Push Pre-sale question: Step modulations (PLocks)?

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Push Pre-sale question: Step modulations (PLocks)?

Post by clementshawes » Sat Aug 10, 2013 8:46 pm

I'm looking to splash out a bit, Ableton Live 9 Suite upgrade is a must.
However, I'm on the fence with Push....

Ever since I got a MachineDrum, I've loved the step-sequencer and PLock way of working. Maschine offers this and I was a little disappointed when I read that Live/Push doesn't (at least not at my time of reading).

I'd love for a way to do this with Push - I'm looking to spend out in the next six weeks.
Ideally, if Push offered this (either with/out M4L) then my purchase will be Live 9 Suite upgrade with Push and a DSI Prophet 12.
I'd like to think this would be the sort of thing that would keep me busy for time to come.

When I say 'offered this', I mean the ability to use Push to select my device/bank within Live then push/hold the step and tweak that parameter, writing that param-value to that step only. I'm less bothered if I can access/tweak EVERY parameter on every channels devices, I'd even settle for a sort of 'best-of' 8 params per channel if that was the best I can get for now.

There seems to be so much, yet so little, on this matter so if there's a better thread out there on this then please advise.

Thank you in advance :-)

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Re: Push Pre-sale question: Step modulations (PLocks)?

Post by Chicle777 » Sun Aug 11, 2013 6:51 pm

PLocks aren´t available with the default setup but something that I would love to see implemented soon. The only parameters available per step are nudge, note length and velocity. Not sure if there is a work around with M4L but It would feel more natural if it was implemented under the default setup since you access those parameters by pressing the step you want to adjust.
Ableton 9.2 Suite + Push, Elektron Octratrack, Nord Lead A1, Nord Drum 2 + Nord Pad, Mono Evolver Desktop, microKorg, SidStation, Nanoloop 1.3-2.01, Mackie 1402 VLZPro, Edirol FA-66

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Re: Push Pre-sale question: Step modulations (PLocks)?

Post by Motion » Tue Aug 13, 2013 2:04 pm


I see from your post you are already a Live user as you may be considering an upgrade…PUSH is outstanding in regard first and foremost performance, control of Live features/functions itself is also not bad in its current incarnation.Its very fast once you get familiar with it but with ones own work style YMMV.

I would second P-Locks…I think we are talking about what would effectively be per note automation handling in the DAW, I hope Ableton can implement this (there nearest competitor has) In any case I own Elektrons and they are wonderful machines with the P-locks baked in providing for a very tight experience and level of finely nuanced and detailed use of automation events…as you know pick whatever paramater page, press the trig twist the knob or freely jam them out whilst recording…done!.Then there is a a lot of ways to remove, adjust, even slide the events towards each other….it really is a powerful and creative system.

I could go on and say that there is a limit to the amount of P-Locks but for most I hear very little about people exceeding that limit.

With PUSH I have to say there is a real synergy here and whilst its early days I see great things coming and would comfortably say that given PUSH's existing control of automation then P-Locking is going to be entirely realistic…I suspect its all down to scripting and PUSH being able to handle a lot of events with updates to its screen etc..no idea whats in there but I'd love to see a tear down, just exactly how quick it is with it handling events since midi is serial at the end of the day.Personally I'm amazed that OSC/networking was not an option on it…maybe that will be PUSH 2.But it already seems very tight and the LCD screen appears to update smartly with many parameters receiving automation.

You can already very crudely do P-locking and I really do mean crudely.In Note Mode at this point there is no way to see a static step overview of the notes playing except in Drum Mode (as Chicle 777 says you can hold a note/trigger and all you get is nudging, note length and velocity, you can of course drop most things in there such as samples synths etc) as of now notes playing back from the clip in Notes Mode with a synth the notes will briefly trigger/flash PUSH's pads, there is no option to see a static view like in Drum Mode (where they are highlighted and the timeline/moving steps in the sequence passes below) which (possibly given the added functionality) would then allow you to hold the note and the LCD switches to show existing assigned automation and or apply further automation targets which appear under the encoders (scrollable for more) that you have already pre set up in your device/banks…as of now the crudity is that in Drum Mode you can use the loop brace to highlight individual notes and navigate around with the cursor keys of your keyboard…the corresponding pad will then highlight allowing you to record automation events and so on, of course the problem is that what ever is last set in the preceding note will be the start of the next note necessitating you to set this up for its own idividual auto events if indeed this is required…tedious to say the least but doable…how about 16 clips or however many set to say legato and (program each one with the position brace) follow actions you could thrash out automation across the lot navigating and entering the automation with PUSH but you'd have to be vey quick with just one note…or just slow the tempo right down!….there is a ton of creative/options and a lot of cool focused work and or experimental ideas that can come to fruition with PUSH but alas nothing of the sort.I'm not aware of any M4L scripts or devices that can create this functionality.

Maybe for those killer few bars/sequences its bearable but ultimately quicker to just use the screen/keyboard (you could also use preset automation patterns and drag them in)…but at least working like this you can jointly as mentioned input the automation form PUSH's encoders which is great.I dont see anything wrong with still using the computer screen since you are geting pretty deep with editing/control.

The other issue I find is that you could have many bars/notes/quantizations and navigating the area of interest whilst welcomed would be cool…ie the ability for PUSH to quantize zoom/scrub inside/across bars so the note grid shows where all the notes/triggers are would easily work for me.There is quite a bit of LCD real estate unused in clip mode, this can perhaps give this info, also perhaps PUSH having the ability to focus on the specific clip automation envelopes parameter and show the bar length lessening the need to view the computer screen (they will be recalled as you touch the relevant encoder) since you can unlink these and have multiple bars of different lengths going on.

PUSH is superb in relation to playing, general song structure and arrangement and I suspect whole user modes will be programmed with dedicated M4L instruments/devices that may well bring more and interesting bespoke handling of automation with said instrument…as it is banging out beats with drum racks stuffed with the new M4L drum synths is very nice indeed.However I believe the mainstream meat and potatoes work of general performance and composition is its forte and the modus operandi, anything else of this detail that may be added by Ableton/others I personally consider as a bonus.

Maybe you can test one out and see if its for you but for what it can do already its well worth the entry price and further refinements and more detailed editing perhaps along the lines of P-Locks I hope may come…or just wait and see since scripting/programming/additional Live features seem to be the only restriction and providing the hardware can reasonably represent whats going on with Live in a meaningful and useable way.


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