NAMM Gear Of The Show Award: Akai APC40
NAMM always gives us a massive Gear Hangover. With the multitude of new product announcements, demonstrations, performances and parties, it consistently shocks us when we make it back to the office in one piece…well, mostly one piece…
Reflecting back on this year’s show, there were many “bits of kit” that will not only raise the high-water mark for the industry, but also set the pace for 2009. With the global economy suffering, it was obvious that many gear manufacturers were anxious about sales targets. The result was that many companies set their lowest MRSP points, foregoing the two tiered approach that many manufacturers favor, where they have a higher introductory price and then drop it 9 to 12 months later after the initial run.
This year we are giving the Akai APC40 our Gear Of The Show award. There were many other worthy candidates, but a dedicated Live controller that was fully sanctioned by Ableton, after years of a laisser-faire attitude towards the hardware market, is a new milestone that cannot be ignored.
For a very attractive price of $399, the APC40 will be a huge hit this year for Akai, and should just be the start of a dedicated Ableton Live controller series from the concern, whose product line has blossomed after being purchased by Numark. Kudos to Akai for bridging the hardware gap with Ableton and then delivering on that promise.