Ableton Link not working as hoped

Hey PK

My use case is simply djaying at gigs - I assume that is what you mean by running LIVE (if you mean something more subtle please say).

I use light rider on my iPad with a dmx interface to drive my lighting rig. I don’t like the microphone input (different discussion) - hence reaching for Ableton which could be ideal.

(I’m not recording or producing)

I think that’s the heart of the issue.

Sync is what determines ‘master’ tempo for Ableton to broadcast.

… but when I’m manually mixing (using pitch sliders and headphone) I don’t want to touch the sync button as it moves my track and takes the mixing out of my control ….

@Dan_Edwards, I think @PKtheDJ is mixing up the conversations. There are now 3 different users in this topic each with a slightly different setup / use case. @Heiko_Fanieng is the one using Ableton Live on the same Mac as djay Pro.

Yes it’s confusing because the tech used to sync devices is called Link, or more fully Ableton Link, and the DAW is called Ableton Live, so when someone says Ableton I assume they’re talking about Live (as many people just call it Ableton).

If you’re only using Link, then please just call it Link rather than Ableton - as Ableton is the company.

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I think you’ll need to find a balance with your Sync settings in djay Pro to achieve the level of manual mixing and Ableton Link connection you want. I suggest you carefully read this article on how Sync in djay Pro works and play around with the different settings to see if you can find an okay balance.

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Got Sound Switch working via Ableton Link on same machine, as per comment from Slak_Jaw I had to basically keep sync on constantly to keep things running smoothly, and also remember if I did stop a deck to start the next track when the link beats indicator reached the 1 beat in order for lights to be in phase with the song.

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Similar to my experience - Sync drives the Ableton Link clock.

So how are you able to mix (does the sync mess up your manual beat matching?)

Hi @Dan_Edwards,

I recommend you try the following djay Pro Sync settings. This only keeps the BPM of the 2 songs locked together while still allowing you to nudge, scratch and otherwise manipulate the jog wheels while still technically being Synced.

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Hello everyone,

I did some additional research into Ableton Link and found the following post from one of our users Sergey_Snegirev:

  1. The initial tempo of the Ableton Link Session is determined by the device that has been in the session “longer than others” to quote official Ableton docs. So naturally the first device to join the Session, sets the tempo. If that device at some point leaves and re-connects, it will assume whatever the current tempo of the remaining Session is.
  2. Any device that makes a change to its tempo sends this tempo to all other devices as an effective Master and all other devices accept this tempo as effective Slaves. Any of the devices can do that to others at any point.

E.g. if you have Ableton, SoundSwitch, and djay running in the same session, and you set the tempo in Ableton to 130, both SoundSwitch and djay will jump to 130. Then if you set the tempo in SoundSwitch to 120, both Ableton and djay will jump to 120. If you move the tempo slider in djay from 120 to 90 bpm gradually, both Ableton and SoundSwitch will follow down to 90 gradually.

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I will give this a try and report back. Thank you for your patience!

I have Djay Pro and Ableton Live 11 (or 10 doesn’t work either) and the Ableton Link will not connect them.
This is really frustrating as it’s the only reason I purchased Djay Pro to link it to Ableton Live.
Upgrades, restarts, nothing works.
Any suggestions?

Screenshot 2024-02-20 at 14.35.11

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!