Review: Ableton Push 2

Review: Ableton Push 2

Ableton has announced a brand new update to their hardware and software platforms today – the Ableton Push 2 hardware and Ableton Live 9.5. In this new update, Ableton has improved a lot of the elements of the Push, adding a new multi-color screen, new sampling workflows, and smoother pads.

What’s Different On The Push 2 Hardware

Push 2 sets to improve upon the foundation of the original Push by offering a new level of playability. The biggest hardware improvement is the large, color LCD screen to show users what is going on within the hardware without having to bury their face into a laptop. The screen displays library navigation, sample waveforms, effects parameters, and mixer levels which can be tweaked using the touch-sensitive encoders above each screen panel. Push 2 also offers sampling workflows across the redesigned pads which allow users to create looping instruments, chop up samples, or play longer, melodic samples all within the pads. Ableton carefully redesigned the pads to feel normal and intuitive to musicians. Users will find that new Push pads to be softer, smoother, and more responsive when playing live.

Additionally there’s now VST and AU support on the Push 2 – allowing tweaking of all of the virtual instruments you might have collected on your own.

New Push 2 Sampling Workflows

The new sampling workflows intergrated into Push 2 give musicians the tools they need to easily work in and out of different Live devices to sample beats, loops, and notes. Push 2 offers three distinct workflows to give musicians creative ways to play.

Slicing Mode: This mode lets users chop up long samples and play each slice on a different pad, similar to the function of the Slice to New MIDI Track command. This is ideal for musicians who want to spontaneously rearrange loops or create drum kits from imported or recorded grooves.

Classic Mode: Here musicians can turn any melodic sample into a pitched instrument. The encoders at the top of the Push are used to edit start and end points as well as to modify attack, decay, sustain, and release parameters for each sample.

One Shot Mode: One Shot Mode is a monophonic workflow that plays back samples all the way through no matter how long the pad is held. This mode goes beyond finger drumming by allowing the user to also transpose a playing sample live, without having to retrigger it thus allowing the transformation of melodic phrases into completely new melodies.