Ableton Push 2 + Ableton Live 9.5 First Look

Ableton has announced a brand new update to their hardware and software platforms today – the Ableton Push 2 hardware and Ableton Live 9.5. In this new update, Ableton has improved a lot of the elements of the Push, adding a new multi-color screen, new sampling workflows, and smoother pads. Read on for the full details on the new instrument.

Product: Ableton Push 2
Available: In Stores Now (limited DJTT stock ships Nov 3rd)
Price: $799

What’s Different On The Push 2 Hardware

Push 2 sets to improve upon the foundation of the original Push by offering a new level of playability. The biggest hardware improvement is the large, color LCD screen to show users what is going on within the hardware without having to bury their face into a laptop. The screen displays library navigation, sample waveforms, effects parameters, and mixer levels which can be tweaked using the touch-sensitive encoders above each screen panel. Push 2 also offers sampling workflows across the redesigned pads which allow users to create looping instruments, chop up samples, or play longer, melodic samples all within the pads. Ableton carefully redesigned the pads to feel normal and intuitive to musicians. Users will find that new Push pads to be softer, smoother, and more responsive when playing live.

Additionally there’s now VST and AU support on the Push 2 – allowing tweaking of all of the virtual instruments you might have collected on your own.

New Push 2 Sampling Workflows

The new sampling workflows intergrated into Push 2 give musicians the tools they need to easily work in and out of different Live devices to sample beats, loops, and notes. Push 2 offers three distinct workflows to give musicians creative ways to play.

  • Slicing Mode: This mode lets users chop up long samples and play each slice on a different pad, similar to the function of the Slice to New MIDI Track command. This is ideal for musicians who want to spontaneously rearrange loops or create drum kits from imported or recorded grooves.

  • Classic Mode: Here musicians can turn any melodic sample into a pitched instrument. The encoders at the top of the Push are used to edit start and end points as well as to modify attack, decay, sustain, and release parameters for each sample.

  • One Shot Mode: One Shot Mode is a monophonic workflow that plays back samples all the way through no matter how long the pad is held. This mode goes beyond finger drumming by allowing the user to also transpose a playing sample live, without having to retrigger it thus allowing the transformation of melodic phrases into completely new melodies.

Ableton 9.5

The new version of Ableton will primarily be to integrate support for the Push 2 instrument, but there are a few feature additions as well. As we noted above, the way Ableton’s Simpler sampling instrument has been improved significantly with a completely redesigned interface that introduces warping and slicing capabilities and new-analog-modeled filters. Users can now slice samples across the keyboard, play one shots, or warp longer samples even if they haven’t acquired the Push 2.

Speaking of analog, Ableton has listened to users wanting to hear more analog modeled synthesis in the program with new filters based on classic vintage hardware that self-resonate, produce feedback, and distort harmonically. These filters were engineered in collaboration with Cytomic and will be included in the Simple, Sampler, Operator, and Auto Filter devices. Listen to them in the video below:

There will also be new instruments coming with Live 9 Suite which includes three new Max for Live synthesizers. Bass is a monosynth that is designed for low frequency sounds and modulations; Poli compliments Bass as a polyphonic synth specializing in strings, pads, and stabs; and Multi is the synth that is designed for immediate tweakability from Push 2.

Ableton 9.5 also features newly improved meters and waveforms. The mixer volume meters now show both peak and RMS levels which allow producers to clearly see sudden changes in levels as well as perceived loudness; a must have for mixing and mastering. The waveforms show much more detail in audio samples and Ableton has also worked to smooth out the zooming and scrolling functions.

Ableton 9.5 is available to download now here, and is a free update to current users. 

Push 1 Trade-In Program

An interesting element of the introduction of the new Push 2 is that Ableton has considered carefully how to make it possible for current Push owners to upgrade their gear without shelling out a full cost. Push 1 owners who send in their working Push 1 to participating retailers  will get 30% credit towards a Push 2.

Ableton will then donate the Push 1 units to music programs around the world starting in Q3 2016 – with the goal of bringing music making to more young people in schools.

