Ableton Push vs Novation Launchpad Pro (or others?)

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Ableton Push vs Novation Launchpad Pro (or others?)

Post by Vehrka » Mon Mar 04, 2019 9:46 pm

Hey guys so I was recently testing out both Ableton & Bitwig as a new DAW and have finally settled on buying Ableton Live Suite with an educational discount. However, I would like to buy a grid controller in addition to Live and I'm not sure which to get. I do have an MPK Mini but I've never actually found it very "inspiring" to use and, like I said, I'd like to have an actual grid controller.

On one hand, I've never heard a single bad thing about the Push. It looks amazing and judging from reviews it seems to really improve people's workflows within Live. However, the Push will put me over $1,000 even with my educational discount. For someone just starting out with Live and still getting used to its workflow will the Push really make a difference over the $300 Launchpad Pro? Also, how good is the Launchpad Pro compared to the Push? Is it comparable on a perfomance level? Are the feel of the pads similar or is the Launchpad's "cheap"? Would I be able to do the same things with the Launchpad Pro that I can with the Push?

Thank you all for any advice and information & if you have any suggestions other than the Push or Launchpad Pro I'd love to hear them!

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Re: Ableton Push vs Novation Launchpad Pro (or others?)

Post by jestermgee » Mon Mar 04, 2019 11:17 pm

Really depends on what you want/need (with want and need being different things).

Since you are starting, you do not have a "need" for anything, you could make music and learn the ropes with no hardware, you have a want. So what is it you want from the controller?

The short of it is Push is more flexible as it has the clip launch and grid system of the LP but then also has a display, encoders and access to all devices and parameters for designing your sound so it's a very good extension to Live and very good in "studio" usage.

The LP is your grid system and you can use it to play drums and keys on but it's much more limited and I would say much more designed for portability and performance. I have an old Launchpad but have not used the Pro version but other than the velocity sensitive pads and coloured LEDs, there isn't much else different I don't believe.

Of course if I was presented with either option I would choose Push any day because it's well engineered, very well thought out and very intuitive that if I was a new user it could make things a bit easier to get a handle on because it offers more simple tacktile usage than fumbling with the software. But of course that all comes at a cost of approx $500 more than the LP. If it is worth it is up to the individual really.

just my $0.02

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Re: Ableton Push vs Novation Launchpad Pro (or others?)

Post by LarZ2 » Fri Mar 15, 2019 6:40 am

I use PUSH2 for triggering midi notes on a synth, I don't use the piano keyboard on the synth. PUSH2 is way better than learning every scale in every key, and playing on a piano keyboard. You can do a million things with PUSH2, but I only use it as a keypad trigger melody notes on the synth.

Launchpad Pro for triggering clips and songs in Ableton. Instead of using the mouse, finding the little box to click, just push one button on the Launchpad to start or stop the entire song, or individually clips. Makes life easy.

Launch Control XL is basically a mixer for Ableton. The sliders control the volume of each track, and the knobs adjust reverb and delay on each track.

With one button, I start the clip with Launchpad Pro, then use PUSH2 for playing melody solo sounds, while using Launch Control to constantly adjust volumes and reverb. There are a lot of ways to use all of these controllers, but this is my essential setup.

PUSH2 is a big investment, expensive, but there is a lot of functionality in there. It will do everything, but I have the other controllers so I can keep one hand on the PUSH to keep the melody going.

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Re: Ableton Push vs Novation Launchpad Pro (or others?)

Post by ricksteruk » Fri Apr 19, 2019 3:50 pm

I bought a Launchpad Pro about 3 weeks ago.

I loved the way I could get hands on control of my sessions / clips - and I love the note / drum modes. But I wanted more so I bought and installed the Arsenal LPP script which gives extra functionality more in line with the push - like drum step sequencer. I really liked it.


When I had an emptyish session it was really hard to remember which tracks / columns instruments were on - so arming the right track for recording - or launching clips was tricky. I found it frustrating to have to keep looking back at the screen all the time.

SO I have returned it and bought a Push2 instead.

I find I can do most things now directly on Push (browsing and loading devices / mixing). If you can afford it I would recommend Push2. Apart from the screen (which I would pay the extra for by itself) there are a lot of extra functions in Push - the knob and buttons around the screen give a tremendous range of options for devices / mixing / editing / browsing.

The only thing I liked better on Launchpad was when you press "Mute", "Solo", "Record" or "Stop" buttons the bottom row of the grid went into a special overlay mode that showed you clearly which tracks were Muted / Soled etc.. and you could just click those. I find the way the same buttons work on Push to be a bit more confusing - the colour LEDS on the track buttons are not very clear and hard to distinguish from the regular colours.
Muted tracks go dark grey and soloed tracks go light blue.

To answer your specific question about comparison - I did not feel the Launchpad was cheap - though it is plastic bodied it felt like a professional product - the pads felt really good too. But on a hardware level Push really is a step up in overall quality with it sturdy metal frame - and the pads are even better still!

With the 3rd party Arsenal LPP and Note Plus scripts installed on Launchpad Pro you can do perhaps 75% of the usual functions of Push2 - without the scripts more like 50%.

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Re: Ableton Push vs Novation Launchpad Pro (or others?)

Post by baseinstinct » Wed Sep 04, 2019 11:34 pm

I have tested launch pad pro but ended up going for push 1. Some find LPP easier. I would say this is a matter of getting used to push workflow. You can't do all with push, but the out-of-computer experience of making music is really worth some limitations.

Arsenal might make LPP do most of what Push does but at the current prices, Push 1 is a bargain, and you won't need any third party additions.

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Re: Ableton Push vs Novation Launchpad Pro (or others?)

Post by JAMM » Thu Sep 26, 2019 3:11 pm

Have a push and two novation launchkeys (don,t use them much) what i don,t like from the novation,s is that the pads turn green after a busy set performing live i get lost a bit which clips are playing and have to watch the screen constantly. So push for triggering clips, and playing synths.
Besides that a push alone isn,t enough for my setup so next to the push i also use a cheap bcr 2000 which still is one the greatest and most flexible controllers.

Only downside on the push is that the push uses the grahic card from the hostlaptop which in my case takes off 30% off the cpu and causes audio dropouts. So have to use a mfl device to turn off the push screen which works. So if you buy a push you need to have a quadcore laptop.

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