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CNTRL:R Fader issue. Has anyone ever crackled their Livid Controller open? How does Livid feel?


I am frustrated with my CNTRL:R, but have two seperate problems and only one of them is (fur sure) the CNTRL:R.  I LOVE Livid products and have a lot of them. I own the CNTRL:R. attached to a Livid XPC 4K2JS extension box, and a Livid Master Fader. I own a Livid Elements single row rack of modules. I own a Brain Jr. MIDI controller I made myself. And I own a DS1. (I even pre-ordered the Minum but still do not have one.) Every single one of the Livid devices I own works as it should when plugged into my PC by itself. However, I have never been able to use (or even plug in) more than one of them at a time and get anything to work. I use Ableton, but have tried all sorts of  MIDI diagnostic tools and the various gear just does not show up on ANY software when more than one is plugged in. If one does happen to pop up, it is intermediate, and sends crazy signals, or no signals, or misbehaves in other strange ways before ultimately disappearing after a matter of seconds. I have tried traditional MIDI cables on the CNTRL:R and Elements while using USB on the rest of them with the same results. I have attempted every single combination of using two, three or all four devices to no avail. Every piece of gear has been treated like gold. No gear has ever been dropped, spilled on, shocked or exposed to dust, dirt,extreme heat, cold, humidity or black magic.. I realize this might be a software issue and I am posting it in the "Hardware" section. So....

Second, the CNTRL:R, my centerpiece for Ableton, and my favorite piece in my entire studio: has a dead fader. The far right one, that I call the 8th fader. Doesn't send any MIDI data. I want to crack open the CNTRL:R and hope that I can diagnose it visually and also hope it is a simple broken solder point or disconnected cable. If  that is the case, I can easily fix it myself. If it is not... I don't even know if I can get a replacement. Should I open it up? Should I be sending it to Livid in order to maintain some sort of service agreement I don't know about? If I crack it open, will I be voiding a warranty or something? Where can I get a replacement if there doesn't appear to be any connection issue? And what do I do if I can see an obvious problem not with the fader, but on a more centrally important piece of the CNTRL:R?

I'm open to advice from anyone. People who have more than one Livid device and if they had do cast some spell on their computer, I'd like a copy of the incantations. Other CNTRL:R owners. People who have had any part of a Livid MIDI controller fail on them and what they did. Someone who has ripped their gear open, welded in a Robocop hand, flashed the firmware to incorporate the robotic appendage; then sewed the gear back up before the gig started. Someone from Livid with official answers. 

I am 85% done with the studio I just built, and my Livid family of goods is some of the last gear to get up and running. 



  • This response is not one that will guide you through your troubles, but possibly shine some light on your situation. I too have had questions regarding dysfunctional livid equipment I have in my studio, but there has been extremely limited responses aside from this forum.

    It seems there really is only one person here who appears to be affiliated with the Livid name, and can guide you in the right direction. What I do know is that Livid is "still in business", but they are short staffed, and moving they're offices to another city.

    I feel like there are 1 or 2 people trying to keep it alive, but can't do it alone. So, until then, we wait and hope the business returns to a fully functional business, questions answered, purchases fulfilled and services rendered.

    I took it upon myself to open my Livid controller and test/replace components. It helps if you have some electrical engineering experience and know how to test certain components and know what to look for without schematics. I did this because I saw no hope in returning it for repair, for whatever the cost. It simply seems like it is not an option.

    What have I got to loose.

    Now, keep on the forums, and hope that someone with technical knowledge of the product in question will answer your questions and guide you to repair, as they have with me.

    It's all the hope we have right now.

  • I'm also interested in this topic, as I really love my CNTRL:R besides I have a lot if issues with it, currently I'm looking to replace all 12 encoder buttons (which are in the middle) as they have installed really clever one in new revision of CNTRL:R and my revision (which is one of the first) has very buggy encoders which are jumping and dancing all the time. But I can't find "Builder Parts" page anymore so probably we can't buy parts anymore.... It will be really sad, as Livid company for me was one of the best.

  • I realize this is an old post. I've been crazy busy building a studio. It's funny to read my old posts. I get really excited on this forum, it seems now that I look back.

