Virtual Push. Photo courtesy the author.

Virtual Push. Photo courtesy the author.

It was only a matter of time. An intrepid Lemur for iPad user has devised a template that emulates Ableton’s Push hardware.

Cleverly entitled “Shove,” the template isn’t just a little like Push. It actually allows you to use the iPad as surrogate for Ableton’s hardware. You configure the iPad input and output and then select Push as the control layout.

Ironically, that means this script may appeal as much to current Push owners as it would to anyone who wants to use their iPad in place of the hardware. I leave my Push comfortably sitting in the studio, because it’s just too heavy to bike around with all the time. But sometimes inspiration will strike when I’m at home – or on the go – and then I genuinely miss the Push workflow. There’s also the ability to use an iPad wirelessly, meaning this could be useful when doing a soundcheck. In fact, for that reason, it’s a bit of a shame Ableton didn’t develop an iPad control app alongside the hardware (though the business of selling hardware is still a lot better than the business of selling apps).

The creation of Liine community member WUL, the download is covered in disclaimers, but free for registered Lemur users. (It’s also Creative Commons-licensed, though I’m sad it is marked “no derivatives” – seems it’d be ripe for knobs. If you’ve got an idea, do go ask permission.)

The app works pretty brilliantly. Now you can lie in bed and sketch out patterns and start songs, then continue editing with Push back in the studio. There’s still plenty of reason to buy the hardware: there’s no replacement for physical control, particularly when you can use Push onstage. In a live performance situation, I’m never quite as happy on the iPad as with buttons to press and knobs to turn and the like. And Push’s velocity sensitivity is a major feature.

But for keeping the Push workflow anywhere you go, without the weight, Shove is a winner. And it’s another example of why Lemur can be one of the best buys on the iPad – even at a premium price.

Now, let’s hope Ableton lets this one stay there.

SHOVE – Liine library

Forum thread

Via De:bug [German]

Remarkably, once installed, using the iPad app in emulation means Ableton Live can't tell your tablet from an actual Push.

Remarkably, once installed, using the iPad app in emulation means Ableton Live can’t tell your tablet from an actual Push.

  • Peter

    Let me know when Push comes to Shove.

    • Peter Kirn

      De:bug already used that, and German’s their native language. 😉

  • michaelmatos

    Wow! Fantastic work. Can’t wait to get home and try this out.

  • Andy Cartridge

    how the hell do i get this to work? – i have lemur on my mac and it connects with the lemur demon ok… but i need something else?

    its an interesting idea if it actually emulates the push pretty well, as a software demo for the hardware…
    or maybe a software version of push in the future?

    i really dont see how that would be a problem, it would co exist with touchable and i would flick between the two… i just dont have the space or desire for another physical controller, i want something that generates ACTUAL SOUND! like a microbrute hmmmmm!

  • Jamsire

    I still have Mu on my original Lemur and Ableton 8.xx still helps make music with my geetar(s).

  • dan roden

    i’m really trying to work out what steps are actually required to get this going.. i’ve got the template in lemur on the ipad, ClyphX installed as a remote surface, but struggling following what remote scripts i need to add/hack and ableton config based on the various forum threads and dates i seem to go in circles in.. i really would like to try this, any chance of some step by step instructions and by that i mean a few short bullet point s would is all i’m after :) for idiots like me?

  • Matt Jackson

    None of the new push updates like melodic step sequencer though

    • Aaron Levitz

      You mean, it’s based on a stable version of the python scripts and not the unsupported beta?


  • Matt Jackson

    Well It’s cool. The lack of real velocity and new push features like step sequencer for example, make it a good taste but no replacement. I also found that it hangs and is a bit buggy on my mac.
    Would have liked to have seen a little improvement on the interface (show just the functions that make sense and maybe a help view) since the iPad can adapt it’s interface…
    But a great taste for anyone thinking of getting a Push who wants to try it out.

    • Matt Jackson

      Twisting 2 knobs at a time ain’t much fun here either but wireless is cool

    • Peter Kirn

      Yeah, exactly, it’s just an interesting step. I think it’s best understood as something for people to experiment with or to augment Push when your hardware isn’t there.

      Not sure what’s hanging though, for you?

  • Softcore

    Just a correction – no commercial derivatives! And thats because Wul would hate to see someone trying to make money, selling a Lemur template which was based on his idea and desire for a more “open-source” philosophy of Lemur templayes. Yes, he is cool like that! Just saying! 😉

    • Peter Kirn

      No, that’s not what the license means. ND and NC are two separate things, and he’s enabled both.

      No Derivatives means no derivatives.

      Non-Commercial means non-commercial.

