Push 3 takes Ableton Live standalone: DAW can now be used with or without a computer

Ableton Push 3
(Image credit: Ableton)

Ableton has joined the likes of Akai and Native Instruments by taking a version of its software completely standalone and packing it into a piece of hardware. In this case that hardware is Push 3, the latest version of the company’s pad-based instrument. A controller-only version has also been announced, with the option to upgrade it to support standalone usage at a later date.

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Ableton Push 3

(Image credit: Ableton)

Ableton Push 3 review

Whichever version you go for, Push 3 offers 64 MPE-capable pads that can detect finger pressure and placement across the X and Y axes for fine, per-note control. This means that you can get far more expressive with your playing, adding the likes of bends and slides or applying effect or filter changes to just certain notes within a chord. It’s also possible to trigger multiple articulations from a single pad.

The standalone version of Push 3 features plenty of familiar Ableton Live instruments and effects, and can also host your own Packs and sample libraries. There’s no support for third-party plugins, though. WiFi connectivity means that you can transfer sets between Push 3 and Live wirelessly.

The controller version of Push 3 has a built-in audio interface and CV/gate connectivity for hooking up to Eurorack and other modular gear. As you’d expect, MIDI is here, too.

The upgrade kit to convert a controller-only Push 3 to a standalone one will cost $1.049, and the good news is that the processor, hard drive and battery are replaceable, so hopefully you’ll be able to ensure that your hardware keeps pace with the latest technology.

Out of the box, the standalone Push 3 contains a customised Intel NUC Compute Element, a credit-card-sized component that combines a processor, RAM and WiFi.

Push 3 is available now with prices set at $1,999/€1,899 for the standalone model and $999/€949 for the controller version. The upgrade kit will be available later this year.

Find out more on the Ableton website.

Ben Rogerson
Deputy Editor

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it. 

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