Ableton PUSH first impression -- playability of the pads
Old 5th April 2013
  #1
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Ableton PUSH first impression -- playability of the pads

Hello slutz. Long-time lurker, first post.

Just got Ableton PUSH last night and having a blast. This thing is awesome and will fast become a favorite in my evolving creative process.

The only issue I have so far with Push is the pads. They are surprisingly firm (hurt-my-fingers hard) and the trigger sensitivity is not as controllable as I expected. If you press and hold USER, you can adjust both Pad Threshold and Velocity Curve (p.514 of the current Live 9 manual has graphs of the available curves). But I seem unable to dial in a setting that gives reliable triggering and broad dynamic range. Every setting I try has some issue, such as wildly jumping velocity (even when trying to play with consistent finger pressure), missed and double triggering, and/or sore fingers from having to bang the pads hard. It is not unique to one instrument type; I've auditioned drums, bass, synth, bells, pads, etc. I even switched over to my Fatar weighted 88-key controller for a sanity check. The playability of the same instrument devices using my Fatar controller was significantly more reliable and generally more expressive.

My research suggests that Akai, who make the Push, have a reputation for making the least sensitive/responsive pads. By comparison, I've demoed Maschine MkII a couple times, and it seemed to have extremely comfortable jelly-like pads, very expressive and reliable triggering, and an easily controllable and broad dynamic range. But I love creating with Ableton Live, and I want to use Push for maximum integration. Other than the tricky pads, I'm really singing Push's praises. Maybe I just need to adjust to the pads? Or perhaps my unit is faulty?

Anyone else with first-hand impressions or suggestions regarding the playability of the Push pads?
Old 5th April 2013
  #2
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jbuonacc's Avatar
 

how about using them with 0% velocity, just as "switches" for launching clips, etc? still get double triggers and odd behavior?
Old 5th April 2013
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The pads on my push are extremely sensitive, have you tried putting the sensitivity down? I have mine on -15 and I just have to brush a pad to trigger it.
Old 5th April 2013
  #4
Tuesday Knight
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Depends on what you're used to, pretty much all pads need breaking in away, a week or so. Akai always do ime.
Old 5th April 2013
  #5
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I have the same issue with my Maschine MK2 and Ableton...I can't find a pad setting that gives me nice dynamic range but also isn't loud as ****.
Old 5th April 2013
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbuonacc View Post
how about using them with 0% velocity, just as "switches" for launching clips, etc? still get double triggers and odd behavior?
I haven't yet noticed any odd behavior when using the pads to launch clips. So far the issues seem to only occur when I'm in Note mode.
Old 5th April 2013
  #7
Gear maniac
 

When i got my maschine mk1 i had similair issues with pad sensitivity and double triggering. but after about a week or so of hammering away at the things they've broken in nicely. hopefully your units just still fresh and this isn't a design flaw
Old 5th April 2013
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobTheDog View Post
The pads on my push are extremely sensitive, have you tried putting the sensitivity down? I have mine on -15 and I just have to brush a pad to trigger it.
Interesting. When I set sensitivity to -15, I get lots of stuck pads. The lowest setting my unit seems to handle is -5. At any setting below -5, my playing starts causing pads I didn't even hit to trigger and get stuck.
Old 5th April 2013
  #9
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akai pads are total, utter, complete garbage. and i hate them.

every akai product w/ pads i've used had to be modded; that's basically the bottom line. i'd just wait a little while til people start selling mods for that unit specifically. alternately you can experiment with putting electrical tape under each pad, to fill the air gap that causes the problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Synthi Galore View Post
Hello slutz. Long-time lurker, first post.

Just got Ableton PUSH last night and having a blast. This thing is awesome and will fast become a favorite in my evolving creative process.

The only issue I have so far with Push is the pads. They are surprisingly firm (hurt-my-fingers hard) and the trigger sensitivity is not as controllable as I expected. If you press and hold USER, you can adjust both Pad Threshold and Velocity Curve (p.514 of the current Live 9 manual has graphs of the available curves). But I seem unable to dial in a setting that gives reliable triggering and broad dynamic range. Every setting I try has some issue, such as wildly jumping velocity (even when trying to play with consistent finger pressure), missed and double triggering, and/or sore fingers from having to bang the pads hard. It is not unique to one instrument type; I've auditioned drums, bass, synth, bells, pads, etc. I even switched over to my Fatar weighted 88-key controller for a sanity check. The playability of the same instrument devices using my Fatar controller was significantly more reliable and generally more expressive.

My research suggests that Akai, who make the Push, have a reputation for making the least sensitive/responsive pads. By comparison, I've demoed Maschine MkII a couple times, and it seemed to have extremely comfortable jelly-like pads, very expressive and reliable triggering, and an easily controllable and broad dynamic range. But I love creating with Ableton Live, and I want to use Push for maximum integration. Other than the tricky pads, I'm really singing Push's praises. Maybe I just need to adjust to the pads? Or perhaps my unit is faulty?

