Ableton Push Pad Stuck? 4 Common Issues

Ableton Push is an innovative instrumental MIDI controller that works in conjunction with Ableton Live. It gives the user the ability to have full remote control of Ableton and all its functions.

This piece of equipment, generally reliable since its release, has occasionally given some problems.

In this article, I will discuss a number of these issues as well as offer solutions to them and helpful advice.

Hand on Ableton Push Pad controller.

#1 Pads Stuck and Triggering Randomly

The first issue we will tackle in this article is a recurring problem of expression pads on the Ableton Push getting stuck (or latching) as well as triggering randomly.

Needless to say, this is a major issue, and unfortunately, there seems to be no easy fix.

A quick fix that is within the realm of most users’ abilities is to open the Push MIDI pad up by unscrewing the back external panel and internal metal casing, leaving the pads and buttons bare.

Lift the rubber pad and the carbon paper carefully and use cleaning alcohol and a small soft brush to remove any dirt.

Essentially, dust can easily mess with the resistance in a trigger pad’s circuit causing it to trigger or latch randomly.

For more detailed information on how to disassemble an Ableton Push follow this listed at the bottom of the article.

#2 Pads Unresponsive and Not Triggering

There may also be instances where trigger pads become unresponsive and do not trigger as intended.

If it is the case that multiple pads do not work and the product is relatively new, then there is a chance you have received a faulty product.

In this case, you should consider returning the device to Ableton for testing and replacement. Unfortunately, there have been reports of faulty batches being produced.

#3 Buttons not Working

In some cases, buttons on an Ableton Push may work inconsistently or stop working entirely.

One common reason for this, especially for older units, could be simply that the rubber push button is not making contact with the button on the inside panel of the unit.

It is possible and relatively straightforward to take apart the Ableton Push to see if this is, in fact, the issue.

A DIY solution to this problem is to wedge a small rolled-up piece of paper between the button and the cavity in which it is housed; this should cause the button to have guaranteed contact with the internal trigger.

#4 Randomly Changing Values (Mac Only)

If you find the Push 2 malfunctioning where values of encoders, pads, or touch strips are changing randomly, then explore the following possible solutions to troubleshoot:

  • USB cables should be tested, and it is not recommended to use USB adaptors or USB hubs.
  • Make sure there is only one instance of Push 2 selected in the “Control Surfaces” settings; this can be found in preferences.
  • If a pedal is normally used in conjunction with the Push 2, then test the unit without the pedal connected.

Electromagnetic interference (EMI) may be the cause of the issue; if so then try the following and see if the issue persists:

  • Test the Push 2 while the laptop’s power supply is not connected (laptops only).
  • Use a 3-prong plug for your power supply, this will provide proper earthing.
  • Test to see if the issue persists in different areas of the building or a different building entirely.
  • Use your Push 2 while being connected to another laptop or pc.

Please also check out our article about Ableton and Launchkey issues – with easy solutions 🙂 

Ableton Push 1 Versus Push 2

At first glance, the Ableton Push 2 and its predecessor look fairly similar. But, it doesn’t take more than a few minutes of examination to notice some significant differences and great improvements.

The real question is it worth the cost of the upgrade?

Below is a brief list of the most significant differences and our opinion on which unit is worth its price.

Screen and Accessibility Upgrades

  • The Push 2 has some significant appearance upgrades; most notably the increased size, LED color, and functionality of the screen.
  • Both the size of the screen and the colors give far more detailed information feedback to the user.
  • The screen provides clear and relevant information, such as detailed graphs of velocity curves, signal levels, and detailed media bank lists.

Simply put, the Push 2 gives users access to practically every device parameter and project setting.

Pad Responsiveness & Playability

The beauty of Ableton Push has always been the ability to operate Ableton Live completely without ever needing to touch your computer. Additionally, it allows musos and producers to play software instruments and program loops on the fly.

The Push 2 has noticeably more response and playability regarding its velocity pads.

This is most noticeable if one loads up a drum rack and plays a groove of fill. The pads feel far more responsive to quick operation and dynamic playing.

Button Options

With the updated layout of the Push 2, the buttons on offer have changed quite significantly. Below are a few of the most prominent changes:

  • Some buttons like “Volume”, “Pan” and “Sends” have been removed and placed with a submenu that can be found using the new “Mix” button on Push 2. Pushing the mix button will allow you to see signal levels for each track as well as volume and pan settings.
  • Additional cursor buttons have been added to replace the one-functioned “Octave Up” and Octave Down buttons giving users the ability to now page easily across in Session View.

Some of the button layout has changed between Push 1 & Push 2, and one can expect it to take some time to adjust to the new layout.

Overall Reliability

The Ableton Push has always been considered to have good build quality, although there have been quite a few cases of random internal issues being reported.

It seems that the Push 2 has stepped up its reliability and there have been far fewer major issues.

Returning Product to Ableton

Due to the number of cases of people having issues with their Push MIDI controller, Ableton has provided good support to replace any genuinely faulty products, provided that the unit is under warranty.

Ableton does not, however, supply spare parts.

Note: Check to see what the warranty situation is on your product.

Final Thoughts

The Ableton Push 1 & 2 are both great pieces of hardware and can stand up to their competitors despite the issues mentioned above.

As is the nature of musical instruments and tech hardware; wear and tear is to be expected.

The Push 2 seems like a worthy successor to the Push 1 and seems to have moved the Ableton hardware away from many of the issues affecting it when it was first released.

Sources

Push 2 randomly changes values (Mac)

Ableton Push 2 – Hardware Controller for Live

Ableton Push 2 button “repair”

YouTube: Ableton Push 2 Teardown