good noiseless pots for MIDI controllers?

Hi, A friend and I are attempting to put together a workshop teaching people how to build MIDI controllers using Arduino. Up until now we have been using as much recycled components as possible and things are going well. We've been taking our potentiometers from broken DJ mixers and Sound Desks which people have been donating to us. However, once we start teaching the workshops we can't rely on donations alone. So we're looking for a good supplier of noiseless pots that would work well with sending MIDI and which cost a little as possible. We've tried a few batches of cheap ones which we found on eBay but they don't seem to cut the mustard. Serious noise problems causing lots and lots of time wasting :( ANyway... if anyone has any good experiences of purchasing pots we'd love to hear from you... possibly with a link to the supplier. Thanks

We've tried a few batches of cheap ones which we found on eBay but they don't seem to cut the mustard. Serious noise problems...

Most pots are OK for audio. Just buy from a reputable supplier (any brand). Here in the U.S., I buy lots of stuff from Jameco, and if Jameco doesn't have what I need, Digi-Key. Mouser is also good, or SparkFun* or Adafruit.*

For MIDI, noise shouldn't be a big problem since the audio isn't going through the pot. I assume it's a DC control voltage so if noise is an issue, you can add a capacitor as a filter, or filter/smooth in software.

You can also try some [u]contact/control cleaner[/u], but that should only be necessary with older pots, and it's probably not something you want to be doing during a workshop.

  • I don't know about SparkFun or Adafruit's selection of pots, but they are both reliable suppliers.

I get my pots from here:- http://www.rapidonline.com/Potentiometers Low cost and reasonable quality.

Note that stuff you pull out of audio equipment are going to be a log taper where as to do MIDI stuff you need a linear taper.