Getting Push soon (maybe)

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BoddAH
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Getting Push soon (maybe)

Post by BoddAH » Sun Oct 13, 2013 12:15 pm

Hi there!

Since Christmas is approaching and since Push availability slowly starts to become better, I'm seriously considering getting one pretty soon. I like the idea of it but naturally such a bold and ambitious concept makes be a bit careful. So I have a couple of questions before pulling the trigger for good.

1. Do you feel fundamentally limited in any way when using Push to make music? I understand that using a mouse and keyboard and Live probably gives a bit more flexibility and options for fine-tuning and finalizing a track but since the concept behind Push is supposed to give "fundamental control" over Beats, Harmony, Melody and Sound, it should be enough to get the job done in any scenario and in any genre of music.

2. Do you play Push like an actual instrument? Given enough time and motivation (and maybe a sustain pedal) is it actually possible to play Push exactly like a keyboard/piano? I mean, is it actually possible to play a piece of sheet music written for the piano on Push (in chromatic mode) if you're skilled enough? Doing that may sound pointless (maybe it is) but I think it gives a good idea of the actual "playability" of the thing and if it is indeed possible, tapping on the huge amount of piano scores and lessons available would be an excellent way to learn and master playing Push. And how cool would it be playing a sonata on this thing! :)

3. For those who had push for some time now. Are you happy with it? Is it just another cool and very integrated MIDI controller or has it really become second nature to you? Like playing an actual instrument? Is it really what Ableton's marketing makes it up to be?

Thanks a bunch! :mrgreen:

tedlogan
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Re: Getting Push soon (maybe)

Post by tedlogan » Sun Oct 13, 2013 3:12 pm

Hello

(1) I do not feel fundamentally limited in any way, quite the opposite effect. Since getting Push, I simply don't look at the PC screen or use the mouse and keyboard. I make electronic music with sprinkles of guitars and vocals here and there. I can build a whole sketch of a song from scratch using just Push (I must say that I did do some once-off setup as in building required racks and mapping macros - done with keyboard and mouse). I have never constructed beats so fast, easily and fluidly, nor have I ever had so much fun in building layers of synths etc via either playing and recording it live, or entering notes in the note step sequencer (which is AWESOME - but that's a whole other story).

(2) I play Push as an instrument definitely. It's a new world, and this world is focused on music/sound making. I used to dislike recording music after many years due to it being no fun anymore. I've been using Push now every day since August, and I'm getting better and better with it, just like an instrument. I don't play piano nor read sheet music, so I don't know if you could play it like one. But I can't see why not - all the notes are there, and you can configure the layout/scales in many ways, and the pads are very responsive once you've set their sensitivity to your liking.

(3) Obviously, I'm very happy with it. It's a joy to use, building scenes up and layering tracks alongside each other has never been so fluid. These days I generally sit in my lounge, Push on my lap, plugged into the laptop which is sitting out of reach. I haven't owned a large amount of MIDI gear - but just to give you my perspective - I've only gone through: Edirol PCR50, Korg MicroKontrol 37key, APC40, Vestax Pad One, Korg Nanopad. I don't touch any of them anymore, at all. THe only other gear I still use is my Guitar, a mic and Pod HD. Recording with them all with the Push of course :)

jestermgee
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Re: Getting Push soon (maybe)

Post by jestermgee » Sun Oct 13, 2013 10:28 pm

Can agree in almost every way.

I have been putting off spending a LOT of time arranging and sorting through all my VSTs and sample library's/presets because of the "unfun" aspect of it all but since I got Push I have been going full steam to make all my content easily playable because it is just so much fun tapping away and loading up things on the fly without stopping workflow or watching a small mouse pointer.

I was skeptical using pads for playing instruments, I have always just used pads for drum programming or the launch pad for triggering clips but the Push and its scales presets have really opened things up for me. I have to say I like playing it more than keyboard.

