Ableton Live 9 software may be the most interactive DAW or music creation program on the market. Getting the most out of Live means “performing” with the software to trigger loops and make adjustments on the fly. Yes, you can do this from your computer using the keyboard and mouse. But it’s so much easier and more musical to use a control surface. But you don’t want just any control surface; to really take advantage of all that Live offers, you need to get your hands on a dedicated control surface that can not only trigger loops from pads but also give you control over virtually every aspect of the software. That’s where the Ableton Push comes in. Push was designed from the ground up by Ableton to bring the power of Live out into the real world. No matter what you’re doing in Live, Push lets you do it quickly and easily, in a way that feels natural to musicians.
Push has 64 velocity and pressure-sensitive pads for triggering loops and for playing notes, chords, and beats. You can create and modify arrangements, record, edit, program, select and use devices — there are dedicated buttons for most functions. The 11 touch-sensitive encoders let you sweep through menus and set parameters, or you can use them to control parameters live during a performance or recording session.
Since Push is dedicated to Live, Ableton had the freedom to lock it directly to controlling the software. The controller becomes invisible once you get it under your fingers (and the learning curve is nonexistent). Working with Live has always been fun, but with Push, everything goes to a new level. It’s almost like you’re playing the software itself as an instrument.
Push requires Ableton Live 9, but the software is included when you purchase Push, so you’ll be ready to go right out of the box. If you use an earlier version of Live (1–8), there are upgrades available.