Pad sensitivity solution

Jut got my second Analog Rytm (Sold my first one) and this one has the same pad issue. The first one had an issue with 2 pads CY and HT. The second is only HT. Its like one of those issues you can workaround if your not using it live and muting tracks but dam, its never a good experience when you have to send something you use everyday out for servicing.
THEN, analog rytm mk2, like son of a bitch! if they announced it maybe 3 days earlier, I would have waited. Now im a month in with this weird pad. I just program live with the step keys and all is good, but select the HT track is a pain in the ass, well, more like a pain in the cheek, not that bad but still…

If those pads are significantly better than my MK1, imma throw a furious fit.

yeah. no more Elektrons for me.

You could use the Velocity Mods and map Velocity to Volume

Here’s how I got mine working better. This may void your warranty, and only undertake this if you’re comfortable with electronics.

So I recently bought a used Rytm. I already have a Tempest, which has some of the best pad action, so I had a good baseline to compare to. Unfortunately the Rytm definitely had some issues with the pads. In my case, some were triggering better than others, and different velocities.

I decided to do some investigating. First, I removed the top panel, by removing the hex screws from the front plate. Next, I carefully swung up the panel, and disconnected the two ribbon cables to free the front panel (noting the correct position of the “red stripe” on the cable. Next, I removed the silver screws from the circuitboard on the top panel that I had removed. All of the screws have to be removed and there are literally dozens of them - the majority in an area that is obviously the triggerpad area. In my case, this is where I noticed the first problem: some of the screws has gone loose, and were far too easy to unscrew. Others were clearly seated properly and gave good resistance as I removed them. I could tell that some of the pads weren’t making good connection at these loose areas. After removing all of the screws, you can now remove the circuitboard and note the pad assembly: a block of elasomeric rubber (the pad surface) that makes contact with a a carbon-impregnated sheet. This sheet is what makes contact with the sensors on the circuitboard and triggers the sounds. Carefully note the orientation (dull side up) of the carbon sheet.
Gently remove it and clean any debris with a soft microfibre cloth from the sheet. Next turn your attention to the circuit board. In my case there was years of dust and crud there - small, but enough to inhibit the contact with the carbon sheet. Using Isopropyl alcohol, and lint-free cloth, I gently polished the contacts on the circuit board to ensure they were clean and clear. Finally I gave it all a blast with canned air, for good measure. Next, reassemble in reverse order. Be sure align the carbon contact sheet in the correct manner. Be sure to tighten but not over-tighten the screws that surround the pad areas, working from the center parts of the pads to the outer, to ensure the circuit board bolts back on perfectly aligned.

In my case, it made a substantial difference in the way the pads played.

That said, it is clear there is still some software cross-talk filtering that still makes the pads less sensitive than they should be. Even after fully cleaned and working perfectly, the pads are not as accurate as the Tempest.

Hope my experiments are useful to someone else. I’d rate the complexity of this fix/cleaning about a 3 out of 10.

Cheers!

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hahaha the end comment made my day

I did the same Trick with the Disassembling and the Cleaning. Gave me same Behaviour on all Pads but the General Sensitivity is crap. Will Elktron add a “Sensitive” Setting in the System Settings ? Otherwise give the OS free so that People can add this Feature otherwise the Pads are useless for Playing. If I use the Sequence Buttons for Playing the Behaviour is exactly what I expect from the Rytm but the Sequencer Buttons don’t offer Velocity for sure. If I play normal like on other Machines like Push, MPD, nord drum, NI Maschine I don’t get any Sound out of the Rytm. The only way I get Sound if I realy hardly hit the Pads and I am afraid to destroy something and the funny thing is I am not able get the same Loudness by using the Pads as if I would use the Sequencer Buttons. But in general the Pads seems to be sensitivee enough - technically becuase in Mute or Performance Mode they react very, very good. Just the triggering of an Instrument is realy bad.

I really wonder how those Pads could pass the QA ?!

I dissasembled the Rytm again to play with the contacts of the Pads on the Circuit Board to figure out whats going on there. If I only use the Carbon Layer without the Rubber Pads the Response is the same bad Behaviour. If I close the Contacts on the Circuits for each Pad with a Screwdriver they react with full Velocity so I think it’s an Software Issue which I can not fix because the EEPROM with the OS is proprietary and Elektron don’t share the Code. A good chance could be to try another / new Carbon Layer per Pad to get much better Results.

I tried the Carbon Layer from my NI Maschine Mikro MKII and this Layer works like crazy. I get the Full Velocity as expected with smooth Hits on the Pads. So I think I will try to order a new Carbon Layer at Elektron to see if a new one works better. By the way the Carbon Layer from my Mikro Maschine MKII is older than the Carbon Layer from the Rytm.