I put it off for 6 months because I wanted to see what the general uptake was and if it was useful to me. I decided that with an upgrade to live 9 it would be good to try so I sold my MPD32 and purchased Push and L9. Best choice ever.

BoddAH
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Re: Getting Push soon (maybe)

Post by BoddAH » Wed Oct 16, 2013 11:59 am

Thanks for the feedback. I'm drawing ever closer on pulling the trigger. People really seem to enjoy their push.

A couple more questions now that I think of it.

1. I already own Ableton Live 9 Suite, will I be able to gift or sell the copy of Ableton Live 9 Intro that comes with Push to someone else?

2. I will probably get the iPad 5 (which will probably be announced in a week) along with Liine Lemur and LiveControl 2. Do you think this would make Push redundant in many ways or should I still get it?

:mrgreen:

lyovino
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Re: Getting Push soon (maybe)

Post by lyovino » Wed Oct 16, 2013 3:48 pm

iPad and it's associated toys are fine but when adding push to the equation we're talking apples and oranges here. Also when you look at the fact that they could not keep enough push units on the shelf for retail should be enough ammo for you to pull the trigger. Ask yourself if you would rather control live playing on an iPad or having a physical instrument with all of the toys built in. You know you want it, stopped brain killing yourself and get it… :-)
iMac, Intel Core i7, 2.8 GHz, 16GB
Yosemite, Live 9.xx Suite (64- bit)
Push, Apogee Ensemble

gnurf
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Re: Getting Push soon (maybe)

Post by gnurf » Wed Oct 16, 2013 4:20 pm

Push doesn't feel limiting, except for sample editing. But everything about the workflow is great, and if you know a little about something, the shortcuts are logical. Lots of things I want to do are discoverable. Still wouldn't mind some good workflow tutorials, but that's what it's like with everything new to you.

It replaces my keyboard. It replaces a whole bunch of other hardware. Since I use a lot of Native Instruments stuff, I'm considering buying a little $20 script pack to extend it for that. Nearly every instrument I have would be browsable from Push then. If there's ever a Push 2 with higher resolution screens and full sample editing functionality, I'm upgrading. But right now it's still my best controller.

Get Push first, get an iPad later. There are many cool tools for it, but the Push feels like a productivity booster. The various iPad tools are just neat toys to add to your arsenal, but nothing as integrated with Live as Push.

(When you do get an iPad, buy AudioBus and just browse all the apps which are compatible with that.)

tedlogan
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Re: Getting Push soon (maybe)

Post by tedlogan » Wed Oct 16, 2013 4:34 pm

Yeah, I was in your boat for months because I already had other gear which all combined could do what Push can do. But not all of it, and not nearly as fluidly. I thought it was simply gearlust, and that all the pretty lights were beguiling me.

Best hardware I've ever used.Three months on, and I'm still amazed by it.

Like I said earlier on, I don't use any other MIDI gear at all anymore, I am going to sell the lot, maybe keeping the APC40 just because of nostalgia..

BoddAH
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Re: Getting Push soon (maybe)

Post by BoddAH » Wed Oct 16, 2013 7:54 pm

Thanks for all the great feedback.

I admit that Push looks really cool both visually and in its concept I was seriously wondering if me wanting it wasn't just a bad case of gear lust but the device behind all these pretty multicolored lights actually seems to be functional and useful as well.

On paper Push like it could become the only MIDI controller I'll ever need and. I can't see why it wouldn't be.

I think you guys convinced me. :)

jestermgee
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Re: Getting Push soon (maybe)

Post by jestermgee » Wed Oct 16, 2013 10:54 pm

The iPad and its apps (Liine, Touchable, Touchosc and the likes) are all really good fun and add value to a setup because they are wireless and portable which makes controlling the system when you are not near it possible.

I have Push which can do most of the DAW control but I also have 2 MIDI keyboards, MCU and Launchpad and while the push is great it doesn't replace any of the other devices fully:

MIDI Keyboards are still needed in my setup because playing some classical or dynamic piano/string/brass pieces still feels more comfortable on a keyboard than pads. The Pads are Soooooo much better for basslines, chords and synths (IMO).

