Choosing your patchbay?

Discussion in 'Patchbays' started by audiokid, Apr 17, 2010.

  1. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Sorry for asking this again but I wanted to talk about patchbays in greater detail.

    What are all the pro and cons and options for patchbays?
    Is it better to have 2 smaller ones than one big one?

    How many are migrating to digital?
  2. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    I have not migrated to digital patchbays. I still have several older TRS bays both 40 and 48 points. I hardly use them at all nowadays. I'm all modular with various wheeled SKB racks and wire cases. Plus I don't do rock bands/PA anymore! But never say never. I guarantee the day I sell off the mixer I get three requests for reinforcement.....
  3. djmukilteo

    djmukilteo Well-Known Member

    Well...I'll jump back into this again....I really think the whole patchbay notion revolves around your needs and use.
    I only have one TRS patch bay and I use to use it with my Tascam38/32 NR and mixer.
    Now I use it to bring out the inputs and outputs from the rear of the FF800 and I did that because I got tired of reaching around in the back and shifting things around.
    So my use was really a convenience rather than a necessity and if I wasn't experimenting around all the time and had a set hookup scheme I probably wouldn't use it. And to be honest I don't really use it very's there and it's set and if I feel like moving I/O around it's there. If I had a ton of outbd gear or a ton of mic input positions out in a room, I would use one just because it's just convenient and a logical method of interconnect....We used to install those in many racks back in the day for performance auditoriums because they provided such flexibility for mic routing down on the floor and stage area in the control room and that's a case where they really become indispensable!
  4. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Thanks again guys!

    I think I'm going to lay off on buying one just yet. Isn't it interesting to see such little interest in patchbays. 5 years ago there would have been quit the crowd on this thread. DAW's are really settling in. I bet Patchbays don't sell like they used too.

    I'm seeing a big opportunity with the analog summing studios. I hope it sounds as good as I'm expecting.

    Working on the cable now.
  5. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    What I think is that gear is "cheap" enough that folks often have a home/studio rig patched they way they want with a secondary mobile rig for live capture. I capture via Alesis HD24XR and also via a DAW/Glyph hard drive. I have a separate Glyph key unit in the home rack so all I have to do is pull the key itself to transfer the files. That's about all the patching I do these days.
  6. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Ya... I'm seeing the majority of all my gear staying in one place with the exception of a few. I'm slightly concerned that more cable, more noise. Budget provided, going for Mogami .
  7. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    As long as you use good solid cable like Mogami or Canare and you have the high end components, I don't think you have to worry about anything. I'd love to see a modern equivalent of the HD24XR but there isn't one yet.
  8. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    You mean if I use a patchbay?
  9. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Either way. With or without. Quality connectors is the key point in a patchbay or snake cables. Of course in my opinion. It goes without saying the best chain has the fewest connections but since we don't deal with the noise floor of yesteryear I feel there is leeway.
  10. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

    How many studios have you been in that they DIDN'T have to wiggle the patchbay to get something to work?

    There's always a small amount of loss with each added connector (insertion loss). And since oxidation is the enemy, Caig DeoxIT and Caig PreservIT (now called DeoxIT SHIELD) should be a part of patchbay purchase.
  11. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Hi Dave,

    Interesting. I should search before I post but, I all ask ahead... Do you spray it on the connectors?
  12. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

  13. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

    Sorry I missed your follow up question, it was 3am and I called it a day after posting that. Looks like you did the search. Yes sir, when I get something new ( audio connectors, computer card-edge connectors, video editing gear ) if it has a lot of critical connectors I'll spray it with the PreservIT to at least delay oxidation.

    DeoxIT would be sprayed directly onto a connector / into a pot or slider / into a tube socket / etc. that already has some build-up. In a potentiometer or slider, you spray it in and run the slider or turn the knob the full range of motion and it breaks up the crud clears the entire path. It leaves a light liquid lubricant behind to minimize wear on the parts. *NOTE: potentiometers are meant to have a certain amount of lubricant in them to prevent wear on the contacts. Faders on a good mixer usually have a nice thick lubricant inside the fader. DeoxIT flushes most of the manufacturers' lube away and leaves a very light lubricant behind - often a much thinner lube than the original. This can leave you with a slider that offers much less physical resistance - which can make a good slider feel kind of 'cheap' compared to another fader on a good console. So Deox is not a cure all, just another good weapon when used with some common sense.

    The only other way I would know of to guaranty your patchbay doesn't get flaky under heavy use is replace it periodically. A friend gave me a beautiful 48-point ADC patchbay that came out of a TV production truck. They replace them every couple years, as a matter of preventative maintenance.
  14. djmukilteo

    djmukilteo Well-Known Member

    I hope the summing thing works out too....and I would like to see the setup and hear the results when you get there!
  15. MadMax

    MadMax Well-Known Member

    OK... pot, stick.... stir.... :tongue:

    IMVHO, NOT using good quality outboard gear makes your studio limited to being the same sonic character as every other ITB project level studio on the planet.

    In my modest lil' shop, I'm using my 2nd Audiolot patchbay in a Non-Normalled configuration by putting ALL 24 channels of I/O in the first two rows; 1-24, and all the outboard gear in the rest of the bay, including all the sidechain inputs being together.

    That way it's configured as a conventional analog console. e.g. if you want outboard, you gotta patch it... and you can patch what you want... where you want.
  16. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Max, I have been waiting for you to chime in!!

    John and djmukilteo have been so helpful to me. I go over and over things like this, it can drive people nuts but I'm learning... and getting it right.

    I'm building a hybrid DAW, not messing around at all. I'll have a half dozen pres at the end of the day, a few comps, reverb, Passeq which is so nice!, transient designer, SPL MixDream and a few mastering toys. All hardware interested. I'm using the DAW for mixing and midi for the most part and analog summing. I've been taking baby steps as I go. A patchbay isn't something I've ever needed before (all ITB). I've never had a setup like this before. I've been collecting gear as the babies have been growing ya know. Its my turn once again. Not doing the all ITB thing everyone else is doing these days.

    Your patchbay looks pretty sweet. Why did you buy that one? Its like $1700. Anything you can share about your system and what you think about my new setup would be appreciated. I've never used a patchbay. If its essential, I'll get one for sure.

    This is a pretty good look at my rig, and I have more.


    Attached Files:

  17. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Did you look at anything digital for a patchbay Max?

    Off topic, How far are you running cable to the drums? What do you use?
  18. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    FWIW I love the non-normal patchboard. Reminds me of the month I temped as phone operator in my grandparent's home town.
  19. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    It all reminds me of Laugh In - The 1970's comedy with an all star cast. ONE RINGY DINGY, TWO RINDY DINGY "" Using a patchbay. You had to be there. Before your time John. Good memories like you are remembering.
  20. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Gilda Radner?
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