One of the Faders on DDJ-400 Not Working? Here’s What to Do


fader not working ddj 400

One of the faders on Pioneer DDJ-400 is stuck, broken, or sends funny signals to Rekordbox. And you’re not sure what to do.

No matter what fixes you try, nothing happens.

In this article, I’ll explain what to do when your channel fader, volume fader, crossfader, or tempo fader is not working and explain how you can get it repaired today!

Channel Fader Not Working

Sometimes people have no problems with DDJ-400, which serves them quite well for a long time, but then the channel fader starts to bug out.

For example, my friend had problems with the right channel fader that started jumping around by itself, and soon after, there have been scenarios where the fader is all the way up, but on Rekordbox, it’s maybe at 30%.

When we nudge it a little, it jitters a bit on the screen and settles where it should be.

I suggested he clean it and see if that’ll help, but I also advised him of some other solutions, like cleaning via fader lube.

If you’re also having problems with channel fader:

  • Clean it first
    Something along the rail may be causing your issue; pet hair, dust, and all sorts of random stuff can make its way in that fader slot. Since it’s an upfader, I wouldn’t particularly worry about lubing it. Simple cleaning will do the trick. Once you open it up, it’ll most likely be visually obvious if there is some debris in the way or collected on the inside of the mixer that is causing your issue.

If you need to lubricate the rail(s), use Deoxit, not just any miscellaneous lubricant.

  • Ensure there’s no power to the unit as you work on it.
    Be careful taking it apart. Take your time, don’t rush, be careful not to lose any screws or small hardware bits, and be gentle, as there will be stuff soldered onto the board and whatnot that you don’t want to break.
  • Inflate it out with compressed air firstthen place a tiny bit of Deoxit Fader Lube inside the slot

This saved me a ton on fixing gear. I like to have a can by my side for parties, primarily if they are outdoors.

Use very little. Contrarily, it will make the fader stop working well, and you’ll have to wait for it to dry before it functions normally again. One little spray will be enough. Slide it back and forth a few times, and it should be better than when it was new.

Volume Fader Issue

A decent number of DDJ-400 users experience the issue with volume fader.

The most common problem is when they set the volume fader at the bottom, the volume fader flickers around volume levels of 1 and 2 in Rekordbox.

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If you’re experiencing the same issue, most probably you have a dirty or otherwise failing fader. 

I’ve had the same problem twice. It was dust or ash in the fader.

I fixed it with the DeoxIT contact cleaner.

It might seem a little pricey for a small can, but unless you get into the electronics repair and restoration business, it will last you the rest of your life.

Dirty faders can act pretty weird, and if it’s just oxidation, it’s an easy fix. If it’s still under warranty might be worth trying to get it repaired/replaced.

If none of that works, try Pioneer. If Pioneer can’t help or is too expensive, you may be able to find an electronics repair shop capable of doing a component-level repair. They should remove the old fader and solder in a new one, assuming they can get the part.

Problem #2 with a Volume Slider

Another issue you may experience is when Rekordbox only reacts to the top bit of the slider (maybe for the first 3/4 of the slider, it doesn’t turn up the volume), and then at the top, it starts to react to it, but it only goes up a fraction.

Preliminary checks:

  • Check it’s not the trim
  • Reset the midi mapping
  • Try a quick shot of canned air (But don’t get it super close)

Be careful because too much canned air can drop the temperature and cause moisture from the air to condense in a place you don’t want. Then wait 5 minutes, work the slider a few times, repeat once more, wait the 5 minutes, and test it out.

The way faders work, they are pretty good at wiping away most dust.

In this case, you could also have a problem with the solder joint underneath. The constant movement and pressure can damage the joint on the PCB.

The best way to test this is to put the fader near the top, gently press down on it, and see if the software reacts.

  • You can also try MidiOX software to see the controller’s signals when you move the fader.

What to do if you spill a drink on one of the faders?

A few months back, one of my pals spilled a drink near my controller. I cleaned up all of the alcohol I could see, and basically, there seemed to be no damage. But a few months down the line, I noticed that channel fader 1 was jumping around and was stuck around 25% volume when the fader was completely down and should be at 0%.

I’ve fixed it by replacing the fader, as it was sticky with alcohol.

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But when the same thing happened with my tempo fader, the replacement didn’t resolve the issue, and it still wasn’t working.