      When you put them together, you can’t do either. So, for instance, if someone wanted to modify this to add some of the melodic step sequencing features and then give it away, they wouldn’t be allowed to do that.

      Non-commercial is problematic, too. Technically, if you gave away the template for free on a site with Google Ads, according to a Creative Commons study, many people would consider that commercial use. But no derivatives essentially means it’s not really open in any useful way for this context.

    • Peter Kirn

      Not saying that someone can’t ask permission, but by the time you have to ask permission for everything, I wonder what the use of CC is. What’s nice about CC is sometimes when people don’t have to ask your permission, they surprise you with things you didn’t expect.

    • Softcore

      I stand corrected then! Although, and I dont want to sound like Im speaking on behalf of other people, I dont think Wul would have any objection if anyone offered to improve-alter to his liking this template!

    • Ted Bowman

      But this doesn’t in any way relate to an “open-source” philosophy. In open-source you don’t have to ask/offer to improve or alter.

      “No Derivatives means no derivatives.” Is pretty much the opposite of Open Source.

    • Softcore

      As I explained, I thought Wul meant to forbid only commercial derivatives, which as it seems was my own misunderstanding. As for the true reasons ogf my misunderstanding, I have had private discussions with Wul in the past and this influenced my misunderstanding…. 😉

  • JF

    This is excellent. I have been using it for a few days on the Mac and it works fine. I just followed the installation instructions in the forum.
    The melodic step sequencer works fine on it too.
    I also own a Push and I find the Lemur template to be complimentary as it allows me to standardise on the superb Push workflow wherever I am.
    It’s no substitute for the lovely feel of Push with the smooth controllers and velocity sensitive pads but it’s great for travel etc.
    Also, a massively impressive example of what you can do with Lemur

  • thoughtswondersandthelike

    This sounds interesting and I’ll definitely see about it.

  • newmodernscience

    Ha! This is really interesting. I was just wondering the other day if someone was going to manage to do this. To get around the velocity sensitivity, I wonder if you could just map the touch slider to velocity level in Scales mode? At worst, you could throw the Ableton Velocity MIDI plugin in front of the instrument, and map that to a slider or a knob. I’ve been doing that on the Launchpad for ages, and you can actually be pretty expressive with it once you get the hang of it.

  • Matt Verzola

    Ok, I could use some help…what do you guys recommend: Touchable or Lemur (with or without Shove)? This would be for early stages of track creation in the studio, not live.

    • Matt Verzola

      (using Ableton of course)

    • Peter Kirn

      Really depends. I’d choose Touchable if you want to use an iPad as a control surface for Live (or one of the other fine options – LiveControl2 and Conductr I both use and they’re terrific). This is more of a niche idea, duplicating Push – Push is still best experienced as hardware, though this makes a nice wireless remote.

      Lemur is more about the ability to make your own custom templates.

      I use both; unlike hardware, of course, easy to switch apps on the iPad.

    • Matt Verzola

      Thanks, Peter. I’m just diving into the world of ipad controllers now, and your articles are a lot of help. Sounds like the main contenders are Touchable and LiveControl. When you say Shove is niche, do you mean it’s a clever emulation, but I’d get better control via Touchable or LiveControl?

      Customizing my interface isn’t that important to me, but the ability to pull audio clips from my library, create tracks, instruments, midi clips and fx, re-arrange the fx, and control the fx params….all from the ipad app….is something I’m very interested in. I thought Push was special in that it could do those things, but it looks like Touchable 2 will also have those features.

      I suppose I could buy both apps, but I’d prefer to only buy the one I’ll end up using. Thanks again, Peter.

  • Sam

    How does this compare to LiveControl2? Do people prefer one over the other?

    • Peter Kirn

      Honestly, I would choose to use a dedicated iPad control surface over this. This is more about getting a taste of Push or maintaining that workflow when away from the hardware.

    • Softcore

      I agree with Peter – LiveControl2 takes advantage of the fact that you have a touch screen to control stuff with and presents a better visual feedback over certain aspects of your Live project.

  • netchaiev

    works great! awesome! doesn’t own a Push either.

  • flo

    i can’t get this to work on osx with live 8. i followed the liine forum posts and lemur seems to be reckognized by live (highlighted clip) somehow, but how do i get a loopback device emulating push set up in live in addition to clyphX? i tried via the IAC driver and via a midi network setup to with no success and no communication of the template with live. i guess, i am lacking a “control surface” device here.

    any pointers?

    • SkOttie Bee

      You’ll need Live 9 to do anything push/shove.

  • Mick Finucan

    hi guys. can this launch clips and work from session view