Ableton Push 2 vs Push 3 - Read this before you buy! ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

ableton push 2 ableton push 3 ableton push 3 course ableton push 3 vs push 2 Feb 11, 2024
Ableton Push 2 vs Push 3

Ableton Push 2 vs Push 3 - Read this before you buy! ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

Ableton recently released the new Push 3, and it's packed with loads of new advanced features! It even has a standalone option. But it's pricey!

The Push 2 has been Ableton's weapon of choice for the past eight years and is a fantastic controller, but it also has loads of features. So why get the Push 3? Is it worth the upgrade? Do you need all the new features on the Push 3? Why not get a second push 2? 

In this post, I'll compare the Push 2 and the Push 3 controllers side-by-side and see how they stack up against each other. Let's dive in and see which push controller is right for you!


Key Considerations:

  • Workflow: Push 3 boasts a smoother workflow with new dedicated navigation buttons and encoders. This streamlines tasks like browsing, launching clips, hot swapping, saving and MIDI capture. Push 2, while still efficient, requires more button-button bashing.
  • Standalone: Although the Push 3 comes in a controller version, the Push 3 shines with its Standalone option, transforming it into a self-contained music production studio. Record directly, add effects, and create entire tunes without a computer. 
  • Audio Interface & Connectivity: Push 3 integrates a powerful audio interface with two inputs and four outputs, enabling direct instrument and microphone recording. It also includes CV outputs for controlling modular gear. Push 2, well, doesn't.
  • MIDI Polyphonic Expression (MPE): Push 3's pressure-sensitive pads unlock MPE, adding new dimensions of expression to instruments and sounds. Push 2 offers traditional velocity-sensitive pads and Poly aftertouch.
  • Price Tag: Push 3's advanced features come at a premium price, especially for the Standalone version (£1669) and the controller version comes in at £879. Push 2s are significantly more wallet-friendly. You can now pick up a used Push 2 for under £300. 


Push 2 Pros:

  • More cost-effective, you can now get a used one for under £300.
  • Stable controller for Ableton Live with very few bugs 
  • Other than a few interface changes and the new connections on the Push 3, the core features of the Push remain the same as the Push 2.
  • It is lighter and more portable (ideal if you gig regularly).

Push 2 Cons:

  • There is no Standalone functionality, limiting flexibility.
  • No audio interface or CV connectivity, hindering hardware integration.
  • Workflow is less efficient compared to Push 3's dedicated controls.
  • May eventually receive limited support as Ableton focuses on Push 3.

Push 3 Pros:

  • Standalone operation empowers music creation anywhere, anytime.
  • Audio interface and CV outputs expand studio capabilities.
  • MPE unlocks expressive possibilities for sound design and performance.
  • Improved workflow with dedicated controls.
  • Future-proofed with upgradeable RAM and storage (Standalone version).

Push 3 Cons:

  • Significantly higher price tag, especially for the Standalone option.
  • Larger and heavier, impacting portability.
  • The learning curve associated with new features and MPE.



The choice between Push 2 and Push 3 depends on your priorities and budget. 

If you're looking for a reliable Ableton controller, stick with the Push 2. It offers almost all the functionalities of the Push 3 and is fully integrated with Live. Additionally, you can get a used Push 2 for a very reasonable price. While the Push 3 has some impressive new features, such as four CV outputs for modular gear, a built-in audio interface, and multiple USB and MIDI DIN I/O, the Push 2 is still a great option for most users.

The new MPE pads are cool, but my real deal breaker is the workflow and connections. They make Push 3 a welcomed new addition in my studio and on stage. My trusty Push 2? Sadly, it's time to say goodbye.

Still unsure? Watch the video! I break down all the features and help you choose the Push that unlocks your musical potential!





If you are interested in learning Ableton Live 12 or theย Push 3 in a bit more detail, check the course here:

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