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Thread: Advice please- Which Midi controller for a QM2000/ LivePro setup-Novation or Akai

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Phoenix AZ

    Default Advice please- Which Midi controller for a QM2000/ LivePro setup-Novation or Akai

    " 15 characters"
    Last edited by Laser Wizardry; 11-13-2015 at 13:32.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Seattle, WA


    Not sure what would work best for you, but I do have a Novation mkII I bought a few years ago and I never even tried it out if you want to buy it… I personally use the Live Performer Console built by Pangolin.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    SoCal / San Salvador / NY


    Hey Sir K -

    Quote Originally Posted by Laser Wizardry View Post
    Can anybody give me de facto proof that they use this Akai console with this pangolin configuration..
    <raises hand in classroom> Uh, well.. While we started out with the APC40 in recent Planetarium-installs with this *exact* config (QM2K / Live Pro), we switched over to the Akai MPD-32, because the 'APC' was actually 'throwing too much light onto the dome'..

    ..So, if you're willing to 'settle' for the Novation's 'less-light-ups than the APC' format, we'd highly-suggest the MPD-32.. ..and, they can be found on 'fleaBay' for reasonable-prices.. (I had quickly found 2x flawless ones, different-sellers, and.. Don't recall the price, but.. Deffo less than the APC-40s, even used...)

    ..Yeah, it's 'not as sexy' as the APC, but.. *Absolutely* hooks-right in with LivePro on a QM2K (we use 'em every weekend.. ) and our Chief-Laserist *loves them*.. Says, (and yes, this 'comment is subjective'..) the MPD's are WAY-better for LP, than the APC.. Velocity-sensitive pads for beams / pages / whatever, and plenty of knobs for XYZ / RGB / Scan-speed, etc-assigns.. Plays LivePro like a fiddle with it..

    PM me, if-interested (sorry, none-selling, but.. I can hook you up with our-Maestro, to-chat pros / cons, for your particular-app..) email works, too (me) @ laserium dot com..

    Last edited by dsli_jon; 03-17-2015 at 22:53. Reason: sp
    ....and armed only with his trusty 21 Zorgawatt KTiOPO4...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Knoxville, TN, USA


    Quote Originally Posted by Laser Wizardry View Post
    It seems I am having to choose between a Novation Remote Zero mkii and an Akai APC40... I use LivePro on the Pangolin QM2000 board...

    After two days of digging online and even a call to Pangolin, I am still not 100% convinced the APC40 will work for me with LivePro on a QM2000. I need more than just a pangolin statement of "yes it works with livepro" when I read so many forums posts that leave me wondering, old posts or not.... At least I know the obsolete Novation route is a sure thing with little hassle, but I really would like to consider the APC40 as it combines some of the features I also was considering the Novation launchpad for as an add on to the remote zero- cue buttons!

    I have no current plans for upgrading to Beyond, so I am concerned about limited functionality with the QM2K based LivePro, ie, a lot of old forum posts indicate that it wont work because of something about midi feedback, which I know little to nothing about. Yet some people says it work, some dont, and almost all posts about this question on multiple forums are YEARS old...

    HELP!!! I need to make a decision before I do something stupid like pay an electric bill with the money earmarked for a midi console!

    Can anybody give me de facto proof that they use this Akai console with this pangolin configuration and that it actually works properly with the lighted buttons and everything?

    THANK YOU!!!!
    Karl -

    The APC consoles "can" work with Pangolin software other than Beyond, but you would probably need to use software like the Bome MIDI Translator to make everything work.

    The problem with the APC-series controlers is they are sending MIDI messages that are custom-configured to work with Ableton Live.
    What that means for us is that out of the box, the APC controllers have 2 "issues" -

    1. They don't send the MIDI messages in a "normal" sequence that follows the keys of a keyboard controller, so you can't just assign a starting MIDI key / note to a cue grid and have the other cues in the grid align with the controller. You would have to do a LOT of individual cue/controller key mapping to even come close to working correctly. Additionally, I believe the APC keys are using different MIDI channels for some of the controls, which adds to the complexity (I'm not in front of my laser computer right now, so I can't verify...).

    2. The APC controllers themselves are are hard -wired; any mapping of keys has to be done on the software application side, since the APC controllers themselves are not programmable.

    The APC template in Beyond takes all this into account, and handles all the remapping of the MIDI commands behind the scenes.
    Additionally, Beyond can generate the bidirectional MIDI commands that are required to control the LED lighting on the actual APC controllers; I don't think (?) bidirectional MIDI is supported in LivePRO.

    AFAIK, Beyond is the only Pangolin application that has the required MIDI capabilities to work directly with the APC series with full functionality.
    Other software can be made to work with the APC's using something like the Bome MIDI Translator - I know some guys on this forum have done that for QuickShow - but it would require a LOT of customizing.

    EDIT -
    I just noticed in Jon's response that they actually used the APC with LivePRO.
    Hmm, would be interested in seeing how they setup their MIDI mapping between LivePRO and the APC!

    FWIW, I'll second Jon's recommendation for the Akai MPD-series controllers.
    I'm just a hobbyist, but I've been using a MPD-26 as part of my controller suite for several years, for several different lighting projects.
    Works great, and you can get a free editor for the MPD's to set up multiple custom controller templates that are available at the touch of a button.

    That said, the APC-40 is REALLY cool to use, should you ever decide to go with Beyond...

    Last edited by Stuka; 03-19-2015 at 04:31.

    Metrologic HeNe 3.3mw Modulated laser, 2 Radio Shack motors, and a broken mirror.

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