    Still dealing with the more important above issue- replacing the far right fader on my CNTRL:R. The thing is RIDICULOUS to open up. I said before that Livid products are "built like a tank," when talking about one controller or another. I reiterate this when it comes to the CNTRL:R. Not meant to "open real quick" to make an alteration or change. Sheesh. The amount of supports made of wood and hot glue on every solder point, and insane amount of screws and "layers" to undo before I could get to the fader in question was really hard. I have anxiety about getting it back together- and I took photos and wrote detailed notes! Still worried.

    Anyway- I taught myself to solder years ago and it took a long time to get proficent at it. It took longer to get "good" at it. I have zero experience "de-soldering." And that is exactly what has to happen to the very well secured and soldered fader. I have a springloaded pump that feels useless. I have that wick stuff that is supposed to absorb heated solder... and if I was grading it on performance, I would give it a "D minus." I have watched videos. I hae seen hot air guns that are not the type of heat gun I use for shrink wrap tubing, as they have a narrow nozzle and my heat gun has about a 1 1/2" nozzle and is for sure not made for heating up solder that has been set on a PCB. So I haven't used that.

    But I need some tips here. I am struggling to get this original fader off. I am very afraid of damaging something. This shouldn't be as hard as it has been. I have the exact replacement, from Livid. All I need to do is get the old one off and solder the new one on. It's driving me a bit nuts, as this seems like a task I could easily do. But like I said, I have next to zero experience de-soldering anything. 

    I have tried to mimic the situation on another circuit board with parts and components I have lying around. I make a mess and thing I am putting way too much heat on the boards. The solder never comes off completely. I have busted up switches and passive components I have done this practicing on. 

    Anybody have a resource online I could learn from? Tips? Am I just being a puss about it and should go at the thing full force and not worry about the PCB? 

    There are six solder points: four on the bottom, two on the stop- separated by about 3 inches. I can get a couple on the bottom good and hot, while pulling on the broken fader from the other side, but I can't get all the points to liquefy at once, so it seems I indeed need to remove the solder completely. 

    Has anyone done this? Am I missing a tool? Should I look for the heat gun thing?

    Any help is appreciated

  • edited February 2017


    So now that is has been on my brain, I am searching again (which, I admittedly haven't done in a while...) and I find one of my favorite to-the-point nerdy electronics DIY guys, a man named "Colin," from "Make." 

    He makes it look easy and I indeed have all of the things in the video that he uses. Maybe I wasn't using the pump with the right technique. I also thought my pump felt cheap and silly, but it is indeed pretty much just like the one he has got. 

    I am also going to write two different people I have been in contact with over the past couple years that I thought of after I posted this. They are both guys who I have emailed back and fourth with about different mods to the Korg Volca series synth-sequencers. It dawned on me that (if anyone can help,) these guys would have tricks or tips on getting off a thru-hole soldered on PCB part. I will keep updating this with progress. 

    It also dawned on me that there is a small chance that the fader is not the problem, and there is some other, larger hardware or a strange software issue here. And finally, it also dawned on me that I may have assumed that the fader is the correct replacement simply because it is the exact size and I bought it from Livid in a Brain Jr. kit. I cannot remember confirming this with Livid, but I feel like I did. This is what happens when I get into a project and end up setting it aside for months at a time. Paranoia and forgotten details.  ADHD shining through once again.

    Here she is....


    And the replacement...

  • DUH!

    Why didn't I think of cutting the damn thing off?! I put encoders on backward in a Brain Jr. project and you were the one who told me to cut those off and it worked like a charm. Why not destroy the fader if it's broken?! So simple. So obvious.  I should have video taped myself struggling with trying to maintain torque with needle-nose pliers, pulling on the fader on the underside of the PCB while holding the soldering iron in my other hand, on the topside- freaking out I was going to slip and melt something important. Sheesh.

    I have flux. I will be able to do this in minutes now. 

    Yeah, the fader is right from Livid in one of the Brain Jr. OMNI packages. I got three of them for like $25 a pop a few months back from an electronics website clearing them out. Now I have a bunch of Livid parts, a cool OMNI board pedal box project, and the encoder/fader project is not quite done... and a Brain Jr. and another OMNI kit for a rainy day.  I'll probably take some photos and post about that unfinished one in the other thread soon, to make sure I am on track and have my parts on correctly. I am now back at the bench after a lot of carpentry, amplifier and speaker building. I don't know why I insist on this DEY thing. D.o E.VERYTHING Y.ourself. Should have bought a desk and monitors three months ago but nooooo.... 

    Anyway- thanks. And I appreciate all the help. 
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