Which Is Better? Ableton Push vs Launchpad [Differences]

When looking for a controller to upgrade your workflow it’s very likely that you end up between these 2 amazing pieces of gear.

Both these instruments offer you all you would need and more, and you can’t go wrong with either.

However, there’s a considerable price difference that leans the balance one way. Or does it?

Is the Ableton Push worth that extra premium?

If you just want a short answer about this topic, here it is:

The main differences between the Ableton Push and the Novation Launchpad are that the Push is a more expensive instrument and is geared towards studio performance. It has a display and allows you to do almost everything from it. The Launchpad is more affordable, portable, and includes a built-in sequencer.

If you want to stick around with us for longer, in this article we will talk about the main features of both these controllers, then we will argue about what are the main differences between them.

Finally, we will give you our insights into which one we think might suit better different use cases.

Are you ready?

Let’s get to it!

Ableton Push main features

Ableton Push

The Push is Ableton’s expansion into the physical world. It’s the best possible compliment to the Live suite.

It comes with a stunning display, 64 led backlit silicone pads, endless encoders to set up your instruments, and a lot of controls that integrate this instrument with the software you most likely will be using seamlessly.

This unit feels robust and professional, and it’s designed for it.

As their manufacturers say, the Push is an instrument that puts everything you need to create music at your fingertips. This is a bold claim, but very hard to argue against.

An instrument like this will surely be a big source of inspiration in your creative process and it will be an amazing addition to your workflow. Especially if you’re planning on doing live sessions.

Novation Launchpad main features

Novation Launchpad

The Launchpad is Novation’s response to the popularization of grid performance instruments.

A colorful grid with buttons to navigate through your sounds. Do you need anything more than this?

This unit looks and is very minimalistic and portable. Any traveling musician will surely enjoy this feature. With only your laptop and a Launchpad, you would be ready to perform as if you never left home.

A big selling point for this instrument is that it incorporates an internal 4 track 32 step sequencer that can operate without being connected to a computer, so that’s extra portability and creativity on demand for you.

Novation’s alternative is surely a piece of gear catered towards live-performing users that will enjoy the extra portability and the possibility to work with the launchpad’s standalone sequencer.

Main differences between the Ableton Push, and the Novation Launchpad

Let’s get it out of the way first so we can dive deeper later. The main difference between these 2 instruments is their price.

The Ableton Push is a more expensive unit with a few extra features that absolutely justify the difference in value. However, the Launchpad is also an amazing instrument and it’s very likely that you could end up doing almost the same things with it.

Some extra features of the Push, such as its beautiful display and the extra controls, make it a very productive studio tool that would surely integrate effortlessly with your live sessions. For instance, letting you tweak the parameters of the instruments you will be sequencing from the unit itself with its encoders.

While Launchpad lacks in-studio features such as those described earlier for its competitor, it offers a more portable profile, a lighter weight, and the possibility to create sequences as a standalone unit.

Both these units, however, are of great quality and would suit any professional musician’s needs.

You don’t need any of them to make music, but your art will be incredibly flattered if you have the option to incorporate one of these instruments.

Which one should you choose?

Here in GearAficionado, we don’t like pointing you in one direction blindly. We think that every gear purchasing decision should be made after gathering all the information available and relevant to you.

Getting an expensive instrument like one of these 2 is a very personal choice and no blog article or YouTube video should tip the scale for you in a final way.

We always encourage you to try out the equipment before buying, and for sure this will be very useful for controllers like the Push and the Launchpad.

If you can get to try them with your setup and on your workflow, they will surely stand out or show what they lack quickly.

Finally, if you want our insights into what we think would suit better the needs of different kinds of players, here they are:

  • If you are on a budget, get a Launchpad
  • If you need a studio workflow enhancer, go for the Push
  • If you think you could really use a built-in sequencer, give the Launchpad a try
  • If you are a tweaker by nature, you would surely enjoy the Push’s infinite encoders
  • If you are often on the road and are a live performer, the Launchpad’s portability might cut it for you
  • If you want a unit that allows you to do many things directly on it, a Push is what you’re looking for