Some of my Ableton Push encoder knobs started registering random jitter movement in Reason (I use PusheR by Retouch Control). I fixed this by spraying the rotary encoders with a $5 can of QD Electric Cleaner by CRC with no tools required.
More jittery than a chihuahua in Starbucks
This is what it looks like when Ableton Push 1 or 2 encoder knobs start experiencing jitter.
Ain’t pretty, is it?
Encoder knob 1, the first on the left, is controlling the parameter of “Sat” on the LCD screen of the Push. The virtual knob labeled “SATURATION” can be seen above. Nothing’s touching the knob.
I tried troubleshooting the issue by changing the USB cable, connecting the Push to the Neocomp (my Windows desktop), the Neonote (my MacBook Pro) and disconnecting the Push from the power supply, loading up a trial of Ableton, rebooting. Nothing fixed the issue.
Enter the QD Electronic Cleaner
A can of electronics cleaner, such as this can by CRC, can be bought for $5.
Spraying this stuff on electric contacts, especially rotary encoders, can help fix issues. Sound engineers and music producers (yo) have been using this stuff for decades to fix static crackling when turning knobs of studio equipment. I’ve got a lotta’ experience with this stuff and I’ll show you how you can do this method with no tools.
Remove encoder knob caps
Take off all the encoder knob caps with your fingers. Super simple, check it…
Clean your Push
I used a wet wipe and wiped the Push down to make sure dust or lint wasn’t going to be sprayed into the encoders. Canned air can work great. The cleaner your device, the better the results.
Spray the knobs
Unplug your Push from USB and power. Read the instructions on the can, then spray each encoder.
The chemical is fast drying and should evaporate in 60 seconds. You don’t need to wear a mask or gloves.
Reconnect everything and test it out
Once everything’s dry, wipe the Push down one final time. Put the rotary encoder caps back on, reconnect the USB and / or power supply and test it out.
From jitterbug to jet setter
The moment of truth. Drum(pad) roll please…
Look at those results, baby. It’s now Nice and Soft and Smooth.
The knobs on my Push 1, especially the number 1 encoder, were so messed up that the Push was unusable in that state. Just transitioning MIDI track focus between devices would screw things up as the encoder would be making tiny changes multiple times a second, This meant passing between five devices in the Reason rack meant five devices would have their settings changed. Even trying to set the scales of the Push was impossible since they’re changed via the first encoder.
I’m so happy to have my Push back since it’s such an integral part of my music producing workflow; so much so that I even created some of the remote maps used by the PusheR interface.
Got a Push… or other hardware that uses rotary encoders / knobs or other physical interaction elements that are givin’ you trouble? Try givin’ it some TLC, Mixer Jaëxx style.
If this helped you, I love it when new people hear my music. Help me by adding some of my music on…
Later. – MJ