Patchbays

Discussion in 'Patchbays' started by Sly, May 13, 2002.

  1. Sly

    Sly Guest

    HI everyone

    The forum seems a bit dead over the past few days, so I hope someone is around as I need HELP!

    This is probably the most mundane and basic topic on the planet. I need to get a patchbay, and I know not the first thing about them. Everytime I've been in big studios it's been as a musician, and my own setup has never quite needed one....

    I have anywhere from 10 to 15 bits of outboard gear at any one time and I'm using a single digi interface with 8 ins and 8 outs. A few bits and bobs are permanently connected, and I try to keep a pair as 'spare' to accomodate any guest appearances. I'm now constantly arse over tit round the back repatching stuff, as I just dont have enough in/out pairs. I'm not buying another interface, so I figure a patchbay will make things a bit more manageable for the time being. I also need to be able to run things in series sometimes, so that I dont have an extra conversion from using 2 inserts.

    1. Who makes the decent ones?
    2. Do I need normalled, half normalled etc etc ?
    3. Are 1/4 inch jacks ok for this, or do I need B gauge or whatever it is?

    Sorry if this is all really boring and basic, but I have no experience whatsoever in this area.
    Thanks for any advice.

    Jack
     
  2. Kev

    Kev Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2001
    As I am in a different country, I'll had pas to the others as prices and availability could be an issue for you. I will say there are enough out there to choose from but I have on occasion found it neccessary to make one or two.

    Normalled and half normalled. Get one that can be changed, by you, simply. I like the solder type.

    1/4 inch jacks could make more sense for a Muso with many Synths and Guitars etc. Bantums if your patch demands are great and many. The jacks are also repairable by you, were the mini bantums are more difficult and more expensive.
     
  3. RandomGuest

    RandomGuest Guest

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2001
    Yeah, I'd definitely start off with 1/4" bays since they are so cheap. Neutrik makes a nice one that is balanced and that is switchable from open to half-normalled simply by flipping the circuit board on each individual pair of points.

    I usually use the top row of holes for equipment outputs and the bottom row for inputs.

    On a typical 48-point bay, you'll need 16 points for the 8 inputs and 8 outputs of your Pro Tools interface. If you are using a mixer you will probably want to reserve a number of points for the line inputs as well. The rest can be used for your synth outputs, effects and processors sends and returns, etc. You may find one 48 point patchbay is not enough when you add everything up. But two are still quite cheap.

    What you need to watch out for is not to set up your half-normalled points so that a feedback loop is created when nothing is plugged in. When in doubt, leave it as an open connection. Your advantage to normalling is it sets up regularly used connection paths that won't require a patch cable.

    By the way, it's probably not a good idea to say: "10 or 15 bits of equipment" if you mean 10 or 15 pieces of equipment. Bits has a very specific meaning (a unit of digital information). In this case the context made clear what you meant, but in other contexts it might get "a bit" confusing. Safer to avoid the word "bits" unless you mean ones and zeros!
     
  4. Sly

    Sly Guest

    Thanks guys.

    I will investigate neutrik a bit further.

    J
     
  5. RandomGuest

    RandomGuest Guest

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2001
    Meanwhile compile a list of each equipments i/o sockets I MEAN ALL OF THEM!

    Word clock
    Light Pipe
    AES
    SPDIF
    Sidechain inputs

    as you might as well have EVERYTHING on that patch bay..

    :)
     
  6. Sly

    Sly Guest

    Good point Jules. At the moment I'm all analog except for the DAT/CDR connections. It would really make sense to have everything on there.
    Thanks for the tip.
    Jack
     

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