Push 2. How are users finding it after honeymoon?


#1

Just sold some gear. Interested in rytm but can get push 2 for a quarter of the price. I know rytm is more streamlined and job specific but is push 2 relatively easy to configure to act/achieve almost the same workflow/functions? I don’t wanna take a computer to shows but thinking I could use push for writing/programming in studio then bounce the push ableton mix to wav and trigger as one shot stem on my sp404 from OT midi sequencer at shows? I’m playing guitar, keys, and OT already so I doubt I’d have much chance to live tweak RYTM anyway…

Basic questions/requirements -

Vst control setup - could I for instance set it up so I can use push as a drum machine with Softube Heartbeat and have it behave like a hardware drum machine re knobs/drum tracks. Ie I select kick and the knobs control kick parameters. I select snare and the knobs control snare parameters?

P-locks - are these as straight forward on Push as on Elektron boxes? And can I do them on 3rd party instruments and parameters or only ableton stock instruments?

Layering - is there a good workflow out there on Push for Layering samples with ‘analog’ drums? So for instance if I’m using Softube Heartbeat as ‘analog’ but want to beef the kick up or give it some weird character, how complicated/fractured does it get if I want to add a sample layer? I have Geist but wondering if anyway to streamline using Analog vst + Sample vst for layers in a simultaneous programming kind of way? RYTM looks great for this…

Thanks.


#2

I have had my Push2 only for a few months and I’m not perhaps the most experienced user, but after my understanding in drum rack you cannot easily control single pad parameters. You get just common controls for the whole rack. I hope that I’m proven wrong.

I love sequencing with push2, though. I have made one monster rack with config for Rytm, Machinedrum, Maschine, Op1 and microgranny on the same rack! So fun and inspirational to play around with it in 64 pad mode.

For parameter locking it’s definitely not as rewarding as with elektron boxes. You can only parameter lock those parameters you have defined for 8 knobs.

I cannot also understand why it’s not possible to simply copy pads around with push2. Same with clips. :confused:


#3

What is your experience with Ableton Live? For me, Push 2 made a lot of sense because I had a solid foundation in Live. After a few months of using it I don’t find it to be completely mouse/keyboard free, but enough so that my brain doesn’t really need to switch tasks like it did between software and hardware like before. It’s hardware-like (and maybe most importantly to you, Elektron-like) that I can groove things out no differently than I do in a strictly hardware setup which was my main concern, and having the flexibility of software ultimately makes things like sequencing more intuitive to me (sorry Elektron, but I like sequences longer than 64 steps). For me, it replaced my OT (for now), but the RYTM is next on my list if that tells you anything.

At least compared to the OT, what I miss most are the happy accidents the OT gives, those “I never would have thought to program this” moments-there’s a lot more intention working ITB. But longer sequences, infinite LFOs and envelopes, virtually any sound I want to mangle…for me, it made a lot of sense for the way I wish to work. I’ll also be first in line for an OT MK2 with Overbridge.

Regarding your other questions:
Reaktor 6 is pretty much the only other thing I use other than processing plugins, and I have an Ableton Live script that displays the first 128 parameters of whatever ensemble I’m using. This is hit or miss, since it populates a lot of things that don’t have any effect on the sound and ignores countless others. It’s easy-peasy to control anything displayed, and R6 is probably a poor choice since there’s so much variation-FWIW the factory ensembles are very comprehensive and don’t leave a lot of other things you’d wish to control. The handful of other VSTs I use seem to map well to Push 2, and I honestly prefer having M4L patches that cover every parameter over dialing things in on my Elektrons.

P-locks for drum tracks are great. I’m less pleased with the melodic step sequencer, as it is much more intuitive to hold a trig and turn a knob on Elektron gear than it is to jump all around the melodic step sequencer to tweak things per step. Really hoping Ableton finds a way to improve this as it’s my only real complaint with Push 2.

Layering-this is really more specific to how well you understand Live, as there are lots of ways to layer sounds and it’s one of those things that is far easier to do in software than it is to do in hardware.


