Ableton Intros Push 2 – Here’s What’s New


Ableton today introduced Push 2 – a major update to their hardware controller for Live.

The second-generation Push features a larger, multi-color display, improved hands-on sampling options and softer, more expressive pads.

Here’s a video overview of the new Push 2:

Ableton is offering a trade-in program for Push 1 users wanting to upgrade.

Owners of the original Push can trade in their unit for a 30% discount on the new model. Returned Push 1s will be refurbished and donated to music education programs for young people.

Ableton Push 2 is priced at us $799. See the Ableton site for details.

52 thoughts on “Ableton Intros Push 2 – Here’s What’s New

  1. Expensive, tethered, superfluous.
    No buy.

    A stand alone device running ableton at 800-1000EUR should be possible, including Audio ins and outs.
    I’d suggest an external monitor for editing.

    Ableton = just as lame as Native Instruments.
    And both only slightly better than AKAI.

    The 9.5 update also lags behind my expectations.

    Ableton user since 2001, disappointed with all this laptop-tethered USB crap. Yuck.

    1. So, back to age of MPCs? Why? Everything you just described is a computer? Something standalone would always be limited by proprietary BS and workarounds.

      1. I don’t have anything against Push 2, seems nice, but I do wish there were some solid, new, “Old MPC” options where you could be sure that 15 years from now, the thing would still be useful. I like my Maschine 2, but in 15 years it will probably be good for nothing but the dump.

      2. Computers are fine. For editing. Performance, not so much if they are optimized for typing.
        Standalone versions of push/ableton, maschine or renaissance could use tried and tested standards like jack plugs, din midi and sd cards for storage. The proprietary limits would be tolerable.
        They would be compact and rugged enough for the stage, and expandable in the studio for editing (i.e. mouse, keyboard, screen).
        Also, more expensive than a controller, but less expensive than a laptop+controller+audiointerface.

        1. You are describing the only way I would use something like NI for performing. A self contained hardware solution, reliable as a keyboard workstation, updatable (at least for as long as you can update a pc), expandable (a monitor, a mouse, a keyboard, for when you need to program sounds and use all that power) and when you cannot update it any more, you have a nice workstation that can last for years to come.

    2. You are essentially describing the Rhizome by Feeltune, however poor marketing, a forever beta stage OS and an arrogant CEO that insisted on conducting the product demos despite his poor command of the English language (a Frenchman), and in an effort to reduce the price they introduced a scaled version (the SXE model) that was essentially a controller that required a PC….they were insolvent by early 2013.

      1. I owned a Rhizome SXE. the things they got right I loved and havent seen since. the piano roll manipulation using knobs was easy and intuitive. I believe I payed $1300 for it but ultimately returned it when I couldn’t make a track without system-crippling bugs. I think push 2 is looking pretty rad. And why would anyone want an outdated, probably non-upgradeable computer inside a bulky drum machine that you are constantly pounding on? if you guys want that so bad then duck-tape your laptop underneath this thing and set it to boot on startup into ableton. better yet custom make a hardwood box and stuff a surface and an rme babyface inside. done. In fact I think if you guys got what you wanted there would be no end of complaining about how much the hardware sucks and how you miss the days of modular computer systems and personal choice. all this so you can look like a tool in a coffee shop or something? or because you dont want to bring a bigger laptop bag to a gig. I know, I know, so many wires… fuck. life.

    3. Not true. Been a hardware developer for years. They could not afford the CPU’s and RAM required to run that much DSP at that price. Only companies selling things in the 500,000 unit + range can get prices that low. If they did a standalone, it would still have to be a computer running Linux or some Windows OS otherwise they would have to rewrite all their code to run standalone custom DSP’s. It would be buggy as hell because they would have to create their own OS if it was not running something with the file systems already done and proven. They would have to do all this stuff to end up with a $2000+ product that they would sell maybe 3,000-4,000 a year for 2 years.

      1. great explanation! I sell this kind of stuff for a living and I get questions like this all the time! I will quote you from now on!

    4. I rather Novation comes out with a more powerful version of Circuit to compete. Batteries, no laptop, synth engine and more.

  2. I might trade in next year. Only had Push Uno for just less than a year. Got last November. Not a fan of premium price but discount helps a little. Still looks great and doesn’t look like a dust magnet like Push 1. And softer pads, been so longing for those. Also wish this was USB only. With synths and computer peripherals, you run out of outlets fast. 🙂

  3. I’m down for this. Ableton session view can’t be beaten and now that Push is implemented properly, it’s a no-brainer upgrde…especially with the 30% discount/charitable incentive.

    If there was one thing I would always wish for; It’s comping but I guess you can’t have everything…

    Hating this is self-hate.

  4. I’m on the other side. I have found Push to be an excellent controller for someone committed to using Ableton Live. It’s well-designed, very intuitive to use, and adds a lot to the Ableton user experience for someone who wishes to perform with the system. Is it cheap? No, but it’s not wildly expensive, either. I have a studio full of expensive hardware synths, and find Push removes some of the clicky-clicky computer use, bringing the computer more into the realm of instrument than simply recording-device. I’ll be upgrading.

    1. Agreed, push adds to ableton. And i mean no disrespect to push players.
      But wouldn’t you love it if you could leave your laptop and audio interface at home?

      1. maybe a lot of us only have the laptop and audio interface in order to use ableton? this is dsp kiddos, it doesn’t benefit from retroism or outdated hardware. i would not be stoked to still be using the audio interface i purchased 5 years ago.

      2. No. I use mine in a studio, so portability isn’t an issue. I absolutely love my Push and it’s the center of my workflow. Surprise! Your personal needs do not define the needs of everyone else.

      3. If I require a sampler and looper, I can get by with other devices, but when I require Ableton, I bring it. I’m an instrumentalist first and foremost, not a button-pusher. Push adds flexibility and usability on all accounts when that’s the system you need.

        1. To be fair, the Push is far more than just a sampler/looper. It’s an extremely playable musical controller for virtual instruments, which is where I derive nearly all of my value from it. I can think and perform more like a guitar player than a keyboard player when using a Push, and that’s super cool. The clip launching features would not have sold the device to me.

  5. I simply love my Push once I found the nativeKontrol PXT-General. Push 2 looks stunning and I’m happy that we get to have access to such wonderful products in this day and age. I’m not going to throw out the ‘entitled’ rant on what my personal ideal controller should be, expecting it to be replicated and sold to the masses. As far as cost…. I want Ableton to make money and a shit load of it…why? Because that will bring us better products, better innovations, which could lead to a better experience making music. The market never lies, if it’s too expensive people don’t buy it. Bravo Ableton, and thank you.

    1. “entitled” vs “market”……electronic music instrument making is deeply entrenched in the politics of capitalism

      also notice buzzword ‘beautiful’ on the ableton site

      our instruments keep getting upgraded to be more beautiful! if you dont like beauty your instrument will soon enough be obsolete and useless!

  6. I think I speak for the rest of us broke beat makers who just got Push 1 recently when I wonder whether the original will get any similar functions in a firmware update?

  7. Is there a full list of what they added to Push. If what is mentioned above is all there is, I really can’t justify the $310 (that’s with a discount). I’d every added feature but Push v 1 works pretty well for me.

  8. Watching the videos and seems like a nice update.

    And great to also see “warp” mode in Simple finally – what kept ya? That ends a huge work around – but still be nice to make it a real sampler and be able to record on-the-fly, like what you do with the looper, directly into the simpler machine.

    Yet seems they haven’t addressed the Push audio workflow much, if they did that and had a mic preamp then this box would be extremely powerful in all production and performance setups.

    Seems that this makes the new Akai MPC redundant, as it does all that display and function on sample edit, and then some at a good price.

    But I hope by v10 they have MPE, otherwise I may need to change my DAW to Bitwig – and it isn’t a deal breaker but the Analog machine needs a bigger brother.

  9. Seems like a wasted oppertunity to address some basic ergonomic issues like knob above display (so your hand will always be obscuring the display whilst tweeking)


    1. I disagree, I am glad they kept the knobs above like on the Push 1. Having had the Push 1 since it released, and having a lot of other controllers with knobs below a display, what you find is that if your controlled is on a table, even slanted up a bit, your hand in front of the display rotating a knob is going to block out MORE of the screen. The reason being, at least how I work, I don’t go straight up at the knob with my hand, I come in from the side. This is because I might actually be playing at the same time I am adjusting it. With this setup, since my hand is above the display, it’s not between my eyes and the screen, so it’s perfect.

      Ableton spent a long time with users on this, and studied a lot of work flow considerations. There are some other write-ups I’ve read on other sites that talk about the research they did. And people who I know who have the Push 2 are absolutely thrilled with all the updates, things just flow more naturally to them. I’ve not used it yet so I cannot give my opinion, but from what I’ve seen of the display readouts, fantastic.

  10. Huge range in quality between different midi controllers. If Push 2’s feel is up there with linnstrument (as one review said) then the premium price is worth it, along with the OLED display and the rest of the solid build.

    If you need it depends on how happy you are with your existing controllers and mouse/keyboard lineup. Ableton 9.5 is a strong suite on it’s own.

    One downgrade is the need for plugging it in vs getting all of its power over USB but I’m guessing it is the display consumes more power that Push 1. Requiring a wall-wort is always lame.

  11. It’s hard to believe that some the commentary comes from actual push users.

    I’ve found PUSH to be rock-solid in the studio… PUSH and LIVE are being used more and more… and we have a 50k Protools rig as an option. (along with every other DAW, Maschine, and every MPC ever made… and an ASR10 and SP1200 reissue.)

    I use it for in-house production and vocal tracking… PUSH makes a great “jack of all trades” control surface for speedy sessions… when the artist leaves, it becomes a fun groove production tool.

    I would take some of these comments with a grain of salt. Ableton is more reliable than PT12, any day of the week. This and the new update look great.

  12. I think it’s a pretty stand up thing that Ableton is offering a trade in on Push 1 at all, and even better that it goes to benefit other people at the far side of the transaction. I’m still very satisfied with my P1, so doubt I’ll upgrade though. My tipping point would be touching one and somehow falling in love with the new pads.

  13. This looks like a really fun way to work with Live. I’ll probably take the plunge, but it would’ve been really nice if the thing had it’s own sound card.

  14. the european central bank is extending its quantitative easing over the coming months which will devalue the euro, hold out till after christmas and you should get more euros for your pound/dollar.

  15. It’s incomprehensible to me that Ableton is basically saying that the Push 1 has lost 70% of its value in one year. What the hell does that tell you about spending your money on a Push 2?

    It’s no wonder there’s been a swing back to hardware.

    1. If you look at the pricing deduct 30% from €800 and the price is just above a brand-new push 1, or put another way push 2 with 30% off is the same price as push 1 plus inflation.

  16. My only concern is that they’ll eventually implement changes to the Live workflow in order to better support Push even though it could leave a negative impact on a “Push-less workflow”. One example can already be seen in 9.5: new clips in session view get the same color assigned as the track they’re on. Which can be annoying if you’re actually recording several variations and you want to keep track of the different clips you made. “Yellow, Red and Pink” is a lot easier to remember and recognize than “clip 1, clip 2 or clip 3” which is now basically the only identifier.

    A confusing identifier also because even if you record a clip on slot 1, 3 and 5 they still end up with a name starting with 1, 2 and 3. “Can you play clip 3 which sits on scene 5?”, is so much easier than “Can you play the yellow clip?”.

    Fortunately this annoyance is something Max for Live can fix, but it still leaves me worried about what might be next (this is assuming we won’t get a future option to turn this behavior on and off, which might be a little too negative on my part).

  17. This trade-in promotion instantly drops the going price of a used Push to below $300. A buyer only has to offer a little more than Ableton to find a seller.

    Thanks Ableton! You have really rewarded me for investing in your gear.

      1. When I am considering buying a musical instrument I take into consideration the resale value. If it is going to hold its value it is worth a higher price. Basic money management.

        I’d be less likely to choose one expensive piece of gear over another if I knew that in a year it was going to lose more than half it’s value.

        Same reason people take resale into consideration when buying a car.

        1. When I am considering buying a musical instrument I take into consideration the music I will be able to make with it…

        2. I agree with Kirugo somewhat.
          Push is a midi controller based on code scripts to work with ableton in a way that they market as an instrument.
          It’s not an instrument, it’s 1/3rd of an instrument, you need code plus software, plus amplification for it to do anything.
          In essence it’s no different than the APC40, or a Novation Remote25, or a midi fighter, or any other “controller.”

  18. Hand obscuring the display whilst tweaking.
    I think that designer will be looking for a new job soon………clueless

    1. Use your ears. A visual cue leads to a tactile adjustment while listening. Not sure why you would need to “see” while listening.

    2. I have to say, all these comments about the knob placement make me laugh, as you think Ableton didn’t spent time thinking about where the knob’s should go. And you’d be ABSOLUTELY wrong.

      The Push sits typically flat, or slightly raised for a lot of people. What you find is if you use it that way, and you place your hand on a knob BELOW the screen, you actually obscure more of the LCD screen than above. Why? Because when you come at the knobs from above, you can come in from the side with your arm with your hand rotated. No obscuring of the screen AND no obscuring of the pads if you want to play WHILE you adjust a setting.

      I remember being curious of this on the Push 1, then I got one, then it made absolute sense why they did this.

      I also had a Mashine, and can tell you, my hands blocked the screens when I used the knobs EVERY time. I had to get up to look over my hand to see the changes I was making or lean in way over the table.

      No thanks, I’ll take my knobs right where Ableton put them! 🙂

  19. i love push for tracking in the studio, it´s so easy to capture a loop from an instrument and just keep going once everything is recorded i use it to arrange the track in realtime using the grid, the ability to record an arrangement in realtime is my favourite feature in ableton.
    So, i´m not sure that i´ll update to push2 very soon but since the trade in last until may 2016 i have some time to think about it and see how this thing developes.

  20. As a logic user I can’t help but being a little envious of all the controller options for ableton.

    That being said, I’m still yet to see the one controller to rule them all;-) Albeit maybe better (for me) with a couple of individual controllers.

    Examples: (The first two I’ve yet to come across)
    One synth/channelstrip controller (with ample of endless controllers, and a display much like the one for this push-2 device – with midi feedback displaying function and value. (Much like the bcr-2000 but with better visual feedback…and more reliable controls).

    One drum sequencer with 8 or so rows of 16 buttons/pads, slaving to the DAW-click, with great midi feedback, and controllers like the above mentioned. (kinda like a hardware controller version of the DM1 for ipad).

    One drum pad controller 4*4 style (Maschine really nailed this one for me, I own it and love it).

    One keyboard controller (midi keyboard).

    These all-in-one solutions always seem compromised in some way, and though they maybe brilliant for some people and some situations (ex live) I personally would prefer a series of more specialized controllers for the audio playground at home.

    With the development of Komplete Kontrol, Akai Advance and this awesome fine-tuning of the push-device, I can’t help but hope for the above mentioned controllers to not be too far away.

  21. Anyone else notice the contrary re-branding. “The laptop is the most intimate instrument,” so why hide it in the podium?
    I think they are confusing intimate with a black hole of options.

  22. Ableton congrats , amazing product and hardware , but let me say something like a ableton costumer about 8 years, and push 1 for about 1 year. Why do you guys did this upgrade so early ?? ableton 9 and push was released march 5 ,2013 …. people are starting to digging in push … start to talk about , i mean not proffisional producers but home producers… is too early too make a upgrade , only 2 years ? is Iphone now ? next will be push 2s in 2016.(hahahhaha joke )
    I respect all the decision made by the company , but all costumers of old push feel a little bit offended… disappointed . And the new push is a amazing machine indeed but is almost double the price …. ,and dont have so much “new features ” in the hardware … (and the screens and design starting to look like Maschine studio ). I think now , because the price , people will chase the push 1 , because the price and sure cost /benefit ratio . And the update 9.5 , why you guys do not input the beatseeker from maxforlive like a native instrument of ableton ? Have a lot of ableton musicians which play with bands will love this feature in ableton .. Ableton staff if you guys read this , thanks for your time , i just like to say like a long costumer of ableton and push how i feel.

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