Scratch Mixer Troubleshooting

There are several problems you can run into that relate to your mixer. Here I will discuss the most common ones that you might encounter as a (starting) turntablist.

(Don’t expect to find ways to hook up your mixer to your amp and things like that, that’s what manuals are for!)

The sound doesn’t seem to ‘cut’

Several reasons why the effect you’re trying to reach sounds more like a fade than a cut are described below.

X-fader curve

You should put this on the sharpest possible. Read more about curve-control here.

Non-scratch x-fader

Some mixers do not offer curve control but still come equipped with x-faders suitable for scratching. However, most mixers do not. If there’s no curve-control on your mixer chances are that you got a x-fader that’s not able to give you sharp cuts.


When your x-fader is all the way to one side you should be hearing just one line-channel. However, sometimes you can still hear the other channel, especially when you slightly touch the fader. This phenomenon is called bleeding. It normally occurs after a lot of usage. However, if your mixer’s got a faulty x-fader ,or just a bad one, then it could occur after a few hours of scratching (even with a brand-new x-fader!).

There’s no real way of preventing this since it is mostly due to contact-parts that have worn out. On the other hand you should always be sure not to let dust and other crap pile up inside your x-fader since this could speed up the process. Use an old towel to cover your mixer when you are not using it and, if you can get your hand on some, use compressed air to blow dust out of your fader once in a while.

The fader doesn’t glide smoothly

If you feel your line- or x-fader doesn’t glide as smoothly anymore as it did when it was new, here is what to do.

Get your hands on some fader-friendly lube. Cali-lube will do, or some gun or sowing-machine oil. You cannot use any lube or, even worse, oil, since they are not made for fast moving parts and will simply mess up your mixer. WD40 will eat any plastic parts in your fader so don’t use that!

Using a lot of lube to smoothen the way your x-fader glides might seem a good idea at first but it’s not. Dust gets stuck on excessive lube and will only make your x-fader run shittier in the long run. If you really want to re-lube your fader make sure you get all the dust and old lube of the gliding parts (you might have to open up your fader for this). When it’s all clean apply a moderate amount of lube. Done.

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