Repairing serious problems with a Soundcraft mixer is an extremely complex task that only a professional technician or someone with years of analogue audio component building and maintenance experience should tackle. However, there is one basic problem most users can fix: crackling faders and pan pots. Crackling faders and pan pots can cause serious problems when you are trying to finish a mix or simply change fader volume during a recording session.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Compressed air
- Contact cleaner and lubricant
- Clean towel
Turn the console off and unplug the power supply from the wall. Remove the cable that connects the power supply to the console. Allow the console to power down for about 10 to 15 minutes before moving on to the next step.
Slide the fader from the negative volume position (all the way at the bottom) to its maximum volume position (all the way at the top) for about five minutes. Don't slide the fader so hard that you damage the plastic or wear out the mechanism. Use approximately the same force as you do when you "zero-out" the console after the end of a session.
Remove the screws on the console that are holding the fader section in place. Put the screws in a safe place and gently remove the fader portion of the problematic channel. Don't pull so hard that you damage the cabling connected inside the mixer.
Spray the inside of the fader mechanism with compressed air to remove any dust and debris that has built up inside the fader. A quick spray should work fine in most cases unless you can see a lot of dirt inside the fader.
Use a special contact cleaning solution and lubricant made specifically for electronics to lubricate the pots inside the fader mechanism near the pan pot. You can find contact cleaning solution and lubricant made for electronics in most pro audio supply shops and through numerous online retailers.
Allow the fader section to dry for approximately one hour. Cover the fader section and console with a clean towel during this time to prevent more dust from entering the console.
Put the fader section you removed in Step 3 back in the console and replace the screws you removed. Repeat this process with any other offending faders.
Tips and warnings
- Cover your mixer with a specially made console cover, clean blanket or even a towel to prevent dust and debris from causing problems in your console. Excess dirt can cause fader pots to wear out much more quickly, resulting in costly repairs and time that you won't be able to use the mixer.
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