SSL X-Patch Digital Patchbay

Discussion in 'Patchbays' started by audiokid, Dec 30, 2011.

  1. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Where have I been, check this out: Is there anything else out there like this? This is limited, unable to cascade it but pretty cool for studios only using a small amount of outboard gear. This along side the Liaison would be pretty awesome for my setup.

    Have you seen this in action?


    SSL X-Patch





    http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/feb11/articles/ssl-xpatch.htm
     
  2. thatjeffguy

    thatjeffguy Active Member

    That's a pretty neat piece of gear, but not being able to cascade several would render it useless in my studio. I once had a MIDI patch bay like this, totally programmable and controlled via MIDI. That was back when I had tons of MIDI gear.

    The interface on this looks really clunky and confusing, but most software is. I guess once you learn it it would come easy enough. I hope someone else develops / has developed this type of patchbay with greater flexibility.

    Thanks for posting this, Chris!

    Jeff
     
  3. Paul999

    Paul999 Active Member

    As far as I understand it you can cascade several devices together and can hook up up to 6 x 16 channel digitally controlled patch bays. Hmm what am I missing here?
     
  4. thatjeffguy

    thatjeffguy Active Member

    From the SSL website FAQ:

    [TABLE="width: 100%"]
    [TR]
    [TD="class: subtitle, bgcolor: #666666"]Question[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD="class: textcell, bgcolor: #F7F7F7"] [/TD]
    [TD="class: textcell, bgcolor: #F7F7F7"]How do I route audio between two devices connected to different X-Patches?[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD] trnsp.gif [/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD="class: subtitle, bgcolor: #666666"] [/TD]
    [TD="class: subtitle, bgcolor: #666666"]Answer[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD="class: textcell, bgcolor: #F7F7F7"] [/TD]
    [TD="class: textcell, bgcolor: #F7F7F7"]While the X-Patch Remote software can control multiple X-Patch units, from an audio routing point of view these multiple X-Patches remain independent from one another. If you wish to route audio between devices that are connected to different X-Patches, the you need to set aside some inputs/outputs on these X-patches, to establish connections between them.
    And to make things perfectly clear: the ethernet connections are only used for software control of the X-patches. The audio signals remain in the analog domain and do not, at any point, travel via ethernet cables to go from one X-Patch to another.
    [/TD]
    [/TR]
    [/TABLE]

    That's still a bit unclear to me. It is clear that you can control six units at once, but it doesn't appear you can program inter-unit patching.

    In addition, and importantly, Phantom Power is NOT passed through the unit and indeed could damage its circuitry!

    I think this idea needs a bit more evolution!

    Jeff
     
  5. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    ooo, Phantom Power oversight. Good eye on that Jeff!
    Did you read that?
     
  6. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    on the SOS page:
    But do you use a patchbay for mics?
     
  7. thatjeffguy

    thatjeffguy Active Member

    audiokid...
    Yes, the snake runs from both my drum booth and my live room, totalling 16 channels plus 8 returns, all terminate at XLR patchbays so I can then freely route them to any of my mic pres or directly into my board. My board only has 16 mic inputs so this arrangement is a necessity to avoid plugging cables in and out of the back of my board (Tascam DM-24). All the mic pre ins & outs are also brought forward to patchbays so everything is immediately connectable to everything else vis patchcable.

    Jeff
     
  8. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Ah, I see. I really need to spend some time with someone like you so I get the bigger picture. You are much more involved in micing than I right now but I'm planning to expand in a few years.
    Currently I only need something for outboard gear so I don't see it being an issue there then, do you? All my pre-amps are external, I'm not using a console nor do I plan on it. Am I thinking correct?
     
  9. thatjeffguy

    thatjeffguy Active Member

    Chris,
    Yes... I specialize in recording acoustic music so mic selection, positioning etc. is everything. Hence my huge mic collection and all the patchbays. (Equip. list is on my website).
    I'd say you're probably not going to need the same as I at this point. I usually wait until I bump my head against some lack of capability / functionality before expanding or adding equipment. The few times I've jumped ahead of my actual need I had to backtrack by selling off some nearly-new gear and replacing it with what was really needed!

