How many tracks can Ableton Push 3 Standalone actually run?

A standalone Push is finally here and it stands to reason that Ableton will want to make doubly sure that Push 3 can cut the mustard when running untethered from your laptop.

So of course, the first thing we thought of was to see how far we could push Push.

Before we got too carried away, the first thing to ascertain was exactly how we could stress-test the Intel i3 processor with 8GB RAM and a 256GB hard drive. 

To keep things straightforward and thoroughly unscientific,  we decided on a simple test of stacking key devices until Push fell over.

First up was a string of monophonic instances of Wavetable, followed by a polyphonic test. Finishing up with a little MPE workout, courtesy of Drift.

With a monophonic patch, Push managed up to 50 instances of Wavetable before any noticeable jitter occurred and 15 instances of a polyphonic Wavetable patch playing three chords. 

While these were the upper limits of audio stability, it is worth noting that functionality of the machine itself was greatly impacted before these limits were reached.

In the end, Push 3 mustered a total of 40 instances of Drift before the audio began to drop out. 

We're acutely aware that stacking 50 synth devices is not exactly indicative of a real-world scenario, but it does still serve as a good indicator of the capabilities of Push 3 in standalone mode. 

It's worth noting that are a few workarounds when dealing with a high CPU load, most notably the freezing of tracks. You can also bounce tracks down if you're looking at performing with a high track count in your set.

Perhaps the biggest boon for the 'Standalone' crowd is that Ableton has made Push fully upgradeable, so you'll be able to improve on these numbers with ease in the future. In fact, we think it will be quite exciting to see how far people take it.

Simon Arblaster
Video Producer & Reviews Editor

I take care of the reviews on MusicRadar and Future Music magazine, though can sometimes be spotted in front of a camera talking little sense in the presence of real musicians. For the past 30 years, I have been unable to decide on which instrument to master, so haven't bothered. Currently, a lover of all things high-gain in the guitar stakes and never one to resist churning out sub-standard funky breaks, the likes of which you'll never hear.

With contributions from