Ableton Link not working as hoped

Hi @DamoZP, I’ve merged your topic with this one. Please refer to the discussion above and the linked article on using Ableton Link. If this doesn’t solve your issue please let me know. Thanks.

@DamoZP also please try changing your Settings>Audio Devices>Mixer Mode to Internal

Thanks. Have read all the articles. Changed the settings to internal. Still not connecting.


  1. Are you running Ableton Live on the same laptop as djay Pro or on a different device?

It’s on the same laptop as djay Pro

Is Ableton Link between Ableton Live working with other applications on your Mac?

Perfect thanks. Solved it. Here’s the Youtube video explaining how to set up Ableton. Thanks for your help!

That’s great to hear. Thanks for sharing the video!

Hi guys,

I’m new to this forum and as a mobile DJ I’ve got sort of the same problem:

I use DJAY on MacBook1 and SoundSwitch for my DMX lights on MacBook2.

On MacBook1 I play a track on Deck 1 at 120BPM
Ableton link enabled on both MacBooks, SoundSwitch runs at 120BPM

Now I start a track on Deck 2 at 100BPM, not beatmixing
If I press Sync now, Deck 2 will run at 120BPM, which is not what I want
SoundSwitch also keeps running at 120BPM, I want it to run at 100BPM now…

The only way to get SoundSwitch at 100BPM seems to be:

Turn OFF Ableton Link in DJAY on MacBook1
Turn OFF Ableton Link in SoundSwitch on MacBook2

Start the new track on Deck 2
Turn ON Ableton Link in DJAY on MacBook1
Turn ON Ableton Link in SoundSwitch on MacBook2

Now SoundSwitch is running at 100BPM…

For DJ’s this is NOT working at all, of course!

How it should be possible to set up:

When loading the 100BPM track on Deck 2, SoundSwitch should follow the new tempo.

Actually I don’t know who should fix this: Ableton, DJAY, SoundSwitch?

Please, get together and make things great for us!

Many thanks!


Hi @saunder, please refer to the two posts above. I believe if you review them carefully, you should be able to get Ableton Link working in the situation you describe.

  1. Ableton Link not working as hoped - #30 by Slak_Jaw
  2. Ableton Link not working as hoped - #40 by DamoZP

@saunder I’m not 100% understanding your workflow above.

You start deck 2 (100BPM) playing while deck 1 (120BPM) is still running?

You say you’re not beatmixing which is understandable due to the BPM difference, but then why would you press sync? Sync sets the decks to the same tempo. That’s what it does.

You think the BPM should drop from 120 to 100 as soon as a track is loaded?

In your scenario I would expect the Link tempo to be 120 whilst deck 1 is playing. As you’re not beatmixing and the tempos are different, either let deck 1 end, then start deck 2 (at which point Link should follow deck 2) or chop mix from 120 to 100 (a bit dramatic but again Link should follow).

Well explained @PKtheDJ. Thanks for sharing.

I’m not following the behaviour @PKtheDJ describes above. I’m trying to figure out how to move from a song at some faster tempo to a slower one (e.g. 140, down to 100) using a fade transition.

  1. Deck 1 running at 140bpm, sync is on in order to be master for Ableton Link.
  2. Load 100bpm song onto Deck 2, pull tempo slider to 0% which automatically disables sync
  3. Fade Deck 1, start deck 2
    4 Hit sync on Deck 2 to try and get Ableton Link to new tempo. Deck 2 tempo jumps to 140! Looks like Ableton Link is the master and DJPro defers to it.

Any suggestion on how to work around this?

Link has no master. The whole concept is that no one app is “in charge” and anyone can change tempo or start/stop. Other than DJay, what else is involved? What are you Linking to?

Seems like something is broken here then - DJPro is picking up a residual tempo from Ableton Link. Originally I had SoundSwitch hooked up. I just tried it with no other apps connected and DJPro tempo reverts to whatever the last tempo was when Sync was enabled.

Here is a screen recording.

After I turn off sync, pull up the tempo, then re-enable sync, DJPro immediately jumps to the previous tempo. Even with no other apps connected you can see the Ableton Link beat indicator still running at the original tempo so there does seem to be an internal clock for that within the link system.

I just watched the video. I guess you shouldn’t be turning off sync, as presumably it’s sync that tells whatever you’re Linked to that you want to change tempo.

Because you turn it off, then the other device(s) would carry on running at the last received tempo, then when you turn it back on, you’re “joining the group” and it defaults to the already existing tempo.

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Yes, sync is required for Ableton Link to work properly.

I’ve done further testing and really think the DJ Pro implementation of Ableton Link is flawed. Running some old disco tunes with Sync and Ableton Link enabled I could hear weird artefacts in the audio. Turns out that with Link enabled, DJ Pro is time stretching the audio every bar to match a fixed tempo, rather than sending out a new tempo via link.

Extreme example - I created a short drum beat in a DAW that gradually increases fro 108bpm to 120bpm. Play this normally with Sync on, the tempo gradually increases as expected (and a second deck follows). Play this with Link enabled, the BPM stays at 108 and the pitch slider moves slower and slower every bar to keep things locked in.

I guess its back to manual tap tempo for SoundSwitch for now.

Although I’ve used Link on various kit, I haven’t got around to using it with DJay, either on Windows, iPad or iPhone. I really should give it a try.

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