My MCU is just the heart of my setup and I much more prefer mixing volumes, sends and even effects on full faders over little knobs. I still reach for the MCU to adjust a track volume rather than Pushes encoders.

The Launchpad is perfectly dedicated to triggering clips / stopping clips. I can trigger different drum tracks and pieces while sequencing a piece which saves switching pages and instruments on the Push and speeds up work flow.

Multiple tools really can help. The only thing in my setup that became pretty redundant because of Push was my MPD32 so I sold that but I do miss the larger pads which were more sensitive for finger drumming though the features of the Push drum control far outweighs the loss of the MPD and that paid for 1/3 of the Push.

BoddAH
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Re: Getting Push soon (maybe)

Post by BoddAH » Wed Oct 16, 2013 11:41 pm

jestermgee wrote:The iPad and its apps (Liine, Touchable, Touchosc and the likes) are all really good fun and add value to a setup because they are wireless and portable which makes controlling the system when you are not near it possible.

I have Push which can do most of the DAW control but I also have 2 MIDI keyboards, MCU and Launchpad and while the push is great it doesn't replace any of the other devices fully:

MIDI Keyboards are still needed in my setup because playing some classical or dynamic piano/string/brass pieces still feels more comfortable on a keyboard than pads. The Pads are Soooooo much better for basslines, chords and synths (IMO).

My MCU is just the heart of my setup and I much more prefer mixing volumes, sends and even effects on full faders over little knobs. I still reach for the MCU to adjust a track volume rather than Pushes encoders.

The Launchpad is perfectly dedicated to triggering clips / stopping clips. I can trigger different drum tracks and pieces while sequencing a piece which saves switching pages and instruments on the Push and speeds up work flow.

Multiple tools really can help. The only thing in my setup that became pretty redundant because of Push was my MPD32 so I sold that but I do miss the larger pads which were more sensitive for finger drumming though the features of the Push drum control far outweighs the loss of the MPD and that paid for 1/3 of the Push.
I can understand how you enjoy your setup but by the way you present it most of your stuff doesn't seem to be absolutely necessary unless you're a power user (which is a good thing for some dude considering getting Push). :)

Obviously you seem to be more comfortable on real MIDI keyboards for classical stuff because you're a trained keyboardist/pianist which isn't my case. Still, the fact that you even prefer Push for certain things is pretty cool. You say that playing complex stuff on a keyboard is "more comfortable" than on Push, do you mean it's still possible to play decently on Push? Is it theoretically possible to actually play a piano piece on Push with right hand+left hand with a sustain pedal or am I getting ahead of myself here?

I can see how having a dedicated mixing console with motorized faders and stuff could be pretty cool but I love the concept of one single device doing everything reasonably well and Push seems to fit the bill. In any case I do have a dedicated MIDI controller with faders and knobs for mixing.

Using both a Launchpad and Push is probably a nice in certain, very specific, situations but it sounds like luxury for me and if I'm not mistaken Push does everything Launchpad can do and much, much more.

So yeah. Obviously you seem to be a "no-compromise" kind of guy and that's cool. Still, most of the gripes and inconveniences with using Push exclusively don't sound like deal-breakers at all to me and I could easily live with them which is pretty comforting. :)

jestermgee
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Re: Getting Push soon (maybe)

Post by jestermgee » Thu Oct 17, 2013 1:57 am

It's always a personal thing on how any user approaches this kind of stuff.

I am not classically or even proper professionally trained in piano. I have been playing piano and keyboards for about 10 years and this is where it comes down to what "feels" natural. Playing soft pieces for instance feels more intuitive on keys that have some feedback when you push on them. You can feel the pressure you exert much better than a pad which remains static. The other Bigger picture is that for piano and strings especially I have a 61 key deck which is easier to spread over octaves without havinbg to transpose the key range.

