I had Push 1 and think Push 2 is a huge step up. The screen and user interface is so much nicer. It can be a bit confusing at first simply because you now how so much more information displayed at once, which changes constantly, but once you use it for a few weeks it becomes second nature. The pads are a step up for sure. I feel the menu buttons are much more intuitively laid out as well.
I sold my A4 and Rytm a while back, soon after I got the Push 2. They are all little black boxes with menu-driven soft knobs. So, I was just trying to save some mula and simplify. I felt I could mostly recreate the benefits of the Rytm in Push 2 and Ableton. Not 100% obviously, but close enough for my purposes.
I really love the max4live drum synths. They are individual “machines” for kick, snare, hihat, etc. that you can drop onto a drum rack pad. They are very easy to control with Push. I also have Microtonic which is fantastic but not as easy to control with Push. I wish soniccharge would release a little scaled down version like the max4live drum synths that I could drop onto a drum rack pad - no sequencer, just one voice, etc.
I assume you could have the max4live drum synth on a pad and then group that and a simpler. Haven’t felt the need to try it yet.
I try and replicate the Rytm’s compressor and distortion by making my own fx rack targeted at drums. I use Glue, Presswerk, Satin, Permut8, etc. Works pretty well for me.
If you want to use third party vsts, you might have to do a bit of work upfront, depending on maker. Some are ready to go and I don’t have to anything. Some you have to “configure” the vst settings (and then save that as default for that device)
It would be helpful - to be able to rename banks, create blank spaces, use the icons, change colors, etc.
I find myself using the more basic vst instruments more with Push (ABL3, TAL UNO, Synplant, etc.). Anything more complicated and sometimes it’s just easier to look at the screen (Diva, Operator).
Simpler is fantastic to use with Push 2. I find myself using samples a lot more now! Once you get used to it, it’s a lot of fun.
I think P-locks are much better on Elektron instruments. I like to be able to control the entire character of a hit until it fades out. Say I want some reverb or distortion on a note quickly followed by more regular notes. With Elektron, lock it and that single note stays that way for the duration. Then the regular notes come back in, even if you have one on the very next step. With Live, your p-lock only lasts as long as that envelope lasts (it uses the envelop drawing view). So if you want your next hit with no reverb or distortion, the previous notes fx will suddenly stop. Kind of cuts off quickly. Make sense? Maybe kind of hard to explain and maybe I missing a trick but that’s how it seems to me. I much prefer Elektron’s system.
I don’t care about “speeding up” workflow, only having a nice alternative to doing everything with mouse and screen - after working on a computer all day. It simply gives me a bit of a break here and there in some parts of music creation, not every part.
Scales are very nice when songwriting! I use some other songwriting tools that depend on chord progressions and scales and it’s nice to have everything locked in together. Sometimes it feels a bit too easy.
Cheaper than having lots of hardware. I sold tons of stuff and don’t really regret it. (aside from missing having a couch jam away 100% away from the computer) It’s so solidly-made that it gives you that nice feeling of having a quality synth and/or drum machine in front of you.
I’d love to have a bit more info on the screen during Session mode that tells you where you are on the grid. I find myself constantly looking up at the computer to find where I am. Would be cool if maybe if they just had a simple little recreation of the grid on the Push screen when navigating that cuts on and off when needed? Context-sensitive?
It’s strange, and I admit I am picky when it comes to sequencing drums, but I honestly do not care for the rows of eight. I like sequencing drums on 16 straight across. I also sometimes tend to look up and just mouse-click to seq drums. I almost always get better results. Strange. I miss the Rytm’s 16 buttons!
I truly do not understand why Ableton does not make a little utility for renaming, coloring, and arranging banks, inserting blank spaces, etc… Seems a no-brainer. Very frustrating.
I still might repurchase an Elektron box (and/or OP-1) one day simply because I miss having a box to play with on the couch. Push is great, but you still are tethered to the computer. I think having the Rytm to start basic songs with and finish on the computer with OverBridge and Push 2 for vst synths would be fantastic setup. Hell, if Elektron would even put simple MIDI sequencing on the rytm I might use just it and one desktop synth for the ultimate simplified dub techno setup.
This video series should help with telling you if you’ll get along with Push 2 or not.