Have a Push 1 and want to participate? Click here to fill out the form and we’ll be in touch shortly.

Want to buy a Push 1? The price has dropped $100 to $499 – only a few units left.

This is a pretty awesome move on Ableton’s part – and probably the first time a big company in the DJ space has done a trade in program of this magnitude!

Ableton Link

There’s one final cool update coming very soon from Ableton – wireless syncing of Ableton instances and iOS apps. The idea is that instead of running crazy MIDI cables or figuring out a way to sync things through soundcards, Ableton has built their own syncing system to allow everything to stay in time.

In addition to Live, Link will work with a host of iOS apps, including iKaossilator, Audiobus, Bassline, Loopy, Triqtraq, and more. They’re even opening up the SDK for the Link platform, meaning that developers will be able to build in the syncing capability into their own apps.

Link will be coming soon in a new update to Ableton 9 – not the current 9.5 release.

Abletonableton discountableton liveableton live 9.5basscolor LCDcolor screenDAW controllersDAW updateDJ gear 2015hardware updateLIve 9.5 suitemax for liveMidi ControllersMultinew hardwarenew producer gearPoliproduction gearPushpush 2push discountresamplingsamplessoftware updatesynthesizerstrade in programtrade-inwaveforms
Comments (72)
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  • prsounddesigns

    we need user-defined additional scales and pad layouts

  • Jaco

    Not too long ago I bought Novation Launch Control XL and Korg Taktile 49, resulting in me having Ableton Live INTRO and LITE versions.
    Aiming for the Push 2, the shop owner convinced me to buy the Push 2 for $1000 by telling me I’ll get a fully registered copy of Live 9.5 that makes this a bargain. He also said delivery will be 3-5 working days.
    I ended up waiting 2,5 weeks and gues what I got with the Push 2? The LITE VERSION!
    I am so disgusted I started up the Push 2 last night, pressed some buttons and switched it off.
    Nothing like Fking up a sale like lying and making me feel cheated out of $1000.
    Making music has suddenly changed from fun to starting a DAW with disgust. Inspiration lost at the cost of $200.

    • Roy Munson

      That’s pretty shady business. That being said, now that you’ve got it, you should definitely put it to use. It’s a fun piece of gear.

  • Unreallystic

    Has anyone tried using Push and Push 2.0 at the same time? Could I leave one in Note Mode and the other in session view?

    • ross

      yes you can put one of them in session and other the note mode together

  • Hayden

    If I do the trade in program is there anyway I can use a student discount as well?

  • Steven Danna

    Can you use this to custom map? If so, can you change up the screen also?

  • Jacob Stadtfeld

    As a version 1 owner, I’ve been dreading this day for a while due to my insatiable gear lust, but I’m pleasantly surprised to not be particularly worried that I’m going to be missing out on anything significant by waiting for the price to drop. Color screen and waveform viewing is nice, but it seems like the overall workflow remains the same.

    I’m most curious about any updates or changes to the MIDI implementation of the controller itself. Any major alterations that have come about due to the departure from Akai? I get a lot of use out of my version 1 as a Traktor controller, so I’m definitely curious about how version 2 will work in that context. Would love to see aftertouch a little more accessible.

  • Famela Zandrea Heon

    This is really amazing!!! Awesome update to the makers! A must have for musicmakers. :D. checkout this helpful link Cheers!

  • experimentaldog

    Is the waveform edit view in Push2 only accessible using the Simpler, or can Audio clips also be edited using this new waveform view? As much as the new Simpler looks cool, I’d find it more useful to edit the audio clips directly. Also, arrange view needs some Push love. Arrange using the pads and that fancy screen…pretty straight forward.

    • Tarekith

      You can view audio clips and do some editing, but not as detailed in Simpler yet.

  • Dave Squachek

    Where are the new Max synths? Can’t find ’em.

    • Tarekith

      In the M4L section of the browser, under M4L instruments.

