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The new Ableton Push is here. From a distance, it looks like the same rectangular grid with some color screens. But using it person is an entirely different experience. We’ve gotten to spend an extended time with the new Push, so we can let you know what that’s like.

Here’s the simplest way to put it: Ableton has kept the same basic layout and form factor of the original, yet somehow made every single detail better. From hardware refinement to software integration and functionality, everything feels like 2.0. Ableton repeated that they’ve completely re-engineered Push themselves. But even if they hadn’t told you that, you’d be aware of a different feeling from the moment you see one up close – doubly so once you touch it.

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Push is still called “Push,” though Ableton will call it “Push 2” when comparing to the original. That says a lot: this is just what Ableton now considers Push to be.

The weight and size are roughly the same, but each surface feels more detailed and precise – and that’s saying a lot, as the first Push was already reasonably impressive. The new Push simply feels a class above any other hardware in the industry at the moment.

This isn’t just qualitative; it’s quantitatively different. Buttons are lower profile – by a lot; they emerge only slightly from the faceplate. Tolerances at each edge are tighter. The unit itself is thinner. The strange indentation on the first Push, made for a cover that never shipped, is gone. In practice, these many subtle changes mean that indication text is clearer, and tactile feedback is more solid and consistent – in short, the desire to make music with the object is greater. In fact, it’s almost embarrassing to put the two side by side and realize how much the buttons and pads wobble around on the first Push (the triggers in particular), or how much less satisfying the surfaces are to touch.

On the left, the new Push; on the right, the old Push.

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The surface finish is different, as well, and seems free of the scratching and peeling issues on the original (I tried to scratch it and couldn’t). The days of weird dusty-gray or pink LEDs standing in for “white” are gone, too – white looks white, and colors look vibrant without being blinding or garish. Significantly, it’s also easy to read the light-up text on the buttons. Those still elegantly fade to black and disappear when functions aren’t active. But now when they do light up, text looks crisp – almost like looking at a display.

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And speaking of displays, yes, the display is gorgeous. Sharp graphics illustrate some concepts (like filters), with text recalling the look of Teenage Engineering’s OP-1. (And that’s definitely a compliment.) It isn’t a touchscreen, but for this generation of hardware in the industry in general, that seems to make sense. People now compare touchscreens to Apple’s iPad and iPhone, and it’s tough for musical manufacturers to live up on a smaller scale – at least, for now. (I’ll be curious to try the new Akai MPC Touch and see if it holds up to those rigorous expectations.) For now, I was perfectly happy to see but not touch the screen, dialing in settings on encoders, and I never once caught myself wanting to swipe the display.

With the new displays and all this color and light, of course, USB bus power doesn’t quite cut it any more. You will need to plug this in to use it. (If someone trips over your power cord, you’re not out of luck – the new Push will keep operating, but it’ll be very dim – not just slightly dim like the old model, but nearly dark.)

The Push 2 also lacks hardware MIDI ports, as found on Novation’s Launchpad Pro. On the other hand, Push doesn’t work standalone, so that omission is a minor one. You do get foot pedal jacks, as before.

The new Push is still a class-compliant MIDI device, so that bi-directional communication is handled via standard MIDI messages – just MIDI over USB only. If you want connections to MIDI hardware, you’ll need the Push to be connected to a computer (or other USB host) and a separate MIDI interface.

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None of that matters out of context, though – you’re buying an instrument, not a nice-looking paperweight. So the real test of Push 2 is as the hardware extension of Live.

Combined with software enhancements in Live 9.5 (particularly integration with the new Simpler), Push 2 promises three major areas of innovation.

1. It’s more fun to play.
2. It makes sampling an integrated workflow.
3. It promises to give you more time working with the hardware, less time going back to your computer screen and mouse.

Let’s look at those in turn.

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More fun to play

I think the biggest deal in Push 2 is that the grid feels so fantastic. The first Push was reasonably sensitive, but not always equally so across pads. And it was a bit too stiff for my taste – making it feel like work to play.

Push 2 is another story. The pads are soft to the touch, but firm as you hit them. They respond to the slightest changes in force, from feather-y gentle to finger-drumming-hard. They keep an incredibly low profile, close to the faceplate. That may seem odd at first to old-school MPC lovers, but the tight clearance means there’s not the slightest sensation of wiggle as you play. This accommodates a wide variety of playing styles, from running your fingers along the pads to forceful tapping.

Here’s another good indication: I didn’t once want to change the pad sensitivity or turn it off. And I suspect the positive reviews I’ve heard from other testers are a good sign, too.

As far as this kind of pad design, this is absolutely the new benchmark. The only device that comes close is the Roger Linn Linnstrument – and that’s a high-end, boutique device from the man who invented the concept of making pads like this in the first place. I still enjoy playing 4×4 grids, but while Akai’s Renaissance, NI’s Maschine, and the Novation Launchpad Pro are good, I think most people will prefer Push 2.

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Sampling is now part of the workflow

Push was always reasonably good as a controller for Ableton Live, but users of drum machines – whether dedicated hardware or integrated software like Maschine and the new MPCs – have other expectations. You want to be able to have complete hands-on control of your samples right on the hardware.

Of course, Ableton Live itself has been a bit restricted in this regard.

The new Push resolves this with both enhanced sample operation in the software (via an overhauled Simpler) and a big color display that lets you see what you’re doing with samples on the Push hardware. The combination is irresistible.

First, recall the painful old way of doing things: find a clip, warp it, slice to MIDI, open up the Drum Rack … ugh. Actually, the fact that we put up with this at all says something about how useful it is to have sampling integrated with Live’s Session View – even poorly integrated.

Now, 9.5 changes all of that. You can instantly manipulate samples via Simpler as a looped sample (“Classic”), a 1-shot, or slices. The Live Warp Mode settings you already know determine how the file is stretched and played back, and for slicing, you can now adjust sensitivity in real-time with a single control.

Adding Push 2 makes this a lot more fun. You really never have to look at the screen or touch the mouse. Load sounds via the browser – including, at last, sensibly from your user library. Then select the mode you one (Classic, One-Shot, or Slicing). And suddenly, the 8×8 grid of Loop makes loads of sense: you can dance around the sample from the controls, or step sequence, or dial in particular parts of the sound. This is the promise from years ago on the original monome/mlr combination, and now it feels as though that idea has expanded and matured.

In Ableton’s Loop presentation, the demos focused on sampling classic records, but you really don’t have to do that. (And … well, you really should avoid that, anyway, unless you like worrying about clearing samples in order to release your music.) For instrumentalists or singers, for people making field recordings or anyone who likes collecting sounds, Push is a wonderful way to explore, whether you’re hip hop or experimental.

The key to this immediacy is the way the grid relates to the sound. In One-Shot and Slicing mode, the grid spans pitch. In One-Shot, you can either let the sound play to the end when you release a pad, or halt playback with the Gate setting.

In Slicing mode, of course, each pad is a different slice. (Dial in the number of slices using Sensitivity – again, no need to even look at the computer.) You can also use the pads to determine where you want slices to go. (We’ll have videos showing that soon.)

In all the modes, you can also change pitch as a sample plays, for still more melodic manipulation of a sound.

You’ve seen functionality like this before, but Ableton’s implementation of the display is I think the most refined I’ve seen anywhere. The display is dynamic, adding useful parameters for each mode. And the waveform view is clear and easy to see, with zooming scaling to just where you need.

Melodic parts are improved, too. Apart from the control layout in general being far more logical (more on that in the next section), and the pads being far more musical to play, scales are finally saved with sets. I’m not giving up piano-style keyboards yet, but I am at last warming to the idea of playing grids, too.

Will this eliminate the need for dedicated drum machines altogether? Well, the appeal of hardware still remains, of course. And I’ll be happy to keep some kits in Maschine loaded alongside Push, especially as Maschine can lock to its own groups and sounds. I would view those as compliments rather than competitors. Actually, oddly, I think Push makes Ableton behave more nicely along those hardware. Your ever-shrinking laptop (or Surface Book, or whatever) may increasingly be cheerily hanging out in a corner of your desk untouched while you focus on these more satisfying hardware interfaces.

The integration of these kinds of tools in the DAW, on the other hand, is really unlike anything we’ve had before. It’s what the first Push was missing, and now that picture is complete.

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Less computer

The other use of the display, of course, is parameter control. Having subtle color indications, and a more consistent layout of parameter mappings for internal devices, and simply a bigger, brighter, clearer display with icon feedback all add up to more intuitive control via encoders.

So, naturally, the display is a boost – and seems to owe something in its aesthetic to the pioneering work done by Teenage Engineering on the OP-1.

That might seem like the biggest improvement, but it isn’t. The real difference on Push is all to do with the layout of the controls.

Now, I have a confession to make: my brain just gets kind of dumb when I’m in the musical flow. Maybe you’re like me. So, I had to be jealous of people who were really fast on the first Push. Maybe you’re one of those people. And maybe it’s because I’ve been using Live primarily on a laptop since, literally, version 1.0. But if you’re like me, sometimes (not always, but sometimes), this happened:

1. You were thinking about a musical idea.
2. You looked down at Push, and for a split second, got lost trying to find a particular parameter or navigate the browser.
3. In that split second, you said, ah, shove it, and reached for your mouse.

This, of course, means that the Push designers failed. (Ha! Bow down to my stupid brain and feel ashamed!)

So, on Push 2, I’m told there was an extraordinary amount of user testing where Ableton designers had to watch and analyze the way people were using the hardware. I don’t know exactly what happened, but I do know this: magically, buttons on Push 2 seem to pop up where I expected them to be before I knew they were there. (That would be more or less the opposite experience I had on the original Push.) It’s a little like that moment when Amazon seems to know what you want to buy before you’ve decided yourself, only for hardware.

Now, I don’t think this is just a triumph of user testing and the data that collects, because Ableton had to find solutions. The changes actually aren’t that big, but they have a huge impact.

Along the top and bottom of the screen are color-coded selection buttons. These vastly improve the experience of selecting tracks (along the bottom) and devices (along the top). On the first Push, the same task was performer by a set of additional pads and triggers. These were visually oriented to the grid of pads rather than the display, which was counter-intuitive.

Now, it’s very easy to find which track and device you want, even in the heat of the moment – I’m curious to see if this holds up even in live performance.

The other major decision was reorganizing what had been a muddle of buttons on the right-hand side of the unit. Those are now grouped spatially on the right and left, so that it’s easier to discover and remember shortcuts. There are also, at last, two directional keypads (one for page and octave, one for navigation).

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So, that solves the “user” failures. The other fix was to solve the cases where the hardware/software integration would fail the user. And that solves the other pain points that would potentially send you scurrying back to your MacBook.

1. Controls are dynamic. Parameters previously were mapped to the encoders more or less by brute force. That created weird situations where, for instance, you’d see an LFO knob for both Hz and beats; those now change dynamically when you change LFO modes. Ableton also tell me they went through an extensive “audit” of every single Device to ensure the mappings were refined. The beauty of this is, you probably won’t notice it; you’ll just notice yourself using the encoders more.

2. Plug-ins work. So you know Ableton’s own Devices work; now VST and AU plug-ins do, too. The integration is still limited by the plug-in formats. Native Instruments’ approach of having developers specify where they want controls, on Komplete Kontrol, may well prove better for heavy use. But it’s something.