    Jeff
     
  10. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Just thought I would update this thread. I think I mentioned this somewhere already but meant to say it here.

    I bought an XPatch and like it so much I'm getting a second. Its brilliant for mixing, very fast, completely transparent. Building chains is so easy and recall can be done on the fly via midi or a mouse. You make chain, call it something, then can be saved as a preset. One click and it switches a whole array of gear is a split second, no noise. Makes recalling your chains pretty simple even in real time from a controller. Programming is very simple. Took me a few hours to get it and now its a breeze. You cannot make a mistake with this as well as it knows if something is being used somewhere else.

    Being completely transparent was key for me and this is it. Highly recommend it. Its pricey but quality.

    Only negative is I wish it was 32 x 32. It not accepting Phantom isn't a problem for me but this is also a setback if you need it for this.
     
  11. thatjeffguy

    thatjeffguy Active Member

    Chris, how do you get all your gear with predominantly XLR ins & outs converted to D-sub?

    Jeff
     
  12. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Good question,

    Breakout dsub to XLR. Its really just a matter of taking TRS or XLR (whatever your chain needs) on one end to dsub on the other for the analog I/O.

    Example: My ADDA chain is all 8 channel dsub. HDSPe PCIe Interface >< AD DA = dsub.

    The analog outs from my converters are also Dsub so I keep the converters and the XPatch close and use 3' snakes that IO to the XPatch. From there I have longer 8 channels snakes with wide fans which are Dsub to XLR to connect all the gear. The outs of the gear go to my console to complete the chain.
    I simply configure what gear goes where via the CP of the XPatch.

    16 DA> Xpatch> Gear> Console> AD

    Does this make sense?
     
  13. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Cable like this:

    8-M2932-DB-XLRF-2-S-2.jpg

    8-M2932-DB-XLRM-2-S-2.jpg
     
  14. thatjeffguy

    thatjeffguy Active Member

    Got it. Yeah, the cable was the missing link in my mind. Hadn't encountered that before!
    When the X-Patch matures to pass phantom power I would definitely replace all my patch bays with a few. It should happen, obviously not an impossible task.
    Jeff
     
  15. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    I know :)

    Here are a few more . I can't find whether or not they pass 48v.

    CM Labs SixtyFour
    signexweb.co.uk/arc32.html
     
  16. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    I read somewhere that SSL XPatch would be very expensive to try and do that or add double the channels. So its based around building something that is close enough to make is feasible. I think these are best suited for the mixing environment.
     
  17. thatjeffguy

    thatjeffguy Active Member

    So why not the "Sixty-Four" for your purposes, Chris? It's 32 X 32. What are the differences between that and the X-patch that would sway you towards the X-Patch?

    Jeff
     
  18. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Well that's an even better question lol, my answer is, I don't know diddlydoo

    But seriously, I tend to migrate to things that are simple and this is one of them. I also like the relay switching in the Dangerous Monitor ST and the XPatch has a similar relay design. Straight wire and Ethernet to a simple java app.
    I'm guessing the X-Patch may be more transparent over the other two ( just a hunch) .
    I also trust if SSL could have made a bullet proof 32, they would have. And if it has a problem, SSL has been a round for a long time.

    This also seems to be good enough ( accepted) for mastering which was a big factor. If I wanted to use it for other purposes, it makes a great extension to my Dangerous Master section.
    And last, it has good resale value because its ideal for mixing, mastering plus very cool for even guitarist or keyboards wanting something to route stomp boxes or keyboards via a midi controller. It has +4 or -10 balanced or unbalanced options on every insert.

    You can cascade 6 together but I don't think that's its best feature as its starts to get pretty crazy after cascading a few, but I'm going to try it for two and see how it goes now.

    The Neos has 3 sets of 8 inserts (24 ins). I switch hardware around on the 1 to 16 channels so two were needed. If I add a 3 Xpatch, it would be exclusive for 17 / 24 Stems that I dedicate for effects.

    Unfortunately I had to trust forum research over hearing it. I thought about all this above and made the choice based on these.
     

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