Cristiano Nicolini of helloLIVE is working hard at his studio preparing for the Ableton Push workshop, that is going to be held at Dancefair in Utrecht on 16th and 17th of February. The whole world is in anticipation of the Ableton Push controller, but we caught one in real life here in the Netherlands. A unique opportunity to get some pictures and ask Christiano a few questions about ... Push!
What was you first impression when you unboxed the Ableton Push?
That it is robust controller with a good size. It's made of metal and really sturdy so it feels like its being made to last forever and not going to break. It has a really nice feeling. You can push the buttons really hard without fear of breaking anything, like with some other controllers. Like I said, it has a really nice feeling and design.
The knobs are nice and are touch sensitive. So if I, for example, touch a knob for a device, I see the change right away in the screen on the Push. Or when I record an automation, when I touch the knob it's starts recording that automation and when I let go of the knob it stops. With the Push you don't have to midi map anything.
Is it true that you can do pad drumming and drum sequencing at the same time?
Yes, you can have the pads and the sequencing at the same time and you can actually see both on the Push. The fact that you have them on the same time is really nice, because I'm not a great finger playing drummer, but I can, like, play a little bit on top of the sequence, and tweak it. You are not only playing the pads or just play the sequence, you do both at the same time that is the cool stuff. Also the sequencer is really advanced, you can adjust the velocity, or some shuffling, all at the same time, whilst playing.
Is it a controller or an instrument?
It's really made for playing, sketching and laying down ideas without looking at the computer. The idea that you worked all day looking at the computer and you want to make music. You grab your guitar, grab a bass, grab your keyboard, and grab a Push. It's another way of playing than like a guitar or keyboard.
Ableton Push In Real Action
As mentioned, you can see the Push controller in action at Dancefair on saturday and sunday (16 and 17 februari). Cristiano Nicolini and Martijn Form will demonstrate Push together with Live 9 in a workshop. For full details please visit the Dancefair website.