3. The browser is actually useful. This is a big one: the Push hardware was constantly reminding you to press the Browse button to add stuff, but once you got there, you couldn’t get access to a neatly-organized user library of stuff. That’s now fixed, as well.

Also, mixing is finally a pleasure with the new display. There’s a big color overview of everything, very much like what Native Instruments offered with Maschine Studio, but even more essential in a DAW. Now, that hardly eliminates the need for faders. Even in Ableton’s own demo, I noticed they had a Novation LaunchControl XL so that dedicated faders were at arm’s length. But it is certainly welcome.

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Conclusions

The new Push isn’t cheap – 699€, US$799, GBP499. And to fully take advantage of what it can do, you probably also want the full Ableton Live Suite – sold separately. So, you may be wondering if this is worth the investment if you’re new, or worth the upgrade if you have an existing Push.

If I sound like I think Push is the perfect controller, I don’t. Grids are still grids; I was playing a piano from the time I was nearly a baby (literally), and there are lots of other instrumental controllers that are useful. Also, Push still doesn’t do much for you when you’re looking at Ableton’s Arrange view, which is largely still about the mouse. (If the Surface line catches on, I hope we see better touch support in Live.) And this still isn’t a mixing surface – Ableton Fade isn’t here yet. (I made that up. If that ever happens, it just means I guessed right.)

If you have the first Push, I have terrible news for your bank account: the moment you touch a new Push, you’re going to want to trade yours in. The only good news is, if you can’t afford that even with the 30% buy-back, the original Push does get a whole lot of the functional improvements. (Which improvements? Ableton today released a technical document explaining what 9.5 does for the original Push.) And that should actually make would-be Push 2 purchasers and Push owners alike feel better: it means Ableton isn’t in a rush to abandon existing users just to sell the new shiny. But make no mistake: the build and feel of playing the new unit will justify its purchase the moment you’ve got the budget.

Push is also clearly the winner if you want a playable grid, or if you care about sampling.

Push might not be for you if you want a controller that works well with software other than Ableton Live. It is actually a MIDI controller, meaning you can use it with other software – Tim Exile actually had an amazing Reaktor-based setup with the first Push. But that’s an edge case, because it’ll require a fair amount of configuration work.

And if you don’t care about sampling or playing melodic grids, this isn’t really for you, either.

But Push is really good at being Push.

It actually hasn’t been so long since the first Push came out, and back then we weren’t really sure what this hardware was. Ableton (and the wider electronic music community) spent a lot of time bending over backwards to work out whether it was an “instrument.” And the original pitch for Push focused on being a way to get tracks started.

In reality, neither of those things mattered. The first Push already proved that people would embrace the Push grid for controlling Live, working with samples, and playing instruments and drums.

What’s special about Push 2 is that it seems to anticipate how it will be used. It’s finally a real sampler. It’s a far better instrument to play. And if you care about sampling and playing grids, it’s simply the best integrated hardware/software yet.

It’ll be fun in the coming months and years seeing how musicians work with it.

Ableton Push [Product Page]

Push 1 Trade-in Program

  • Peter

    I’m on the fence not being a real finger drummer or samplererer… bring on the push 1 upgrades article!

    • Eric

      I’m on the fence due to the $1000AUD price

    • Joseph Nickel

      I’m sure you didn’t mean to do this but, you just made me feel like I bought a worthless piece of junk in Push 1. I understand you’re excited but geez….I was already irritated by this announcement before I read your article.. At the same time, I’m thinking about selling my Octatrack to get this. The only thing holding me back at this point is remembering that feeling of being burned when I realized Push did not do all of the things advertised on the tin as well as I expected and the fact that they stopped trying to fix it a while ago (fixed length, audio recording difficulties, audio clip limitations, etc.). I’ve been reading your stuff for as long as the site has existed but have never commented. This has presented so much of a predicament for me that I just had to vent. Keep up the good work. Just let us Push 1 people down a little easier. I feel like I’ve been dumped by Ableton. It hurts.

      • Wait, but … before you read this article, you loved the Push 1?

        Your definition of being dumped is different than mine. Ableton’s … uh … still with you. 😉

  • Peter

    I’m on the fence not being a real finger drummer or samplererer… bring on the push 1 upgrades article!

    • Eric

      I’m on the fence due to the $1000AUD price

    • Joseph Nickel

      I’m sure you didn’t mean to do this but, you just made me feel like I bought a worthless piece of junk in Push 1. I understand you’re excited but geez….I was already irritated by this announcement before I read your article.. At the same time, I’m thinking about selling my Octatrack to get this. The only thing holding me back at this point is remembering that feeling of being burned when I realized Push did not do all of the things advertised on the tin as well as I expected and the fact that they stopped trying to fix it a while ago (fixed length, audio recording difficulties, audio clip limitations, etc.). I’ve been reading your stuff for as long as the site has existed but have never commented. This has presented so much of a predicament for me that I just had to vent. Keep up the good work. Just let us Push 1 people down a little easier. I feel like I’ve been dumped by Ableton. It hurts.

      • Wait, but … before you read this article, you loved the Push 1?

        Your definition of being dumped is different than mine. Ableton’s … uh … still with you. 😉

  • Peter

    I’m on the fence not being a real finger drummer or samplererer… bring on the push 1 upgrades article!

    • Eric

      I’m on the fence due to the $1000AUD price

    • Joseph Nickel

      I’m sure you didn’t mean to do this but, you just made me feel like I bought a worthless piece of junk in Push 1. I understand you’re excited but geez….I was already irritated by this announcement before I read your article.. At the same time, I’m thinking about selling my Octatrack to get this. The only thing holding me back at this point is remembering that feeling of being burned when I realized Push did not do all of the things advertised on the tin as well as I expected and the fact that they stopped trying to fix it a while ago (fixed length, audio recording difficulties, audio clip limitations, etc.). I’ve been reading your stuff for as long as the site has existed but have never commented. This has presented so much of a predicament for me that I just had to vent. Keep up the good work. Just let us Push 1 people down a little easier. I feel like I’ve been dumped by Ableton. It hurts.

      • Wait, but … before you read this article, you loved the Push 1?

        Your definition of being dumped is different than mine. Ableton’s … uh … still with you. 😉

  • I’m curious what functional improvements the original push is getting. I’m curious also where the in and out keys are for finding more parameter controls or are those just controlled by the navigation buttons now?

  • I’m curious what functional improvements the original push is getting. I’m curious also where the in and out keys are for finding more parameter controls or are those just controlled by the navigation buttons now?

  • I’m curious what functional improvements the original push is getting. I’m curious also where the in and out keys are for finding more parameter controls or are those just controlled by the navigation buttons now?

  • Till

    Hey Peter, thanks for the article!
    I was wondering about MIDI integration? User mode? Use of the display in User mode?

    Also, AFAIK the 2nd pedal input (expression?) never worked on the Push1, is this fixed with the new one?

    • Darren E Cowley

      Use of the display is unavailable in Maxforlive…

      • I’m waiting for more clarification on access to the display, actually.

        User Mode would be a good follow-up.

        • Mark Harris

          Can you also ask if there is a ‘compatibility mode’ for the Push 1 sysex LCD, so we know if existing add-ons/apps will work.

          Ive already been looking at 9.5 executables and can see the Push2DisplayProcess which seems to send the graphics using QT/QML… but Id love to know if the Push2 is compatible in firmware with Push1.

          • Diez Roggisch

            Hi, Push2 developer here. The answer is unfortunately “no”. The device firmware relies on full frames being sent via USB. It’s not capable of any rendering.

          • Mark Harris

            that is a pity, means quite a lot of work to get add-ons working.
            so could you confirm the following:
            a) Push2 still acts as a USB midi class compliant for sending pads/encoders
            b) will the USB protocol be make available to third party/open source, so that others can develop for it.

            there has been quite a bit of 3rd party development for Push1 e.g. for other apps and daws, some of which are on linux or other platforms. its ‘a problem’ if the Push2 is unuseable outside Live.
            creates a dilema, do I trade in my Push1, or keep it alongside perhaps a push2 (I don’t really have space for both however!)

          • Diez Roggisch

            a) yes, that’s what it is doing.
            b) I’m not aware of any such plans. Technically speaking, it is a very simple protocol though, and it’s also not obfuscated to deter any attempts to reverse-engineer it.

            IANAL though – so yes, there is grains of salt in this offering if you plan on tweaking/developing for it.

          • Mark Harris

            Thanks for the info.
            perhaps you could mention ‘to the power that be’ that documenting the protocol in some form , could make the Push2 more attractive to many of us…
            sure, I use the Push mainly (80-90% ? ) with Live, but I do have other uses for it too, so would be a shame for the Push to be locked exclusively to Live.
            Surely, making it open detracts nothing from its awesome integration with Live… but adds to its general appeal.
            but then I’m not in Marketing 🙂

          • Diez Roggisch

            The powers are aware. We are debating this internally a lot (not Push2, that’s too new yet), but e.g. the Python API. And we of course anticipated the desire of people to make use of the shiny new display. We’ll see.

            You are wrong though that opening it detracts nothing. It sure does, because it means extra effort for maintenance to the point of limiting yourself in what you can do with your own code, because you break other peoples stuff. So it is a huge commitment, that can’t be taken lightheartedly. I’m not saying it can’t happen, but it certainly isn’t just a matter of “here, use that github repo”. Wish it were so.

          • 2020

            I would suggest for both Python API and display protocol that you shouldn’t feel limited in your coding beyond the point of some prudence. It’s after all a way of hacking Live that you generousely provide. People who voluntarily use it would simply follow and update their stuff accordingly. After all, APIs and SDKs get changed and updated all the time, with several deprecations and code breakage.

          • Mark Harris

            I don’t think its about ‘hacking Live’, its more about making hardware that you buy not being exclusively tied to Live… which it kind of already is (you can use it as a midi controller, you just cant access the display)
            but I think we all agree, we don’t want to tie Abletons hand, we want Push/Live as good as it can be, so hopefully this can be done in a ‘lightweight’ way, without too much commitment/resource overhead.

          • 2020

            Well put!

          • Mark Harris

            i completely understand (Im a developer too) the ‘maintenance’ side, and also potentially having to offer ‘backwards compatibility’ etc. I was more suggesting documenting whats there, as programmers we are used to things changing… so thats not a huge issue. but yeah I can see you need to ‘tread carefully’,
            perhaps ableton should ‘leak’ the info, so we don’t have to reverse engineer it, yet is not official 😉

        • Yep- I’d like to know where those icons live, for example.

  • Till

    Hey Peter, thanks for the article!
    I was wondering about MIDI integration? User mode? Use of the display in User mode?

    Also, AFAIK the 2nd pedal input (expression?) never worked on the Push1, is this fixed with the new one?

    • Darren E Cowley

      Use of the display is unavailable in Maxforlive…

      • I’m waiting for more clarification on access to the display, actually.

        User Mode would be a good follow-up.

        • Mark Harris

          Can you also ask if there is a ‘compatibility mode’ for the Push 1 sysex LCD, so we know if existing add-ons/apps will work.

