Hacking Ableton’s Push 3 to add a 1TB drive

Using this excellent guide, I managed to replace the 256GB SSD in my Push with a 1TB version, create a new default Live set, and rename the generic collection labels. It was both easy, and hard.

The Push 3 is designed to be opened up and upgraded. If you have the plain version, you can buy an upgrade kit from Ableton with a NUC CPU, SSD, battery, and heatsink. The parts just plug into sockets inside, so replacing the SSD is a matter of taking off the back, popping out the old one, and snapping in the new one.

But wait. You can’t just drop in a blank SSD. First, you need to clone the existing drive’s contents to the new one, and then you have to resize its data partition to occupy all that extra space. The copying can be done with a Mac, but the partitioning requires Linux.

In my case, I installed an Ubuntu virtual machine in Parallels on my Mac, then installed and used GParted.
After that, and a quick reassembly, the Push worked first time.

Then, you have to create an SSH keypair, and install it on the Push. This is easier than it sounds, but I wasted a few hours trying, because I kept generating the wrong kind of key. Follow the detailed instructions linked above, but just make sure that you are generating RSA keys. The default of your machine might not be RSA.

When it comes to creating a default set, the most time consuming part was creating a set that I want to load every time I power on the Push. Again, the actual process of getting is working is straightforward, but because you’re using the command line, there’s a lot of ways you can mess it up.

The result is a Push 3 Standalone with 1TB of storage, which means you can go wild installing packs, and copying your samples across. I’m keeping mine mostly clean, apart from some big sample-based packs like the Spitfire pianos that come bundled with Live, and that’s because organizing and navigating your stuff is still pretty bad on the Push right now.

But still, imagine trying to upgrade the internal storage of a Digitakt or similar? Impossible. The fact that we can do it at all is just amazing.


3 responses to “Hacking Ableton’s Push 3 to add a 1TB drive”

  1. a cloning tutorial would be very helpful…

    1. It was a bit of a nightmare, because I had to use Linux to expand the partition on the cloned drive. You can follow this tutorial, which is the one I used:

      Unlock Push 3 – change collection names, default tracks, USB and more