Digital DJ Tips reader Pete writes: “When my Numark N4 is set to scratch mode, and I move my hand across the top or very close to but not touching the jogs, the music will stop. This does not happen though when I turn off scratch mode. I have contacted Numark and they tell me it’s an earthing problem or I have it on the wrong type of surface. Well I have tried every type of surface and the problem won’t go away. My warranty is up so I can’t send it back.”
“Have you seen this or heard of this problem before. Can I maybe ground the controller somehow myself? I am out of ideas. Please help!”
Digital DJ Tips says:
This is a common problem, and is due to the capacitive way that the Numark (and many other manufacturers’) jogwheels detect the presence of fingers nearby. While some manufacturers have sensitivity controls to adjust this, sometimes even these don’t help. Bottom line is that capacitive jogwheels can be notorious depending on what the controller is connected to, what other gear is nearby and so on.
Numark is correct in saying you should try earthing the unit. A quick test would be to touch the earth pole on the back of the controller with your fingers and try scratching with the other hand on the jogwheel at the same time, to see if this solves the problem. If so, you need to ground the unit by attaching a wire to this pole and attaching the other end to the ground.
I have actually done this with my VCI-300 by dangling the other end of the wire in a drainful of water behind the DJ booth (crazy but true)! I certainly don’t recommend that emergency solution though. If you know what you’re doing (and only if you know what you’re doing, otherwise please seek an electrician’s help) you can use the earth pin on a mains plug. Alternatively, if any other gear has an earth pole, you can connect to that and see if that helps.
Otherwise, it sounds like it is indeed a hardware issue and the only way to sort it out would be to return the unit for repair.
Have you had issues with jogwheels not behaving as they should? How have you gone about solving them? If you have any words of advice for Pete, please share them in the comments.