It’s great to see that so many people are curious about Push still, I’ve been getting a lot of questions since I posted my first thoughts after playing one. So I think I’ll keep a running log here on the blog about how I’m getting on with it over time, since it’s likely going to be something I use a lot more than I first thought.
As you can no doubt guess, I’m pretty excited about it still, which really surprises me as it’s been awhile since I felt that way about a piece of music equipment. I’m not ashamed to admit my expectations about what using it would be like were way off, it really is a cool bit of kit.
In the last 3 days I’ve gotten the foundations for 8 new songs laid out, and 2 more sketches in the works today. Not just simple melodies or a basic drum beat in most cases, but 8-10 tracks of polished sounding recordings, and even basic arrangements.
Best of all, it was fun! Like seriously fun, I haven’t had this much fun using a piece of gear in a long time. I’m laying awake at night thinking about new ways to use it, and excited to get in the studio and mess around with it some more. And this after more or less learning it inside and out, so now my time now is just spent using it the way it was intended.
It has such a streamlined but flexible workflow, that it’s really easy to just start laying down ideas and building up song. A lot of people complain about the lack of some editing functions, but I think this is a good thing myself. Rather than trying to do it all from the hardware, like say Maschine does, they opted to focus on the main things you need for creating your song parts. Detailed editing can be done later on the computer where it’s easier anyway.
The result is that using Push feels more like using a dedicated piece of hardware to me than Maschine did. The need to control so many functions with so few controls on Maschine meant that it always felt like a generic MIDI controller to me. Push feels like an instrument with a more streamlined purpose, it has set controls for specific things you’ll use a lot. Way more dedicated buttons in fact, and this goes a long way to speeding up how you use it, as well as how easy it is to use.
Also, I wanted to make a correction to my earlier first look at Push, there are a TON of drum kits you can access, way more than the instrument racks in fact. So now I’m wishing for more Instrument Rack sounds, not Drum Racks, doh! I had an issue with a beta version of Live I was using not showing me all my Drum Kits, once that was solved I could see there were hundreds of kits. Sweet!
There are a few things still that I wish were a little better of course. Push lets you easily try out some very exotic scales, and it’s great fun. But when you load up a song next time, there’s no way to see what scale you were using, so time is spent figuring it out manually. Also, I wish there was a way to rename things with Push, as that’s one of the very few things I find myself using the laptop for still.
Finally, please give us a way to Save our work in progress from the Push controller itself!
I’m sure that there’s a couple small things I’m forgetting at the moment, but those are really the only issues I’d like to see resolved for now. As you can see, it’s been a really positive experience so far. In fact, I think I’m going to end this post here, so I can get back to making music! More details coming soon!