Ableton Push: new Live 9 MIDI controller for writing and performing music

25th Oct 2012 | 11:54

Ableton Push: new Live 9 MIDI controller for writing and performing music
Push the button

As well as launching Live 9, Ableton has also announced Push, a new MIDI controller for Live that’s billed as a hardware instrument that you can use to make a song from scratch.

Commenting on the launch, Ableton says: “Push provides direct, hands-on control of melody and harmony, beats, sounds and structure, powered by Ableton Live running on your computer.

“High-quality, dynamic pads, buttons, encoders and a display combined with an innovative workflow allow you to play and compose musical ideas without the need to look at or touch your computer, and more importantly, without interrupting the musical flow.”

Although Push was designed by Ableton and bears the company’s name, it was actually built by Akai, which already has a couple of Ableton-endorsed controllers in the shape of the APC40 and APC20 (Novation’s Launchpad also has Ableton backing).

However, Push would seem to be a slightly different proposition: not just a controller, but a creative platform for writing songs. What’s more, with its ‘head down, don’t look at your monitor’ approach, comparisons will inevitably be made with Native Instruments Maschine.

Computer Music magazine editor Lee du-Caine, who was one of the first journalists to get hands-on with Push said: "Push looks like being an exceptionally well-rounded musical solution. Having had a go on Push at Ableton's headquarters last week, I can tell you that it looks even better in the flesh, and it feels great too.The musicality of it is impressive - it's more than just another beat machine."

Click on to read more details from Ableton about what Push has to offer. It’ll be available in the first quarter of 2013 for $599/€499.

NEXT: Play and sequence beats

Ableton Push: new Live 9 MIDI controller for writing and performing music
Play and sequence beats

“Push’s 64 velocity- and pressure-sensitive multi-colour pads can be used to play, step sequence, and navigate within rhythm patterns - all at the same time.

“The 11 touch-sensitive endless encoders can control device parameters, adjust velocity, nudge timing and more.”

Ableton Push: new Live 9 MIDI controller for writing and performing music
Play melodies and chords in a new way

“Push ‘folds’ a keyboard’s worth of notes into its 64 pads, with different pad colours showing the key centre and other notes in the key.

“This allows you to play in every key using the same finger patterns, move between keys at the touch of a button, and explore new harmonies and phrases.”

Ableton Push: new Live 9 MIDI controller for writing and performing music
Improvise with song structure

“Push expands the scope of creation with its unique workflow. Using just a few buttons to trigger clips, overdub notes, move between song materials and variations lets Ableton Live itself become an intuitively playable instrument.”

Ableton Push: new Live 9 MIDI controller for writing and performing music
Move smoothly from creation to arrangement

“Push offers both the inspiring instrument to start creating music, and the full-featured software to finish off a track. Everything created with Push is laid out in Ableton Live on your computer - ready for fine-tuning, arrangement and export.”

Ableton Push: new Live 9 MIDI controller for writing and performing music
Includes Ableton Live 9

“Push comes with either Ableton Live 9 Intro, Standard or Suite Edition. All the included instruments, effects and sounds, as well as your own libraries, are ready to be played, tweaked, and personalised.”

Ableton Push: new Live 9 MIDI controller for writing and performing music
Fits inside a backpack alongside a laptop

“Push is 370 mm/14.57 inches wide, 293 mm/11.54 inches deep and is 46 mm/1.81 inches in height, (including encoders). Push weighs 2990g/6.59 pounds, not including the optional steel shell that also doubles as a stand. Backside connections are a USB port, power adaptor input and two assignable footswitch inputs.”

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