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27 June 2017

Scratchy pots and faders and tricksy midi data

(There was the option for all sorts of titles with the words “lube” and “knob” in but for fear of offending someone……;-))

So I recently came up against a few pots (pots= potentiometers – audio knobs) that were scratchy and also some midi knobs on my MAudio Oxygen 61 that were outputting all sorts of nonsense.

The solution?   Deoxit Faderlube F5. (The one on the right)

For years, I (like many others) had been using D5 (the one on the left above) to clean and protect my faders and pots but it turns out the person who recommended I use this stuff was wrong. D5 is for switches and doesn’t do pots and faders much good. F5 is the stuff for this job.

I recently bought a TC electronic level pilot, which started scratching not long after purchase.  A quick squirt of F5 sorted it right out.

I also had problems with the knobs on my Oxygen 61 sending out midi values even when they weren’t being tweaked.  Again, F5 sorted it.

A couple of things to be aware of.  Using F5 does  sometimes wash out the grease in the fader or pot which means it loses its physical resistance when being turned.  The pots become light and don’t feel so nice to turn. The effect wasn’t so noticeable on the Level Pilot but the knobs on the Oxygen have become very light and “cheap” feeling.  From experience, this resistance sometimes returns, but sometimes not.

When coming across a scratchy / noisy / data spewing pot, sometimes a few simple twists back and forward over the full range of motion will sort it out.  F5 is often only  a short / medium term solution. If the pot or fader is old or worn, replacing it (with a better quality one if applicable) is the best option.

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