  • Rob van Erp

    its cool, the trade in . But not so cool when you bought the push mark 1 less then 3 months ago 🙁 30 % off still means i gotta shell out 500 to buy this one and lose 300 on the old one …

    • noxxi

      I feel your pain dude, only I bought my second one 3 weeks ago :/

  • Jake Bergeson

    Saw this for sale at 4AM central time. Saw the exchange program and bought within 5 minutes. I knew I wanted it and really dug what Ableton was doing with the exchange program. Well done Ableton!!

  • Michael Varner

    Dude! MIDI Twister in the Analog Modeled Filters video!

  • Concern Ableton User

    Smoke and Mirrors Not worth $799!! If it had: 1) Sound Card built-in, 2) a USB Hub to add other Midi controllers and 3) Phono Pwr for a Turntable inputs then maybe $599. Everyones wowed by seeing a waveform. Ableton make us spend some money on something we can use.

    • noxxi

      why would the push have dedicated turntable inputs? theres no timecode for ableton.
      a built in soundcard would be a nice addition though, I would love that. A usb hub, I could take it or leave it, The behringer MM-1 had a usb hub and it wasnt very good, that could be a quality issue though.

      • Jack Sheets

        He’s talking about for sampling. Not timecode.

        • noxxi

          yeah, in hindsight that should have been obvious, still pretty niche though, I mean, why not just sample a digital source? and if your scratching then why not just sample from the mixer?

    • Blaze Luminous

      Legit. The price spike is a bit absurd. It’s an improvement but not a 200 dollar improvement. It’s what the first Push should have been basically.

  • Joel Dubiner

    Hey,I’m interested in the upgrade, but I can’t hit the google doc. Thanks

  • David Schroeter

    With the ability to load user samples (or songs) and see waveforms on the display, I’m surprised there’s not more talk about how the Push 2 seems incredibly well suited to DJing within Live. I am super excited about this hardware!

    • Tarekith

      You can only see one waveform at a time, just FWIW.

      • David Schroeter

        I get that, but switching between seeing two (or four … or eight) tracks should just be single buttons, right? I’m down with that. I can’t actually focus on two waveforms at the same time, anyhow.

        • Tarekith

          Yeah you can use the new arrow buttons to go between tracks, so that would totally work.

  • Remy Dovianus

    I noticed in ableton 9.5 if I push the levels very hot (like a drumloop or bassline) the sound get’s satruated / distorted in a good way.. is this new in ableton or is it just me being excited. Seems like it has a satruator in the mixer. Can someone confirm this?

    • Tarekith

      Just you being excited, no changes at all there.

      • Remy Dovianus


  • deejae snafu

    super excited for LINK..

    anyone know if they fixed the huge problem with max for live and mac os10 yosemite? currently you have to retrograde java allllll the way back to version 6 to get MFL to work…at all.

    • deejae snafu

      so the answer is NO they didnt fix MFL……. super sad panda face

      • Darren E Cowley

        That’s max rather than m4l though…..

        • deejae snafu

          MAX and MFL (max for live)are the same sofware……and they didnt fix it so…SUPER…..SAD…….PANDA….FACE

  • jm2c

    but y no usb bus power only for the push 2? for some people that is going to keep them holding onto their mk 1 pushes..

    • Anter Dogan

      How do you know it’s not bus powered only?

    • Fayek Helmi

      id be really surprised if they can power that huge screen with only bus power…. maybe when usb-c becomes a standard the push 3 will be bus power only. (actually everything will be bus power only)

    • Tarekith

      It can sorta be bus-powered. It will still work just on USB, but the displays and buttons are super dark and hard to read. I think it’s more of a safety measure in case it gets unplugged accidentally at a gig for instance, that way the computer doesn’t lose connection with it.

    • Lâm HUA

      Push 2 works with USB only, the LEDs and screens are simply dimmer

  • Matthew Korytowski

    I’m getting a permission error on the Google Doc for the trade-in link.

    Otherwise this is cool news! It was a natural step for the new Push to have a LCD screen. I still love the sleek black design. Very clean look.

