Using Ableton Push 2 to Live Sample and Slice Vinyl and Audio

Lately I’ve been getting back into live vinyl sampling & slicing sessions using Ableton Push 2. The Push 2 workflow lets you slice by beat division, region, transient, and has a rapid flow for manually slicing.

I know quite a few people who own the Push but in past conversations I learned some of them were not familiar with this workflow so I thought I do a post on this to help get people up to speed.

Plus the Push is 5 years old and there are a sea of videos out there so I thought I’d save you some time curating a few task-specific specific videos to save you time. I also include some historical videos on the creation of Push 2 in regards to live sampling and slicing vinyl.

Recent Session

First up, here is a short clip from a recent session with an old lute album :^) All the melodic elements were sliced. Drums were from a factory pack.

Once you get the hang of things, live sampling and slicing is an organic and fun way to build unique new tracks, instruments, and drum racks. I love this quote from Push 2 Product owner Jesse Terry in this regard.

Why is sampling important to me? For me its about the search and rescue of forgotten moments of beauty.

Jessy Terry – Product Owner for Push – https://youtu.be/mlSfIxtkU5I?t=395

Live Sampling and Slicing a Primary Use Case

While Push 2 is a purpose-built hardware interface for Ableton Live it’s clear from one of the original launch videos from years back that live sampling and slicing was a primary use case. This video is not instructive bit gives you the vibe of the workflow.

Sampling Vinyl How-To Videos

First up is a video on recording audio by live sampling audio into a clip then converting to a simpler using just the Push 2 hardware.

This next video conceptually picks up where the last one left off with a sample loaded into a Simpler. The video illustrates slicing to transients and converting to a drum rack.

0m0s – Slicing a Simpler using Transients
1m22s – Slicing a Simpler using Beat Mode
2m42s – Slicing by a Number of Regions
3m35s – Manual Slicing Mode

Behind-the-Scenes Video with Vinyl Sampling Use Case for Push 2 from Ableton Loop 2015

Now that you know how to live sample and slice check out this cool behind-the-scenes video from the Push 2 launch session at Ableton Loop 2015 with Push 2 Product owner and designer Jesse Terry. His talk starts at around 03m40s but I recommend you just start at the beginning to hear Ableton CEO Gerhard Behles tee up the session.

Jesse Terry is the Product Owner for Push, working previously as a product specialist, Artist Relations manager, and on projects including the Bridge and the APC40.

It’s clear from Jesse’s presentation that his love for vinyl sampling heavily informed the design of Push 2.

If you carry on the video to 21m07s you’ll see the introduction of Ableton’s program to donate Push 1’s from trade-in programs and Live to schools and educational initiatives. At 27m35s Dylan Wood talks about the Sound Team’s work and the addition of analog modeled filters to Sampler, Operator and AutoFilter. Note these have since been added to other instruments in the lineup like Wavetable. At 41m00s we hear from Michaela Burgle who talks about flow state and introduces Ableton Link.

More on Sampling with Push 2

For more videos on Push 2 check out Ableton’s dedicated this page on their website with notes and videos on working with samples https://www.ableton.com/en/push/sampling/.

Go Forth and Slice

I hope this article helped saved some time for those getting sarted with Push 2 or reinvigorated you long-time Push 2 users to go forth and slice up some vinyl. If so take a moment to subscribe or leave me a tip to buy me a beer or coffee :^)

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About

Hi, this is Mark Mosher. Welcome to my blog. I’m a synthesist, Composer, Producer, and Visualist living in Boulder CO. I’m also the founder of the Rocky Mountain Synth Meet and Synth Patrol.

I’ve been blogging wince 2005 and this blog is a mix of posts on artistic news as well as synth tech & technique posts under the category Modulate This!


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