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Hello. I am new here and thinking of starting a little project of building my own custom MIDI controller. One of the first questionsI came across was if I should use encoders or potentiometers for knobs?

In which cases should I use one or the other. What are the advantages of which one?

Thank you in advance

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Hi there,

both have advantages:

pots: great resolution
encoders: more than 270 degrees of sweep range, digital inputs sufficient

and disadvantages:

pots: the pot may be at one position, but the controller has a different value, e.g. after a patch load, analog inputs required (jitter, ...)
encoders: bad resolution

personally, for me having encoders with slow parameter changes (high resolution) and the option to push-to-accelerate (a feature imho introduced by Elektron originally), is the best of both worlds. MIDIbox NG supports that.

Other people prefer pots, because they have a lot more resolution and 270° is often enough, and you can use "pick up" mechanisms, by sweeping the pot over the current controller value to avoid parameter jumping.

Many greets,

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Encoders with Led-rings and/or Display to indicate the Value:

Memory Synths (Presets)

Synths that have more then one Part, used with the same UI. (save space, control more then one Synth)

Synth with Morph Functions - show morph amount on a Knobs Led-bar.



Global Functions on a Synth which are not saved in a patch. (not very common)

For Blind Humans - to feel the actual position with the Knob-Indicator, and to feel the endpoint instead of seeing it.


I prefer Encoders with Led-rings.

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