Push 1: Using two Push 1 units simultaneously
- Live Versions: 9, 10
- Operating System: All
- Push Version: 1
Note: Using two Push 2 units simultaneously, or one Push 1 with one Push 2 working together with the same instance of Ableton Live is currently not supported. This article refers exclusively to set up two Push 1 units.
Using two Push 1 units with the same Live instance might be problematic. The units will not be completely independent from each other, because of how track focus is handled in Live, and selecting one Track with one Push 1 will set both units to control the same Track.
It is still possible to use both Push 1 units proficiently at the same time and we'll try to cover a few user cases in this article.
Setting up two Push 1 units
When two Push 1 units are plugged to the same computer, Live will instantiate them accordingly.
Each Push 1 will use a 8x8 frame and can control a different part of the session view.
This can be useful under several circumstances:
- In Session Mode, you can have access to a much larger set of Clips to trigger.
- Or you can use one Push 1 to input MIDI notes where the other Push 1 is used to trigger Clips.
Extending the Session View
On the second Push 1, press the [Session] button and then use the right arrow to move the frame focus to the next group of 8 tracks.
Alternatively, you can hold [Shift] and press the corresponding pad on Push 1, to quickly jump to the second block of 8 tracks.
Using Note and Session Mode at the same time
Another nice way to make good use of a dual-Push 1 configuration is to set the first in Note Mode to play virtual instruments or to sequence them using the Melodic Step Sequencer, and have the second Push 1 set to Session Mode for triggering Clips.
Controlling multiple instruments at the same time
Because of the way the Push 1 Control Surface is implemented, it might be problematic to control multiple instruments with different Push 1 units: basically, selecting one track with one Push 1, will also set the second unit's focus onto that same Device.
One way to overcome this is to right-click on a Device header and choose the option "Lock to Control Surface 1 (Push 1)". This way, the Push 1 encoders will control this device parameters regardless of where the track focus is set to.
Playing multiple instruments at the same time
Due to Push 1´s auto-arm ability, playing different instruments with two Push 1 units at the same time can be tricky. This is because Note Mode will be determined by the currently-focused Track.
For example, if the currently-focused Track contains a Drum Rack, both Push 1 units will display the Drum Rack Step Sequencer, even if the other unit is set to control a melodic instrument.
The current way to play two instruments each with a dedicated Push 1 unit is to set each of them as input device in the respective "MIDI From" Track Input menu, and record enabling both Tracks.
This will work if both Tracks are controlling melodic instruments, but the functionality will be limited due to the Push 1 buttons still being associated with the currently-focused Track.
Triggering the Push 1 [Record] button will start recording a Clip only on the currently-focused Track regardless of which Push 1 [Record] button is pressed.
In order to use the two unit this way, the following settings are necessary:
In order to record enable both Tracks, please deactivate Exclusive Arm under Preferences → Record/Warp/Launch.
Start Recording on Scene Launch:
Since we have seen that the Push 1 [Record] button will only trigger a Clip recording on one Track, in order to record a Clip on both Tracks, we recommend using the Scene triggers.
For this to work, make sure that the option "Star Recording on Scene Launch" is enabled under Prefereces → Record/Warp/Launch.