Ableton has done a Native Instruments on us! Not content to release its latest and much anticipated Live 9 software today, the company has also make its first leap into hardware, with the new Push Ableton controller.
This is much like Native launching the S4 alongside a new version of Traktor (and, indeed, the F1 with Traktor 2.5 and the Z2 with 2.6), and is an understandable development for the previously software-only company. It is likely to foster a more standardised, richer experience for Ableton DJs and producers.
Ableton Push hardware
Everyone uses the Novation Launchpad for Ableton, right? At least, everyone I know does. Looking not dissimilar to a Launchpad on steroids, Ableton’s first foray into controllers for its software is a major move for the company. It has 64 pads (unlike the Launchpad, these are velocity sensitive), 11 touch-sensitive infinity encoders, and controls for triggering clips, overdubbing notes and moving quickly between source material and variations. No crossfader, though.
It has an optional steel cover that doubles up, iPad-like, as a stand. While the unit is USB powered, there is a power adaptor input, the use of which brightens up the LEDs
It includes Live 9 Intro, and an interesting thing about it is that it is actually built by Akai, which begs the question: What now for Akai’s own Ableton controllers? It’s available 2013 Q1, but with a pretty high price of US$599/€499, I suspect lots of Launchpads will continue to be used and sold! You can get more info here.
Ableton Live 9 software
Session automation, a vastly improved browser (including folder drag & drop), more sounds, reworked effects, and new audio to Midi analysis algorithms should all aid your creativity. The Suite edition of Live 9 comes with a new, improved Max for Live.
While Live 9 won’t be available until Q1 2013, buyers of Ableton Live 8 get a 25% discount off the regular price as of now, and a free upgrade to Live 9 as soon as it’s released.
More info including videos available here.
A good move for Ableton? Does Live 9 contain what you were expecting? Have you been considering Djing with Ableton, and would these upgrades persuade you to start? Please share your thoughts in the comments.