how to fix buttons and knobs on a maschine mk1?

samms
samms Member Posts: 4 Member

7 of the 11 knobs were constantly sending random control changes, even when not being used, and several of the buttons needed an extremely hard press to work (mute, solo buttons, etc.)

for the buttons, i thoroughly cleaned all the contacts on the board with alcohol, as well as the "black small things" on the rubber buttons themselves (what touches the board, when pressing the button). this worked extremely well, except for 2 buttons (control and step). considering there is no physical switch here to replace, is there anything i else i can do? just try again? does anybody know of a hack, maybe putting a small peace of rubber (or whatever) between the buttons and the board? I'm honestly a bit lost

regarding the knobs, after reading a bunch on here and old NI forum (wayback machine), with maschine open, i cleaned (between) the potentiometers with a peace of paper and dental floss, and this worked surprisingly well. some knobs are still a bit faulty, but now it's about 3, not 7, and the changes seem a lot less. i will re-do this process (ran out of dental floss lol), but should some potentiometers still need replacement after, do the RV112FF-40B1-15F-0B20K-0068 work on MK1 as well? these seemed to be the potentiometers to get, based on the forum's consensus, even tried by D-One, however, i could not understand if these would work on MK1 as well.


If anybody has any input on any of this, i'd highly appreciate it. i think i need to take care of the buttons first anyway, since without these, working knobs are still useless. but if there is hope for the buttons, maybe there is a chance with the knobs as well?

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  • NativeAmerican
    NativeAmerican Member Posts: 43 Member

    You may want to look for another used MKI on Ebay. Sometimes you can get lucky finding one at auction or even just a regular buy now item.

  • JesterMgee
    JesterMgee Member Posts: 2,441 Expert

    Yeah prob time to upgrade at this point, hardware that you use often like Maschine is not going to last forever, especially the pads.

    for the buttons, i thoroughly cleaned all the contacts on the board with alcohol, as well as the "black small things" on the rubber buttons themselves

    As long as you used a pure alcohol like isopropyl but a better suggestion is to use a specific electronics cleaner which you can get in a spray can, it evaporates fast and is designed for electronics especially carbon contacts which.

    The "black small things" on the rubber pads are carbon contactors, they have embedded carbon which is conductive so when you press it down it will press onto a set of contacts. For things that are velocity/pressure sensitive they will often have numerous contacts.

    You "can" repair these but it can be tricky. You need a product called "Keypad Fix" which is a small tub of liquid carbon paste but it can be tricky sometimes to get it to stick. You can find it on ebay, electrical supply stores. Just be sure to mix it well before trying to apply, tho it is not always the solution.

    Ideally you would want to know how to diagnose and test a circuit first to make sure the issue is not a physical one like a broken circuit track which for things like Maschine would be quite possible after some time. That would be difficult to repair if you do not have the equipment to do so or the experience.

    but should some potentiometers still need replacement after, do the RV112FF-40B1-15F-0B20K-0068 work on MK1 as well? these seemed to be the potentiometers to get, based on the forum's consensus, even tried by D-One, however, i could not understand if these would work on MK1 as well.

    Unsure of the MK1, but if the 8 knobs spin endlessly they are not potentiometers, they are encoders whcih are different. Also, again not sure on the MK1 but modetn maschine encoders are also touch sensitive so you need the specific model they use.

    Potentiometers have a start and an end point and cannot be twisted endlessly so they offer a fixed value. These degrade over time because internally they ahve a carbon track that gets worn down by the contacts and the shaved carbon dust over time can cause small shorts over the tracks which causes the jittery values you see so that would make sense. The best fix is to spray contact cleaner direct inside these however most of these on music gear are fully sealed units so you can't really fix em.

    Encoders do not have tracks in them, they simply have a contactor and some contact pads but these can still suffer wear from small shavings which can also cause jitter. Same process to clean.

    Neither is simple to replace without the correct desoldering gear and you really have to get the same type as fitted. I think for a controller 10+ years old it's probably a bit of a task really.

  • samms
    samms Member Posts: 4 Member
    edited May 2023

    thank you very much for your thorough reply JesterMgee.

    i should probably add that at this point i'm still trying to understand if it can be fixed at all, and/or under what circumstances. i'm not determined to fix this no matter what


    regarding the buttons, thank you very much for clarifying what type of mechanism this even is (carbon contactor)! i would never try to fix the board itself, but 'keypad fix' seems a lot more or what i was hoping for lol. i actually do believe now that the carbon contactors on the buttons themselves are the problem, and that the board is fine. with maschine controller open and plugged in, i used other maschine buttons to press 'control' and 'step' and this works. considering all other buttons and pads work, and that the contacts on the board also all work, i might give something like 'keypad fix', a try! if a proper electronics cleaner doesn't do the trick

    (images show using the BROWSE and SAMPLING buttons to press CONTROL and STEP on the board, so CONTROL and STEP buttons are clearly at fault)


    regarding the knobs, thank you for the clarification here as well. i'm fully aware that i need endless encoders (just not knowing to refer to them as such). however, i did not at all consider that mk3 knobs are touch sensitive. i wonder if the same encoders could be used and i would just need to solder one less "connection" to the board (the one transferring touch sensitivity information)? or if the encoders (RV112FF-40B1-15F-0B20K-0068) lose the touch sensitivity when used on the mk3? now i'm confused because the only confirmation we have (that i could find) that these work is on an mk3, but there is also this old DJtechtools forum post from 2013 referencing a 0B20K encoder (might be an older version though).


    soldering new knobs is definitely something i'm willing to do, but i still need to somehow figure out if these replacements also work on mk1, and if not, which ones to get.

    i will meanwhile clean the encoders again, will get contact cleaning spray soon and see what comes of it.


    thank you again JesterMgee!

