Once I started getting really into making music with Ableton, I wanted to find out if it was worth it to get the Ableton Push 2, so I researched it a bunch and wrote about it here.
Ableton Push 2 is worth it if you are an Ableton Live user. It is a fantastic MIDI controller that allows you to control Ableton without a mouse and keyboard. The build quality is amazing and there is no better integration with the Ableton Live software.
With that said, you may be wondering why the Push 2 is so expensive and what specifically makes this piece of hardware worthy of adding to your collection of studio gear.
Let’s dive in deeper, my friend. 🙂
3 Reasons To Get The Push 2 (& 1 You Shouldn’t)
There is a laundry list of reasons that you may want to get yourself a Push 2, but I’ve included the top 3 reasons you may be considering this studio upgrade.
#1 Integration with Ableton Live
First off, did you know that the Push 2 is actually designed and manufactured by Ableton?
It then makes a whole lot of sense that this hardware product provides the tightest integration with the Ableton Live software, especially when you compare it to any other controller out there.
Before I go on and list out all the awesome ways this product tightly weaves together with the software, the cliff notes are essentially this:
The Push 2 allows you to make music without heavily looking at your computer screen.
One of the main things that suck about making music with a DAW like Ableton Live is having to stare at a screen the whole time. This is especially true if you have a day job where you have just been doing that all day.
Here are some key highlights of this integration:
- Push 2’s knobs and buttons are automatically mapped to several features in Ableton, so you don’t need to manually map a thing.
- Push 2’s screen shows you what device you have selected, and what those device’s parameters are.
- Easily access the mixer section of Ableton Live and have a visual representation of the volume levels.
- Easily create and perform with different Drum Racks.
- Add different effects and new tracks right from Push 2.
- Dive very deep into the settings of different effects and instruments right from Push 2.
#2 Continued support and updates for Push 2
One great thing about being a Push 2 owner is the fact that Ableton is constantly improving the product with firmware updates.
A lot of folks wonder when a Push 3 is coming out, but Ableton seems to be able to constantly make a new version of the product unnecessary because they are so dedicated to supporting and improving this current version.
Even with the introduction of Ableton Live 11, there have been some updates to what the Push 2 can do.
On top of this, most of these updates even carry over to Push 1 when possible. This means that you can safely buy Push 2 today knowing that it will continue to receive updates even if a new product comes out.
#3 The build quality
After spending just a few minutes with this product you will know that this thing is premium through and through.
Full Disclosure: I personally own a Push 2 and would definitely recommend it as the best gear you can get for deep house and electronic music in general.
With that said, here are some of the main things that will stick out to you in terms of Push 2‘s build quality:
- The device feels rock-solid and overall has a very premium feel to it.
- The knobs are actually endless encoders. This means you don’t have to worry about re-adjusting the knob to its previous position.
- The knobs are touch-sensitive. Simply tap a knob and the screen will actually give visual feedback that you are controlling that knob.
- The screen is big, beautiful, and colorful. On top of this, the visuals go beyond just numbers and words to show graphical elements like waveforms, compressor dials, and more.
- The pads are nicely sized, very easy to perform on, and even have aftertouch. With Live 11, you can actually use the aftertouch velocity to control parameters in certain devices. Expressive!
All in all, this device is a real treat to use and can really put you in the mood to make some great music.
Why not to get the Push 2…
Honestly, this thing can be quite expensive for essentially what can be seen as just a more advanced MIDI controller.
With a price this high, you may wonder if Ableton Push 2 is an audio interface as well. But no, it is actually just a really advanced MIDI controller and does not actually make any sounds itself.
So why the heck is Push 2 so expensive if it does not even include an audio interface?
Let’s dive deeper, my friend. 🙂
Why Is Ableton Push 2 SO Expensive?
The main reason the Ableton Push 2 is so expensive actually comes down to the 3 things that I previously called out in the previous section.
These 3 things would be:
- The product’s build quality.
- The software development that went into the tight integration with the software.
