APC40 Effects Matrix Tutorial

This tutorial is based on videos I saw on YouTube where other users (typically with a Launchpad) made the matrix of buttons turn effects on and off, giving them live control of effecting their tracks. This seemingly simple application of the APC40 was hard to implement when I first started, but now that I am more familiar with Ableton and the APC40 I want to help anyone else who wants to be able to temporarily turn on effects for a more exciting live performance.
First off, you need an APC40, plus you will need to download this awesome User Remote Script called APC40_21 (or APC40_20 will work) by Hanz Petrov at http://remotescripts.blogspot.com/.
The link is about 10% down from the top on this page
http://remotescripts.blogspot.com/p/support-files.html The script allows you to have “user modes” similar to the Launchpad. The new user modes (you have 6 of them) change the clip launch matrix into a bunch of buttons which send standard midi notes out. (On a separate note, you can edit which notes and the buttons colors, which may be used to create a couple user modes dedicated to your favorite scales, and each of the 6 user modes sends on a different midi channel. That way you only play the correct notes. )
Select one of the user modes on the APC40 by pressing “Shift”+ a “Track Selection” button. Then you can midi map the corresponding button to the on/off button of the effect you want to control in Ableton. Remember that if you choose user mode 1 for instance that you must be in user mode 1 for the mappings to work. It is simple to jump between the modes in realtime during performance, so don’t worry.
Mapping in Ableton is easy, just press the midi button on the top right and all midi mappable parameters will turn blue. Click on the on/off button of the effect, then press the button on the APC40 that you want to correspond with the on/off button. It is now midi mapped. Press the midi button in Ableton again so everything turns from blue back to normal and you are done. Depending on the on/off button’s beginning state the matrix button on the APC40 will toggle it to the other value whenever it is held down. So if it is “off” when you midi map it, the effect remains off at all times until and only while you press the corresponding APC40 button. The opposite is true as well, it the button is “on” when mapped the APC40 will momentarily toggle it off.
I choose to keep it easy and have 5 different effects on each track, allowing me to have a vertical row of buttons on the APC40 represent the 5 effect on/off toggles. You have 40 buttons to use so you could choose to split it up any way you want, say 20 effects on each A/B deck output, or 40 effects on the master bus.
I find it useful to place the 5 different effects within one “rack”. Then I can map my favorite parameters to the rack’s Macro Knobs, so that not only can I turn the effects on or off, but I can change settings in real time.


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