  • D-One
    D-One Moderator Posts: 2,672 mod
    edited May 2023

    I advice you to be very cautious on spending money on this...

    Are the knobs moving by themselfs just a little bit? AFAIK this is a just a sign of electrical interference, "hysteresis", I've had this issue with NI devices before (Studio and MK3), the issues came and went away on it's own, idk if it was due to an update or just using different cables, usb ports, etc... that for some reason was causing more electrical interference.

    All that to say: Getting new knobs might not fix it.

    They aren't encoders, they are endless potentiometers.

    Contact cleaner, 7 of those knobs + shipping will run you close to 50 bucks, assuming you have a soldering iron, flux, and a solder sucker... there's Mk2's on ebay for 50-70$ so unless you're looking for a project to have fun with soldering it's not worth it.

  • samms
    samms Member Posts: 4 Member

    appreciate the input D-One!

    yes, some knobs move a little by them selves (slightly changing values). Interesting, i definitely assumed it was hardware related, as throughout time the knobs progressively got worse one by one. + it did get a little better after cleaning. regardless, i will of course try different cables and usb ports, as this is something i have not at all considered.

    regarding buying a used mk2, (i live in germany, think seeking something national makes sense for shipping costs alone), i tend to see them around 100/150, several even for 200. not to mention, after reading so much about faulty old controllers, by now i almost expect that buying a used old mk2 for very cheap would come with some problems that would still need fixing as well? (saw an mk1 for 70, but buying an mk1 is prob really not worth it)

    i have access to everything needed to solder, and for 50$ it seems worth it to me (compared only to mk2s going for at least double). if i see one for 50$, i'd obviously buy it, but thus far i definitely have not.

    and regarding the potentiometers (lol btw at the back and forth on encoders vs potentiometers), would they be compatible, just possibly not be the solution? or are they just not compatible at all? i don't understand how i can validate the compatibility of the RV112FF-40B1-15F-0B20K-0068, or other potentiometers

  • D-One
    D-One Moderator Posts: 2,672 mod
    edited May 2023

    No prob. You validate it by buying one and trying it out, that's what I did. :D But seriously, if the specs match then it should work, the most important thing is being 20k, same voltage, same diameter, and mounting style. The hardest part is finding if they are endless or not, endless pots are quite rare...

    According to the old thread about this stuff, the MK1 was also confirmed as being 20k, so the one from your link (which I used on my old MK3) should work. Read thru it: https://web.archive.org/web/20220830212206/https://www.native-instruments.com/forum/threads/knob-strength-on-hardware.349895/

    I have a few laying around from the time I tried it, if you want to test I can send you one for free if you want, just pay for the shipping, from Portugal to Germany it should be cheap, like 5 bucks? no idea....

    Another thing that gives me some confidence it should work is the MPC-Stuff NI pot that they sell, it does not mention what controller version, so if it works for MK1, MK2 and MK3 then it should be because they all have the same specs(?) Buy it at your own risk tho... I think shipping from mouser was rather expensive when I got mine compared to the pots price.

    Regarding the a used MK2: In Germany, lots of them go for 55-70$, but some do go up to 150 or a bit more. you just gotta pay attention to auctions. The trick to knowing the true value of something is to click the 'advanced search' button and see how much they are actually selling for.

    Here's a bunch recently sold:


  • samms
    samms Member Posts: 4 Member
    edited May 2023

    LOL touché. i did not want to order just one, then the rest if it works, and pay twice for shipping in the process. also, in a way, i really was hoping that somebody really knew what model(s) work, and what don't. i do find it a bit odd, that considering how old the mk1 is, that there no definitive answer on what the replacement parts are, since so many people have inquired about this, and attempted to fix their controller throughout the years (forum posts going back 10 years ago). but then again, maybe the old (now deleted) forum had other threads with the answer? hence me at least having hope that an answer was out there, and i could avoid a lot of trial and error. Seeing one success story about the mk1 would be nice, is all i'm saying :)

    btw, you're a legend for offering to send me one to try out D-One !!

    and tbh, the image you posted annoys me a little, i have not seen anything close to that! considering this, it probably does make more sense to just regularly keep an eye on ebay listings for a while lol. if i don't find one around this price after a while, i might come back to the idea of replacing potentiometers, and would then probably follow up on your offer as well.

    thanks again!

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