These pads are 100% way, way better than MPC/MPD pads. They are not even in the same league.Hmm.. That's not a good sign because that's actually been the case for all Akai pads because they're not sensitive and responsive enough due to the way they're designed with a gap between the sensor and the pads. Whenever I tried to play sustained notes on MPCs and MPDs, they would get cut off too easily, making them only useful for percussive style triggering. It's night and day when comparing to more sensitive pads like on Maschine or padkontrol which don't have that issue at all.
I have the pad sensitivity set to -15, and it is the most satisfying instrument to play in terms of physical responsiveness that I have ever had, including guitars, pianos and keyboards. It truly feels like an instrument designed for playing synths, which up to now have mostly been pianos that make synthesizer noises.
That said, the layout of the pads is not as accommodating for certain chord/intervals as a regular keyboard, which is both a positive and negative. Negative, because I can't directly translate my (limited) keyboard proficiency onto the pads, but positive because it causes me to play things in new ways, which is awesome.
ALSO, unexpected for me, I find myself far more proficient than I expected, due to the pads using much of the same motor memory and mechanics as typing on a computer keyboard, which I am doing all day long.
I am extremely happy with Push so far. It's not without its faults, but I spent 2 hours playing and jamming and creating new beats last night, and never once had to use my mouse.
I've used Configure to set VST parameters for DIVA, including changing oscillator and filter modes, and it has completely reinvented the synth for me. It feels like playing hardware, and it feels amazing.
If my own experience is any indication, part of the reason there's so much toxic-ass bitching on the forums about it, is that the people who really like it are too busy playing with it to spend time online
Again, not without its problems, but it is a huuuuuge step forward for hands-on production.