Ableton Push or APC80?
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  1. #1
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    Default Ableton Push or APC80?

    I've used Ableton Live for about five years and got an APC40 about six months ago. It was a miracle to my workflow and opened up a world of live performance possibilities. Recently I have found myself in a musical rut and wanting something more creative out of my home studio. Well as luck would have it, the other day I came across an old check I hadn't cashed. Now I'm in the market for a new piece of hardware but need some advice.

    I've had my eye on constructing an APC80 (picture below) for a long time.
    http://murphy2dot0.files.wordpress.c...1/02/apc80.jpg

    I've never constructed my own equipment, and as a DIY kind of guy, the concept appeals to me. Just the sheer amount of buttons and size of the hardware makes it into a live performance monster, with somewhat increased functionality in the studio. I think the personal connection to the device would be well worth the effort.

    My girlfriend is begging me to get Push, saying that building the APC80 is like putting gold plates on a broken toilet. In the studio, I could really utilize a drum pad and means to input velocity sensitive note data. For a while I've been looking at different drum machines, midi keyboards, drum machines with midi keyboards, you get the picture. Just recently I realized that what I'm trying to find is something to take me deeper into the realm of "controllerism".

    I'm on the edge about it because coming from a classical background, my compositions can get quite technical, and I worry Ableton Push may limit me. Most Push beats have a tendency to seem repetitive and lacking because it seems strongly oriented to on-the-fly beat creation, which is good, but I ultimately want something both playable that is also a serious "studio tool", not just a fun gimmick.

    I found this site, and this forum, from Mad Zach's Ableton Push demo on YouTube...
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-B_m3Kpwic

    He creates some great sounds with the thing, totally inspired, but in most videos he primarily seems to resort back to his trusty midi fighter to work with his material. So my question to you all is...

    Should I invest in Ableton Push, build my own APC80,

    OR would you recommend another controller? (Midi Fighter, etc.)

    Any input would be great. Thanks guys, first post. Woo!

  2. #2

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    i use an apc40 and love it but if i could lay my hands on a push, id do it.
    Traktor/Ableton /Komplete /MBP OSX el capitan

    http://www.soundcloud.com/deejaesnafu

  3. #3
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    If you're coming from a classical background then why not just get a keyboard?

    The Push is definitely a serious studio tool. I'm from a classical background as well, but I would love to have a Push just because I'm lazy and it's nice to be able to just mash pads and it'll sound alright.

  4. #4
    RGAS Guru Xonetacular's Avatar
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    the apc80s always looked pretty pointless especially for a home studio

    not sure what you expect to get out of even more clip launching buttons, I don't see much use for even an apc40 outside maybe a live setting. when I had an apc40 I found it pretty useless as a production tool and was more of an interference than valuable to my workflow.
    Last edited by Xonetacular; 06-02-2013 at 03:36 PM.


  5. #5
    Tech Guru botstein's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shoulders View Post
    I've used Ableton Live for about five years and got an APC40 about six months ago. It was a miracle to my workflow and opened up a world of live performance possibilities. Recently I have found myself in a musical rut and wanting something more creative out of my home studio. Well as luck would have it, the other day I came across an old check I hadn't cashed. Now I'm in the market for a new piece of hardware but need some advice.

    I've had my eye on constructing an APC80 (picture below) for a long time.
    http://murphy2dot0.files.wordpress.c...1/02/apc80.jpg

    I've never constructed my own equipment, and as a DIY kind of guy, the concept appeals to me. Just the sheer amount of buttons and size of the hardware makes it into a live performance monster, with somewhat increased functionality in the studio. I think the personal connection to the device would be well worth the effort.

    My girlfriend is begging me to get Push, saying that building the APC80 is like putting gold plates on a broken toilet. In the studio, I could really utilize a drum pad and means to input velocity sensitive note data. For a while I've been looking at different drum machines, midi keyboards, drum machines with midi keyboards, you get the picture. Just recently I realized that what I'm trying to find is something to take me deeper into the realm of "controllerism".

    I'm on the edge about it because coming from a classical background, my compositions can get quite technical, and I worry Ableton Push may limit me. Most Push beats have a tendency to seem repetitive and lacking because it seems strongly oriented to on-the-fly beat creation, which is good, but I ultimately want something both playable that is also a serious "studio tool", not just a fun gimmick.

    I found this site, and this forum, from Mad Zach's Ableton Push demo on YouTube...
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-B_m3Kpwic

    He creates some great sounds with the thing, totally inspired, but in most videos he primarily seems to resort back to his trusty midi fighter to work with his material. So my question to you all is...

    Should I invest in Ableton Push, build my own APC80,

    OR would you recommend another controller? (Midi Fighter, etc.)

    Any input would be great. Thanks guys, first post. Woo!
    Hi there, welcome to DJTT.

    Take a look at QuNeo - it has several more dimensions of expression than some of the products you mentioned (velocity, pressure, X/Y) and can be used as both a drum pad and clip launch (red box) controller.

    I also usually recommend Maschine, which I would definitely consider a serious studio tool. It has a nice integration with Live, too, which includes many of Push' functions (coloured scales, etc).

    If you decide to go for a larger grid, why not go for one of the original grid controllers (http://monome.org/)?

    I've owned an APC40 for a long time now and haven't found myself wanting more than one (or an APC80). Lots of controllers can function like the APC40, and I've found that I like using these motorized faders instead of the wimpy ones on the APC.

  6. #6
    Tech Mentor SwedeDreams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shoulders View Post
    but I ultimately want something both playable that is also a serious "studio tool", not just a fun gimmick.
    Then go for the Ableton Push
    Traktor Kontrol S2 :: Midi Fighter Classic :: Akai APC40 :: 17" Acer
    Check out our new "D.O.D - What Time?" Remix! : http://snd.sc/1bvF1xf

  7. #7

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    I would also look at the Livid Base as well.

  8. #8
    Tech Guru botstein's Avatar
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    I'm dubious about the idea of Push as a serious studio tool.

  9. #9
    RGAS Guru Xonetacular's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by botstein View Post
    I'm dubious about the idea of Push as a serious studio tool.
    Yeah honestly I think both are kind of a waste. Push is slightly better but I could think of a lot better stuff to spend $600 on for studio stuff- I think most controllers are overrated when it comes to being useful as production tools. You can get some nice actual synths and other instruments for that price. I would also rather have maschine over it if you were looking for a controller/software combo. Push can do some of that sequencing but then you are stuck using ableton drum racks which I hate.
    Last edited by Xonetacular; 06-02-2013 at 05:23 PM.


  10. #10
    Tech Guru botstein's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xonetacular View Post
    I would also rather have maschine over it if you were looking for a controller/software combo.
    I agree.

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