rack, you can easily do this in Session view by expanding the Drum Rack track using the arrow button to show all the chains/sounds contained within it.
Sure, but can you expand (& deactivate) certain drum parts (such as the kick) remotely using only the APC40 buttons? Ideally by using one of the standard square play/stop buttons. Like I say, the activate buttons seem to already be assigned to the main tracks (1,2,3,4 etc) - which I need to control as well. I was hoping I could maybe use the SHIFT key on the APC40 in order to get 2 controls out of 1 button?

Failing that, I do have an Akai MPD26, would that make more sense to use this device instead/as well? But really I would prefer to keep all the control within the APC40, especially for playing gigs so I don't have to carry too much gear! :<

ultraplay
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Re: Controlling 'Drum Racks' with Akai 'APC40'

Post by ultraplay » Fri May 13, 2011 9:12 am

...on second/third(!) thoughts, I'm suspecting that the answer is to to not use the pre assigned/built in mid mappings of the APC40 and re-map some custom midi assigned controls myself? and perhaps also make use of the macro controls on the drum rack, although I would prefer to use tangible buttons as opposed to 'dials' and also keep these macro dials free for drum fader & FX parameters...

Matt_Quinn
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Re: Controlling 'Drum Racks' with Akai 'APC40'

Post by Matt_Quinn » Fri May 13, 2011 6:47 pm

Not sure if this is what you are trying to do, but...

You could assign each drum to it's own track in session view, then Group them instead of using a drum rack. On the APC, if you hold down the track select button for a Group track, it expands the entire group over your APC's channels, giving you control (on/off,record,solo,pan etc) over each individual element. Hold the track select button again to refold the group back to a single channel.
the_planet wrote:Trap music is not supported in the current version.

ultraplay
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Re: Controlling 'Drum Racks' with Akai 'APC40'

Post by ultraplay » Sat May 14, 2011 9:20 am

Matt_Quinn wrote:Not sure if this is what you are trying to do, but... You could assign each drum to it's own track in session view, then Group them instead of using a drum rack. On the APC, if you hold down the track select button for a Group track, it expands the entire group over your APC's channels, giving you control (on/off,record,solo,pan etc) over each individual element. Hold the track select button again to refold the group back to a single channel.
Hey thanks for this Matt, this EXACTLY what I wanted to do and it works really well.

However, for the sake me being a tidy house keeping freak, I would still prefer it if the APC40 would control the drum rack in the same way, then you could keep all your sounds in one pad bank set, rather than having them in all these separate pad banks, but that's just my ideal preference and something that I think Akai should have implemented. But hey thanks anyway, and at least this is an excellent workaround!

BTW, perhaps you already know about this, but whilst I was looking for a solution on this problem, I did come across this crazy thing that's been developed called 'nativeKONTROL'which opens up all kinds of mad & powerful functionality for the Akai APC40, this is really quite amazing:


http://www.nativekontrol.com/apC_Series.html

Really shows what the APC40 is actually capable of... I wonder if Akai will implement this into a software/firmware update? Along with better D.Rack functionality, Let's hope so.... :wink:

Matt_Quinn
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Re: Controlling 'Drum Racks' with Akai 'APC40'

Post by Matt_Quinn » Sat May 14, 2011 3:18 pm

Cool, glad that helped.

RE: the nativeKONTROL stuff, check this out for a free alternative. I've been using it for a while & love it.

http://remotescripts.blogspot.com/p/apc-64-40.html
the_planet wrote:Trap music is not supported in the current version.

ultraplay
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Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2011 12:55 pm

Re: Controlling 'Drum Racks' with Akai 'APC40'

Post by ultraplay » Tue May 17, 2011 7:16 am

Hey that looks cool too. Thanks again for the info Matt. Nice one.

DJVespers
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Re: Controlling 'Drum Racks' with Akai 'APC40'

Post by DJVespers » Thu May 19, 2011 6:50 am

Matt_Quinn wrote:Not sure if this is what you are trying to do, but...

You could assign each drum to it's own track in session view, then Group them instead of using a drum rack. On the APC, if you hold down the track select button for a Group track, it expands the entire group over your APC's channels, giving you control (on/off,record,solo,pan etc) over each individual element. Hold the track select button again to refold the group back to a single channel.
Hey guys. You can actually do this all within Drum Racks without going to all the trouble of mapping individual drum tracks outside of the rack. All you do is go to Session View, expand the Drum Rack track so you can see each chain/track contained within. If you want to group drum sounds you can simply group them into nested Drum Racks within your main Drum Rack. When you expand the Drum Rack track or nested Drum Racks in Session View, your APC40 should update it's view such that you can solo or deactivate any tracks/sounds you want.

To be perfectly honest though, I think you're (the OP) making things more complicated than they need to be. Why do you need to deactivate things? Just delete them out of your Rack if you're not using them. Make your drum kit as simple as possible and just jam with it. Drum Racks are so deep you could lose days inside of them and never complete a track ;) Watch out for that rabbit hole. Cheers!
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joviwonder
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Re: Controlling 'Drum Racks' with Akai 'APC40'

Post by joviwonder » Sun Mar 11, 2012 4:54 am

Hey guys, I'm a little confused. I've been wanting to control the drum rack with my apc40 for a while now but I haven't had much luck.
When I expand my drum rack in session view my apc doesn't seem to read it. I want to be able to trigger individual slices or pads within the rack using the clip launch buttons on my apc40 without having to map... is this possible?

Cheers

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