When Ableton launched the Push 3, earlier this year, it announced two versions of it. Not only was there the next-gen edition of the pad-based MIDI controller that many Live users have come to know and love, but also, tantalisingly, a completely standalone device that can be used away from the computer.
But there was also a third option, as Ableton confirmed at the time that an upgrade kit would eventually be released that enabled you to turn your ‘standard’ Push 3 into a standalone one. Now that kit has arrived, and the good news is that it looks incredibly easy to install.
Ableton has put together a step-by-step guide to upgrading your Push 3 on its website, and it seems pretty foolproof. The kit contains an Intel 11th Gen Core i3-1115G4 processor with 8GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD hard drive, a lithium iron phosphate battery and a heatsink. All required screws come supplied, as does a screwdriver, a backplate lifter and a protective mat.
Ableton reckons that you should be able to complete the whole upgrade in no more than 30 minutes, and is confident that no prior electronics experience is required. It’s worth noting that only the components that come in the kit should be installed in your Push 3 - if you plug in in parts that have come from elsewhere, you’ll void your warranty.
What’s more, none of the components are currently available individually - only the complete Upgrade Kit. However, Ableton does say that it may sell some parts - such as batteries and more powerful processors - on their own in the future.
If you’re at all nervous about upgrading your Push 3, rest assured that, as long as you follow the installation instructions correctly, you won’t invalidate either the three-year warranty that came with your controller or the three-year warranty that comes with the upgrade kit.
The caveat is that “Ableton’s warranty doesn’t cover any damage resulting from improper testing, operation, maintenance, installation, or any alteration or modification outside the steps detailed in the Upgrade Kit instructions.”
Of course, it’s possible that some people will ignore all this and attempt to make their own ‘jacked’ version of the Push 3 Standalone, but the clear message is that it’s on them if things go wrong.
The Push 3 Upgrade Kit costs $1,049/£849. This is on top of the $999/£879 that the standard Push 3 controller costs, so by our calculations that brings up a total of £2,048/£1,728. This is $49/£59 more than the cost of a Push 3 Standalone ($1,999/£1,669), so if you’re sure you want to be able to use your device away from a computer, that’s still a slightly better buy.
It’s not a huge price difference, though, so if you’re not convinced that you really want/need standalone operation, buying the controller first and then having a think won’t incur too much additional cost if you do eventually decide to upgrade.
Find out more and take a look at the Upgrade Kit installation guide on the Ableton website.