Friday 9 November 2018

Dj On Button - a MaxForLive live performance device for Ableton Live

When I added the two round black buttons to 'Quick Transpose Audio BW', I thought that they were an interesting way of providing a live performance element, and that set me thinking...

So here's the result of taking the idea and making it more generic. I call it: 'DJ On Button', because it emulates the effects On/Off buttons that you see on DJ Mixers for ad-hoc live insertion of effects into audio. But rather than add it to lots of audio devices, I took the Max code from 'Quick Transpose Audio BW' and made a general-purpose mapper that turns clicks into parameter settings. The basic 'DJ On Button' device has three buttons, but with 'hide/show' buttons that enable 1, 2 or 3 of them to be shown, depending on your application.


To use this utility, all you do is click on the 'Map' button, then choose the Live parameter that you want to control, then adjust the 'Min' and 'Max' rotary controls to give you the parameter values you want. Then when you click on the big round black 'On' button, the 'Max' value will be sent to that parameter. When you stop clicking, then the 'Min' value will be sent. That's all there is to it!

In live performance, you pre-assign parameters, and then just click on the buttons at the appropriate time - just like you would on a DJ mixer. It's a bit like the toggle buttons in the classic Ableton 'EQ3' audio effect, but turned into momentary action buttons instead.

Here's a video showing 'DJ On Button' in use.

Getting DJ_On_Button_mr_0v01

You can download DJ On Button mr_0v01 for free from

(The links above should now be fixed!)

Here are the instructions for what to do with the .amxd file that you download from

(In Live 10, you can also just double-click on the .amxd file, but this puts the device in the same folder as all of the factory devices...)

Modular Equivalents

In terms of modular equivalents, then reproducing this functionality in my modulars required nothing more than a momentary switch and a utility module, giving 2 ME.

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