The3Nuges Contributor - Level 2 2014-08-27


VoiceLive 3 Control Knob Broke. Need Help.

NOTE TO ALL: If you read this post, plz read the whole thread. My situation is being addressed by TC, as a one-time exception. And AFAIK, this is not a problem that anyone else has seen before. So, plz pardon my "sky is falling" scenario as I describe it below. Even so, I'm leaving this posting pretty much as is, for now. Main reason: We all need to be mindful of the VL3's Control Knob, its height, and its manufacture. Make sure it is well protected. Although I cannot imagine how it may have gotten "thumped", anything is possible. Here's my original posting:

After so much praise for TC Helicon (truly a great company in so many ways), I'm afraid I have to give you some bad press now.

My jaw dropped last night when the Control Knob (the big one; upper right) came off in my hand. I baby this VL3, so I cannot imagine how this happened.

Well, actually I can. It is an Achile's Heel in the mechanical design, and mine will not be the last to have this happen. Here's why: 1) The shaft of the knob is plastic, with a small diameter. 2) The knob is very big, and sits higher than anything else on the unit's landscape. 3) Due to the Control Knob's duties, one of which is a "push" function, for selecting FAVs or locking out the controls for stage use, it does not sit flush to the face of the VL3; instead, it "floats" on that skinny, plastic shaft.

Mechanically speaking, this combination is a part failure waiting to happen. I realize that there is a round channel cut into the face of the unit around the edge of the knob, but that won't protect it from the knob being bumped, or crushed, or whatever, which is probably what happened to mine, though I can't imagine when it happened. But none of that would matter if it weren't for the plastic shaft. Sorry, a plastic shaft on the main control knob is unacceptable in a professional-grade product.

Worse, I contacted your Tech Support and found out that there is no exchange program. Unfortunately, I have too many gigs lined up to be able to wait on my unit to go out for repair. So I am basically hosed at this point. BTW, I am awaiting a response on whether this failure is covered by warranty.

The only silver lining here is that otherwise, the units still works. And, by placing the knob on the shaft, and messing with it (a lot), I can eventually scroll through menus. Plus, I've already done 95% of my tweaking of Presets. But so much for experimenting with new sounds.

So then, Craig; the two important questions (and sadly, I'm pretty sure I already know the answers): 1) Is it possible, in the next update, to include a "Control Knob Workaround", where scrolling through the menus can be done via a different method? 2) When I do send my unit in, can I get a knob with a METAL shaft? I'd be willing to bet that both fixes are possible, but, for just one broken knob, neither will be cost-effective for TC Helicon to do.

However, with a plastic shaft, and a multi-function knob that's big, and sits high, you can bet I won't be the only one.

I will update as soon as I hear back about the warranty question.

Craig, just so you know, I'm still a TC believer Smiley Happy I'm certain that, in the end, you guys will come through for me. You always do.

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Contributor - Level 2

Re: VoiceLive 3 Control Knob Broke. Need Help.

The only good thing happening here is that the arrogant Graig is no more trying to cover TC HELICON'S "pudenda" with his poor and unconvincing comments blaming customers themselves for the breakage of the knob. It's defintely clear that the breakage is due to a design flaw, and it should be time for a serious firm to reimburse his customers .
Contributor - Level 2

Re: VoiceLive 3 Control Knob Broke. Need Help.

I have the exact same problem. The pic posted looks exactly like my situation. There wasn't any impact. It just went weird wobbly for a little while then fell off. I would really like to get this fixed.

What's the solution TC Helicon?
Contributor - Level 2

Re: VoiceLive 3 Control Knob Broke. Need Help.

I have owned 3 TC Helicon Play Acoustic units. The control knob lasted 4 or 5 months on the first one, I made due with the settings for a few months and bought another second hand one. One month to the day after I received it the knob started to not respond occasionally. I thought uh oh. I've seen this before. I ordered a 3rd one "Parts only not working" thinking surely its something other than the control came and the control knob didn't work. It was the only thing wrong with it. I've searched high and low for tech specs on this thing. I hate to pay $11 + shipping for the same plastic piece of junk thats proven faulty on 3 TC HELICON PLAY ACOUSTIC UNITS. My units are not under warranty. I am not worried about voiding the warranty. The way I see it if I buy three knobs I will have three working units. Is there any way to replace TC Electronics junk with a high quality knob (ie. like adapt one of the 5 pin rotary encoders that comes with an arduino kit and just use 3 pins). This has been a nightmare. I love the box, but I can't keep one working. Here is one i have on hand. I have it ready to install if I just knew how to do so.
Contributor - Level 1

Re: VoiceLive 3 Control Knob Broke. Need Help.

