Ableton have just released two new versions of Push making it the most significant hardware upgrade to Push since November 2015, now with 64 MPE-capable pads. The most notable the new Push 3 is a standalone unit powered by an Intel processor, 256GB SSD internal hard drive, 8GB of RAM and a rechargeable battery to power all the Ableton devices we’ve come to know and love. The new Push 3 also has an inbuilt audio interface (with ADAT i/o) for a totally computer-free workflow!
The legends at Ableton sent us one to preview. It’s no secret I’ve been a big fan of the previous Push, however after 2 years of working with Push I (like many of you) began wondering if Ableton might release another version of this revered controller… well here it is, and I can say the wait has been worthwhile!
In this video, we pop the hood for the first time to have a squizz at what I think will be one of the most exciting product releases of the year. I look at the new hardware upgrades, connectivity, jam with some sounds and explore the expressiveness of the MPE additions.
Here’s what Ableton are saying:
The new Push invites expressive playing, producing and performing, free from distractions. It can be configured as a standalone instrument, or to be used with a computer. Push is upgradeable, and features replaceable components for an extended lifespan at the centre of your studio.
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.
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.
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.
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 it will also be possible to replace the processor, hard drive and battery later, so your instrument can keep up with the advance of technology.
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.
64 XY sensitive RGB backlit pads – MPE capable, Slide up & down, side to side, add pressure
Significantly more sensitive than Push 2
Scroll fast for access to collections
Duplicate & delete clips
Nudge (Left for back, Right for “right click”)
Display & Experience
Session Mode & MIDI editing – directly on the screen
2 balanced I/O (TRS) – link for stereo input (TRS)
3 preamp types for various audio sources
EG High (quiet instruments) allows for an extra 20db of digital gain
Sampling Frequency: 44,1kHz
Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20kHz
Sample Rate/ Bit Depth: Up to 96k and 24 bit
1 x Stereo Headphone Jack
2 x Optical ADAT jack
Expandable via ADAT light pipe
2 x Footswitch jacks
Switchable to be 12 Bit CV inputs or outputs.
Can use splitter cables to make 4 x CV (inclusion TBC).
Configurable to control CV Out, CV In (not implemented from the SW side yet), Sustain, Record, Expression
MIDI (Type A)
I/O via 3.5 mm TRS to 5-pin MIDI DIN adaptor (included – TBC)
1 x USB-C
1 x USB-A – Connect class-compliant USB 2.0 devices/controllers
WiFi and Link enabled
Storage, Processing & Memory
CPU: Intel Compute Element i3
MEMORY: 256 GB SSD
BATTERY: Built-in Lithium Ion Phosphate Battery
Up to 2-2.5 Hours under typical usage
Pricing and availability
Push 3 is available now through Ableton.com
Upgrade Kits will be available in late 2023.