Ableton Push: Ski Demonstrates the Controller's Features

Ski Oakenfull
January, 2013
Ableton Push: Ski Demonstrates the Controller's Features

I've been lucky enough to have had Push for a few days now, and have been absolutely loving it. I was initially surprised by how heavy it was, but this makes it feel reassuringly solid and professional. I imagine it will mostly reside in my studio rather than travelling around in my rucksack!

The overriding purpose of Ableton's controller is to drag the user away from the computer screen, to make the composition process even more organic and fun than it already is with Live. So for this video I wanted to test it out by taking a track I originally produced in Logic, and replaying the parts using the Push controller. I chose a track entitled 'Illuminations' that came out a few years ago on my label Primaudial Records.

You can watch a video of the track here:

In order to get the most out of using Push, I found that preparing your user library is key. Once you have organised and named all your own presets, it makes it much easier to dial them up on the LED screen. As yet, Push doesn't seem to be able to audio preview the presets which is one of the great new features of Live 9... but I'm sure this will arrive in a future update.

The biggest challenge for me was learning how to play in notes using the pads. As a keyboard player it was a bit like being handed a Clarinet.. But after a bit of practice I found I could navigate my way round chords and scales, and actually found it was influencing what I played. In the video I had to switch between F Minor & Chromatic Scale configurations to accommodate the different parts, which was actually quite easy.

Overall I was really happy with the result, and can't wait to start making some more beats with Push. I like the fact that the new musical input method is a challenge, and I'm sure it will keep on inspiring me just as Live has done since I started using it many years ago!