          Ive already been looking at 9.5 executables and can see the Push2DisplayProcess which seems to send the graphics using QT/QML… but Id love to know if the Push2 is compatible in firmware with Push1.

          • Diez Roggisch

            Hi, Push2 developer here. The answer is unfortunately “no”. The device firmware relies on full frames being sent via USB. It’s not capable of any rendering.

          • Mark Harris

            that is a pity, means quite a lot of work to get add-ons working.
            so could you confirm the following:
            a) Push2 still acts as a USB midi class compliant for sending pads/encoders
            b) will the USB protocol be make available to third party/open source, so that others can develop for it.

            there has been quite a bit of 3rd party development for Push1 e.g. for other apps and daws, some of which are on linux or other platforms. its ‘a problem’ if the Push2 is unuseable outside Live.
            creates a dilema, do I trade in my Push1, or keep it alongside perhaps a push2 (I don’t really have space for both however!)

          • Diez Roggisch

            a) yes, that’s what it is doing.
            b) I’m not aware of any such plans. Technically speaking, it is a very simple protocol though, and it’s also not obfuscated to deter any attempts to reverse-engineer it.

            IANAL though – so yes, there is grains of salt in this offering if you plan on tweaking/developing for it.

          • Mark Harris

            Thanks for the info.
            perhaps you could mention ‘to the power that be’ that documenting the protocol in some form , could make the Push2 more attractive to many of us…
            sure, I use the Push mainly (80-90% ? ) with Live, but I do have other uses for it too, so would be a shame for the Push to be locked exclusively to Live.
            Surely, making it open detracts nothing from its awesome integration with Live… but adds to its general appeal.
            but then I’m not in Marketing 🙂

          • Diez Roggisch

            The powers are aware. We are debating this internally a lot (not Push2, that’s too new yet), but e.g. the Python API. And we of course anticipated the desire of people to make use of the shiny new display. We’ll see.

            You are wrong though that opening it detracts nothing. It sure does, because it means extra effort for maintenance to the point of limiting yourself in what you can do with your own code, because you break other peoples stuff. So it is a huge commitment, that can’t be taken lightheartedly. I’m not saying it can’t happen, but it certainly isn’t just a matter of “here, use that github repo”. Wish it were so.

          • 2020

            I would suggest for both Python API and display protocol that you shouldn’t feel limited in your coding beyond the point of some prudence. It’s after all a way of hacking Live that you generousely provide. People who voluntarily use it would simply follow and update their stuff accordingly. After all, APIs and SDKs get changed and updated all the time, with several deprecations and code breakage.

          • Mark Harris

            I don’t think its about ‘hacking Live’, its more about making hardware that you buy not being exclusively tied to Live… which it kind of already is (you can use it as a midi controller, you just cant access the display)
            but I think we all agree, we don’t want to tie Abletons hand, we want Push/Live as good as it can be, so hopefully this can be done in a ‘lightweight’ way, without too much commitment/resource overhead.

          • 2020

            Well put!

          • Mark Harris

            i completely understand (Im a developer too) the ‘maintenance’ side, and also potentially having to offer ‘backwards compatibility’ etc. I was more suggesting documenting whats there, as programmers we are used to things changing… so thats not a huge issue. but yeah I can see you need to ‘tread carefully’,
            perhaps ableton should ‘leak’ the info, so we don’t have to reverse engineer it, yet is not official 😉

            EDIT: btw, does the Push2 still light pads/buttons if you send the note on/off and CC messages as before?

        • Yep- I’d like to know where those icons live, for example.

  • Till

    Hey Peter, thanks for the article!
    I was wondering about MIDI integration? User mode? Use of the display in User mode?

    Also, AFAIK the 2nd pedal input (expression?) never worked on the Push1, is this fixed with the new one?

    • Darren E Cowley

      Use of the display is unavailable in Maxforlive…

      • I’m waiting for more clarification on access to the display, actually.

        User Mode would be a good follow-up.

        • Mark Harris

          Can you also ask if there is a ‘compatibility mode’ for the Push 1 sysex LCD, so we know if existing add-ons/apps will work.

          Ive already been looking at 9.5 executables and can see the Push2DisplayProcess which seems to send the graphics using QT/QML… but Id love to know if the Push2 is compatible in firmware with Push1.

          • Diez Roggisch

            Hi, Push2 developer here. The answer is unfortunately “no”. The device firmware relies on full frames being sent via USB. It’s not capable of any rendering.

          • Mark Harris

            that is a pity, means quite a lot of work to get add-ons working.
            so could you confirm the following:
            a) Push2 still acts as a USB midi class compliant for sending pads/encoders
            b) will the USB protocol be make available to third party/open source, so that others can develop for it.

            there has been quite a bit of 3rd party development for Push1 e.g. for other apps and daws, some of which are on linux or other platforms. its ‘a problem’ if the Push2 is unuseable outside Live.
            creates a dilema, do I trade in my Push1, or keep it alongside perhaps a push2 (I don’t really have space for both however!)

          • Diez Roggisch

            a) yes, that’s what it is doing.
            b) I’m not aware of any such plans. Technically speaking, it is a very simple protocol though, and it’s also not obfuscated to deter any attempts to reverse-engineer it.

            IANAL though – so yes, there is grains of salt in this offering if you plan on tweaking/developing for it.

          • Mark Harris

            Thanks for the info.
            perhaps you could mention ‘to the power that be’ that documenting the protocol in some form , could make the Push2 more attractive to many of us…
            sure, I use the Push mainly (80-90% ? ) with Live, but I do have other uses for it too, so would be a shame for the Push to be locked exclusively to Live.
            Surely, making it open detracts nothing from its awesome integration with Live… but adds to its general appeal.
            but then I’m not in Marketing 🙂

          • Diez Roggisch

            The powers are aware. We are debating this internally a lot (not Push2, that’s too new yet), but e.g. the Python API. And we of course anticipated the desire of people to make use of the shiny new display. We’ll see.

            You are wrong though that opening it detracts nothing. It sure does, because it means extra effort for maintenance to the point of limiting yourself in what you can do with your own code, because you break other peoples stuff. So it is a huge commitment, that can’t be taken lightheartedly. I’m not saying it can’t happen, but it certainly isn’t just a matter of “here, use that github repo”. Wish it were so.

          • 2020

            I would suggest for both Python API and display protocol that you shouldn’t feel limited in your coding beyond the point of some prudence. It’s after all a way of hacking Live that you generousely provide. People who voluntarily use it would simply follow and update their stuff accordingly. After all, APIs and SDKs get changed and updated all the time, with several deprecations and code breakage.

          • Mark Harris

            I don’t think its about ‘hacking Live’, its more about making hardware that you buy not being exclusively tied to Live… which it kind of already is (you can use it as a midi controller, you just cant access the display)
            but I think we all agree, we don’t want to tie Abletons hand, we want Push/Live as good as it can be, so hopefully this can be done in a ‘lightweight’ way, without too much commitment/resource overhead.

          • 2020

            Well put!

          • Mark Harris

            i completely understand (Im a developer too) the ‘maintenance’ side, and also potentially having to offer ‘backwards compatibility’ etc. I was more suggesting documenting whats there, as programmers we are used to things changing… so thats not a huge issue. but yeah I can see you need to ‘tread carefully’,
            perhaps ableton should ‘leak’ the info, so we don’t have to reverse engineer it, yet is not official 😉

            EDIT: btw, does the Push2 still light pads/buttons if you send the note on/off and CC messages as before?

        • Yep- I’d like to know where those icons live, for example.

  • Paul McConn

    “You’re buying an instrument, not a paperweight.”

    Indeed. get back to me in 5 years about that. Or, gosh, push 1 has only been around for 2.5, so tell me where your push 2 is, please, after they put out the 3 circa 2018.

    • Freeks

      Good point! Push will be paperweight one day. We can’t say how many years it will take, but it’s gonna happen. And then it IS paperweight and not instrument 😀

      That said, Machine 1 is 6 years old and still gets love from NI. Not sure how long tough…

    • foljs

      Conflating usability and permanence.

      That it’s an instrument not a paperweight doesn’t mean it also has to be FOR life.

      You’re not buying a Stradivarious or a Fender. You’re buying a disposable digital controller.

      But what he means is that it’s a controller that you’d be playing and writing with, before you outgrow it or it gets superceded by a new model in a couple or years or more. After all the same thing happens with everybody’s laptops and phones — and they are nothing like paperweights, they get used constantly until they get replaced.

      The contrast is with some fancy controller that might look good on paper but is relegated to a paperweight from the first week or so…

      • Charles

        I think what he actually meant was that people were more interested in the functionality than the dimensions and weight. Paul is reading more into the segue than was intended.

  • Paul McConn

    “You’re buying an instrument, not a paperweight.”

    Indeed. get back to me in 5 years about that. Or, gosh, push 1 has only been around for 2.5, so tell me where your push 2 is, please, after they put out the 3 circa 2018.

    • Freeks

      Good point! Push will be paperweight one day. We can’t say how many years it will take, but it’s gonna happen. And then it IS paperweight and not instrument 😀

      That said, Machine 1 is 6 years old and still gets love from NI. Not sure how long tough…

      • Fayek Helmi

        perhaps someone could eventually create a hardware synth that can accept the push as its control surface and grant it a new life… you can already, somewhat tricky, tlak to usb midi with arduino an the like using a usb host board. something like the raspberry pi or the new board on kickstarter called the PINE A64 (which is a beast compared to the rPi) for 15$-30$ already can accept usb and act as a usb host. someone could perhaps tkae one of those boards and program a synth or a sequencer and make that along with a push controller a standalone device!
        Heck making a push interface standalone sequencer could possibly beat someting like the beatstep pro…

    • foljs

      Conflating usability and permanence.

      That it’s an instrument not a paperweight doesn’t mean it also has to be FOR life.

      You’re not buying a Stradivarious or a Fender. You’re buying a disposable digital controller.

      But what he means is that it’s a controller that you’d be playing and writing with, before you outgrow it or it gets superceded by a new model in a couple or years or more. After all the same thing happens with everybody’s laptops and phones — and they are nothing like paperweights, they get used constantly until they get replaced.

      The contrast is with some fancy controller that might look good on paper but is relegated to a paperweight from the first week or so…

      • Charles

        I think what he actually meant was that people were more interested in the functionality than the dimensions and weight. Paul is reading more into the segue than was intended.

  • Paul McConn

    “You’re buying an instrument, not a paperweight.”

    Indeed. get back to me in 5 years about that. Or, gosh, push 1 has only been around for 2.5, so tell me where your push 2 is, please, after they put out the 3 circa 2018.

    • Freeks

      Good point! Push will be paperweight one day. We can’t say how many years it will take, but it’s gonna happen. And then it IS paperweight and not instrument 😀

      That said, Machine 1 is 6 years old and still gets love from NI. Not sure how long tough…

      • Fayek Helmi

        perhaps someone could eventually create a hardware synth that can accept the push as its control surface and grant it a new life… you can already, somewhat tricky, tlak to usb midi with arduino an the like using a usb host board. something like the raspberry pi or the new board on kickstarter called the PINE A64 (which is a beast compared to the rPi) for 15$-30$ already can accept usb and act as a usb host. someone could perhaps tkae one of those boards and program a synth or a sequencer and make that along with a push controller a standalone device!
        Heck making a push interface standalone sequencer could possibly beat someting like the beatstep pro…

    • foljs

      Conflating usability and permanence.