Here’s what to do if you spill drinks and replacing one of the parts of your DJ controller doesn’t work:

  1. Check the connection with the tracking and soldering on the PCB board – if it’s all good, in theory, it should be working.

A short circuit produced at the time of the spill could’ve hurt the board.

  1. Reset to default midi settings– Pioneer recommends this on their forum, but sometimes this doesn’t help.
  2. Check all circuit steps between the fader and the MCU (micro-controller), and clean the circuit if there is anything on it.

You could also experience:

  • The defectiveness of different components, a resistor or a capacitor, on the fader and the micro-controller circuit.
  • A decalibration that can be solved by software recalibration, if any is available.

Tempo Fader Problem

If you’ve been using the DDJ-400 for some time, and one of the tempo faders stops working or suddenly starts jumping around erratically, it might mean that your pots and sliders are not working perfectly.

It’s still fixable, but that could get expensive quickly. This is what to do:

  • Use cotton buds to clean it out, this will help you identify the problem
  • If it’s just dirty controls, contact cleaner will do wonders

I always use this contact cleaner (you can find it on Amazon and elsewhere)

Sometimes, the pitch fader on the left will appear broken and will sit at a weird angle. 

Just be sure your controller is unplugged, and give it 25 or 35 mins to dry out before you plug it back in.

If you want a service manual available or a tutorial to follow for opening the controller up so you can clean it inside, there’s not much online. I’m working on one, so stay tuned.

Pioneer offers a service option to get it fixed, but they’re hard to reach. Try contacting them via email or call them during business hours.

If it’s just the fader that needs replacing, they’re not that hard to replace. As long as you’ve got a soldering iron and a screwdriver, I figure it’d be fairly cheap and simple. Have a look on Aliexpress for extra parts.

What to do if the crossfader doesn’t work properly?

The crossfader is meant to be very light, unlike the channel faders, which have some resistance.

Sometimes young DJs who purchase their first controller notice that their crossfader doesn’t fade the song when they move it to the far right or left, and the track keeps playing, but the opposite side is working properly.

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If you’re one of those, don’t panic! It is just a Rekordbox configuration. Maybe deck 2 isn’t even assigned on the software, but just deck 1. Check the image below for reference:

crossfader not working on ddj-400

Another issue that can happen with crossfader is that when you slide the crossfader all the way to the right, all you hear is deck 2, but if you slide the crossfader all the way to the left, you’ll hear both decks equivalently as loud. And that isn’t just a little bit of bleed. It’s full-on.

In this case, verify that you have the correct channel assignments for the crossfader.

Open the controller panel and confirm that these are blue, as shown:

crossfader not working on ddj-400

Is it worth repairing the fader?

The age-old question; is it worth throwing the cash to repair your DJ controller, or should you just save up for an upgrade/replacement? 

The spare part for the fader is not very expensive, but the tricky part is to figure out why it isn’t working. 

It’s not certain the problem is the fader itself. It could be that there’s damage to traces, or there has been a short circuit that damaged components.

This requires extensive electronics knowledge and/or soldering/desoldering skills.

It may be an easy fix, or it could end up costing as much as another second-hand DDJ-400 to fix. It’s impossible to know beforehand.

You could buy a new tempo fader and try to replace it yourself 

  • If the repair seems to you relatively simple (and you have the tools to desolder/solder the parts)  
  • If you’re sure where the damage is. Is it the tempo fader itself or the circuit board?

Repair shops are taking $40-60 just to get an evaluation. 

You can also check if there’s a certified service center near you. I had my DDJ-1000 diagnosed and fixed for a new channel fader and headphone jack replacements for like $80. Not ideal, but better than buying a new controller.

Can you replace the fader with another controller fader?

This depends on the “degree angle” of the knobs on your controller, which aren’t the same on every board.

However, there is a big chance same or similar faders can be found on previous controllers. Check Aliexpress or eBay for replacement parts. 

The pictures there usually give the range of controllers they are from. Then check what’s available for those.

Pioneer has great support options if you’re a handy type who can disassemble and solder connections. My friend’s DDJ had a bad volume slider a few weeks out of warranty, so he purchased a genuine Pioneer part for not too much cash. They shipped in around seven days, and apologized for the delay.

Tray Fiddy

Tray has come to terms with the fact he will probably never be a famous DJ.... but that hasn't stopped him from mixing and researching audio equipment. Tray has over 12 years of experience DJing at home and events.

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