Push MK2 follows the success of the original push and builds on its functionality with the most notable upgrade being a full colour pixel display upgrade which now allows for much more dynamic feedback from devices and VU metrers as well as the ability to display and edit the playback of loops and samples directly from Push.
The control layout has also changed a bit with some new controls, multi-colour track control buttons, a repositioning of the encoders and the track navigation buttons and the function keys are now a lower profile with a more defined backlight.
The size is about the same with Push 2 being just slightly wider and the height is now slimmer.
To also coincide with the new Push 2 release a new version of Live was also released (9.5) which adds a number of new features and also updates current Push 1 units with some very neat features. One of the most requested features for the last 2 years is now possible: Browse and load your VST/AU instruments direct from Push (though browsing presets is apparently still not possible).
The new Live 9 update brings some new sound content, an overhaul of the Simpler instrument to integrate tight with the new Push display, updated waveform displays and updated VU meter displays now showing both peak and RMS sound levels.
Check out the latest on Push 2: https://www.ableton.com/en/push/
Check out the latest on Live 9.5: https://www.ableton.com/en/live/new-in-9-5/
What About Us Push 1 Users?
Well Live 9.5 comes with a firmware update and adds some of the Push 2 functionality to Push 1 and Ableton have already been on the front foot assuring users that Push 1 will be supported for the forseeyable future though will not be able to match all the features of Push 2 obviously. So Push 1 is not obselete and apart from the updated display and a few other changes there is not too much to separate the 2 at this stage but it appears from some users poking around in files and folders that we may be set to see some of the long list of wishes finally roll out in Push 2 over the coming year.
While it is certainly no requirement to upgrade it will become more of an attraction as time passes and new features hit Push 2. But as a happy Push 1 owner I was concerned about how I could sell Push now and get a half decent price considering most retailers have now dropped their price to around $400 for Push 1... This is where it gets interesting. Ableton have obviously thought about this and are offering users who own Push 1 to "trade in" their push back to Ableton for a 30% discount and Ableton will then give these to music schools for free. They even send you the return postage (paid) so all you need to do is pop your Push 1 in the box (in a working and usable condition) and ship it back to them. This is a very neat tactic because it helps create more sales, gives users the ability to easily upgrade and also gets more schools using Live and more users in front of Live. Well played!
Mine is on order and I am excited to see how it compares and will certainly review it against Push MK1 but this will certainly place some pressure on the Native Instruments and Akai "smart controllers" and is setting 2016 up as an interesting year for DAW users.
VST Preset Pack Supported?
Yes. If you currently use the VST preset packs to browse your VST instruments via Push these work the same on MKII. Additionally for Omnisphere Users you can now download our Updated Omnisphere 2 browser pack Free to update your original library.
There are more in the works including a KK version.