Push owners: has Push replaced the keyboard?

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sporkles
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Push owners: has Push replaced the keyboard?

Post by sporkles » Sat Jan 25, 2014 5:32 pm

Has anyone here completely moved from playing keys to playing pads?

I've tried NativeKontrol's Push emulator for the Launchpad and it obviously doesn't compare at all to a real Push, but to me, as a not very advanced keyboard user, it doesn't feel viable. It's like when I'm fumbling around on the keyboard, I can at least pretend to myself that I'm playing an instrument, but when I'm tapping the pads on the LP, it just feels like I'm pushing buttons. Like I said, a real Push is obviously more expressive, but it also usually means picking a key and scale beforehand, rather than being able to freely transpose/modulate/whatever.

So I'd be very interested in hearing from anyone for whom the Push has simply turned the keyboard into a dust collector. I can totally see the benefit of having the (relatively) compact Push between you and your monitor, rather than a big 61+ key controller. It's just that, even though my keyboard chops are absolutely rudimentary, it's a layout I know and that feels intuitive.

mots
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Re: Push owners: has Push replaced the keyboard?

Post by mots » Sat Jan 25, 2014 6:15 pm

sporkles wrote:Has anyone here completely moved from playing keys to playing pads?

I've tried NativeKontrol's Push emulator for the Launchpad and it obviously doesn't compare at all to a real Push, but to me, as a not very advanced keyboard user, it doesn't feel viable. It's like when I'm fumbling around on the keyboard, I can at least pretend to myself that I'm playing an instrument, but when I'm tapping the pads on the LP, it just feels like I'm pushing buttons. Like I said, a real Push is obviously more expressive, but it also usually means picking a key and scale beforehand, rather than being able to freely transpose/modulate/whatever.

So I'd be very interested in hearing from anyone for whom the Push has simply turned the keyboard into a dust collector. I can totally see the benefit of having the (relatively) compact Push between you and your monitor, rather than a big 61+ key controller. It's just that, even though my keyboard chops are absolutely rudimentary, it's a layout I know and that feels intuitive.
give a try to launchpad95
http://motscousus.com/stuff/2011-07_Nov ... e_Scripts/

in the last beta i added support for arranging the layout in 3rd instead of 4th. is it quite nice to play chords. this should give you a better idea of what is possible there.
(check the documentation in the beta package for this, as the current version on my site is not updated with that yet or check the screen shot there : viewtopic.php?f=1&t=168495&start=280).
http://motscousus.com/stuff/2011-07_Nov ... 5-beta.zip

this 3rd mode and orientation is also available on the push.

cheers,

henri

Tarekith
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Re: Push owners: has Push replaced the keyboard?

Post by Tarekith » Sat Jan 25, 2014 7:42 pm

Between Push and my Qunexus, I rarely find myself wishing for my MPK controller. I can't remember the last time I used it to be honest.

I do tend to reach for the Qunexus first most of the time, mainly just because it's smaller size makes it simple to place anywhere I need a keyboard while working on a track. Both it and Push are about equal for responsiveness, Push is just a bit of a space hog unless I'm solely focused on playing.

antarktika
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Re: Push owners: has Push replaced the keyboard?

Post by antarktika » Sun Jan 26, 2014 2:47 am

When I play on a gridded controller, I tend to play in completely different ways than I would on a keyboard, more big note jumps and the like, since (at least with Nativekontrol's LPC script on launchpad) they are stacked in a 4x4 block I just tend to play entirely differently. With keyboards I usually do more flowing melodies with less jumping around, so I'll go with no, not a replacement, but a great compliment.

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Re: Push owners: has Push replaced the keyboard?

Post by synnack » Sun Jan 26, 2014 4:17 am

antarktika wrote:When I play on a gridded controller, I tend to play in completely different ways than I would on a keyboard, more big note jumps and the like, since (at least with Nativekontrol's LPC script on launchpad) they are stacked in a 4x4 block I just tend to play entirely differently. With keyboards I usually do more flowing melodies with less jumping around, so I'll go with no, not a replacement, but a great compliment.
100% agree. I also play totally different on the grid. It wouldn't replace keys if you are already used to playing on a standard keyboard. But it's great for forcing you to do something different.
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eyeknow
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Re: Push owners: has Push replaced the keyboard?

Post by eyeknow » Sun Jan 26, 2014 6:03 am

I'm not particularly good at either but I find the keys on my impulse have more dynamic range (velocity wise) and push can be a more melodic instrument.

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Re: Push owners: has Push replaced the keyboard?

Post by koranek » Mon Jan 27, 2014 1:00 am

I've played keys for a long time, so I have a wired in feel for playing. I like the melodic weirdness I can get with Push, but I don't always like playing melodic lines with it.

Trying to sustain a note is too fiddly. Unless I push down very consciously with enough force, I get false triggers of melodic notes. On a keyboard you have to completely pull your finger off a key to then retrigger or cut off a note. Keeping the same light touch on Push causes subtle uncontrolled cutoffs or rertriggers of notes.

Push seems much more fitting for triggering drum notes (which you usually don't sustain) or clips.

Still very much fun, but this touchy thing when playing melodies makes me keep reaching over to my keyboard. I might be able to train myself, but I just expected Push to work without retraining my fingers.
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eyeknow
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Re: Push owners: has Push replaced the keyboard?

Post by eyeknow » Mon Jan 27, 2014 6:00 am

I'm disappointed to hear that because I fear that is inherent with push. I wasn't expecting miracles, but sometimes sustain is an issue and also note-repeating (with repeat off of course)

I do think it's well served for percussion. Not bad for other stuff, but it can never "replace" my keyboard.

