Configure Ableton Push 2 Djay Pro

So yesterday I finally caved in and bought a Push 2 (yeah, yeah, I know..) Went through the initial setup and everything was fine: connected to Live, did the firmware update and Push working exactly as advertised. The one thing I wasn't keen on, though, was the angled USB cable supplied with Push. This means that the cable is exiting Push to the right, which is the exact opposite of what I need in my setup, and means I have to bend the cable back on itself to make it fit. Not good. Anyway, this shouldn't be a problem, I just substitute in a 'straight' USB cable (one supplied with an HP printer, with the correct connectors and known to work) and the problem should be solved, right? Well, no. In fact things got a bit weird. I tried the new cable with both Live 9.5 and the Melodics app, both with and without Push's external PSU, and here's what happened:

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Live 9.5. Initial logo screen on Push, but then goes blank. Live doesn't recognise Push at all. Still get the initial Logo even when Push's external PSU is not used (so must be getting power over USB at the very least), but apparently no data communication. Go back to the originally supplied USB cable and everything is fine again.

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Melodics. Melodics could 'see' that Push was connected, but no response to the Push pads. Again, this was the same whether Push's PSU was connected or not (so power reaching Push over USB as before). Also (and this was very odd) the USB modem that I have connected to another USB port on my PC stopped working when trying to use Push with Melodics via the substitute USB cable. This wasn't just coincidence, I repeated the experiment several times with identical results. When I went back to the original USB cable, everything worked fine.
DjaySo.. is there something 'special' about the USB cable that Ableton supply with Push? The only visible difference is that the Ableton-supplied cable has a cylindrical 'hump' in it which I assume is some kind of interference suppressor (???) I'm pretty sure that the substitute cable was seated properly too, though this is something I could investigate further. I may have a couple of other substitute cables that I could also try this evening. I really don't want to carry on using the angled USB cable because it looks ugly bent over the way it is and I don't think the internal conductors are going to last long being bent like that.
Any thoughts?
Ableton Push is an excellent controller/instrument for use in the studio. However, you can also use it when DJing as Tadhg Leonard demonstrates in part 1 of 3 in this mini series.

As wonderful as Push is for both Studio Production and Live Performance, it is fair to say that it's not tailored to those who want to use a traditional DJing setup within Live. Controllers like the Novation Twitch (which has the traditional DJing layout along with a Live Mapping Template) is much more suited to this purpose. However, with a little bit of outside-the-box thinking, there are many ways to turn Push into an adequate controller for the modern day DJ.

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Basic DJ Setup using Push’s User Mode

Push’s Session mode will obviously come in very useful when DJing, however you may also want to make use of its User mode to map some traditional DJ Parameters to Push, for instance EQ controls. Let's take a closer look.

The first thing you need to be aware of is how to configure the MIDI settings in Live correctly when using the User Mode on Push. In the MIDI sync tab in Live preferences, switch both the Remote and Track buttons for the In and Out User ports for Push on.

Create a DJ template to suit your type of performance. As I want to replicate the traditional DJ layout I have created three audio tracks or ‘Decks’ and placed an EQ plug-in on each one. Start of by mapping these EQ parameters to Push. Luckily there are nine rotary controls on the top of Push to map the three EQs of each of the three decks to. Perfect! Enter User mode on Push by pressing the User button. Now map the first three knobs on the row to the low, mid and high of Deck A while in Lives mapping mode.

Configure Ableton Push 2 Djay Pro 2

Continue by mapping the next three knobs to Deck B’s EQ and the final three knobs to Deck C’s. You can now access the EQ parameters of the three decks simultaneously by simply pressing User mode. Otherwise you would have to trawl through each tracks’ devices separately to find the EQ parameters.

Another parameter that you will need control over is of course a crossfader. Unfortunately Push doesn't have any faders to act as one. However, its touchstrip can be mapped to any parameter in Live. Enter mapping mode in Live, select the crossfader and move the touchstrip while still in User mode on Push. You now have an excellent way of fading between your tracks while DJing. One important thing to note is that because the touchstrip usually controls pitch bend so it will snap back to the middle position when let go. The way to get around this is simple, however. When you are about to let go off the touchstrip/crossfader press the User button to exit User mode and the crossfade position will remain in the same position when you take your finger off.

Configure Ableton Push 2 Djay Pro Free

You now have the foundations in place for turning Push into a controller to rival those that are specifically designed for DJing.


Follow us on Facebook and stay tuned for part 2 in this series on DJing with Ableton Push only on!

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