      That it’s an instrument not a paperweight doesn’t mean it also has to be FOR life.

      You’re not buying a Stradivarious or a Fender. You’re buying a disposable digital controller.

      But what he means is that it’s a controller that you’d be playing and writing with, before you outgrow it or it gets superceded by a new model in a couple or years or more. After all the same thing happens with everybody’s laptops and phones — and they are nothing like paperweights, they get used constantly until they get replaced.

      The contrast is with some fancy controller that might look good on paper but is relegated to a paperweight from the first week or so…

      • Charles

        I think what he actually meant was that people were more interested in the functionality than the dimensions and weight. Paul is reading more into the segue than was intended.

  • Leo Der Stepanians

    Great writeup!

    “My brain just gets kind of dumb when I’m in the musical flow.” I don’t think you’re the only one. Having studied complexity and user interfaces (for HW musical instruments, actually), I’ve come to the conclusion that there is only so much mental bandwidth that most people can dedicate to a task. Since music-making tends to be a complex task, people end up diverting all their bandwidth to that task and even small complexities in the user interface become big issues as they exceed cognitive load limits. I believe that’s why the “dumbness” sets in. It’s also why good layout, clear labeling, and efficient workflows just “feel” so good when using a musical instrument.

    I’ll be the first to admit that “great workflow” isn’t exactly the sexiest/most attractive selling point (not as much as a shiny new feature or exotic physical materials) but I would argue is the most important feature of all in a musical instrument.

    • Jacob Stadtfeld

      Without question, the most important. Good work comes from a good workflow. Sure, great results can sometimes overcome the learning curve of terrible interface designs, to hich the DX7 is a testament, but I feel like this could be one of the best products available in terms of putting ideas down quickly.

  • Leo Der Stepanians

    Great writeup!

    “My brain just gets kind of dumb when I’m in the musical flow.” I don’t think you’re the only one. Having studied complexity and user interfaces (for HW musical instruments, actually), I’ve come to the conclusion that there is only so much mental bandwidth that most people can dedicate to a task. Since music-making tends to be a complex task, people end up diverting all their bandwidth to that task and even small complexities in the user interface become big issues as they exceed cognitive load limits. I believe that’s why the “dumbness” sets in. It’s also why good layout, clear labeling, and efficient workflows just “feel” so good when using a musical instrument.

    I’ll be the first to admit that “great workflow” isn’t exactly the sexiest/most attractive selling point (not as much as a shiny new feature or exotic physical materials) but I would argue is the most important feature of all in a musical instrument.

    • Jacob Stadtfeld

      Without question, the most important. Good work comes from a good workflow. Sure, great results can sometimes overcome the learning curve of terrible interface designs, to hich the DX7 is a testament, but I feel like this could be one of the best products available in terms of putting ideas down quickly.

  • Leo Der Stepanians

    Great writeup!

    “My brain just gets kind of dumb when I’m in the musical flow.” I don’t think you’re the only one. Having studied complexity and user interfaces (for HW musical instruments, actually), I’ve come to the conclusion that there is only so much mental bandwidth that most people can dedicate to a task. Since music-making tends to be a complex task, people end up diverting all their bandwidth to that task and even small complexities in the user interface become big issues as they exceed cognitive load limits. I believe that’s why the “dumbness” sets in. It’s also why good layout, clear labeling, and efficient workflows just “feel” so good when using a musical instrument.

    I’ll be the first to admit that “great workflow” isn’t exactly the sexiest/most attractive selling point (not as much as a shiny new feature or exotic physical materials) but I would argue is the most important feature of all in a musical instrument.

    • Jacob Stadtfeld

      Without question, the most important. Good work comes from a good workflow. Sure, great results can sometimes overcome the learning curve of terrible interface designs, to hich the DX7 is a testament, but I feel like this could be one of the best products available in terms of putting ideas down quickly.

  • The big win for me is much better access to device parameters – the Push 2 really does feel like a dedicated synth, for each and every synth. But do me a favour, Peter, and measure the Push 1 and Push 2, because unless I can’t operate a tape measure properly, the P2 is bigger.

    • Mike Metlay

      How much bigger?

      • Charles

        I had to dig a little, as the Push 1 has mostly disappeared from ableton.com (like the link to their now-hidden user forums), but the Push 2 is bigger:

        8 mm wider
        11 mm taller

        OTOH the encoders are 4mm shorter (the body is the exact same depth) and it is 288g lighter than the original. I’m a little annoyed as I just recently bought a case for my Push and tore out the foam to fit it exactly; the Push 2 might be a little too big for the case, as it’s already pretty snug.

        • Well, I did flag this in my review… Which of course you can’t read yet. The case is the same height but sits much lower (on shallow pads, not adhesive feet).

          • Charles

            Ah, so does that mean the encoders are the same, as those 4mm were shaved from the feet? That’s good if so.

          • They aren’t the same design – they don’t have the flanges, for a start – but as I recall they’re pretty much the same height.

  • The big win for me is much better access to device parameters – the Push 2 really does feel like a dedicated synth, for each and every synth. But do me a favour, Peter, and measure the Push 1 and Push 2, because unless I can’t operate a tape measure properly, the P2 is bigger.

    • Mike Metlay

      How much bigger?

      • Charles

        I had to dig a little, as the Push 1 has mostly disappeared from ableton.com (like the link to their now-hidden user forums), but the Push 2 is bigger:

        8 mm wider
        11 mm taller

        OTOH the encoders are 4mm shorter (the body is the exact same depth) and it is 288g lighter than the original. I’m a little annoyed as I just recently bought a case for my Push and tore out the foam to fit it exactly; the Push 2 might be a little too big for the case, as it’s already pretty snug.

        • Well, I did flag this in my review… Which of course you can’t read yet. The case is the same height but sits much lower (on shallow pads, not adhesive feet).

          • Charles

            Ah, so does that mean the encoders are the same, as those 4mm were shaved from the feet? That’s good if so.

          • They aren’t the same design – they don’t have the flanges, for a start – but as I recall they’re pretty much the same height.

  • The big win for me is much better access to device parameters – the Push 2 really does feel like a dedicated synth, for each and every synth. But do me a favour, Peter, and measure the Push 1 and Push 2, because unless I can’t operate a tape measure properly, the P2 is bigger.

    • Mike Metlay

      How much bigger?

      • Charles

        I had to dig a little, as the Push 1 has mostly disappeared from ableton.com (like the link to their now-hidden user forums), but the Push 2 is bigger:

        8 mm wider
        11 mm taller

        OTOH the encoders are 4mm shorter (the body is the exact same depth) and it is 288g lighter than the original. I’m a little annoyed as I just recently bought a case for my Push and tore out the foam to fit it exactly; the Push 2 might be a little too big for the case, as it’s already pretty snug.

        • Well, I did flag this in my review… Which of course you can’t read yet. The case is the same height but sits much lower (on shallow pads, not adhesive feet).

          • Charles

            Ah, so does that mean the encoders are the same, as those 4mm were shaved from the feet? That’s good if so.

          • They aren’t the same design – they don’t have the flanges, for a start – but as I recall they’re pretty much the same height.

  • Mark Harris

    im a bit confused..
    you say “The Push 2 also lacks MIDI, as found on Novation’s Launchpad Pro. On the other hand, Push doesn’t work standalone”
    yet also “Push might not be for you if you want a controller that works well with software other than Ableton Live. It is actually a MIDI controller, meaning you can use it with other software”

    so does it still appear as a midi device?
    also does it have any ‘compatibility mode’ e.g. some applications (Numerology/Bitwig) drive the Push LCD using midi sysex, is this still going to work? Im thinking an emulation of the Push 1. if not perhaps the Push 2 is not going to be quite as ‘flexible’ outside of Ableton Live.

    • Darren E Cowley

      The Push LCD isn’t sighs, it’s it’s own language that Ableton developed, i can’t see it being opened up anytime soon, of course i would love to eat my words!

      • Mark Harris

        Ive looked at the display process in Live 9.5, its using QML… so I suspect we may be able to use it… but need more details etc.
        (Im going to decompile remote scripts later to see if I can get more details)

        • Darren E Cowley

          Yep thats as far as we got as well… Then hit roadblocks…

        • Lee Huddleston

          Its not remote script based – there’s a separate child process that runs and talks over USB to the push and IPC to Live…

          • Mark Harris

            Yes Push2DisplayProcess , and it’s this process that has the QML. what I’ve not had a chance to look at is the Live side, the so called ‘real time channel’.
            However now I’ve now decided probably looking at the USB protocol is the best way forward for me. … When my Push 2 arrives 🙂

          • Lee Huddleston

            The problem here is that the USB device can only be opened once – once Live has it, nothing else can grab it

          • Mark Harris

            Yes, I meant for my needs (non-live use) the USB direct route is the most appropriate.
            I suspect for Live ‘user mode’ add-ons your going to have to go via the Push2DisplayProcess via the realtime channel, but that begs the question how much is possible via that process beyond what is required by Ableton for its needs. I suspect it will be a bit limiting.
            anyway, my Push2 is supposed to be delivered tomorrow, so hopefully can dig in a bit.
            … lets also hope the Ableton see a use-case for opening this up, will make life much easier!

          • Lee Huddleston

            yeah, non-Live is fine… Live use if going to be tricky as you say without replacing the process they provide… I’m guessing it just takes a data feed from Live, does the QML render and then formats it usb – if it took a rendered stream then would be much easier, but i can’t see why they’d render in the main process

          • Lee Huddleston
        • Jonathan Liu
    • I think the comment about it vs. the Launchpad Pro was regarding its lack of hardware MIDI ports. It sounds like it works as a standard USB-MIDI device if you really want it to.

  • Mark Harris

    im a bit confused..
    you say “The Push 2 also lacks MIDI, as found on Novation’s Launchpad Pro. On the other hand, Push doesn’t work standalone”
    yet also “Push might not be for you if you want a controller that works well with software other than Ableton Live. It is actually a MIDI controller, meaning you can use it with other software”

    so does it still appear as a midi device?
    also does it have any ‘compatibility mode’ e.g. some applications (Numerology/Bitwig) drive the Push LCD using midi sysex, is this still going to work? Im thinking an emulation of the Push 1. if not perhaps the Push 2 is not going to be quite as ‘flexible’ outside of Ableton Live.

    • Darren E Cowley

      The Push LCD isn’t sighs, it’s it’s own language that Ableton developed, i can’t see it being opened up anytime soon, of course i would love to eat my words!

      • Mark Harris

        Ive looked at the display process in Live 9.5, its using QML… so I suspect we may be able to use it… but need more details etc.
        (Im going to decompile remote scripts later to see if I can get more details)

        • Darren E Cowley

          Yep thats as far as we got as well… Then hit roadblocks…

        • Lee Huddleston

          Its not remote script based – there’s a separate child process that runs and talks over USB to the push and IPC to Live…

          • Mark Harris

            Yes Push2DisplayProcess , and it’s this process that has the QML. what I’ve not had a chance to look at is the Live side, the so called ‘real time channel’.
            However now I’ve now decided probably looking at the USB protocol is the best way forward for me. … When my Push 2 arrives 🙂

          • Lee Huddleston

            The problem here is that the USB device can only be opened once – once Live has it, nothing else can grab it

          • Mark Harris

            Yes, I meant for my needs (non-live use) the USB direct route is the most appropriate.
            I suspect for Live ‘user mode’ add-ons your going to have to go via the Push2DisplayProcess via the realtime channel, but that begs the question how much is possible via that process beyond what is required by Ableton for its needs. I suspect it will be a bit limiting.
            anyway, my Push2 is supposed to be delivered tomorrow, so hopefully can dig in a bit.
            … lets also hope the Ableton see a use-case for opening this up, will make life much easier!

