Quiet buttons mod?

Hello! I went looking for posts on this topic but could not find one.

Has anyone done modification of their Elektron boxes to silence the button clicking? I only have a Digitakt, but I assume all the current Elektron boxes use the same button design. What I am talking about is the experience of sitting next to someone with headphones using an Elektron box: “click click clickity click click CLICK…click. Clickity CLICK CLICK.”

The buttons to me sounds similar to a loud mechanical keyboard (typing keyboard). I realize it’s maybe part of the character of the gear, to have that satisfying click, and some may love it, but I personally dislike it. It would prevent me from using the box in any performance situation unless the music was consistently loud, and also it prevents me from using the device say on a long plane ride, which it would otherwise be ideal for.

I would be happy to void any warranty I have remaining to have quieter buttons. It may not be possible with the hardware design, but I am wondering if it might be.



If you hear the clicking, your music is way too quiet.

You’ll have to deal with it. Or you solder in quieter buttons. That requires a lot of skills.

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Depends on the music you’re making, doesn’t it! Also, headphones exist. My neighbor on a plane might not appreciate the key noise, no matter how loud the music in my headphones is.

I’m happy to do that, depending on the level of effort. I solder SMD happily down to 0603 packages without issue and 0402 if absolutely needed.

Nice to meet you too :slight_smile:

Edit: I just found this, which might be sufficient. I’ll check it out. The physical sound of MK2 buttons - #8 by Ess


Check these teardown photos:



Ah so they’re through-hole. That’s an easy mod then, if they are standard keyboard switches (curious about the LEDs though, would have to look more closely).

I hadn’t opened the box just yet; was curious if there was discussion of it or an accepted solution.

I may also try the o-ring solution first, since that is theoretically less invasive.

Instead of desoldering, maybe fabricate some thin rubber gaskets that fit around the large square posts?

Mechanical keyboards usually have smaller round posts, and the usual quiet mod is to slip an o-ring on each one to soften the blow.


i opened the face off of my device (MD) and added some non-conductive foam to fill in some open voids and isolate the buttons and it helped a bit. the way the switches work though is basically a little ball bearing hitting a metal plate and there is no way around silencing that

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i wish they used standard keyswitches, that would make customization a breeze

before you start desoldering components, if possible, I’d like to ask @andreash to chime in on this thread and perhaps give an opinion about the feasibility of using button dampeners or switching to quieter mechanical buttons.

The first thing that occurs to me is the Led lighting which occurs to not only luminate the buttons in their various modes, but also the pulse which is carried when the sequencer is active. I would want to make sure that, like with the factory elektron buttons, there is no obstruction or changes to luminescence. The second thing that occurs to me is whether or not using a different buttons would change anything with the debounce of the machine? I don’t know if they use mechanical debouncing or if it’s written into the code but if it is done with components, I believe sometimes the method is specific to the hardware ie the buttons themselves. So to say, you don’t want one button push to register as multiple pushes on the machine, that would ruin the fun.

I am just hoping someone with more knowledge can prepare you better for the correct course of action, I think what you are asking is not impossible, but while it is not at all wrong to make things how you like them and your reasons are solid, I think the clickyness is part of the elektron personality :slight_smile:

edit: one thing to consider which may or may not be a pleasant work-around for you is if you are very comfortable with soldering and assembly of components, you could use a ribbon cable to interface with all functions of all buttons and have that go to a plug mounted to the chassis of the machine (you would probably need a hole or a square hole in the chassis, so it would require fabrication). You could use a plug of your choice, and create a keypad of silent keys which when plugged in, would do what you want, and when unplugged (as long as the debounce has been addressed) should have no effect on the functionality of the normal buttons. That way there is no intereference with the lighting aspect or the solidness of the hardware, the fit of the buttons etc.

It does require a permanent modification, although if you were really pressed to it you could run the ribbon cable out of the faceplate and tighten it down, but the ribbon cable will be quickly ruined and you’ll have to replace it constantly. Maybe not a terrible thing if the ribbon cable internally has a middle plug, the cable running out of the box is a go between, and that plugs into your custom keypad (of any size or noise dampening level) and then that cable could be replaced at your convenience. but it would not feel solid, that’s for certain.

The buttons having no velocity sensitivity works in your favor for what you are asking. At least there’s that.

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I appreciate all the advice here, and look forward to anyone else chiming in. FWIW, I’m not looking to make it completely silent, just roughly as quiet as your typical non-mechanical keyboard. This might be impossible! But I just wanted to ask, because I love the device in general, but the clicking makes me not want to use it in some situations.

This is all good information re: mechanical debouncing, etc, and stuff I hadn’t considered. More argument for just trying o-rings and seeing if that gets me where I want to be.

I appreciate that! And I’m not asking anyone to change how they feel about them, or for Elektron to change anything about them (though I think if they managed to find a quieter switch with a similar feel, that would be a winner). As you said, I just want to adapt the device to my own preferences, and I’m willing to modify it and void my warranty if I can do that successfully without compromising the machine’s function.

Thank you for the thoughtful response, really appreciate it. :heart:

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I amended my response with a slightly tricky work-around, but you can see if it sounds like a fun project.

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Some patience, a hobby knife and some of these sheets could do the job. Not sure what thickness is best, but I’d start with the 0.1mm.

(I’m not familiar with this particular brand, You can also get adhesive-backed silicone sheets. Those may be easier to work with after you’ve settled on the correct thickness and shape)


I’m not sure there’s an easy solution here … the white bits mate in such a way that you’d have to offer the ‘ring’ to the switch part (fit around blue) and trust that you have enough travel to activate the switch

Plus most of the 'click, imho, is when the switch is released and a ‘ring/pad’ is not going to help there

You’d need to be inside the switch to make a difference afaict

fwiw … image, I was curious about taming the clickiness (got open back headphones recently)


Thanks for the ping!
Not much more to add to this though, I think you and the rest of the nauts have already posted the relevant info :+1:

If I would try this (for sure warranty voiding operation :tongue:) I would start with adding the kind of layer that @obscurerobot is speaking of, but as @avantronica mentions, it’s probably not enough to get rid of all clickyness. It looks though, as the black switch housing is only snapped together so maybe with some surgical skills one could put the plastic sheet inside? Would be cool to see if anyone hacks that together! :ecstatic:

And also, if you try to desolder the the switches @xenus_dad, be prepared that proper tools are needed. Not sure if a desoldering station (with proper suction) is absolutely necessary, but I would personally not try without if I want to be sure that both PCB and switch is still functioning afterwards. The LED plus switch are quite many pins to desolder at the same time… :zonked:


The sound of the buttons is also very hollow because there is so much space inside the device and nothing is dampened. You could try stuffing some foam into the housing and see how it’s changing the sound. But I wouldn’t turn the unit on then :smiley: Might cause overheating…

In car audio, people use alubutyl to dampen their cars…

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I’ve just come to embrace the clickiness as part of the product experience. When jamming in bed while my wife falls asleep (yes, it is possible!!), I tend to just press the buttons more slowly. Luckily none of them double-trigs when I do, so this eliminates the sound during times when I need to be more stealthy.

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