#4

What is your experience with Ableton Live? For me, Push 2 made a lot of sense because I had a solid foundation in Live. After a few months of using it I don’t find it to be completely mouse/keyboard free, but enough so that my brain doesn’t really need to switch tasks like it did between software and hardware like before. It’s hardware-like (and maybe most importantly to you, Elektron-like) that I can groove things out no differently than I do in a strictly hardware setup which was my main concern, and having the flexibility of software ultimately makes things like sequencing more intuitive to me (sorry Elektron, but I like sequences longer than 64 steps). For me, it replaced my OT (for now), but the RYTM is next on my list if that tells you anything.

At least compared to the OT, what I miss most are the happy accidents the OT gives, those “I never would have thought to program this” moments-there’s a lot more intention working ITB. But longer sequences, infinite LFOs and envelopes, virtually any sound I want to mangle…for me, it made a lot of sense for the way I wish to work. I’ll also be first in line for an OT MK2 with Overbridge.

Regarding your other questions:
Reaktor 6 is pretty much the only other thing I use other than processing plugins, and I have an Ableton Live script that displays the first 128 parameters of whatever ensemble I’m using. This is hit or miss, since it populates a lot of things that don’t have any effect on the sound and ignores countless others. It’s easy-peasy to control anything displayed, and R6 is probably a poor choice since there’s so much variation-FWIW the factory ensembles are very comprehensive and don’t leave a lot of other things you’d wish to control. The handful of other VSTs I use seem to map well to Push 2, and I honestly prefer having M4L patches that cover every parameter over dialing things in on my Elektrons.

P-locks for drum tracks are great. I’m less pleased with the melodic step sequencer, as it is much more intuitive to hold a trig and turn a knob on Elektron gear than it is to jump all around the melodic step sequencer to tweak things per step. Really hoping Ableton finds a way to improve this as it’s my only real complaint with Push 2.

Layering-this is really more specific to how well you understand Live, as there are lots of ways to layer sounds and it’s one of those things that is far easier to do in software than it is to do in hardware.
[/quote]
Thanks. I’m ‘ok’ with ableton but I’m Def not a power user. I’ve never really looked under the hood or used M4L. I’ve traditionally just used it to come up with random ideas then taken those in to a ‘normal’ DAW to work further as I use a lot of guitar and vocals and really miss stuff like Take Lanes and comping features.
Sounds like p-locks have a way to go before they nail it like Elektron. Bit of a concern though I’m not sure exactly how much more long-winded it is on Push from your description, I’ll try to find a video that illustrates it.
I need to get/learn Reaktor! Heard nothing but good things…
I too nearly every project at least once need sequences longer than 64steps. So that’s a pretty huge advantage over RYTM. Seems like it all balances out about even with every pro con considered… Guess I’ll grab Push as it’s way cheaper and then look at RYTM if Push doesn’t feel like it’s working for me. Thanks for your insights.


#5

Thanks. That sounds pretty lame about not being able to copy pads and clips in a convenient way. Seems there are always really strange decisions/omissions like this from every manufacturer out there!?


#6

For me Push 2 is more about being an idea generator combined with an instrument. It’s not a full on DAW controller nor does it attempt to mimic a groovebox ala Maschine. It’s great for those early stages where you’re sketching out ideas and doing basic arrangements. Then when you want to dive deeper and finish the song (complex arrangements, mixdown, etc.) everything is right there in your DAW ready to mouse about as needed.

Push is not meant to give you complete access to everything in Live without a mouse or looking at the computer screen, which is something I think a lot of people get hung up on for the wrong reasons. It’s more of an extension of the program, once facet that gives you a lot more hands on control of the more musical aspects of song creation.

VST integration largely depends on the individual plug ins and how they make their parameters visible to DAWs. While a few seem to work really well, it’s nowhere near as tight as it with the built instruments, which have almost all their controls mapped to Push. Ableton redid all the mappings for 9.5 too, so it’s a lot more intuitive than when the first Push came out.

As mentioned before me, P-locks are there but it’s not quick as simple as it is on the Elektron gear. If nothing else there’s just a lot more parameters and pages you need to dig through with the Live instruments. It works fine for me FWIW.

Layering drums you can do with drum racks, put a sample in one cell and a synth in another one and then link them together, done. You can’t do all this from Push 2 though I don’t believe, but i haven’t tried myself.

Overall though I love Push 2, it’s a HUGE improvement on the original and I find it makes starting songs in Live a helluva lot of fun. I can quickly get some ideas down on the hardware, and if I need to fine tune something, I just reach for the mouse real quick and then back to Push 2. The pads feel great, and it’s one of the nicest built electronic instruments I’ve ever owned.

