Top 5 Ableton Push 3 Questions Answered

Ableton today introduced Push 3, which features expressive MPE pads, new connectivity and the ability to run Live standalone.

Here are answers to 5 top Push 3 questions:

Can you move Live projects back and forth between Push 3 and your computer?

Anything you create using Push in Standalone Mode can be transferred to your computer over WiFi, and opened in Live. Alternately, you can create music in Live, using Push as your controller. Finally, you can take projects created on your computer and transfer them to Push 3 and perform with them in Standalone mode.

Details on transferring Live projects with Push 3 are available on the Ableton site.

Can I work in Arrangement View when my Push is in Standalone Mode?

Push is designed around Session View. Arrangement View isn’t currently supported on Push in Standalone Mode.

Live Sets can be loaded and played back, but the Arrangement timeline can’t be edited on Push in Standalone Mode.

Do Max for Live devices work on Push 3 in Standalone Mode?

Most Ableton-built Max for Live devices will work on your Push in Standalone Mode, as will many third-party devices. But there are some exceptions.

S0me Max for Live devices may have following types of limitations when used on Push Standalone:

  • Limited control – Certain parameters or modes of these devices can’t be mapped, automated or controlled.
  • Sample import is disabled – It is not possible to load new samples while using certain Max for Live devices. Device presets that reference existing samples are not affected.
  • Playback only – The device can only be played back.
  • Does not work – The device does not work at all on Push

See the Ableton site for more information.

Will plugins work on Push 3 in Standalone Mode?

In standalone mode, Push 3 will run Ableton plugins, but not third-party plugins:

  • Push 3 Standalone comes with all the Ableton Live Intro instruments and effects pre-installed for standalone use.
  • If you own a Live 11 Standard or Live 11 Suite license already, or buy one with your Push, you can use the instruments and effects belonging to your license.
  • Push doesn’t support VSTs or Audio Unit plug-ins for use in Standalone Mode. To transfer a Live Set containing plug-ins from your computer to your Push, first freeze any tracks containing plug-ins.

What are the key hardware specs for Push 3 Standalone?

  • Connectivity:
    • A built-in audio interface with two inputs switchable between line (balanced) or instrument (unbalanced), two balanced outputs and a headphone jack. Connect external instruments, synths or effects and record directly into your Push in Standalone Mode, or into Ableton Live in Control Mode.
    • Class-compliant USB MIDI interfaces are supported. Connect a standard MIDI keyboard or other controller to Push for more ways to play its internal instruments, and send MIDI to your hardware for an expanded, laptop-free workstation.
    • Control and sequence your modular setup and other external synths by sending CV and gate signals from Push’s footswitch jacks.
    • WiFi – Anything you make using Push in Standalone Mode can be transferred to your computer over WiFi, and opened in Live.
  • Pads – 64 MPE-enabled pads, each featuring an XY sensor that detects your finger’s movement across the surface of the pad. RGB backlighting.
  • Processor – Built-in Intel 11th Gen Core i3-1115G4 processor with 8GB of RAM. The Intel NUC Compute Element features a processor, RAM memory and WiFi. This element has been specially adapted for Push, and paves the way for more powerful Intel processors to be made available for your instrument in the future.
  • Battery Life – 2-2.5 hours of play time with a high quality, built-in lithium iron phosphate battery.
  • Storage – 256GB built-in SSD hard drive

18 thoughts on “Top 5 Ableton Push 3 Questions Answered

  1. My top question: Is the case still coated in that awful plastic that goes all sticky in heat and humidity or when cleaned with alcohol?

    1. it actually isn’t plastic – that coating is actually latex based which is why in heat and humidity it breaks down

    2. With ISOPROPYL ALCOHOL (not standard alcohol) you may definitely remove that disgusting sticky layer of paint. You’re welcome.

  2. There’s one question that’s missing: Why should one buy this instead of an Akai Force, which has no battery but is significantly cheaper?

    1. Has MPE, not only the controller, but also the Live’s synths and Live’s Simpler and Sampler, allowing to use MPE with all sample-based and multisample Live instruments, which is basically like if Kontakt was MPE-enabled (and Force could load Kontakt).

      Can load Max For Live devices, which is like if Maschine+ or Akai Force could load Reaktor ensembles.

      Everyone is saying the pads are better than Roger Linn’s Linnstrument, which leads me to believe they are better than Force’s as well.

      Multi channel ADAT.

      Upgradeable (both software firmware and actual hardware parts).

      256 GB of internal storage (over 16GB for Force).

      More integration with Ableton Live.

      Debatable but IMO better “synth engines” than AIR Music, some of Live’s synths (and Simpler/Sampler) have Cytomic filters, Drift is a brilliant design, I think Force has no physical modelling to the level Live has.

      Debatable again, but IMO Push looks better.

      Several Live functions that either are not on Force or are different, like Tempo Following (get tempo from live audio, like from a drummer), Live’s exceptional warping (that just got better with 11.3.1), potential (or it is there already?) integration with Ableton Note and Ableton Cloud, Follow Actions, etc.

      And the battery should count as a significant plus IMO.

    2. Every single in-depth review I’ve read or watched of the Force (MPC’s too) says it’s not very reliable and crashes sometimes. Akai forums are full of people complaining about bugs and crashes.

      Total dealbreaker if you intend to perform live with it and the single biggest reason I decided not to get any new Akai gear. Of course, it’s not yet really possible to know whether Push 3 is rock solid either.

      Just as an example, Elektron stuff on the other hand is rock solid. I’ve not had a single crash on my Digitakt, ever.

  3. Let’s be real, anyone considering the Push 3 already owns Live. There is probably a very small market of people who want to get into Live because of the Push 3 and if so, they probably aren’t thinking you get Ableton Suite for free.

    1. I agree with the handsome one. , but I think on a business point it would have been good to give the standard version of live with this piece of gear. then people who want to get into live have a solid set of tools and will eventually get suite. (adjust’s his business cap)

      then again Ableton as a daw takes a lot of money to make and im sure this device takes a super lot to make so im sure they have done the math. (throws his cap on the floor)

    2. Not exactly. There was no standalone option in the past with Push 1/2, and therefore a person who looked at a Push (standalone) may not have a Live licence to begin with.

  4. As a Push 3 owner (controller version) I can say the pads are a huge step up from previous Push, they really a joy to play on, not had to tweak the settings at all – something I couldnt get perfectly right on Push 2, MPE works well too, so have now parted company with both my Push 2 and Sensel Morph. The touchstrip is also vastly improved and accurate now too.

  5. I don’t understand why they do not have full support?
    I mean if they are including a small linux computer why not fully support VST, Max for Live and all features in standalone mode?
    I can understand that the CPU and memory have limitations and that’s ok, but why not support everything you can do on a computer until you hit those limitations?

  6. The Akai Farce does not support triple meter or any other time signature than duple meter (2/4, 4/4). A particularly stupid limitation, and a complete deal breaker for me. They don’t mention this in the advertising hype.

    A standalone Push should definitely support plugins and have upgradeable ssd and memory. Since the processor is only an i3, a very inexpensive computer will run the version of live, so IMO if you already have Push 2 and a computer (mine is i7) I just bring along a portable power bank for both units…

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