To make things clear: It’s not an Software Issue and also a Sensitive Setting is not necessary. The definitive Issue is the Carbon Layer. See here: https://youtu.be/IZjTUrA4GF8

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A sensitivity setting would be a hugely welcome addition. Even just adjusting the velocity scaling would be helpful. Although at this point I’m not hopeful.

What I don’t understand is if crosstalk is the issue why do the pads respond fine in mute mode? I can give the lightest tap to mute tracks but actually triggering a track sound requires two fingers and enough force that it hurts, and that still results in a far-too-quiet hit. They’re basically unplayable for me.

Some people say it gets better over time but I’ve had mine for years now with no improvement (maybe people just get stronger fingers.)

I found the Issue and I know how to fix it. But I guess for a good Solution I need Elektrons Help. I am uploading a Video which shows exactly what the Problem ist. Be patient…

Here is the Link: https://youtu.be/IZjTUrA4GF8

One Solution could be to buy a defect NI Maschine and use it’s Carbon Layer for the Rytm. For sure you need to cut out all the twelve Parts and also take care of the Screw holes but it is a solid and possible Solution with amazing Results.

I opened a Ticket at Elektron. And I also wrote a Mail to MPCStuff.com because they sell a Kind of High-Resistance Carbon Film PVC but I am not sure what that exactly is. I will update you soon. Oh yes and I also wrote a Mail to NI. But I think they will not sell inside Parts.

Update: NI answered and they will not sell inside Parts. But MPCStuff.com has a NI MKII Sheet ( https://www.mpcstuff.com/native-instruments-maschine-mikro-pad-sensor-sheet-replacement )

9 Likes

Whoa that’s amazing!

That vid is awesome. ELEKTRON PLEASE UPDATE/REPLACE CARBONs FOR RYTM!!! It would become the dream machine.

MPCstuff sells carbon separately.

If you DO this…PLEASE let us know how well it werks. Ill do it in a heartbeat if it werks.

Youre right, you have to hit the pads too hard for them to be worth finger drumming with.

NI

MPC Live

MPC

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I think those Carbon Sensors could be a good chance:

Unfortunetly the Shipping cost 45$. I’ll ask them if they can send it via a Letter instead. I asked them. Let’s see what they say.

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that would be good! Their shipping is a shocker outside of the US

Really interesting to see the difference between the too sensor sheets. I’m the owner of a Rytm MKII and I would greatly appreciate to have more sensitive pads. Kudos for the investigation :+1:.

Would be really great if Elektron could have a look at this, I think that adjusting the size/position between sheets could be really cumbersome for a diy solution.

Also if the sensor sheet is the only problem, I’m not sure why Elektron did not replace them with the MKIIs (maybe they get too sensitive for things such as performance macros, etc.).

What does “Kudos” mean ?! ;)) But thanks !!

MPCStuff told me that the Shipping for the Letter is almost the same 45$ - unbelievable.

They also told me that they can offer me the OEM Rytm Carbon Sensor Sheet. I asked them if they can send me some Pictures to see if there is any Difference to mine.

“Kudos” is praise given for an achievement. It’s a good thing :slight_smile:

I was sure, that it is a good Thing ! :wink:

The Shipping is not MPCStuff’s Issue it’s because of Borders and People which wants to get us rid of Money - welcome to our Planet! Damn. Anyway. Let’s wait for ELektron’s Answer. I am pretty sure that the Carbon Surface of the Carbon from the Elektron Rytm Sensor Sheet differs a lot to the eg NI MKII Sensor Sheet. The Surface of the Carbon of the NI MKII is much less Glossy so I think the electricity Contact is much better.

And to answer the Question from @redrabbit: I tested also the Perfomance Mode with the NI MKII Sensor Sheet and it is much more responsible which is not a bad think in my Experience because with the Elektron Sheet I always feld to press the Buttons like hell to get at the End of the Parameter Values. And I am not sure if that is a good Behaviour. In other Words the MKII Sensor Sheet makes the Perfomance Mode more Fun because you can get more sensitive instead of give Strength to the Pads.

I wonder if the shine was buffed off the elektron carbon, VERY lightly with and extremely fine sand paper…like a couple passes, would help with conductivity?

Or perhaps wipe the carbon with a little alcohol? I dont know if that could damage them.

adding: i wonder if in production of the electron carbon layer…that that “shine” you noted is a protective coating that may have been applied to the carbon. i seem to see that other carbons and “how to’s” for fixing pads in samplers requires dulling the contacts.
just spit balling here.

Top marks!