          • Lee Huddleston

            yeah, non-Live is fine… Live use if going to be tricky as you say without replacing the process they provide… I’m guessing it just takes a data feed from Live, does the QML render and then formats it usb – if it took a rendered stream then would be much easier, but i can’t see why they’d render in the main process

          • Lee Huddleston
        • Jonathan Liu
    • I think the comment about it vs. the Launchpad Pro was regarding its lack of hardware MIDI ports. It sounds like it works as a standard USB-MIDI device if you really want it to.

  • Mark Harris

    im a bit confused..
    you say “The Push 2 also lacks MIDI, as found on Novation’s Launchpad Pro. On the other hand, Push doesn’t work standalone”
    yet also “Push might not be for you if you want a controller that works well with software other than Ableton Live. It is actually a MIDI controller, meaning you can use it with other software”

    so does it still appear as a midi device?
    also does it have any ‘compatibility mode’ e.g. some applications (Numerology/Bitwig) drive the Push LCD using midi sysex, is this still going to work? Im thinking an emulation of the Push 1. if not perhaps the Push 2 is not going to be quite as ‘flexible’ outside of Ableton Live.

    • Darren E Cowley

      The Push LCD isn’t sighs, it’s it’s own language that Ableton developed, i can’t see it being opened up anytime soon, of course i would love to eat my words!

      • Mark Harris

        Ive looked at the display process in Live 9.5, its using QML… so I suspect we may be able to use it… but need more details etc.
        (Im going to decompile remote scripts later to see if I can get more details)

        • Darren E Cowley

          Yep thats as far as we got as well… Then hit roadblocks…

        • Lee Huddleston

          Its not remote script based – there’s a separate child process that runs and talks over USB to the push and IPC to Live…

          • Mark Harris

            Yes Push2DisplayProcess , and it’s this process that has the QML. what I’ve not had a chance to look at is the Live side, the so called ‘real time channel’.
            However now I’ve now decided probably looking at the USB protocol is the best way forward for me. … When my Push 2 arrives 🙂

          • Lee Huddleston

            The problem here is that the USB device can only be opened once – once Live has it, nothing else can grab it

          • Mark Harris

            Yes, I meant for my needs (non-live use) the USB direct route is the most appropriate.
            I suspect for Live ‘user mode’ add-ons your going to have to go via the Push2DisplayProcess via the realtime channel, but that begs the question how much is possible via that process beyond what is required by Ableton for its needs. I suspect it will be a bit limiting.
            anyway, my Push2 is supposed to be delivered tomorrow, so hopefully can dig in a bit.
            … lets also hope the Ableton see a use-case for opening this up, will make life much easier!

          • Lee Huddleston

            yeah, non-Live is fine… Live use if going to be tricky as you say without replacing the process they provide… I’m guessing it just takes a data feed from Live, does the QML render and then formats it usb – if it took a rendered stream then would be much easier, but i can’t see why they’d render in the main process

          • Lee Huddleston
        • Jonathan Liu
    • I think the comment about it vs. the Launchpad Pro was regarding its lack of hardware MIDI ports. It sounds like it works as a standard USB-MIDI device if you really want it to.

  • 2020

    What about the encoders? Are these higher resolution than on Push 1 (128 steps)?

    • Diez Roggisch

      Technically, yes, they have higher resolution in terms of steps/revolution and sample-rate. BUT the MIDI-format does not allow for note messages to have more than 128 steps. So that’s what they deliver.

      • 2020

        Right (although one could use sysex or RPN/NRPN to send higher resolution). If I may rephrase the question: If I’m controlling the cutoff value of Autofilter for example using a Push 2 encoder, is the whole frequency range then divided into 128 steps, or is Push 2 sending the higher resolution encoder value using something other than midi, making for a smoother transition?

        • Diez Roggisch

          You could use SYEX, but then you would layer your own protocol on top of an already quite limited standard. And lose compatibility with the rest of the world.

          Push2 does nothing special. I’m not sitting in front of my dev machine & thus can’t verify 100% – but the MIDI messages flow without interception into the engine (for low lancency), and there is no additional protocol AFAIK. So – no. Will double check tomorrow.

          • 2020

            But, and apologies if I’m pushing this too hard, Push only needs to communicate with live (at least that’s the intention and anyone hacking wouldn’t mind using sysex).

            Anyhow, thanks for checking! It would be nice if Push had the higher encoder resolution. There aren’t many around and it would make for a great selling point I think.

          • Diez Roggisch

            The status quo is MIDI, and 99.9% likelihood for no higher encoder resolution. So – there is a limit to your pushing 😉

            And there is only so many battles you can pick when developing a product. Especially in conjunction with an existing one. Live and it’s engine have all the infrastructure in place to deal with MIDI-controllers. Developing a completely new one would add months to the product development time.

            So juggling all the desires and constraints, this is what was decided. It will always disappoint some people. You need to be the judge if what we offer is nonetheless worth your money.

          • 2020

            It doesn’t have to be SysEx though. It could be RPN/NRPN or increment/decrement CCs. I’m not sure, but I think the latter is how it’s done now. If so, you would “just” have to send these more frequently and treat them as you do with the finer resolution mode that’s already in place. On the other hand, I really do get what you’re saying about picking your battles and additional development time.

            Push 2 looks amazing and I’ll most probably get one. I could always use the finer resolution mode/parameter smoothing. And if there aren’t any physical constraints to the encoder resolution (e.g. 8-bit ADCs), there’s still a chance this gets implemented in a firmware update further down the line.

          • Diez Roggisch

            As promised, I took a look today: you already suggest the solution, it’s incremental CCs, and that is in fact used. Already with Push1, and apparently a lot of other controllers. Push2 encoder resolution is 210/turn, and e.g. AutoFilter by default takes 256 steps for it’s frequency range. But you can press shift & increase this 100fold. Thus needing 25600 steps, aka 120 turns to cover the full range. That should be enough, and keep you busy for a minute 😉

          • Diez Roggisch

            And as an additional info: the 210 steps are an increase of 80 over P1.

          • 2020

            Cool. Thanks Diez!

    • EvanBogunia

      To be fair, the encoders are simply sending increment/decrement messages. The resolution is really up to the implementation.

      • 2020

        Thanks for sharing Evan. I suspected as much.

    • James

      I think I understand what you’re asking: are they 14-bit?

      • 2020

        Not necessarily. Even a 10-bit resolution would be 8 times better (1024 steps per rotation). 10 bits because that’s what you can resonably expect from commercially viable 12-bit ADCs (1-2 bit jitter). The midi implementation could encode the 10-bit value as a 14-bit (N)RPN value, with the 4 least signifcant bits zeroed (note that the accuracy would still be 10 bits.)

  • 2020

    What about the encoders? Are these higher resolution than on Push 1 (128 steps)?

    • Diez Roggisch

      Technically, yes, they have higher resolution in terms of steps/revolution and sample-rate. BUT the MIDI-format does not allow for note messages to have more than 128 steps. So that’s what they deliver.

      • 2020

        Right (although one could use sysex or RPN/NRPN to send higher resolution). If I may rephrase the question: If I’m controlling the cutoff value of Autofilter for example using a Push 2 encoder, is the whole frequency range then divided into 128 steps, or is Push 2 sending the higher resolution encoder value using something other than midi, making for a smoother transition?

        • Diez Roggisch

          You could use SYEX, but then you would layer your own protocol on top of an already quite limited standard. And lose compatibility with the rest of the world.

          Push2 does nothing special. I’m not sitting in front of my dev machine & thus can’t verify 100% – but the MIDI messages flow without interception into the engine (for low lancency), and there is no additional protocol AFAIK. So – no. Will double check tomorrow.

          • 2020

            But, and apologies if I’m pushing this too hard, Push only needs to communicate with live (at least that’s the intention and anyone hacking wouldn’t mind using sysex).

            Anyhow, thanks for checking! It would be nice if Push had the higher encoder resolution. There aren’t many around and it would make for a great selling point I think.

          • Diez Roggisch

            The status quo is MIDI, and 99.9% likelihood for no higher encoder resolution. So – there is a limit to your pushing 😉

            And there is only so many battles you can pick when developing a product. Especially in conjunction with an existing one. Live and it’s engine have all the infrastructure in place to deal with MIDI-controllers. Developing a completely new one would add months to the product development time.

            So juggling all the desires and constraints, this is what was decided. It will always disappoint some people. You need to be the judge if what we offer is nonetheless worth your money.

            [EDIT] SysEx btw is not the one system to heal it all. The reason being that especially under windows (up until 7, not sure about 8 and 10) there are severe limits to what you can do with it. Just this morning at standup, we had to advise a colleague working on partner support that he has to throttle the sysex *just for setup* of a device. Not high-bandwidth control messages. So – nope. Not really an option.

          • 2020

            It doesn’t have to be SysEx though. It could be RPN/NRPN or increment/decrement CCs. I’m not sure, but I think the latter is how it’s done now. If so, you would “just” have to send these more frequently and treat them as you do with the finer resolution mode that’s already in place. On the other hand, I really do get what you’re saying about picking your battles and additional development time.

            Push 2 looks amazing and I’ll most probably get one. I could always use the finer resolution mode/parameter smoothing. And if there aren’t any physical constraints to the encoder resolution (e.g. 8-bit ADCs), there’s still a chance this gets implemented in a firmware update further down the line.

          • Diez Roggisch

            As promised, I took a look today: you already suggest the solution, it’s incremental CCs, and that is in fact used. Already with Push1, and apparently a lot of other controllers. Push2 encoder resolution is 210/turn, and e.g. AutoFilter by default takes 256 steps for it’s frequency range. But you can press shift & increase this 100fold. Thus needing 25600 steps, aka 120 turns to cover the full range. That should be enough, and keep you busy for a minute 😉

          • Diez Roggisch

            And as an additional info: the 210 steps are an increase of 80 over P1.

          • 2020

            Cool. Thanks Diez!

    • EvanBogunia

      To be fair, the encoders are simply sending increment/decrement messages. The resolution is really up to the implementation.

      • 2020

        Thanks for sharing Evan. I suspected as much.

    • James

      I think I get what you’re asking: are they 14-bit? Not sure why the previous replies found it hard to relate to your question.

      • 2020

        Not necessarily. Even a 10-bit resolution would be 8 times better (1024 steps per rotation). 10 bits because that’s what you can resonably expect from commercially viable 12-bit ADCs (1-2 bit jitter). The midi implementation could encode the 10-bit value as a 14-bit (N)RPN value, with the 4 least signifcant bits zeroed (note that the accuracy would still be 10 bits.)