My MCU is my favourite piece of hardware by far. Not the most fun, just the most useful. The same things can be done on Push (or ipad or even the launchpad) but not quite as nicely. I can spread over multiple channels with just 1 hand on faders and adjust as playing. Press a button and now I have faders which control macros, or sends or pans etc. One nice thing with a fader is you have an instant visual of what a level is doing. It is also very easy to just look away from the screen and meters and levels completely when doing some final mixing and adjusting and reach for sliders and know just how much that slider is adjusting and where its limits are which is something you just don't get with endless encoders.

Not all controllers are used all the time but I move round between them all the time using each for its best purpose and when getting in the "groove" its great to be able to just press a button or pull a fader and not have to switch pages and banks to do it. I spent the first 8 years of my youthful music days with little more than the PC and headphones to make music so now I have cash I can spend on a few controllers it has been well worth it for me over the last 8 years to choose what I like. Push joins that family now too.

v00d00ppl
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Re: Getting Push soon (maybe)

Post by v00d00ppl » Thu Oct 17, 2013 2:52 am

Does a push heat up overtime? I like to play midi controllers on top of my bed when I wake up and I don't want to start fires either.
SSL X Desk / Apollo Twin Solo / Sherman Restyler / Ensoniq EPS Classic / Analog Keys / Handsome Audio Zulu

jestermgee
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Re: Getting Push soon (maybe)

Post by jestermgee » Thu Oct 17, 2013 3:48 am

v00d00ppl wrote:Does a push heat up overtime? I like to play midi controllers on top of my bed when I wake up and I don't want to start fires either.
Doesn't even get warm to the touch.

TomViolenz
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Re: Getting Push soon (maybe)

Post by TomViolenz » Sat Nov 02, 2013 2:09 pm

jestermgee wrote:The iPad and its apps (Liine, Touchable, Touchosc and the likes) are all really good fun and add value to a setup because they are wireless and portable which makes controlling the system when you are not near it possible.

I have Push which can do most of the DAW control but I also have 2 MIDI keyboards, MCU and Launchpad and while the push is great it doesn't replace any of the other devices fully:

MIDI Keyboards are still needed in my setup because playing some classical or dynamic piano/string/brass pieces still feels more comfortable on a keyboard than pads. The Pads are Soooooo much better for basslines, chords and synths (IMO).

My MCU is just the heart of my setup and I much more prefer mixing volumes, sends and even effects on full faders over little knobs. I still reach for the MCU to adjust a track volume rather than Pushes encoders.

The Launchpad is perfectly dedicated to triggering clips / stopping clips. I can trigger different drum tracks and pieces while sequencing a piece which saves switching pages and instruments on the Push and speeds up work flow.

Multiple tools really can help. The only thing in my setup that became pretty redundant because of Push was my MPD32 so I sold that but I do miss the larger pads which were more sensitive for finger drumming though the features of the Push drum control far outweighs the loss of the MPD and that paid for 1/3 of the Push.
After you were obviously so happy with the MCU, I immediately checked it out.
You may want to point out though, that this thing costs 1300€ by itself! Killed it for me...

jestermgee
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Re: Getting Push soon (maybe)

Post by jestermgee » Sat Nov 02, 2013 9:18 pm

Not really something one needs to "point out". You either have a need for it or not.

Like most decent hardware, it's not "cheap" but not everything is designed to be cheap. I suggest looking around for deals. I got mine 2 years ago just after the new version came out and it cost me $1100AU imported from the states. Normal local cost was around $2800.

You can get most of the same functionality on a budget with a BCF2000 which I purchased initially to test my desire for outboard mixing and that prompted me to want to upgrade very quick. With the MCU you pay for quality and functionality and it is a versatile surface that works in all the software I use (Ableton, Cubase, Vegas Pro etc etc).

Not something one "needs" but is certainly something that makes things a lit easier to work with.

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