    • Dan White

      Fixed now – please try again! 🙂

  • Scott Frost

    I wonder if Maschine MK3 will be out soon ??

  • noxxi

    I must say, THANK YOU! to ableton for finally getting vst integration working, thats so awesome.
    Also, since i literally just bought a second push and have been working on a diy midi clock for the last few months, both of which is obsolete in one fell swoop, i must say a massive god damn it! but still, this is a welcome update, Now I’m going to have to try to raise the money to upgrade both my old pushes :/ Although, I reckon if the market price holds, then you will be better off selling your push second hand, but the price is likely to crash, which also bums me out a bit.

    • Fayek Helmi

      that’s when im gonna buy the push v1….

      • noxxi

        Its still a good investment, especially if your planning to play live with it.
        I’d strike now maybe, a quick look on ebay shows fucking droves of new listings for Push 1s. so gutted.

        • Fayek Helmi

          yeah live is the way i want to go about it… pretty much hook up ableton to a few hardware synths and use ableton/push as a sequence creator/aggregator/live keyboard (because i can’t play keyboards for shit, but the scales mode is awesome)

          Then again i have the launchpad with the LPC live 2 custom script so…. i can wait.

          • noxxi

            i cant say much for the LPC live 2 script, but I was using the launchpad95 script and it sucked ass compared to the push, but that script was buggy as hell. the main reason the push is better than the launchpad for live use, is the RGB leds, the device control and velocity sensitivity. but then it totally depends how you use it.

            One thing I find to be essential though, is the push has an extra set of midi ports accessed via the user button. you can essentially control ableton with the push, and hit user to switch to controlling traktor. I find that to be the most useful feature, it lets me ease into playing ableton live, without having the stress of keeping it going for hours, and it lets you switch to traktor to load up another set in ableton without the dead air scenario.

  • Dubby Labby

    Link is the most interesting improvement for vj sets <3

    • orge

      I’m dreaming of Native Instruments integrating the Link SDK into Tractor, although there will prob be foot dragging due to competition. :-/

  • kebzer

    Really cool move from Ableton to trade in old units and then donate them.

    • Dan White

      Yeah, it’s a pretty incredible move for a major manufacturer… we’re impressed and proud!

      • asoren

        Unrelated (well, sort of) but it’s nice to see them using the Midi Fighter Twister – as I happily do. I also wonder what the setup was here (the flashing LED for example).

    • Tarekith

      That announcement had everyone standing and clapping at Loop, it was really an awesome move on their part.

      • David De Garie-Lamanque

        that and the purported ability to transpose the samples you’re playing with the pads is ideal for people who want to dabble with finger drumming, but also make more melodic arrangements on the fly 😀

        • Fayek Helmi

          also from the demo video i saw, seems like the new sampler has timestretching capabilities! it was driving me crazy that in order to pitch up samples, the overall sample would shorten in length and vice versa!

      • shokol8

        I recognise your name, I must have DLed some presets from your site once, and I use them a lot with some of lokua, I always put the name of the guys, so i know where to go back where i find some nice presets! ;D

        • Tarekith

          Awesome, glad you liked them! Most of those are now part of the stock live 9 library too.

          • shokol8

            Yeah they are really good, I went to your site, and saw your PDFs, I’ll be glad to know how you came up with these racks, what is the logic behind of making them, as I’m new to producing! For example I love some tuto from gorillabass on how to beef up bass, but I always wonder where should I start to make logical effects racks for myself! Did you just were experiencing step by step, or is there a logical order to process?

          • Tarekith

            A couple beers, experiment, repeat 🙂 At the time I made these I was using Live to DJ and was just looking to create something different from the standard DJ effects.

          • shokol8

            Hahaha, ok, beers will do then! Yeah I can imagine these did complete successfully your DJ set! Well if you were still using live now, you will be able to use the slice function in simpler with a whole song to trig different part of the song, like multiples Traktor hotcues I imagine, that could be well fun for transition! If it’s not eating too much cpu tho 😀