  • 2020

    What about the encoders? Are these higher resolution than on Push 1 (128 steps)?

    • Diez Roggisch

      Technically, yes, they have higher resolution in terms of steps/revolution and sample-rate. BUT the MIDI-format does not allow for note messages to have more than 128 steps. So that’s what they deliver.

      • 2020

        Right (although one could use sysex or RPN/NRPN to send higher resolution). If I may rephrase the question: If I’m controlling the cutoff value of Autofilter for example using a Push 2 encoder, is the whole frequency range then divided into 128 steps, or is Push 2 sending the higher resolution encoder value using something other than midi, making for a smoother transition?

        • Diez Roggisch

          You could use SYEX, but then you would layer your own protocol on top of an already quite limited standard. And lose compatibility with the rest of the world.

          Push2 does nothing special. I’m not sitting in front of my dev machine & thus can’t verify 100% – but the MIDI messages flow without interception into the engine (for low lancency), and there is no additional protocol AFAIK. So – no. Will double check tomorrow.

          • 2020

            But, and apologies if I’m pushing this too hard, Push only needs to communicate with live (at least that’s the intention and anyone hacking wouldn’t mind using sysex).

            Anyhow, thanks for checking! It would be nice if Push had the higher encoder resolution. There aren’t many around and it would make for a great selling point I think.

          • Diez Roggisch

            The status quo is MIDI, and 99.9% likelihood for no higher encoder resolution. So – there is a limit to your pushing 😉

            And there is only so many battles you can pick when developing a product. Especially in conjunction with an existing one. Live and it’s engine have all the infrastructure in place to deal with MIDI-controllers. Developing a completely new one would add months to the product development time.

            So juggling all the desires and constraints, this is what was decided. It will always disappoint some people. You need to be the judge if what we offer is nonetheless worth your money.

            [EDIT] SysEx btw is not the one system to heal it all. The reason being that especially under windows (up until 7, not sure about 8 and 10) there are severe limits to what you can do with it. Just this morning at standup, we had to advise a colleague working on partner support that he has to throttle the sysex *just for setup* of a device. Not high-bandwidth control messages. So – nope. Not really an option.

          • 2020

            It doesn’t have to be SysEx though. It could be RPN/NRPN or increment/decrement CCs. I’m not sure, but I think the latter is how it’s done now. If so, you would “just” have to send these more frequently and treat them as you do with the finer resolution mode that’s already in place. On the other hand, I really do get what you’re saying about picking your battles and additional development time.

            Push 2 looks amazing and I’ll most probably get one. I could always use the finer resolution mode/parameter smoothing. And if there aren’t any physical constraints to the encoder resolution (e.g. 8-bit ADCs), there’s still a chance this gets implemented in a firmware update further down the line.

          • Diez Roggisch

            As promised, I took a look today: you already suggest the solution, it’s incremental CCs, and that is in fact used. Already with Push1, and apparently a lot of other controllers. Push2 encoder resolution is 210/turn, and e.g. AutoFilter by default takes 256 steps for it’s frequency range. But you can press shift & increase this 100fold. Thus needing 25600 steps, aka 120 turns to cover the full range. That should be enough, and keep you busy for a minute 😉

          • Diez Roggisch

            And as an additional info: the 210 steps are an increase of 80 over P1.

          • 2020

            Cool. Thanks Diez!

    • EvanBogunia

      To be fair, the encoders are simply sending increment/decrement messages. The resolution is really up to the implementation.

      • 2020

        Thanks for sharing Evan. I suspected as much.

    • James

      I think I get what you’re asking: are they 14-bit? Not sure why the previous replies found it hard to relate to your question.

      • 2020

        Not necessarily. Even a 10-bit resolution would be 8 times better (1024 steps per rotation). 10 bits because that’s what you can resonably expect from commercially viable 12-bit ADCs (1-2 bit jitter). The midi implementation could encode the 10-bit value as a 14-bit (N)RPN value, with the 4 least signifcant bits zeroed (note that the accuracy would still be 10 bits.)

  • heinrichz

    Great improvements and review Peter ! With controllers the touch and feel of the hardware is of the essence. I always said that the initial Push’s hardware was flawed because of its rubbery, unprecise buttons, while the pad were ok but too hard and i also had very similar experiences in the workflow that made m grab the mouse first…so i’m really happy to hear that all of this has been fixed as i certainly liked the basic design and layout of this controller. Yes will happily use it alongside Maschine now..
    Congratulations Ableton !

  • heinrichz

    Great improvements and review Peter ! With controllers the touch and feel of the hardware is of the essence. I always said that the initial Push’s hardware was flawed because of its rubbery, unprecise buttons, while the pad were ok but too hard and i also had very similar experiences in the workflow that made m grab the mouse first…so i’m really happy to hear that all of this has been fixed as i certainly liked the basic design and layout of this controller. Yes will happily use it alongside Maschine now..
    Congratulations Ableton !

  • heinrichz

    Great improvements and review Peter ! With controllers the touch and feel of the hardware is of the essence. I always said that the initial Push’s hardware was flawed because of its rubbery, unprecise buttons, while the pad were ok but too hard and i also had very similar experiences in the workflow that made m grab the mouse first…so i’m really happy to hear that all of this has been fixed as i certainly liked the basic design and layout of this controller. Yes will happily use it alongside Maschine now..
    Congratulations Ableton !

  • chaircrusher

    So I’ve been running 9.2 betas through several iterations.

    Are we starting over with a new set of bugs?

    Seriously though, glad this is a free update.

  • chaircrusher

    So I’ve been running 9.2 betas through several iterations.

    Are we starting over with a new set of bugs?

    Seriously though, glad this is a free update.

  • chaircrusher

    So I’ve been running 9.2 betas through several iterations.

    Are we starting over with a new set of bugs?

    Seriously though, glad this is a free update.

  • James

    Holy Frittatas! Gorgeous. Meters on display with VU option. Might not need that mixer after all.

    Okay, too excited to read the full text, but searched for the word “Tap”:
    Sandwiching the critique: Could you use your clout, Pete, to see if they can ship with a larger tap tempo button? There’s no reason why something that would be exclusively hit (not slid up to nor caressed nor pressed) needs to be such a small target. I do love having the empty space around that one button so I can work out triplets and other divisions before moving my hand over the tap button, but it seemed to me that this could be a larger pad.

    Gladly passing my Push onto an educational program-could be an ideal place to volunteer, even.

  • James

    Holy Frittatas! Gorgeous. Meters on display with VU option. Might not need that mixer after all. Okay, too excited to read the full text, but searched article for the word “Tap”. Now for the note:

    Could you use your clout, Pete, to see if they can ship with a larger tap tempo button? (I’ll also ask during the user group event.) Not to mention that it butts up to the metronome. It’d be nice if there was open space beside it. There’s no reason why something that is exclusively hit, not slid up to nor caressed nor pressed nor clicked, needs to be such a small target. I do love having the empty space around that one button so I can work out tuplets and other divisions before moving my hand over the tap button, so it seems to me that this could be a larger pad and still have room beside it. Instead, it’s precariously sharing a row with the metronome, which is bound to be hit unintentionally.

    Alternatively, if it’s too wiggy to implement, maybe a modifier held for the “kick” pad-or even the complete square of directional pads-could momentarily serve as the tap tempo? That’s the size of target I’m thinking of.

    Gladly passing my Push onto an educational program-would be an ideal place to volunteer, even. Might be nice if they listed their public affiliations or if we could have some say regarding our local charities.

  • James

    Holy Frittatas! Gorgeous. Meters on display with VU option. Might not need that mixer after all. Okay, too excited to read the full text, but searched article for the word “Tap”. Now for the note:

    Could you use your clout, Pete, to see if they can ship with a larger tap tempo button? (I’ll also ask during the user group event.) Not to mention that it butts up to the metronome. It’d be nice if there was open space beside it. There’s no reason why something that is exclusively hit, not slid up to nor caressed nor pressed nor clicked, needs to be such a small target. I do love having the empty space around that one button so I can work out tuplets and other divisions before moving my hand over the tap button, so it seems to me that this could be a larger pad and still have room beside it. Instead, it’s precariously sharing a row with the metronome, which is bound to be hit unintentionally.

    Alternatively, if it’s too wiggy to implement, maybe a modifier held for the “kick” pad-or even the complete square of directional pads-could momentarily serve as the tap tempo? That’s the size of target I’m thinking of.

    Gladly passing my Push onto an educational program-would be an ideal place to volunteer, even. Might be nice if they listed their public affiliations or if we could have some say regarding our local charities.

  • enomis

    If it had CV outputs a la Arturia Beat Step Pro then we’d be talking… 🙂

    • Benjamen Dorrell

      It’ll be a lot more expensive.. But with Expert Sleepers silent way and the fact that they properly support vst… This will indeed do that… And in a much more robust fashion.

    • James

      aren’t there M4L devices that can do this through your audio interface? I’ll post a couple if I can find them…

  • enomis

    If it had CV outputs a la Arturia Beat Step Pro then we’d be talking… 🙂

    • Benjamen Dorrell

      It’ll be a lot more expensive.. But with Expert Sleepers silent way and the fact that they properly support vst… This will indeed do that… And in a much more robust fashion.

    • James

      aren’t there M4L devices that can do this through your audio interface? I’ll post a couple if I can find them…

  • enomis

    If it had CV outputs a la Arturia Beat Step Pro then we’d be talking… 🙂

    • Benjamen Dorrell

      It’ll be a lot more expensive.. But with Expert Sleepers silent way and the fact that they properly support vst… This will indeed do that… And in a much more robust fashion.

    • James

      aren’t there M4L devices that can do this through your audio interface? I’ll post a couple if I can find them…

  • Hi Peter. Thanks for the detailed write-up. Most excellent. I was looking at Push 2 specs and I don’t see any specific reference to that the pad’s respond to pressure as on Push 1. You mentioned “They respond to the slightest changes in force, from feather-y gentle to finger-drumming-hard.” but you didn’t come right and say whether force was velocity or also pressure. So do the pads support pressure?

    Also, can you toggle the touch strip to mod wheel as on Push 1?

    • Lee

      I was concerned about this too. However, in this video: Ableton Push 2 Tutorial – Playing Chords https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WdwnkcTjOuQ, they talk about the Aftertouch and Pressure Sensitivity of the pads and how to use it (at around the 1:08 mark). So it’s still there.

      Additionally, they also talk about switching to to the mod wheel near the 1:55 mark.

      • Phew… great find, thanks Lee! I’m still wading through all the videos.

  • Hi Peter. Thanks for the detailed write-up. Most excellent. I was looking at Push 2 specs and I don’t see any specific reference to that the pad’s respond to pressure as on Push 1. You mentioned “They respond to the slightest changes in force, from feather-y gentle to finger-drumming-hard.” but you didn’t come right and say whether force was velocity or also pressure. So do the pads support pressure?

    Also, can you toggle the touch strip to mod wheel as on Push 1?

    • Lee

      I was concerned about this too. However, in this video: Ableton Push 2 Tutorial – Playing Chords https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WdwnkcTjOuQ, they talk about the Aftertouch and Pressure Sensitivity of the pads and how to use it (at around the 1:08 mark). So it’s still there.

      Additionally, they also talk about switching to to the mod wheel near the 1:55 mark.

