Join Yeuda Ben-Atar for an in-depth discussion in this video What is the Ableton Push?, part of Making Music with Ableton Push.
So what is the Push? The Push is a MIDI controller specially designed for, and by Ableton, and manufactured by Akai Professional. The Push is Ableton Live's hardware instrument. It allows us to come up with musically and ideas on the fly, add effects, record automation, control the live set. And perform live, all without touching or even looking at the computer. With Push, you can make beats, melodies, harmonies, baselines, or any sound you can think of all with hands-on control and incredibly intuitive workflow. When you touch the Push, you can feel the sturdy, quality construction. It weighs almost three kilos or 6 and a half pounds. The Push is great for musicians and beginners alike as we'll see later. The Push can help us make music without any prior music theory knowledge. But also offers freedom and inspiration for the experienced musician. Push only works with Ableton Live 9, and ships with Live intro. To get the full experience, I recommend getting Suite 9, which comes packed with instruments, effects.
And over 3,000 sounds we can start using straight away. We are only going to use sounds and effects that come with Live Intro, you can follow along even if you don't have the standard All Suite version. Push is bus powered and works with a single USB cable. Additionally, you can connect the AC Adapter which will make the LEDs brighter. Very useful in a dark venue. Push setup is mostly automatic, and everything should be setup for you when Live is open, and the Push is connected to the computer. To make sure everything's connected, go to Live > Preferences, under the Live > Preferences.
If your in Windows, it's going to be under Options. Go to the MIDI Sync tab, and just make sure Push is selected under the drop-down menu, under the Control Surface. And under indicator the Push is connected, and working, is the colored square surrounding Live's Session view. The Push was designed to work best with Live's built-in devices in the Session view. One reminder, make sure you are using the latest version of Live. Since Ableton continues to add features and improvements to the Push with almost every update. You can review the release notes on the Ableton website. Ableton Live is a full-fledged music production application. And version nine is even better than ever.
With the push, you get the most comprehensive controller that was especially made to be an Ableton Live instrument. Regardless of your musicianship or skill level, you will start making music in no time.
First, Yeuda demystifies the many trigger pads, knobs, and buttons on the Push and shows how to map the device to Ableton Live. Next, learn to browse and load sounds and create drumbeats with the step sequencer. Humanize the sound of these beats by changing individual note velocity, length, and position and adding in quantization and swing. Then, learn to play Push like a pitched instrument, and use it to remotely control a Live set and Live devices. Along the way, Yeuda offers valuable lessons about basic music theory—concepts like notes, chords, scales, and time signature—that will make your experience with Push more rewarding.
- What is Ableton Push?
- What's new in the Push 2?
- Comparing Push 1 and Push 2
- Browsing and loading sounds
- Programming beats
- Recording drums in real time
- Adding quantization and swing
- Controlling the mixer
- Controlling Live devices
- Adding custom LED feedback
- Step sequencing melodies
- Browsing and loading third-party plugins