Along with Live 9, Ableton has announced a dedicated controller called Push. After designing some of the most widely used music production software they have jumped into the dedicated controller market. Having teamed up with Akai, it looks like Push is going to be a great addition to Ableton’s arsenal.
Ableton seems to be picking up where Novation’s Launchpad left off. But there is more underneath the hood than meets the eye. First off Push’s LEDs are full on RGB while the Launchpad just gave you 3 colors. The pads are much more responsive and have a genuine MPC feel. They also feature aftertouch which allows you to modify parameters without knobs or sliders. Seeing that Push was designed in house there’s much better integration with Live than the Launchpad could ever offer. The USB bus powered controller will retail for $599.
Its 64 pads give you multiple ways to make beats. You can play, step sequence, and navigate your loop, all at the same time. The velocity-sensitive pads are made by Akai Professional, while the eight touch-sensitive endless encoders allow you to adjust sounds and kits while you play. Of course they had to include some variation of Akai’s legendary note repeat as well. Hold a pad to repeat notes in time with your track while adjusting swing or the repeat divisions in real time. You can use the pads for step sequencing as well. Select any step and tweak timing and velocity individually for each cell.
They’ve also taken a new approach to playing notes and chords with the controller. The multicolored LEDs show you what notes are in the same key as well as what you have already recorded. The arrangement of the pads makes it easy to move between large intervals. It also makes it so your melody and chord patterns can be played with the same fingerings in every key. The velocity and pressure sensitive pads let you play with expression and dynamics.
Push has its own unique workflow that gives you the ability to move quickly between your song materials with just a few buttons. It all gets recorded in Ableton Live to make arranging and editing easy. Push combines Ableton’s vision for music making with Akai Professional’s years of experience making instruments.
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