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Patching

Discussion in 'Recording' started by dpaton, May 3, 2002.

  1. dpaton

    dpaton Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2002
    OK, so I'm trying to set up the "studio" into something that I'll be able to use easily for a while to come, and I'm thinking seriously about investing in a patchbay setup.

    As a preamble, I'm not new to patching. Back when I was a live guy I lived on a Gamble EX56, which had a very compete, altho flaky, patchbay that was indispensable with the double wide FOH rack we had.

    In my studio however, I have something less than a dozen outboard boxes that I want to patch in and out regularly. I've got 24 tracks of Tascam DTRS, but that's pretty much an as-is-where-is kind of connection. I haven't moved those cables since I put them together.

    In terms of strategy, and the amount of gear I'm patching, does it really make sense to spend the time (hours and hours if I solder it myself like I know I should) and cost (96pt TT bays ain't cheap when new) to make it happen? I know that it will be valuable as my studio inevitably expands, but for a 32ch board with only 24 channels in regular use...

    I figure if I do go the 96pt route, I'll put all my inserts on it, as well as my insertable boxes. There'll be plenty of room for more RNCs to be added ;) I was thinking about doing one with my tape channels, but is there really a reason? I never move them around, and haven't needed the "extra" inputs yet...

    Finally, is 96pt worth my time/effort? With the number of things I'll be patching, would a longframe or (gasp) 1/4" TRS be more reasonable?

    I'm fishing for advice...anyone wanna bite?

    TIA

    -dave
     
  2. ironsheik

    ironsheik Guest

    Patchbays are handy and help with organization. I would say for any project studio setup go with 1/4" since everything about them is cheaper. You can buy longframe bays with bunch blocks for less than $170 (http://www.flash.net/~motodata/patchbays/) which means no time consuming soldering of course. Definately go used too. I have a 16 track setup with 2 48 point 1/4" bays which I haven't wired up yet since I need to design and build my racks first. The cables are cheaper as well.
    My idea is to wait until I buy a real desk with an integrated TT bay rather that make one myself now.
     
  3. RandomGuest

    RandomGuest Guest

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2001
    While there's no denying the convenience of 1/4" bays, the main advantage of TT (aside from real estate) is they are built like tanks, whereas most 1/4" bays I've used seemed rather flimsy. After patching and unpatching a hundred times or so, patch points would become unreliable - much more so than the TT bays I've used.

    Check e-bay. You may stumble across someone selling some TT bays that are already wired up in the back, so you may be able to avoid some soldering. Of course, you'll still need to put connectors at the other ends of the cables. That's what I was able to do - buy 2 96 point bays with 50' of Belden cable already soldered to every patch point. Let me tell you, 192 x 50' is HEAVY!

    There are also TT bays available that use a punch-down tool instead of solder.
     
  4. dpaton

    dpaton Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2002
    Good words guys. Altho I will most likely be moving in a big way inside of a year or so, I'm shooting for 96pt.

    It looks like eBay and Mr. Patchbay will be my best friends.

    Now, I'm definatley doing patches on all of my inserts, groups, etc. I'm debating the mic lines...maybe just the last 16? (FX returns on faders) I'm probably going to leave the recorders hardwired. I can't see a need to ever patch them. How about 8ch or so of an "aux" panel? I'm not hardwired in a building, but sometimes it's handy to have something quick to patch in an extra whatever.

    Opinions? Comments? Manifestos?

    Thanks again guys

    -dave
     
  5. RandomGuest

    RandomGuest Guest

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2001
    There's been some debate here about the adviseability of running mic lines through a patchbay, concerning the phantom power issue. What I did was bought a decent quality stage snake (box at one end, fan at the other) with fan end plugged into all my various racked mic pre inputs. Maybe not the prettiest solution, but it works fine and is very ergonomic. You could always do a DIY rack panel (or custom order - not expensive) with a couple of rows of XLR female jacks and accomplish the same thing.

    All the preamp outputs, of course, still go to the TT bay.
     
  6. dpaton

    dpaton Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2002
    I have a strict policy of never patching cables with phantom on. I've killed a few mic pres of dubious lineage doing it in the past...I learned the hard way.

    I currently use my old live snake (24x8) for my input wiring, so putting an XLR panel on my rack isn't a bad idea. I was planning on putting an 8-fer panel on anyway, since I only have 24 channels in my snake and recorders, and a 32ch board. Patching at least a few of the mic channels would make sense at that point, since they could be used as "utility connectors" with the front mounted XLRs.

    -dave
     
  7. audiowkstation

    audiowkstation Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2001
    Do at least a fully normalized bay. You will see what i mean in the future.
     
  8. audiowkstation

    audiowkstation Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2001
    dpaton

    Your web site is not working.....?????
     
  9. dpaton

    dpaton Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2002
    It should be...the only page up right now says something to the effect of "testing...one...two..."

    Is it coming up as a DNS not found or some other kind of error?

    -dave
     

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