Hi Craig,

I'm from Brazil and my VL3's Control Knob broke 4 months ago and i can't find a solution round here.
I was endorsed by Marc Bertrand with a VL2 in 2012 right after EXPOMUSIC'12 and he sent me this VL3 unit for EXPOMUSIC'14 as setup update. At that time, the brazilian dealer (Audio Premier) could solve this problem but today (ProShows) still don't have technical support. I tried to find this part on the web. Unsuccessful!

What i've found on Fullcompass is the Edit Encoder with Push for G Major, M-ONE and Voiceworks. Does it fit on VL3?

Thanks in advance.


Contributor - Level 2

The Workaround Works!

Fellas, it's time you emerged from the grief cycle and deal with the facts. Actually it's just one fact. There is no way in hell TC Helicon is going to fix our gear. Sooner you accept that, the sooner the healing can begin. It's gonna leave a scar but you'll be back in the saddle with this work around from Ronny Hughe(Post #25 on 10-22-2015. Here's his post

["Take] A small flat bladed screwdriver small enough to fit into shroud around the plastic peg, slightly heat it enough *to melt plastic and just touch plastic peg to leave a shallow slot and remove."

Just to clarify Ronny's instructions a little, you heat (not warm up....heat up) the tip of the screwdriver first, then push it between what's left of the post and the surrounding shroud thingy.. Push the screw driver in, enough to where you can feel it melting into the plastic. Then keep it there and allow the screwdriver to cool while the newly made slot sets up to the shape of the screwdriver tip.

Now you have a custom built slot for the screwdriver to turn the whatever it's called -- The dynamo-dialamatic-ometer

As shown in the attached pic, it's ugly, but she's been working just fine for the past month. Can you say the same? Well, what are you waiting on, a miracle from TC Helicon? Brother, I'd pray right along with you but I'm too busy singing.

Thanks for the tip Ronny!
Contributor - Level 2

Vl3 layer footswitch problem

Hi friends! I have a problem but never saw here that someone else have the same.Have my vl3 for 1,5 years,never use it outdor(only in my room) ,screen protective cover is stil there Smiley Happy My layer footswitch (button) is going to be hard to response.Must to touch,press it harder to change the layer (vocal to guitare) and when i want to push it long for looper there is no change(only short press for guitare,vocal change is working).I have switch 6 so its not so enormus problem(1 button on switch 6 use when want to cahange on looper) but its start to frustrating..Never kick or damage VL3 before this problem,other things work perfect.Try to reset to factory setings ,but no change...Have latest firmware update.Is someone have similar experience?
Contributor - Level 2

One Year Later....

It's been a little over a year and I am happy to report that the screwdriver workaround is still working.

I use my vocal processor regularly. 1-2 times a week usually, amusing myself singing karaoke.

The workaround is a little kludgy. Switching between profiles isn't nearly as smooth as the dial was, but it works which is a helluva lot better than having a useless hunk of junk and it's waaaaay cheaper than buying a new one.
Contributor - Level 1

Re: VoiceLive 3 Control Knob Broke. Need Help.

Hi Craig! I have the same issue. The button broke clean off. I would like to get it replaced by sending the unit in to get fixed etc. Can you contact me to let me know the next steps? I contacted support last week but nobody has gotten back to me. Thanks! 

Solution Leader

Re: VoiceLive 3 Control Knob Broke. Need Help.

Heya all!

Super sorry to hear that your knobs are breaking off. The only route that I have to offer is via the CARE system. I know that they've been overwhelmed in the past couple of months and recently got more of a handle on the volume of incidents. I'd give it a few more days for them to contact you @TJohnGillespie. If you don't hear back by early next week, shoot a message here and I'll try to hunt things down for you.


Cheers, Craig Brand Solutions Leader - Broadcast & Streaming
Contributor - Level 1

Re: VoiceLive 3 Control Knob Broke. Need Help.


My Voicelive 3 extreme knob just has had the same issue.  This thread seems to have ended in July.  How do I proceed, please.

Thanks in advance,