De-scratchifying the Console

Spent yesterday afternoon opening up the Soundtracs and spraying Deoxit on every. single. pot. (i.e. the electrical part that’s behind every knob for non-gear folks). Before doing this, almost all of them scratched and crackled when turned, or even cut out at points, making the console nearly impossible to use for music.

Fortunately, this thing was built to be easily serviced. Every channel strip (vertical set of parts in the photo) is screwed to the top panel and the only jack not on the the top panel is the power, which had just the right amount of lead play (bundle of wires running behind the panel in the photo), making it straightforward to unscrew and lift off the entire top panel.

Deoxit F5 cleans and lubricates electro-mechanical parts, like a special WD-40 for gear. It took most of a can – maybe 3/4 – to spray every potentiometer on this board.

I found a handwritten date inside – 25 October 1983 – which is probably an assembly or quality assurance date. This is a little later than I had thought this board was made.

With the board cleaned up, I can proceed with setting up and documenting a neutral setting for it (where sounds sent to it from the computer come back to the computer with the minimum possible sonic change). Then it will be time to mix something! That might be a demonstration video, or it might be the Mars Lights “duo” LP.

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