I was looking for a controller that gives me the possibility to actually access all the functions I'm using in Resolume, and finally decided to get an APC40, despite the ableton software handshake.
I got it yesterday, and I'm positively surprised. Now I signed up here to share my experiences with this controller, and maybe I can help someone out or somebody can give me a hand.
First off: Here is some general Information for Resolume Users about how the APC40 works without any modification.
I found it pretty hard to find out what works and what don't just by looking through VJ forums alone, so maybe it will help someone decide to buy or not:
The mapping was a piece of cake
, just editing the application & Composition MIDI Map inside resolume allows you to map nearly all controls by just clicking it & midi learn, like with any other controller.
Also, no problems with Knobs
at all. After reading in different forums that LED Feedback for Knobs isn't quite decifered yet I was afraid they wouldn't indicate the position at all, but that's not the case. They work very well (they don't light all LEDs up like in Live, but they indicate the current position reliably).
The Track Control Knobs aren't paged in 4 banks outside of live, which leaves you with "only" 8 assignable knobs on the top right.
The Track Select Buttons work as Switchers for the 8 Device Control Knobs, which allows you to map up to 72 controls (8 tracks + master * 8 knobs) to those Knobs, simply awesome for fine tuning Layer/Clip Properties or effects. Also, the value of the Knobs are indicated correctly when you switch from one bank to another, they really completely behave like 72 different controls.
Well, you still can only access 8 of them at once, but it still gives you a total of 80 mapable knobs. Wich seriously kicks ass.
The only ones that won't work straight off are the solo/cue/activate buttons as well as the small Send A/Send B/Pan/Clip/etc Buttons unter the knobs (so all the small buttons). These controls only toggle Note ON/Note OFF events, means: you CAN map them, but by default you'll have to doubleclick them to trigger the mapped control. I'm sure this isn't hard to change with Bome's Midi Translator or MidiPipe, but I didn't tried that yet.
(works like a charm set in piano mode, see page 2 for explanation)
Which brings us to customizing & LED Feedback:
Basically, it's pretty easy when you use a MIDI Translator of some kind.
I'm using Bomes MIDI-Translator, but I still have Version 1.6, which can only send MIDI out to one single source, that means I have to use MIDI Yoke to split the signal up for Resolume & the Midi Translator. APC40 goes into MidiOX, Yoke 1 goes to Resolume for triggering the controls, and Yoke 2 goes to the MIDI translator which processes the signals and sends them back to the APC. I don't know if Bomes Midi Translator 1.7 can handle different outs, but with version 1.6, it's the only way not to crash either the Translator, or Resolume when they try to access the APC.
By now, I've built a simple feedback for my layer selection buttons that switches on the light of the pressed button, and switches off the light of the other layer buttons.
Anyway, if you want to map buttons to change their light (or other buttons lights) it's as simple as this:
You'll have to set up the MIDI Translator to send back the according note ON to the pressed button with the following velocity:
- 01 = Green
- 02 = Green Blinking
- 03 = Red
- 04 = Red Blinking
- 05 = Orange
- 06 = Orange Blinking
- 07 & higher = Green
Now there are two things that I'd like to do, but I haven't achieved it yet and I'm not sure how to do this:
- Get the small Buttons to behave like the normal buttons - that means sending note ON / Note Off at once instead of toggeling between ON and OFF - but maintaining the way the LEDs work (press it once -> LED on, press it again -> LED off).
- And finding a way to get the large button matrix to behave like Resolume clip triggering, so that a selecting a clip would switch on the LED of the button pressed, but also switch off the LED of the clip that was active.
This should be fairly easy to do if the clips are triggered to their own layer, but rather difficult if the clips are triggered to the active layer. I don't know if Bome's MIDI Translator can handle storing variables between different rules, or if it's possible with the newest version - any help on this would be greatly appreciated.
And maybe someone can help me out here: With Bome's MIDI translator 1.7, is it possible to send MIDI out to different sources? With 1.6 I can either process the MIDI signals and send them to Resolume (like to solve the issue with the small buttons as described above) OR send MIDI signals back to the APC - not both.
Hope I could help someone make a decision or getting started with the APC! As I don't have a lot of experience with MIDI devices, I am just throwing together what I could find out on the web and what I have tried by myself - so it would be great if someone who knows more could give me some tips or help me out. I'd be happy for every advice I can get!
(attached you'll find an overview of how the APC behaves with Resolume)