Ableton has announced Push 3 – the latest iteration of its MIDI controller which is now available as a standalone unit too.

It’s finally here! Akin to Native Instrument’s Maschine software integration with standalone hardware, Ableton’s Push 3 now offers a variation of Ableton Live in a standalone hardware unit. Push 3 is the latest version of the developer’s pad-based instrument, and Ableton has announced a controller-only version too.

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Ableton Push 3 – Standalone & MIDI Controller

While the layout looks like the PUSH 2 and the functionality seems familiar, the PUSH 3 is packing a lot of new heat. In addition to standalone functionality, there are 64 new touch-sensitive pads offering support for MPE and connectivity for audio, CV & MIDI.

Of course, the new standalone functionality is the biggest selling point of the Push 3. Now you can use the Push without a computer connection, and the hardware gives you access to many of Live’s software instruments as well as audio & MIDI effects. Further, you can edit clips on the standalone Push 3 while working with the same search browser and Session View.

However, the Ableton Push 3 will be available in two variations – standalone & MIDI controller (exclusively). The Push configured as a MIDI controller acts much the same as its predecessors. It offers a built-in audio interface with MIDI, CV & gate connections for connecting external gear, but you can upgrade the internals of the MIDI Push and make it a standalone too.

In other words, Ableton has given you the chance to try out the Push 3 as a MIDI controller. If you like it then you can upgrade your unit to the standalone hardware, or if you can’t afford the standalone unit right now then you can upgrade somewhere down the road. The processor, hard drive and battery are all replaceable too!

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The added support for MPE allows for more expressive performances. Now, the Push can detect variations in finger pressure across the X/Y axes for per-note control. In practice, you can apply pitch bends, slides, filter changes, effects, and more to particular notes while playing.

You can add your own libraries & sample packs to the standalone unit and perform with them as you would the onboard sounds. Though there’s no support for third-party plugins, you can utilize the Wifi connectivity and transfer your sets between Push 3 and Live wirelessly!

In fact, Push will show up in the Live Browser directly alongside Cloud. Therefore, you can find your sessions from the standalone Push in the same place where sessions from the iPhone app appear. Ableton calls this Continuity mode, and it’s designed to help you prepare sets and transfer them to the standalone Push hardware. Alternatively, you can transfer a composition you make on the hardware to the Live DAW – all over Wifi exclusively.


You can get the Ableton Push 3 now with the standalone model costing $1,999 and the controller-only model costing $999. The upgrade kit will be available later this year.

Meanwhile, you can get the upgrade kit for converting a controller-only Push 3 to a standalone unit for $1,049 and this will be available later this year.