Full disclosure, I work for Ableton now, but I would think this about Push 2 regardless. It’s not perfect (browsing can be painful in large libraries), but I think it brings a lot to Live.


#7

Oh, wow, now we have a mule in!!! :wink:
Quick sampling to drum pads, individual macros per drum pad and copying pads/clips around. Please make it happen! :slight_smile:


#8

Thanks a lot for the info. Sounds like it should be almost perfect for what I need and I can prob hold off on rytm until I feel like I want a drum machine in my live setup. I think I’ll be OK with triggered stems for drums for now though. Seems like it makes ableton way more hands on/instrument-like and fun than mouse which is really all I’m looking for I guess for drum programming. And obviously it has the benefit of being super useful for non-drums initial ideas jamming etc like you say.
Now you’re at Ableton maybe you can nudge them along toward a better p-locks system :wink:


#9

Oh … our honeymoon is not over … I liked Push 1 very much and Push 2 is a real improvement.

There has been already much said, which is also my experience … so I will not repeat it.

From the beginning I loved the work without keyboard or mouse for creating first sketches of a new track. Since Push 2 the pads are much more sensitive and I use them often to try out first ideas of melodies or cords. The support of “scales” has proven to be a nice little creativity booster. It’s fun to play a once exercised fingering on a totally different scale. More then once new ideas came up this way.

After ordering and structuring ideas, which has to be done the old-school way of mouse and keyboard, it’s fun to use the the pads to try and create arrangements and play and re-mix the ideas live. Here I often get back to create new ideas additionally. It’s an iterative process …

As far as possible I use it also as a mixing interface. But this depends on the support of the plug-ins :wink:


#10

I still have push 1, but i dont see so much features on push 2 which would make me buy one.

Essentially - yes you can do a quick groove with the build in instruments, but if you use other vst´s, its not that practical. My main instrument vst is Omnisphere, and it has a lot more parameters as live can handle.

I generally make sound design first, and apply a very minimal midi sequence before i start to fleshing out the tune.

Push does not help that much with other "vst"´s so thats why i stopped using it that much. (Once in a while, yes.)

If i want a good sounding result from Abeltons stock plugins i tend to stack them in complex racks and re sample them quiet often.

When everything is in sub menus in push, its not that quick to handle.

I also work mostly in arrangement mode, and there the push is mostly useless. I would save the money for the RYTM.

The scales feature is very nice (as SoundRider posted above.) But you can get a novation circuit, with intuitive handling, and sound generation for 250 €/$ 2nd hand, it can sequence hardware , and you can record the sequence into abelton. Its also a very good idea creator. (and more.)


#11

I found that in terms of producing music it’s more of a hindrance than a tool. Almost all the functions it has I can do faster or more precisely with the mouse. You can go pretty deep with it in terms of functions but there is a limit to what you can do and then you have to go back to the mouse. Then you realise it would have taken less time with the mouse anyway. If you are performing live, that’s another question entirely. I think it can be a great live tool!


#12

From what I’ve seen of it in videos the sequencing from pads instead of drawing notes with mouse and recently added/improved sample chopping etc will definitely speed things up here…


#13

If you have no other gear like a keyboard and maybe some pads, yes. But that’s basically saying keyboards and pads are better for beat making - sure! Sample chopping is most definitely faster with a mouse. Navigating, auditioning and loading up samples are also a chore compared to the mouse. I always felt like I’m using the interface of a drum machine or a sampler like the MPC 1000 or similar, although not as backwards. The screen is nice and everything. I doubt it speeds up any of the production tasks. If you need to be precise and edit something your recorded in detail you will go and draw the notes :slight_smile: At least I do.
Of course these are only my personal opinions of the Push.


#14

Not hugely in to the sound/interface of the Novation Circuit as standalone. Looks fun as a sketch pad but I’d probably want to replace 90% of the sounds in any serious patterns which is the kind of sideways stepping chore in the writing/recording process I’m trying to eradicate :wink: Great for the price but quite limited programming sounds standalone. And seems like it would be the same ‘jack of all trades master of none’ when used as a controller for ableton. I’d be interested if they made a ‘pro’ model though maybe with more knobs/pads and a lot more pattern memory and way deeper on board parameter access etc.


