August 15, 2013

Configuring Third Party Plugins for Ableton Live 9 and Push

Ableton’s Push has been turning lots of heads since its announcement last year, and now that it’s out there, there’s no shortage of opinions about whether it is the greatest thing since Ableton or something one can live without. I love mine, and have been using it to simplify the process of driving my hardware (guided by Ableton) based studio. One thing I have noticed some folks grousing about is that Push isn’t set to handle all their favorite plugins out of the box. What this complaint overlooks is the very simple and easy to use “Configure” dialogue available in the track view for third party plugins. I’ve been living off of the freedom and ease afforded to me for configuring third party plugins as I use the Korg Legacy suite almost non-stop when on the road.

In this video I try to show how fast and easy it is to set up any configuration that suits your workflow. While I use NI’s Massive and Korg’s Polysix plugin for the video, any Audio Unit or VST will work the same way. This is also a great way for squeezing a little extra juice out of your favorite third party audio manglers. If you have any trouble setting up your own plugins, shoot us a question in the comments below. If this gets you antsy to do some more tweaking under the hood in your Ableton rig, check out our recent tutorial on setting hardware devices up to work with Ableton Drum Racks.


Hi Guys, This is Paul with As everyone talks about Push but not everyone has gotten their hands on one, a common question is asked about whether third party plugins will be as easy to use with Push as Ableton’s own Suite products. As you can see, using Ableton’s own Operator, controls are easy to access, and even when menu diving, navigation is clean and simple. Sadly, third party plugins are not this integrated out of the box, but luckily, that’s a very easy fix.
Using an instance of Korg’s Polysix, we’ll show you the quickest method for getting the controls you like at the top level. Go to the Polysix plugin in the channel view and click the “Configure” button. Once this is clicked, via the plugin view, select the controls you want mirrored by Push. These will appear in the order they are selected. I like to have my filters and basic shaping controls available at the top level, so those are the ones I select. On playback you can see that the Polysix plugin quickly slides into the Push workflow with minimal preparation. Thanks to how the Polysix is set up, all the labels are easy to read and they spread across the Push LCD just like the native plugins now. With a few quick tweaks, the Polysix is suddenly playing more like the analog original it is modeled after.
Now, with a more complicated plugin, like Native Instruments Massive, you might want more controls than the simple top level configuration I built for my Polysix. You might say “but Paul, how am I supposed to succeed in this Godless world with 8 knobs?!?!?! To which I would say “stop whining,” more importantly: The tabbed menu system in Push is great for these kind of breakouts. As we select four and then eight controls, we see everything still appear on the first page. We will keep adding controls, but no longer see them adding on our visible page in Push. Just as in the case of the Polysix, the Massive controls are now responding quickly in the “oh so Push” way that makes everyone so happy with Push. Now, if we dive down into the second level of the controls for massive, we can see we now have three pages listed on the bottom part of the LCD menu. Each of these pages can be accessed via the button immediately below them in the Device view.
And that is the very simple way that you can map third party plugins to Ableton Push. If you don’t want to do this every time you use the plugin, simply save the device and load that one in the future. For the best prices on Ableton, Push, or to learn more about about both, visit us at Thanks for watching.