Music production has come a long way in recent years, and with the advent of digital audio workstations (DAWs) like Ableton Live, it's now easier than ever to create professional-sounding music from the comfort of your own home. While traditional music production methods often involve a lot of time spent in front of a computer, Ableton Live and its accompanying hardware controller, the Ableton Push 2, offer a more intuitive and hands-on approach to music production.
In this review, we'll be taking a closer look at the Ableton Push 2, a powerful and feature-rich music production controller that has gained a lot of popularity among electronic music producers and DJs. And for some good reasons! The Push 2 is designed to work seamlessly with Ableton Live, and offers a host of hardware and software features that make it a top choice for music producers looking for a hands-on, intuitive way to create and perform music. So, without further ado, let's dive in and see what the Ableton Push 2 has to offer.
One of the standout features of the Ableton Push 2 is its 64-pad grid, which allows you to play and sequence drums and melodic parts with ease. The pads are sensitive to velocity and pressure, which gives you a lot of expressive control over your sounds. You can use the pads to tap out rhythms, play melodies, and create complex drum patterns, all with a high level of precision and control.
One of the great things about the pads on the Push 2 is that they are highly responsive and feel great to play. They have a smooth, rubberized surface that is easy on the fingers, and the velocity and pressure sensitivity allows you to add a lot of expression to your playing. Whether you're playing drums or melodic parts, the pads on the Push 2 feel natural and intuitive, which makes it a joy to use.
In addition to being great for playing and sequencing, the pads on the Push 2 also offer a lot of versatility when it comes to controlling other aspects of your music production. You can use the pads to launch clips, navigate your Ableton Live session, and control various parameters of your sounds. This makes the Push 2 a highly expressive and versatile tool that allows you to focus on your music rather than your computer screen.
And speaking of the screen, Ableton Push 2 has a built-in display that allows you to see various information about your music production, such as the current track name, clip names, and parameter values. The screen is located above the pad grid, and it is easily visible even in both high and low light conditions.
Ableton Push 2 comes with a host of software features that make it a powerful tool for music production. These include a step sequencer, a drum machine, a scale mode that helps you stay in key, and a chord mode that allows you to play complex chord progressions with ease. The Push 2 also has a number of built-in effects and a suite of software instruments that you can use to create professional-sounding music.
One of the major benefits of using the Push 2 is that it allows you to focus on your music production rather than your computer screen. This makes it a great tool for live performances, because you can use it to control your music without having to look at a computer, as previously mentioned. The Push 2 is also compact and portable, making it easy to take with you wherever you go.
Overall, the build quality of the Ableton Push 2 is excellent. It feels solid and durable. It has a sturdy construction that gives it a high-quality feel, and it is definitely built to withstand the rigors of live performance and studio use. The high-quality pads and encoders, as well as the tough exterior, make it a reliable and long-lasting music production controller. As for protecting the pads, encoders and display further – you can easily find a case online, I use a Decksaver one.
Speaking of encoders, Ableton Push 2 has a 4x8 grid of touch-sensitive encoders, which are rotary knobs that you can use to control various aspects of your music production. The encoders are located above the pad grid, and they allow you to tweak your sounds and control various parameters of your music production in real-time.
One of the standout features of the Push 2's encoders is that they are touch-sensitive, which means that you can simply touch them to activate them. This allows you to make quick and precise adjustments to your sounds without having to turn the encoders physically. The encoders are also highly responsive, and they feel smooth and precise to the touch.
In conclusion, the Ableton Push 2 is a powerful and feature-rich music production controller that offers a lot of value to electronic music producers and DJs. Its 64-pad grid, touch-sensitive encoders, and software features make it a highly intuitive and expressive tool for creating and performing music. Its compatibility with Ableton Live and its portability make it a great choice for both studio and live use.
One potential con of the Ableton Push 2 is its high price tag, which may be a barrier for musicians on a tight budget. But it's worth noting that used models in a great shape also exist, so it's worth exploring first before giving up on this wonderful machine. Additionally, the Push 2 is designed to work exclusively with Ableton Live, so if you're using a different DAW (digital audio workstation), it may not be the best choice for you. Another potential drawback is that the Push 2 doesn't work in a standalone mode, which means you'll still need to use your computer to run Ableton Live and connect your Push 2 to it. And while we're at it, it connects using an old-fashioned USB-A plug, not the new golden standard that USB-C has become.
Overall, the Push 2 is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a hands-on, intuitive way to create and perform electronic music. Whether you're a seasoned pro or just starting out, the Push 2 is a powerful tool that is sure to elevate your music production skills to the next level. If you're in the market for a new music production controller, the Ableton Push 2 is definitely worth considering. Besides, it's really fun to use!