How to Fix Dead Channels on a Mixer?

One of the most common and biggest problems that people face when using a mixer is the issue of dead channels. This problem occurs in the direst of times. And if you are facing this issue and wondering how to fix dead channels on a mixer, then we have got you covered.

In this article, we will go through everything regarding what dead channels are, how you can diagnose them, and how to fix the dead channels on your mixer. The process is quite simple.

Just follow the steps in this article appropriately, and we can guarantee that you learn an easy way to fix dead channels on a mixer in no time!

So, let’s dive into the details without further ado, shall we?

What Is a Mixer?

Before looking at how one can fix dead channels on a mixer, you need to understand what a mixer is and why you have to use it.

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Audio mixers, more commonly known as the mixer, are electric devices capable of mixing, balancing, and executing various sounds & audio signals. A mixer is often used for live concerts, recording & broadcasting, as well as TV & movie sound effects.

The channels play the most significant role in mixing sounds. Basically, if your mixer is connected to a speaker, a channel will take input from other devices and provide output through the speaker.

A channel is labeled dead if it can’t take any input or give any output. This is extremely troublesome if you encounter this problem during live performances.

Determining If Dead Channels Are the Problem on Your Mixers!

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Now, before you can say that your mixer is facing dead channel issues, you need to determine whether that is true or not. Mixers can have other problems similar to that of a dead channel.

Follow this troubleshooting checklist to ensure you are facing a dead channel problem on your mixer and nothing else:

Check the Connections

9 out of 10 times, this is the issue behind your mixer not taking any input or providing any output. If your plugs aren’t correctly connected to your mixer, you obviously won’t be getting any results.

Check every wire and make sure they are connected properly. Unplug them and then plug them back on to check if your issue is solved.

Wrong wiring is also a common issue for not getting any response from a mixer. Many people end up plugging in wires in the wrong or bad sockets, thus making the mixer irresponsive. You can take the help of a user guide or an instruction manual that comes with the mixer and check which cables are for which sockets.

Check the Quality & Condition of the Audio Devices

If the devices connected to the audio mixer are faulty, then you will face input and output issues. You can plug each audio device into a different mixer to check its condition.

Faulty wiring on the guitar, mic, or speaker’s end can be why you do not get an output. You can solve this issue by changing the cables.

Take a Look at the Volume Keys

In some cases, the reason for not getting output is faulty volume keys. So, make sure that the ones located in your mixer are working correctly and aren’t stuck at 0.

Check the Power

Another issue behind an unresponsive mixer can be not getting the proper power to perform. This is a rare case as most of the time, you won’t be in a situation where your mixer is not getting the power it needs to start working. So, check the power requirements of your mixer and ensure it is getting that required amount.

If you don’t find any of the mentioned issues with your mixer, you can be sure that your audio mixer has a dead channel problem.

Steps to Follow for Fixing Dead Channels!

Once you are sure that your mixer is having dead channel problems. Here are the steps that you will need to follow to fix the issue on your mixer:

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Step 1: Take Out the Circuit Board  

Turn off the mixer and start unplugging every wire connected to it. Ensure that you are not forcing out the cables as they might get damaged.

Once all the wires are disconnected, take a screwdriver and take apart the mixer. This process can be different depending on your mixer’s model and brand.

But generally, you should start by taking the side panels off and then proceed to work on the base plates. You will need nothing but the help of a screwdriver in this case.

After that, you will have to go through a very long process of taking the washers off the board. You will need to use a wrench for this process. After that, you will need to undo a few more screws, and the circuit board will come off.

Step 2: Use Contact Cleaner on the Potentiometers

Now, you just need to spray the potentiometers with any electrical contact cleaner. Take the keys out so that you can spray inside the potentiometers as well. Don’t be afraid to overdo it during the cleaning process.

You might find that some keys are wobbling; tighten them up with a bit of force and proceed to spray on them.

Step 3: Put Everything Back

Once you are done spraying, trace back your steps and put everything back together. You should now be able to use the channels you are having trouble with without any issues.

But if the problem continues, you will need to get help from an expert.

Also read: Mixing Console Troubleshooting Checklist!

Fix Your Dead Channel Now!

Knowing how to fix dead channels on a mixer can save a lot of trouble and time, especially during live shows. We are confident that if you follow our guide and there’s no major problem with your mixer, you can instantly fix the dead channel issue. So, best of luck!