Airyck
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Re: Push owners: has Push replaced the keyboard?

Post by Airyck » Mon Jan 27, 2014 3:14 pm

I've played the standard keyboard for years and while I'm not going to play you some classical Piano piece exactly as written, I know my way around fairly well. I can play the keyboard keys very quickly and I don't usually miss keys or hit wrong notes very often even while not looking. I also own probably around 10 keyboards, mostly older synths but a few MIDI controllers as well.

Enter the Push. I have it setup between my iMac and myself so it's front and center with all of my equipment. To left you see... no keyboards, to the right... no keyboards, behind me, no keyboards. Go in the other room and they are all sitting against the wall. Get my drift?

Even when I did play the keyboard, I'd kind of bang around until something sounded good, record the MIDI then edit it to get it perfect. With the Push I can do the same thing, but I'm also doing things that I wouldn't have done on the keyboard and I feel it's a lot easier. I don't seem to have any troubles with melodic lines on the Push once I got used to it. Getting used to it didn't take long and at first I did find myself reaching for my normal keyboard to make melodic lines. But then I sat down with it and rather than working on a song a I just jammed on it for a while. After doing that (I still do sometimes) I started liking what I was able to do on the Push much more than the regular keyboard. I can actually play the Push fairly well without even looking once I find my root. It's a different instrument, so obviously it's not going to be better for playing a classical piano piece made for piano, but as a creative tool I think it's better than the piano. Being able to select and try different scales that you wouldn't know without looking up really gets you doing things creatively and you don't spend as much time just figuring out the notes.

It's a very capable expressive instrument and I hope that I can keep playing it forever, or at least something like it. I don't know how long it will be until I play keys again, I'm very happy with this layout and it works great for me, wish I had it years ago. BTW my music is very melodic.

Keep in mind too that you can do a chromatic mode, so if you want to play all available notes even ones out of key you can.
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jestermgee
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Re: Push owners: has Push replaced the keyboard?

Post by jestermgee » Tue Jan 28, 2014 4:45 am

I was a believer that Push just could not compare to a bed of keys but I do find myself using it for most things now over the keyboard.

For chords, bass lines and drums it is great. I still find myself wanting to use a keyboard when doing piano pieces and occasionally when doing string section because of what others have said about sustain. I find sometimes pads will retrigger when you vary the pressure at all and I have played with settings for pad sensitivity but cannot get it perfect. I also find I cannot get quite the expressive soft and high pressure properly through stiff pads over keys.

If space is at a premium and you are not too fussy or trained in a keyboard then a Push could handle most things pretty well I think. Certainly is a great all rounder.

sporkles
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Re: Push owners: has Push replaced the keyboard?

Post by sporkles » Tue Jan 28, 2014 11:30 pm

Thanks for chiming in, everyone. I guess I'm mostly hesitant because Push is a rather big investment, and my experience with using the Launchpad with the excellent NativeKontrol scripts is that I tend to get even more stuck in loop hell when I'm consciously trying to sequence and play without editing in the piano roll..

I think I have to visit the local store and see if I can get some hands-on experience with Push.

micadoe
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Re: Push owners: has Push replaced the keyboard?

Post by micadoe » Wed Jan 29, 2014 7:23 pm

hey man.

i play keyboards for quite a while now and i must say, i still love to have one around me.
push is great as a controller, and i must also admit, that i had found some really inspirational lines, while playing around with push.

i dont like to use the pre programmed scales so much, it avoids to play stuff that might be in your head and melodies, that do not sound 'right' in first place. i might help a lot when you're new to harmonics and scales, but i like to play around that stuff or just switch scales as i want, which is much easier for me on a regular piano.

the felling of the buttons is great though. also having aftertouch, which means, that you still send midi/cc values while already on the button but pushing it softer and harder is a big advantage to a simple keyboard...

my 2cents:)

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Re: Push owners: has Push replaced the keyboard?

Post by re:dream » Wed Jan 29, 2014 7:52 pm

I am a fairly terrible keyboard player and Push has been very liberatory, in that I can jam out melodies very easily...

... but of late I have been going back to my keyboards. It is as if I find an element of expressiveness and unpredictability there which I have not heard with the Push.

I find that learning the keyboard forces me to understand the harmonic relationships between the different scales in a way that Push doesn't. You are always in the same harmonic space, with the root note in the same place.

So I find the two complement one another. Push for easy thoughtless melodies, keyboards for exploring.

eyeknow
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Re: Push owners: has Push replaced the keyboard?

Post by eyeknow » Thu Jan 30, 2014 11:04 pm

I have a pretty light touch and I'm noticing that the note/off happens a little too easily vs my impulse which the light touch stays consistent. This might be because I have it set to default, or maybe I have a questionable controller?

dewaldo
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Re: Push owners: has Push replaced the keyboard?

Post by dewaldo » Fri Jan 31, 2014 1:04 am

The Finn wrote:I am a fairly terrible keyboard player and Push has been very liberatory, in that I can jam out melodies very easily...

... but of late I have been going back to my keyboards. It is as if I find an element of expressiveness and unpredictability there which I have not heard with the Push.

I find that learning the keyboard forces me to understand the harmonic relationships between the different scales in a way that Push doesn't. You are always in the same harmonic space, with the root note in the same place.

So I find the two complement one another. Push for easy thoughtless melodies, keyboards for exploring.
My thoughts exactly...

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