- The company’s commitment to continuous firmware updates.
Obviously when it comes to creating a product, the company needs to spend money on all the materials used in the product, as well as the labor of putting it all together.
Push 2 is a premium device that uses premium materials. This naturally drives the cost up.
Additionally, Ableton put a lot of money into research and development when creating Push 2 and these costs need to be incorporated into the product’s final price tag.
On top of that, Ableton is consistently focusing their software development team’s resources on updating and improving Push 2. This continued support obviously costs the company money as well.
When deciding for yourself if Ableton Push 2 is worth it or not, it is important to consider if these things are important to you.
Also – remember to look out for bundles that include Push 2 the rare times when Ableton ever goes on sale. This can help you get this beautiful beast for the lowest possible cost.
How To Decide If Ableton Push 2 Is Worth It To You
So how can you actually figure out if Ableton Push 2 is right for you?
I’ve outlined a step-by-step process that you can take to help in making this grand decision.
- Evaluate your current studio.
- Are you currently missing a premium MIDI controller?
- Do you have space to put the Push 2?
- Does your current studio setup force you to stare endlessly at the computer screen?
- Evaluate your financial situation.
- Do you have enough money saved up for this purchase?
- Do you have a plan to save up for this purchase?
- Evaluate your skill level.
- Do you already have a firm understanding of the Ableton Live software?
- Are you weak with music theory and would benefit from Push 2’s scale mode feature?
- Create a pros and cons list.
- List all the reasons you should get Push 2.
- List all the reasons you should not get Push 2.
- Apply a value of 1, 2, or 3 to each pro and con (higher number = more important)
- Tally up the total numbers for the pros and cons.
- Make your final decision.
- If the pros have a higher number in your pros/cons list then get yourself a Push 2! 🙂
- If the cons have a higher number, reconsider if now is the right time.
Another trick that I like to do when making a decision to purchase something is to set a goal to achieve first.
For example, before I purchased my own Push 2, I set a goal to actually read through the Ableton Live software manual. This way I knew that once I was done, I knew that I had a firm understanding of the software and now deserved the upgrade.
Finally, make sure to check for the current price before making the purchase in case it is on sale. 🙂
Hopefully, this article has been helpful and good luck making some sweet my music, my friend! 🙂
Once you’ve got mastered Push 2 and recorded some sweet music with it, you might want to look into getting those tracks up on streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music.
Thankfully, it is actually 100000X times easier to do this than it was 10 years ago.
Sure, when you look at how much Spotify pays per stream, it is not too much but it can definitely add up. Plus, it’s pretty cool to have your music available where everyone can hear it and it takes your musical project to the next level.
To get started, all you will need is a “music distributor” to get your music uploaded to all the popular streaming services and stores.
My top suggestion for a music distributor is definitely DistroKid because you get unlimited song uploads for a small annual fee (it’s also what I personally use).
With that said, I’ve compared DK to other popular services if you would like to search around first to find the right digital distributor:
- DistroKid vs TuneCore
- DistroKid vs CdBaby
- DistroKid vs UnitedMasters
- DistroKid vs Ditto
- DistroKid vs Amuse
- DistroKid vs SoundCloud
Or, if you would like a more detailed look into what DistroKid has to offer, you can check out my big fat DistroKid review. 🙂
P.S. If you also want to learn about music publishing and make sure that you are not leaving any money on the table with your music distribution setup, I’d recommend checking out these 2 articles:
Does Ableton Push 2 work with Live 9?
Great question! Push 2 does work with Ableton Live 9. However, you must make sure your version of Ableton is updated to version 9.5 or higher.
Is Ableton Push 2 good for beginners?
Another great question! The Ableton Push 2 is easy enough for beginners to learn but due to the high price tag it makes more sense to start with learning the Ableton Live software first. Once you have an understanding of the software, getting the hardware will greatly improve on what you already know.
Does the Ableton Push 2 have audio inputs?
Great question! The Ableton Push 2 does not have any audio inputs. It is simply a MIDI controller used to control software.