#15

If you have no other gear like a keyboard and maybe some pads, yes. But that’s basically saying keyboards and pads are better for beat making - sure! Sample chopping is most definitely faster with a mouse. Navigating, auditioning and loading up samples are also a chore compared to the mouse. I always felt like I’m using the interface of a drum machine or a sampler like the MPC 1000 or similar, although not as backwards. The screen is nice and everything. I doubt it speeds up any of the production tasks. If you need to be precise and edit something your recorded in detail you will go and draw the notes :slight_smile: At least I do.
Of course these are only my personal opinions of the Push. [/quote]
I have keyboards but nothing with a pad grid suitable for ableton sequencing or triggering cells to experiment with structures etc. The guy offering me it has had it a week and owes me a deal. £250. The new auto chopping with transient sensitivity and map auto to pads looks quicker than mouse action to me from vids? For fine trimming its gonna always be something where a mouse is actually pretty practical. Searching/Loading/auditioning from large banks etc is always going to suck on hardware compared to a computer screen. OT for example is the same. I’m not expecting things like that to be an improvement. Just hands on workflow stuff…


#16

If you have no other gear like a keyboard and maybe some pads, yes. But that’s basically saying keyboards and pads are better for beat making - sure! Sample chopping is most definitely faster with a mouse. Navigating, auditioning and loading up samples are also a chore compared to the mouse. I always felt like I’m using the interface of a drum machine or a sampler like the MPC 1000 or similar, although not as backwards. The screen is nice and everything. I doubt it speeds up any of the production tasks. If you need to be precise and edit something your recorded in detail you will go and draw the notes :slight_smile: At least I do.
Of course these are only my personal opinions of the Push. [/quote]
I have keyboards but nothing with a pad grid suitable for ableton sequencing or triggering cells to experiment with structures etc. The guy offering me it has had it a week and owes me a deal. £250. The new auto chopping with transient sensitivity and map auto to pads looks quicker than mouse action to me from vids? For fine trimming its gonna always be something where a mouse is actually pretty practical. Searching/Loading/auditioning from large banks etc is always going to suck on hardware compared to a computer screen. OT for example is the same. I’m not expecting things like that to be an improvement. Just hands on workflow stuff… [/quote]
I hear you. For 250 it’s a good deal! Take it! In worst case you sell it if you don’t like it. No-brainer.


#17

Can you tell us what you’ll be doing for Ableton? Is it hardware, software or PR-related?

In terms of Push 2, I’d love to see there be more functionality in the Arrangement View, as right now there’s basically nothing. I’m not expecting a full implementation as that surely wouldn’t be possible on the hardware as designed, but a few key commands being mapped across would be nice.


#18

I’m an administrator for their forums, and do early product testing.
In the new beta of Live coming out shortly they at least added the option to hold Shift + Rec for arrangement recordings. That helps with some things.


#19

Push 2 is a great improvement over Push 1.
how much you can do without the mouse depends on partly on your workflow, and prep before hand. (Live is huge, it inevitable that Push cannot expose it all)

For me the one missing thing, is that you cannot rename vst parameters and pages (and would be nice to rename pages for M4L parameters too).
this does limit, how integrated VSTs/M4L devices can feel, and can make some VSTs pretty difficult to use.

(This has been frequent request by users, even for Push 1, so perhaps one day we will get it)

the other short fall, is similar, ser mode no longer allows 3rd party apps to access the screen (as it did in the Push1), which was useful for things like Numerology/Native Kontrols PXT. not a big issue, but allowed 3rd parties to extend push beyond Ableton’s ideas.

But overall it makes Live feel like an instrument… so does what I wanted/expected.


#20

I’m an administrator for their forums, and do early product testing.
In the new beta of Live coming out shortly they at least added the option to hold Shift + Rec for arrangement recordings. That helps with some things.[/quote]
The Shift+Rec function went into the 9.6 update. Also, it’s no issue to record changes from Push’s knobs into Arrangement, so even if it isn’t designed to have a lot of functionality outside of Session it’s still more than perfectly useful for Arrangement.

Since you’re a forum admin and product tester for them now (congrats!), I made a post about the melodic step sequencer a while back: https://forum.ableton.com/viewtopic.php?f=55&t=219444. Wanna put a bug in their ear for us all? :slight_smile: