Ableton Intros Push 3 With Optional Standalone Capabilities

Ableton today announced the latest version of their hardware instrument, Push.

The new Push 3 offers a huge new feature: in addition to being use used with your computer, it can be configured as a standalone instrument. It’s also upgradeable, and features replaceable components, to extended its lifespan.

The standalone configuration of Push is powered by a specially-adapted Intel NUC Compute Element, which combines a processor, RAM memory and WiFi in a credit-card-sized component.

Key Features:

  • Expressiveness – Push’s 64 MPE-capable pads detect finger pressure and placement across X and Y axes for nuanced per-note control. Play bends and slides, filter or affect some notes within a chord, or play multiple articulations within one pad.
  • Connectivity – Plug external instruments, synths and effects straight into Push’s built-in audio interface to record directly into your Push set or into Ableton Live. Plus, send gate and CV signals to your modular gear for a combined Eurorack/Push setup, or use your Push with class- compliant MIDI gear.
  • Standalone playability – As a standalone instrument, Push is designed to sit at the heart of a laptop-free music setup. With a built-in battery and storage, you can make music without plugging in a single cable, using instruments and effects you know from Ableton Live, along with your own Packs and sample libraries. Connect to WiFi to transfer sets back and forth between Push and Live.
  • Configurability – Push is available in two configurations to suit different needs and budgets. With a processor, Push functions as a standalone instrument. Without a processor, Push needs to be connected to a computer. If you buy your Push without a processor, you can add one yourself later using the Upgrade Kit. And you can replace the Push’s processor, hard drive and battery later, so you can keep up with the advance of technology.

Other Features:

  • Runs Ableton Live 11 standalone
  • Built-in battery
  • Integrated audio interface features ADAT in/out
  • Modular control with 4x CV Out
  • Connect a second controller via USB-A for even more control
  • WiFi connectivity
  • Run Custom Max-for-Live Devices

Push 3 Intro Videos:

Pricing and Availability:

Push is available now, with the following pricing:

  • Push (standalone) – USD 1999 / EUR 1899
  • Push – USD 999 / EUR 949

Upgrade Kits will be available in late 2023, and will cost USD 1049 / EUR 999. See the Ableton site for details.

41 thoughts on “Ableton Intros Push 3 With Optional Standalone Capabilities

  1. “2.5 hours of battery life” at this point you might as well just get a laptop, either that or powerbanks all over the place yikes.

      1. Exactly my friend, which is why i wouldnt get either. Besides after pre-ordering the Gemini my pockets are empty lol

    1. Ableton runs inside the push, so depending on your license this will determine the features. So yes, it is standalone, silly.

        1. Why Bitwig “users” (I kinda doubt this) only post about Bitwig when the topic is Ableton?

          I mean there are dozens of posts of hardware and software that overlap with Live and Bitwig, yet clearly no one gives a sh-t about Bitwig in any of the threads and forums posts about all these.

          For example, Logic Pro iOS was just launched, it competes more with Bitwig than Live.

          Live ignored touchscreens so far, it is Bitwig that heavily marketed touchscreen tablet usage, including partnerships with the Evil One (Microsoft) and their Surface line.

          Yet no one even remembers Bitwig in Logic Pro iOS posts, it is all Drambo, Live, Cubasis, etc.

          Why don’t you (supposed) Bitwig users don’t work in those fronts, instead of the one you always lose since 2009.

          FOURTEEN YEARS of “Bitwig is the Live killer” bullsh-t, give up already, it is clearly a losing strategy.

          BTW, Push standalone runs on Linux (yeaah…), so the Linux lovers out there that were weighing Bitwig because of its Linux version may want to wait before committing.

  2. No arrangement view is deal breaker for the standalone version… Also no VST support… And a ARM processor would have been so nice more power and less battery needed also the ability to load auv3 plugins… I hope they fix this with a upgrade kit in the future…

  3. I think it’s pretty good, the only deal breaker for me is if they used that same horrible coated plastic that was used on push 1, and the base of push 2.

  4. This is a lot of money to spend to place yourself in a hellscape if you want to use Ableton’s arrange window. I can see it working for folks making looping dance music (isn’t that just about every European using Ableton), but if you’re of the Kevin Parker persuasion making linear music, the Push is horrible with absolutely zero thought given to Ableton’s second mode. Bear this in mind before you spend Macbook money on a 5 year old Intel CPU running Juce with a 2.5 hour battery life. The MPC Live mkII, while it has its flaws, is a significantly more musical device for way less money.

    1. “This is a lot of money to spend to place yourself in a hellscape if you want to use Ableton’s arrange window.”

      This is the sort of comment that people make when they don’t understand Ableton Live.

      The raison d’etre for LIVE is live performance, composition and improvisation with a collection of musical elements. That’s what Live is optimized for and what Push is optimized for.

      If you’re working on refining an arrangement or mixing – the strengths of more traditional DAWs – the optimal solution is a workstation with a big screen.

      1. You’d be surprised how many Ableton Live users have no clue about the Session View. And I say this as somebody who meets lots of Live users. It’s definitely not strictly for live performance. It might have been 9 versions ago, though.

      2. I’ve been using Live for about 15 years alongside other DAWs and hardware sequencers. I’ve created acres of loop based music in the session view, using an APC40, Push 1, Push2, and with the Ableton looper. I get the ‘Live’ thing. But that’s not an excuse to limit any functionality in the arrange view. Nobody is asking it to match Pro Tools in features. Ableton don’t even have an assignable CC for <> bar movement in their api for the arrangement view, all the way to the current version 11.3.1 because so much assumption is made that 100% of users are making German dance music. If they actually paid attention to the industry outside of low-key Berlin DJs they’d find a lot of big name indie/rock/hiphop artists using it, and those people write in the arrangement view. I stand by what I said about Push, it works for some, especially those making cyclical more random/less composed music, but it’s fucking unusable if you want to get out of the session view into finishing a releasable piece of music.

        On a side note, the file browser in the Push 2 was like having your teeth pulled without anaesthetic, so I’m hoping something has been updated there in the standalone model.

    2. Yeah right, a 16-pads MPC is a more musical device than the 64-keys MPE isomorphic keyboard that you never actually used, such a trustworthy opinion.

      Do people try this in keyboard forums? Do people try to argue that a 25-key keyboard is somehow “more musical” than a 61-key one because of some feature like maybe the knobs or pitchwheel?

      1. I had one of the first Push 1s and one of the first Push 2’s in the country and had a deep dive with both devices. It’s not a keyboard, it’s a grid of pads none of which have the sensitivity of an MPC’s pads. It does have musical features the MPC doesn’t, granted. It’s also a pretty terrible midi sequencer compared to an MPC, the whole quantise substructure of Live itself lets this down. Ableton’s insistence on an extremely non-standard set of transport controls on the Push are one of the big failings. Hardware sequencers as far back as the 80s had Play, Record, Stop, Pause, <>. Push has a Play and a Session Record button. The MPC X has both traditional bar/beat navigation and q-link navigation of a project timeline. It also has real time midi quantise with flexible timing correction and swing, something absent within Live itself.

        One of the most baffling things in the Push’s 64 grid control is that you could have used this to permit flexible EDO scaling and microtuning not limited by octaves, but again, Live itself has absolutely no support for microtuning that is present in other DAWs.

        Ableton’s developers focus on providing features solely for Jurgen to chuck out identikit 130bpm EDM means they’re always leaving out features needed by musicians who write music, not producahs who randomise turd with a mouse.

    3. Aside from live performance, when it comes to production, I think the idea is that you develop your track on the Push 3, and then go to a computer to finish it.

      The mpc live is fine if you’re okay with very basic songs, but you can’t seemlessly open up your work in a fully developed DAW like the Push/Ableton.

      Yes, it’s expensive. But, compared to other workstations, it’s pretty much in line.

  5. This looks amazing. They are going to sell like hotcakes.

    I’d like to know more about why VSTs aren’t supported. My guess is that this running on Linux in the background, and most plugin companies aren’t targeting Linux. Does anybody know what’s happening there?

    1. id wager its due to the overall lack of standardization when it comes to different VSTs in terms of performance requirements like RAM and CPU etc… because most of the time programmers make it just barely run ok and let the hardware brute force its way through all the mess

      1. That would explain the lack of VST support. If the platform takes off, Ableton will open up the standard for their plugins and put a system in place to manage them, like others have done.

  6. big Ableton user here. I called this many years ago. I like the direction they are going in . to me this really solitifi’s push as an instrument. push is this form factor and the guts can be upgradable for years to come. to me this says push is an instrument and this may be the final one. other than your own option to upgrade the insides in the future. again to me says this maybe the final version of push. but that’s a guess, maybe new hardware to come

  7. Serious Question: does this version have the rubberized finish that turns into a sticky gross mess after a few years of normal use like Push 1 and 2 did?

  8. Many large retailers don’t carry Ableton products anymore, Ableton said it was readily available, but not from Thomann, Sweetwater. Bax, etc..

    Push 2 has been vaporized from Ableton’s main website menu like it never existed..Only searching the site you can still find Push 2 specs , videos; No general index for Push 2 resources. Not sure why they did not keep the push 2 structure and put a Push 3 beside it.

    I got the sticky stuff of the case removed after a lot of rubbing. A replacement part to replace the bottom myself, they did not wan to provide it. The touch encoder knobs are falling off (probably manufacturing issue). For the rest Push 2 is a joy.
    They could have added a clip session iview for Push 2 alike on Push 3 (via USB) ,that data should be limited.

    Push 3 The ADAT is nice but… if you run Live (to be able connect via WIFI to connect to the Push to download packs etc..imagine doing that in an a noisy WIFI area…) you probably already have an ADAT/USB external audio card to connect all external analog synth. Also can’t imagine the Push 3 won’t talk to the cloud somewhere in the background.

    IMHO there is one ARM processor to control the Push 2, same as the Push 2 but now upgraded with Audio & ADAT interface and the NUC w/ Linux is only to playback the clips. Wonder if the clips/tracks can be separately played over each ADAT out. Few people probably will use 8 ADATs to record directly into the Push, two inputs is mostly enough to record a clip.

    Guess the should have released a expressive non-audio Push 3 like the Push 2 with MPE for the same or lower price instead of the $300 adder + a separate Push 3 audio for people with enough money to spend to just only the audio version. Also, it seems not so convenient to use more than one finger for MPE. Then why not add use an external MPE MIDI controller instead of 64 expensive MPE pads.

    Al in all, would say Push 3 it very nice but a mixed bag price/performance wise. No rebate (perhaps with a small adder) for a (sticky) Push 2 to 3 is also a pity. Shelling out $999 for Push 3 just for the MPE pads and audio interface is a bit too much asked. Cant get much back for an old Push 2.

  9. The Push 3 uses an NUC11 Compute i3 element which retails for US$515 “Search Essential Kit Mini PC Barebone (Assume this is the one) . Ableton should gets them for hundreds less as Intel post about US$300. An 256GB SSD retails for US$25, Two antenna’s cost nothing and some DRAM, So there is about an US$500 to US$600 or so margin (kit is US$1099), for something off the shelf only adding the software inside. FYI and thoughts.

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