      • Phew… great find, thanks Lee! I’m still wading through all the videos.

  • Hi Peter. Thanks for the detailed write-up. Most excellent. I was looking at Push 2 specs and I don’t see any specific reference to that the pad’s respond to pressure as on Push 1. You mentioned “They respond to the slightest changes in force, from feather-y gentle to finger-drumming-hard.” but you didn’t come right and say whether force was velocity or also pressure. So do the pads support pressure?

    Also, can you toggle the touch strip to mod wheel as on Push 1?

    • Lee

      I was concerned about this too. However, in this video: Ableton Push 2 Tutorial – Playing Chords https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WdwnkcTjOuQ, they talk about the Aftertouch and Pressure Sensitivity of the pads and how to use it (at around the 1:08 mark). So it’s still there.

      Additionally, they also talk about switching to to the mod wheel near the 1:55 mark.

      • Phew… great find, thanks Lee! I’m still wading through all the videos.

  • Jan

    For me the way to get creative in Ableton is in the routing of varouis midi and audio. Splitting audio of different instrument racks into audio racks, routing various midi channels into onther midi channels and so on. Is this possible on the Push2 without a computer screen?

    • James

      Routing, with the exception of I believe monitoring in a 3-stage button were never visible to midi assignment, but were accessible through python. Things go in a momentary tailspin as routing is changed, so I would suspect that Push 2 won’t change the landscape in this regard

  • Jan

    For me the way to get creative in Ableton is in the routing of varouis midi and audio. Splitting audio of different instrument racks into audio racks, routing various midi channels into onther midi channels and so on. Is this possible on the Push2 without a computer screen?

    • James

      Routing, with the exception of I believe monitoring in a 3-stage button, were never visible to midi assignment, but were accessible through python. Things go in a momentary tailspin as routing is changed, so I would suspect that Push 2 won’t change the landscape in this regard

  • Jan

    For me the way to get creative in Ableton is in the routing of varouis midi and audio. Splitting audio of different instrument racks into audio racks, routing various midi channels into onther midi channels and so on. Is this possible on the Push2 without a computer screen?

    • James

      Routing, with the exception of I believe monitoring in a 3-stage button, were never visible to midi assignment, but were accessible through python. Things go in a momentary tailspin as routing is changed, so I would suspect that Push 2 won’t change the landscape in this regard

  • Extremely important question: Push 1 was all MIDI – so much that I’m also using it with Bitwig and writing a driver for LoopDrop without any issues. Can Push 2 be controlled 100% via USB MIDI too? If not, I’ll gladly pass. I have enough regrets about buying Maschine MK1 and getting locked in by the vendor.

    • foljs

      Getting locked to where? Live?

      Isn’t that a platform where people gladly stay with, anyway?

      Besides, like with Push 1 and the buyback, it isn’t like Push 2 will be that relevant in 3-5 years or so, so that you need to be sorted for life with your controller choice…

      • Push 1 is class-compliant, so it works with other software just fine – and yes, that was one of the reasons why I decided to buy it. Maschine doesn’t, and I regret buying it – especially after they released the RGB version and didn’t offer any option to upgrade just the controller. If Push 2 ONLY works with Live, I’m simply not interested. That’s too much money for a single-purpose device.

        • There is still the same MIDI mode from Push 1.

          • Good to know, but I still have some questions about that. I’m going to an Ableton event today in Toronto and there will be a Push 2 up for demo. I’ll try a few things and will post my update here later.

          • zayd

            what’s the outcome buddy, i also have bitwig with push 1 and push two on the way yeahhhhaaaa!! haha, do you think it will have scripts for bitwig in the near future if not i’m gonna keep my push 1 aswell as 2

          • I posted another comment with this, but here it is: http://nostepmusic.tumblr.com/post/132563225909/ableton-push-2-vs-bitwig

  • Extremely important question: Push 1 was all MIDI – so much that I’m also using it with Bitwig and writing a driver for LoopDrop without any issues. Can Push 2 be controlled 100% via USB MIDI too? If not, I’ll gladly pass. I have enough regrets about buying Maschine MK1 and getting locked in by the vendor.

    • foljs

      Getting locked to where? Live?

      Isn’t that a platform where people gladly stay with, anyway?

      Besides, like with Push 1 and the buyback, it isn’t like Push 2 will be that relevant in 3-5 years or so, so that you need to be sorted for life with your controller choice…

      • Push 1 is class-compliant, so it works with other software just fine – and yes, that was one of the reasons why I decided to buy it. Maschine doesn’t, and I regret buying it – especially after they released the RGB version and didn’t offer any option to upgrade just the controller. If Push 2 ONLY works with Live, I’m simply not interested. That’s too much money for a single-purpose device.

        • There is still the same MIDI mode from Push 1.

          • Good to know, but I still have some questions about that. I’m going to an Ableton event today in Toronto and there will be a Push 2 up for demo. I’ll try a few things and will post my update here later.

          • zayd

            what’s the outcome buddy, i also have bitwig with push 1 and push two on the way yeahhhhaaaa!! haha, do you think it will have scripts for bitwig in the near future if not i’m gonna keep my push 1 aswell as 2

          • I posted another comment with this, but here it is: http://nostepmusic.tumblr.com/post/132563225909/ableton-push-2-vs-bitwig

  • Extremely important question: Push 1 was all MIDI – so much that I’m also using it with Bitwig and writing a driver for LoopDrop without any issues. Can Push 2 be controlled 100% via USB MIDI too? If not, I’ll gladly pass. I have enough regrets about buying Maschine MK1 and getting locked in by the vendor.

    • foljs

      Getting locked to where? Live?

      Isn’t that a platform where people gladly stay with, anyway?

      Besides, like with Push 1 and the buyback, it isn’t like Push 2 will be that relevant in 3-5 years or so, so that you need to be sorted for life with your controller choice…

      • Push 1 is class-compliant, so it works with other software just fine – and yes, that was one of the reasons why I decided to buy it. Maschine doesn’t, and I regret buying it – especially after they released the RGB version and didn’t offer any option to upgrade just the controller. If Push 2 ONLY works with Live, I’m simply not interested. That’s too much money for a single-purpose device.

        • There is still the same MIDI mode from Push 1.

          • Good to know, but I still have some questions about that. I’m going to an Ableton event today in Toronto and there will be a Push 2 up for demo. I’ll try a few things and will post my update here later.

          • zayd

            what’s the outcome buddy, i also have bitwig with push 1 and push two on the way yeahhhhaaaa!! haha, do you think it will have scripts for bitwig in the near future if not i’m gonna keep my push 1 aswell as 2

          • I posted another comment with this, but here it is: http://nostepmusic.tumblr.com/post/132563225909/ableton-push-2-vs-bitwig

  • ThisIsReallyMyUsername

    They never developed Push 1 to its fullest potential. Push 1 works much better with Bitwig than their own software. I´m not buying 2. I´m not selling 1.

  • ThisIsReallyMyUsername

    They never developed Push 1 to its fullest potential. Push 1 works much better with Bitwig than with their own software. I´m not buying 2. I´m not selling 1.

  • ThisIsReallyMyUsername

    They never developed Push 1 to its fullest potential. Push 1 works much better with Bitwig than with their own software. I´m not buying 2. I´m not selling 1.

  • Benjamen Dorrell

    Ok. Time to sell the machinedrum and get this, expert sleepers euro modules, and the hex inverter mutant drums. So sick.

  • Benjamen Dorrell

    Ok. Time to sell the machinedrum and get this, expert sleepers euro modules, and the hex inverter mutant drums. So sick.

  • Benjamen Dorrell

    Ok. Time to sell the machinedrum and get this, expert sleepers euro modules, and the hex inverter mutant drums. So sick.

  • FYI – Here is a link to the Push 2 online manual https://www.ableton.com/en/manual/using-push-2/

  • FYI – Here is a link to the Push 2 online manual https://www.ableton.com/en/manual/using-push-2/

  • FYI – Here is a link to the Push 2 online manual https://www.ableton.com/en/manual/using-push-2/

  • Simon Sherbourne

    Nice job Peter, thank you.

  • Simon Sherbourne

    Nice job Peter, thank you.

  • Simon Sherbourne

    Nice job Peter, thank you.

  • Apeirophobe

    I’m sure I’ll buy this (can’t resist those beautiful displays) but I’m also sure it will sit there collecting dust like my Push 1, Maschine controller, iPad, APC40, launchpad etc 🙂 Always seem to gravitate towards mouse and keyboard no matter how much I try to convince myself that a “controller” is better. But yeah, the GAS … pulls credit card from wallet!

  • Apeirophobe

    I’m sure I’ll buy this (can’t resist those beautiful displays) but I’m also sure it will sit there collecting dust like my Push 1, Maschine controller, iPad, APC40, launchpad etc 🙂 Always seem to gravitate towards mouse and keyboard no matter how much I try to convince myself that a “controller” is better. But yeah, the GAS … pulls credit card from wallet!

    • Fayek Helmi

      i know those feels. ive accumulated various pieces of gear and only use them sparingly as im used to mouse and keyboard as well…. although the process of composing using them is a lot more teadious and boring somewhat, you have absolute control. the only way to get rid of them entirely is to only use hardware, but then you fall under the hardware’s own limitations and then start looking around for more hardware to overcome that limitation.

      Curious to know if it’s truly a desire to have a complete control dedicated midi controller or it’s marketing that makes us want it.

      also anothe problem is trying to sell the gear i dont use anymore… wheneveri think of it i somehow convince myself that it’s integral for my productions even though i have to wipe the dust off everytime i look at them.

      Having said all that… i’m probably going to get a push 1 because the push 2 is way too rich for my broke ass.

  • Apeirophobe

    I’m sure I’ll buy this (can’t resist those beautiful displays) but I’m also sure it will sit there collecting dust like my Push 1, Maschine controller, iPad, APC40, launchpad etc 🙂 Always seem to gravitate towards mouse and keyboard no matter how much I try to convince myself that a “controller” is better. But yeah, the GAS … pulls credit card from wallet!

    • Fayek Helmi

      i know those feels. ive accumulated various pieces of gear and only use them sparingly as im used to mouse and keyboard as well…. although the process of composing using them is a lot more teadious and boring somewhat, you have absolute control. the only way to get rid of them entirely is to only use hardware, but then you fall under the hardware’s own limitations and then start looking around for more hardware to overcome that limitation.

      Curious to know if it’s truly a desire to have a complete control dedicated midi controller or it’s marketing that makes us want it.

      also anothe problem is trying to sell the gear i dont use anymore… wheneveri think of it i somehow convince myself that it’s integral for my productions even though i have to wipe the dust off everytime i look at them.

      Having said all that… i’m probably going to get a push 1 because the push 2 is way too rich for my broke ass.

  • Charles

    Comparing the control layouts of the two makes it obvious that there are some odd design choices in the Push 1. Too many buttons of the exact same size and shape, but very different function, right next to each other.

    And I’m glad to hear that the pads are softer – the pads on the Push 1 aren’t just a little too stiff, they’re way too stiff. I guess that means they won’t wear out in the next 25 years, but still.

    Do the new lower-profile buttons make it harder to navigate by feel?