Anyone else with first-hand impressions or suggestions regarding the playability of the Push pads?
Quote
1
Old 5th April 2013
  #10
rlg
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My only experience with touch-sensitive pads is with the QuNeo and now the Push; I find the Push to be orders of magnitude better/more predictable/less flaky. I haven't had too much time to play with it yet, but I did find myself getting happily lost with it a couple of times, and I think it could be a perfectly workable instrument for me. That said, I prefer the familiar and expressive response of my Nord Stage as a controller (fantastic keybed), but the Push would work well enough for me if I wasn't bringing the Nord along. Similarly, if I'm very cramped (feeling creative on an airplane, for example), the QuNeo is great.
Old 5th April 2013
  #11
Quote:
Originally Posted by atma View Post
akai pads are total, utter, complete garbage. and i hate them.

every akai product w/ pads i've used had to be modded; that's basically the bottom line. i'd just wait a little while til people start selling mods for that unit specifically. alternately you can experiment with putting electrical tape under each pad, to fill the air gap that causes the problem.
The pads in push are not like any other akai product I know of. You may be basing this on the MPC / MPK / Etc pads.

The ones on push have zero travel and are quite nice.
Old 8th April 2013
  #12
Does push offer support for zooming and panning/scrolling the timeline out-of-the box?

If not, is there a way to enable that with scripts or mapping or whatever?

I've just within the past week gotten back into using Live for a project and I'd REALLY like to stop having to rely on the mouse and/or keyboard for all the scrolling/zooming I'm doing.
Old 8th April 2013
  #13
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Is push just for itb production? Does it have midi out? Integration with outboard gear?
Old 8th April 2013
  #14
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My user page in the Ableton web shop is still saying 8-12 weeks before delivery. Quite envious of those of you to get your hands on it already - the Sound on Sound and Sonic State reviews have stoked my GAS something chronic.
Old 8th April 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adydub View Post
My user page in the Ableton web shop is still saying 8-12 weeks before delivery. Quite envious of those of you to get your hands on it already - the Sound on Sound and Sonic State reviews have stoked my GAS something chronic.
Me too, and I ordered on the 6th of March. They clearly favored the retailers.
Old 9th April 2013
  #16
I ordered mine about 2 hours after the ordering went live on the Ableton web shop and I received mine on March 28th. Just as an FYI.

There is not midi out but I think it works as midi over USB, so you can use something like MIDIox to control outboard gear I believe. I know for a fact you can control outboard gear if you run it through Ableton Live.
Old 9th April 2013
  #17
Banned
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by atma View Post
akai pads are total, utter, complete garbage. and i hate them.

every akai product w/ pads i've used had to be modded; that's basically the bottom line. i'd just wait a little while til people start selling mods for that unit specifically. alternately you can experiment with putting electrical tape under each pad, to fill the air gap that causes the problem.
I have found this to be the case as well, although the pads on Push are supposed to be different but then again, it was still engineered by Akai and I'm hearing the same complaints about sensitivity of the pads with Push like the OP's post.
Old 9th April 2013
  #18
rlg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sleepwalker View Post
Me too, and I ordered on the 6th of March. They clearly favored the retailers.
I dunno, I ordered from Ableton, not on the first day, and have already received my Push. I understand that some people who pre-ordered from third-party retailers are still waiting. That said, the shipping time estimates gapped to the current long wait not long afterwards.
Old 9th April 2013
  #19
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My pads seem to work quite well. I reduced my sensitivity only slightly.

One thing that's worth a try is to check out the current beta versions of ableton. They've been making quite a few tweaks according to the release notes but I haven't felt the need to try this myself.

I'm loving the push so far.
Old 9th April 2013
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UltimateOutsider View Post
Does push offer support for zooming and panning/scrolling the timeline out-of-the box?

If not, is there a way to enable that with scripts or mapping or whatever?

I've just within the past week gotten back into using Live for a project and I'd REALLY like to stop having to rely on the mouse and/or keyboard for all the scrolling/zooming I'm doing.
Push does not have this functionality. It's all about stepping away from the interface. By way of arrangement features there are very little.

Check out this interview. KVR: Gerhard Behles – PUSHing Ableton into new territory
Old 9th April 2013
  #21
Quote:
Originally Posted by groovescience View Post
Push does not have this functionality. It's all about stepping away from the interface. By way of arrangement features there are very little.
Darn. None of the other Ableton-specific controllers seem to do this either, it seems. Oh well. Thanks for the clarification.
Old 9th April 2013
  #22
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happy to hear that you guys are enjoying this thing, i've been drooling over it since it was announced. my plans for gear got a bit sidetracked, so it'll be a while before i upgrade, but it's nice to see the good reports.
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