Review: SSL X-Patch Programmable Patchbay - YouTube

A look at the X-Patch digitally controlled analog 16x16 patch bay. Not cheap, but great if you have a pro setup and need recall outside the box

audiokid, Mar 23, 2015
    • audiokid
      This is an incredible product that is now discontinued. If you are like me where I discovered how awesome this is, you can find them on ebay cheap!

      SSL X-Patch 16x16 SuperAnalogue Routing Matrix

      X-Patch is designed to deliver the flexibility of plug-in style routing to boutique analogue processing. Developed from technology at the heart of SSL’s acclaimed Matrix console, X-Patch provides a 16x16 SuperAnalogue™ routing matrix that can be Ethernet controlled remotely from a standard computer. SSL’s Logictivity™ Remote Studio Browser application provides Set-up, Configuration and Preset Storage and makes the X-Patch the perfect tool to incorporate analogue processing into any production studio environment. X-Patch can function as a simple ‘X-Y Router’ or as a ‘Matrix’ to create complex processing chains. This allows for analogue processing to be built into favourite processing chains and then easily placed into signal paths, for example, favourite Mic Pre, EQ & Dynamics processors recalled as the perfect vocal chain at a single stroke. In a studio environment X-Patch speeds up workflow and aids creativity by reducing the constant physical re-patching required when using only a patch bay for routing. Up to six X-Patch units can be controlled in parallel from a single instance of the X-Patch Logictivity Browser software.

      X-Patch is also a powerful stage or studio live performance tool for guitarists. Once configured, X-Patch can operate independently of the Studio Browser application and host computer and has MIDI connections. Connection of a standard MIDI Foot Controller to X-Patch creates a versatile stand alone analogue routing/switching system for on-stage boutique instrument processing, or amplifier selection at a fraction of the cost of comparable professional on stage effects selection systems.

      Key Features
      • Inserts analogue processors into production workflow like plug-ins
      • Suited to studio production and live performance applications
      • Insert ‘chains’ can be created, saved and recalled
      • Browser software controls routing and set up
      • Ethernet connection to Mac or PC host computer
      • 16 x 16 pure analogue routing matrix
      • Rear panel audio connection via 4 x 25 way D-Sub’s
      • Front Panel XLR inputs and outputs for channels 1 & 2
      • SSL SuperAnalogue™ transparent audio performance
      • MIDI connectivity enables use of Programmable Foot controllers
      • +4dB and -10dB operating levels facilitate use of guitar pedals etc
      Although used, this unit is fully working and in good shape.
      Auto ranging power supply (100 - 240V).
      Goods are shipped from the UK with any applicable Import Duties outside of the EU or the US the responsibility of the buyer. I will pay US import duty.
      Please note that I am not accepting offers. Payment within 2 days of the auction end please.
      Thanks for looking and good luck if you decide to bid.
    • thatjeffguy
      Wow, I think I could use a couple of these!
      Chris, do you know whether or not you can cross-patch between two units?
      Also, curious to know how you go from XLR down to the D-sub cable.
      Thanks for posting this, Chris!
    • audiokid
      Yes, I ran two X-Patches at first but later sold one of them because one was enough. You can run up to four but its a bit complicated. That's partly why they never sold well, or were discontinued. Reading many posts on them, it was apparent people couldn't figure how to use them. The average Recordist thinks like old school cabling. For guys like you and me how get midi and digital audio in general, we are more inclined to embrace the digital side of audio and see these as a big WOW!

      You would need 4 x 8 channel Tascam analog dsub snakes for each X Patch and determine the other side to whatever your are connecting to, be it, analog converters, gear, console etc.

      There or options you can get to bridge the dsubs like the RME Bob but I wanted them clean and direct to the gear.

      I have a diagram of how you can connect more than one so they interact together. I much preferred running them independently to groups of 8 channels though.

      I would use one X Patch just for compressors, one of EQ, effects and so on.

      A typical mix setup for me would go like this, which can also be used the same way for tracking, it just depends how you want them to fit into your workflow:

      DAW session (1 to 8/ 9 to 16, etc) Assign channels , Aux's or buss's to (DAAD).
      > DAW DA > converters analog out> X Patch > analog gear> mixer inserts > XPatch > converter > AD.

      If you give me a break down of what you are thinking, I should be able to come up with more solid answers. x-patch/images/X-PATCH_16_CH_Inserts_large.jpg
    • thatjeffguy
      Hi Chris...
      Well, right now my studio uses five 12 channel analogue patch bays. Pretty much everything needs to be able to patch to everything else. It begins in my three rooms... Live Room, 8 channels plus 4 returns, all XLR; Large iso booth, also 8 channels plus 4 returns XLR; Small iso booth, 2 channels XLR. All of these inputs and returns run to the patch bays in the Control Room, where they can be patched to any number of preamps or compressors which then in turn must be patched to my 16 channel board.
      So I'm needing a very flexible arrangement where patching between any two points is possible. If I could control this digitally I would be in heaven! Back in the day when I had tons of MIDI gear I bought a digital patch bay for MIDI and it was awesome (don't remember brand or model). I rarely use MIDI now days, I'm really into acoustic music production and have populated my studio accordingly.
      So any insight into the possibility of these X-patch devices filling the bill would give me hope.
      So the conversion from XLR to D-sub is accomplished through a snake with D-sub and one end and XLR on the other? That's simple enough (nearly all of my gear has XLR ins & outs).
      Thanks again, Chris
    • audiokid
      I'd say for all the gear you uses right now Jeff, I would wait for the next generation of X-Patches. Which I have a feeling is very close to hitting the street.
      The current XPatch/ is more targeted to the smaller gear requirements or dedicated groups a gear meaning. it would take 4 X Patches to route 32 products but it would be a complete daisy chain nightmare maze. If they made these 4 times the channel count, that would be perfect for all the gear you are routing right now.

      But, if you have insight, and see your gear as groups, where you know 8 things seem to always be going into the same channels of your console, then, one would fit the bill for each 8 inserts to your console. Make sense?

      The cable is Dsub on the IO of the Xpatch. Remember, its an analog patch bay that uses software to trigger the relays. Its 100% analog. It also accepts balanced or unbalance but not Phantom.
    • thatjeffguy
      Thank Chris, good info. The no phantom would kill it for me as is, but I'm definitely going to keep my eyes open.
    • audiokid
      I would use Pre's that have their own phantom built in or mic with their own 48v . But don't you have all sorts of gear that is comps, EQ, effects? Thats where these are great.
    • thatjeffguy
      Yeah, I've got 8 ins and 8 outs of outboard gear, five inputs of which provide phantom power. Problem is they need to be patched through from my control room to whichever of my three rooms the mics are in, so the patcher needs to pass the phantom power through. I did look at some other brands of patchers a while back, but found nothing affordable!
      I do plan to do some more searching however. I'll let you know what I find!
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