    I’m not into sampling on the fly (I have a nice retina display for when I need to edit waveforms) nor have I gotten hooked on playing the pads yet, but the improved layout, nicer display, and softer pads are all tempting.

  • Charles

    Comparing the control layouts of the two makes it obvious that there are some odd design choices in the Push 1. Too many buttons of the exact same size and shape, but very different function, right next to each other.

    And I’m glad to hear that the pads are softer – the pads on the Push 1 aren’t just a little too stiff, they’re way too stiff. I guess that means they won’t wear out in the next 25 years, but still.

    Do the new lower-profile buttons make it harder to navigate by feel?

    I’m not into sampling on the fly (I have a nice retina display for when I need to edit waveforms) nor have I gotten hooked on playing the pads yet, but the improved layout, nicer display, and softer pads are all tempting.

  • Charles

    Comparing the control layouts of the two makes it obvious that there are some odd design choices in the Push 1. Too many buttons of the exact same size and shape, but very different function, right next to each other.

    And I’m glad to hear that the pads are softer – the pads on the Push 1 aren’t just a little too stiff, they’re way too stiff. I guess that means they won’t wear out in the next 25 years, but still.

    Do the new lower-profile buttons make it harder to navigate by feel?

    I’m not into sampling on the fly (I have a nice retina display for when I need to edit waveforms) nor have I gotten hooked on playing the pads yet, but the improved layout, nicer display, and softer pads are all tempting.

  • Thomas Piper

    Nice Read Peter

  • Thomas Piper

    Nice Read Peter

  • Thomas Piper

    Nice Read Peter

  • Im still finding the push not adequate to play nice chord,as you got to play them in scale, and that if you decide to play in chromatic mode, it’s not so intuitive! I got a 49 keys connected to my ipad to chordpolyapp, and found this set up more effective! The only point of push is for beat making, but again i found the core drum library quite poor, I rarely use it and use my own presets!

    • lokey

      in chromatic mode, chords are just as consistent. its no different from playing a guitar, certainly more intuitive than a piano roll.

      • What i meant, its that in chrom. mode,Its a bit difficult due to the distance between the pad and cos their sturdiness, I found it more pleasing to play chords on a more softy keys midi keyboard with shorter distance!

  • Im still finding the push not adequate to play nice chord,as you got to play them in scale, and that if you decide to play in chromatic mode, it’s not so intuitive! I got a 49 keys connected to my ipad to chordpolyapp, and found this set up more effective! The only point of push is for beat making, but again i found the core drum library quite poor, I rarely use it and use my own presets!

    • lokey

      in chromatic mode, chords are just as consistent. its no different from playing a guitar, certainly more intuitive than a piano roll.

      • What i meant, its that in chrom. mode,Its a bit difficult due to the distance between the pad and cos their sturdiness, I found it more pleasing to play chords on a more softy keys midi keyboard with shorter distance!

  • Im still finding the push not adequate to play nice chord,as you got to play them in scale, and that if you decide to play in chromatic mode, it’s not so intuitive! I got a 49 keys connected to my ipad to chordpolyapp, and found this set up more effective! The only point of push is for beat making, but again i found the core drum library quite poor, I rarely use it and use my own presets!

    • lokey

      in chromatic mode, chords are just as consistent. its no different from playing a guitar, certainly more intuitive than a piano roll.

      • What i meant, its that in chrom. mode,Its a bit difficult due to the distance between the pad and cos their sturdiness, I found it more pleasing to play chords on a more softy keys midi keyboard with shorter distance!

  • Plxr

    Damn, I bought Push 1 about year ago, And I hate those rubbery imprecise double press buttons (browsing nightmare) , hate lack of any kind visual feedback (vu meters ..) , too stiff pads (still not used to it and probably never will ) and now you telling me there is Push 2 which take care of all problems of 1… Where can i exchange my push 1 for 2 ?

      • Plxr

        Thx, do you think there will be additional discount around christmas time ? I bought APC40 mkII, 3 months ago, so im not good with money at the moment ( would be nice if i could exchange both for push 2 :)). I think that apc40 mkII will also get ableton version soon, that rubber buttons are nightmare for me…

        • AKAI makes the APC, Ableton the Push. Akais decision on revising the (quite young) APC 40 mkii has noting to do with Push 2’s release. The original APC is from 2009 or so and if they wished to make other pads, dann they could have done so way before now.

  • Plxr

    Damn, I bought Push 1 about year ago, And I hate those rubbery imprecise double press buttons (browsing nightmare) , hate lack of any kind visual feedback (vu meters ..) , too stiff pads (still not used to it and probably never will ) and now you telling me there is Push 2 which take care of all problems of 1… Where can i exchange my push 1 for 2 ?

      • Plxr

        Thx, do you think there will be additional discount around christmas time ? I bought APC40 mkII, 3 months ago, so im not good with money at the moment ( would be nice if i could exchange both for push 2 :)). I think that apc40 mkII will also get ableton version soon, that rubber buttons are nightmare for me…

        • AKAI makes the APC, Ableton the Push. Akais decision on revising the (quite young) APC 40 mkii has noting to do with Push 2’s release. The original APC is from 2009 or so and if they wished to make other pads, dann they could have done so way before now.

  • Plxr

    Damn, I bought Push 1 about year ago, And I hate those rubbery imprecise double press buttons (browsing nightmare) , hate lack of any kind visual feedback (vu meters ..) , too stiff pads (still not used to it and probably never will ) and now you telling me there is Push 2 which take care of all problems of 1… Where can i exchange my push 1 for 2 ?

      • Plxr

        Thx, do you think there will be additional discount around christmas time ? I bought APC40 mkII, 3 months ago, so im not good with money at the moment ( would be nice if i could exchange both for push 2 :)). I think that apc40 mkII will also get ableton version soon, that rubber buttons are nightmare for me…

        • AKAI makes the APC, Ableton the Push. Akais decision on revising the (quite young) APC 40 mkii has noting to do with Push 2’s release. The original APC is from 2009 or so and if they wished to make other pads, dann they could have done so way before now.

  • Andrew Mirhej

    Excellent overview. Thanks.
    FWIW, although photos with shallow depth of field look “artsy”, they lose key detail. With a screen that gorgeous, I’d love to see it all in focus!

  • Andrew Mirhej

    Excellent overview. Thanks.
    FWIW, although photos with shallow depth of field look “artsy”, they lose key detail. With a screen that gorgeous, I’d love to see it all in focus!

  • Andrew Mirhej

    Excellent overview. Thanks.
    FWIW, although photos with shallow depth of field look “artsy”, they lose key detail. With a screen that gorgeous, I’d love to see it all in focus!

  • Peter IJzendoorn

    How are the encoders? I have push 1 but the encoders don’t turn lightly but quite heavy. The surface of the encoders is also very smooth and has not much grip. It’s impossible to turn a knop fully clockwise in a few milliseconds. That was a big disappointment when I bought the unit. Is push 2 better in this regard?

  • Peter IJzendoorn

    How are the encoders? Do the encoders turn lightly or quite heavy? How’s the surface of the encoders, is it very smooth or does it have grip? Is it possible to turn a knop fully clockwise in a few milliseconds?

  • Peter IJz

    How are the encoders? Do the encoders turn lightly or quite heavy? How’s the surface of the encoders, is it very smooth or does it have grip? Is it possible to turn a knop fully clockwise in a few milliseconds?

  • I had the opportunity to test Push 2 with both Live and Bitwig today. My impressions are right here: http://nostepmusic.tumblr.com/post/132563225909/ableton-push-2-vs-bitwig

    TL;DR: The screen is cool, but I didn’t care much for it. The pads on the other hand are AMAZING, the best I’ve ever tried. Everything works with Bitwig, except the screen (kind of expected, but still).

  • I had the opportunity to test Push 2 with both Live and Bitwig today. My impressions are right here: http://nostepmusic.tumblr.com/post/132563225909/ableton-push-2-vs-bitwig

    TL;DR: The screen is cool, but I didn’t care much for it. The pads on the other hand are AMAZING, the best I’ve ever tried. Everything works with Bitwig, except the screen (kind of expected, but still).

  • I had the opportunity to test Push 2 with both Live and Bitwig today. My impressions are right here: http://nostepmusic.tumblr.com/post/132563225909/ableton-push-2-vs-bitwig

    TL;DR: The screen is cool, but I didn’t care much for it. The pads on the other hand are AMAZING, the best I’ve ever tried. Everything works with Bitwig, except the screen (kind of expected, but still).

  • Zen Masta

    I picked up the Push 2 after watching a lot of videos on YouTube about it and seeing the early reviews. I am not disappointed at all. The hardware is very solid the buttons are firm and the grid is inspiring. I have owned several MPCS (MPC Studio and MPC 2000XL) the pads on Push 2 are smaller but that’s because you get more pads. I don’t think any current Akai MPC out today can compete with the Push 2 in terms of capabilities. I’m a long time Ableton user but getting this hardware has opened up a whole new set of possibilities for me. I don’t know why I didn’t get a controller like this sooner, maybe because I was so stuck on the MPC’s at the time.

    This is a great piece of hardware I would give it an A+!

  • Zen Masta

    I picked up the Push 2 after watching a lot of videos on YouTube about it and seeing the early reviews. I am not disappointed at all. The hardware is very solid the buttons are firm and the grid is inspiring. I have owned several MPCS (MPC Studio and MPC 2000XL) the pads on Push 2 are smaller but that’s because you get more pads. I don’t think any current Akai MPC out today can compete with the Push 2 in terms of capabilities. I’m a long time Ableton user but getting this hardware has opened up a whole new set of possibilities for me. I don’t know why I didn’t get a controller like this sooner, maybe because I was so stuck on the MPC’s at the time.

    This is a great piece of hardware I would give it an A+!

  • Zen Masta

    I picked up the Push 2 after watching a lot of videos on YouTube about it and seeing the early reviews. I am not disappointed at all. The hardware is very solid the buttons are firm and the grid is inspiring. I have owned several MPCS (MPC Studio and MPC 2000XL) the pads on Push 2 are smaller but that’s because you get more pads. I don’t think any current Akai MPC out today can compete with the Push 2 in terms of capabilities. I’m a long time Ableton user but getting this hardware has opened up a whole new set of possibilities for me. I don’t know why I didn’t get a controller like this sooner, maybe because I was so stuck on the MPC’s at the time.

    This is a great piece of hardware I would give it an A+!

  • Further, we have stemmed off into offering a SWAP program where customers can not only sell their broken-glass LCD’s to us but actually recycle them by receiving new ones in return. By doing this, our customers are saving on new parts

  • Tim

    Ableton Push 2 + DJTT Midi Fighter Twister = Heaven

    Aka – Keyboard/sequencing + amazing master FX control and knobs.

    • Now, it’s very easy to find which track and device you want, even in the heat of the moment – I’m curious to see if this holds up even in live performance.

    • The new Push simply feels a class above any other hardware in the industry at the moment.

    • I agree

  • Scott Jenner

    Ableton Push+MIDI keyboard for the win!

    • Push might not be for you if you want a controller that works well with software other than Ableton Live. It is actually a MIDI controller, meaning you can use it with other software – Tim Exile actually had an amazing Reaktor-based setup with the first Push. But that’s an edge case, because it’ll require a fair amount of configuration work.