Ableton Live has been going strong for a good number of years now. Indeed, it is humbling to think of the significant events in my life that have passed since I first started using Ableton Live 1.5 back in the day, to where we are now with Live 9…
But I digress.
Until recently, using a controller with Ableton Live was, while an easy process of MIDI mapping, limited in terms of what you could do quickly and easily. Now, there were very often workarounds to do some pretty complicated things using racks or Max for Live, but there were certain limitations imposed by the use of third party hardware.
The release of Ableton Live 9 changed the playing field somewhat though, as we were also treated to the appearance of the Ableton Push. Ableton’s first piece of hardware, Push is designed specifically to integrate seamlessly with Live, turning it into a complete production instrument.
Yup: instrument. I don’t think that’s stretching things too far. Yes, it’s plugged into a laptop and, yes, you’re controlling a piece of software, but I’m sure some cellists or timps players were a bit cynical when people started playing synths.
With any new piece of hardware such as this, you’re probably sick of hearing all the promises that you won’t need to look at your computer screen and all of that sort of thing. With Ableton Push though, things are genuinely different. We had someone giving one a try in the shop, left them to it and when we went back, the computer screen had gone black after the screensaver had been on for 10 minutes, so it does happen…
With Ableton Push, particularly now with the impending release of Live 9.1, you can create a track, open an instrument, sequence it, adjust parameters, add effects, create a new track, repeat, play, tweak, perform, record and generally go through the entire song-writing or performance process using just the Push hardware.
Additionally, while the grid-based pad layout lends itself beautifully to drum racks and step-sequencing, it also offers new possibilities for playing melodic instruments. From the simple fact that you’re getting away from a traditional note layout, to the ability to limit available notes to specific scales in a particular key, to the new melodic step sequencer in Live 9.1, Ableton Push will inspire you to create music that you might not otherwise do when sitting at a MIDI keyboard.
Now, the Push has been rarer than hens’ teeth since they were released, so you might not have seen one, or had the chance to spend a bit of time using it to make bangin’ choons. Good news then! Ableton will be coming to Red Dog Music London from 2 pm to 6 pm on Saturday 26th October to show exactly what the Push can do!
As one of only two UK events, the Clapham base of Red Dog Music London will be host to certified Ableton trainers, plus a special guest TBC, showing you just what this incredible piece of bewonderment is capable of.
Just sign up and we’ll see you there! You might want to see us there early, as the first 20 attendees will receive an Ableton Tote bag!
But that’s not all: we’ve saved the best for last! If you purchase a Push at the event, you’ll receive a free upgrade to Ableton Live Standard from the normally Push-included Live Intro. Can’t say much fairer than that!
Red Dog Music is the UK’s friendliest musical instrument and pro-audio dealer. Between our 5000 square foot Edinburgh shop filled with an incredible range of products, and a London showroom in Clapham specialising in high-end instruments, dj and pro-audio, Red Dog Music has you covered from north to south and from performance to playback.
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