help with Patch bay



Rewiring a friends studio and would like to bring in a patch bay. Having never wired one I'm looking for suggestions from those that might have been through it before. Our gear as of now is:
control 24
2 888's
ADAT bridge
Digimax 8ch pre(litepiped to ADATbridge)
Avalon pre
Bellari pre
( and a few other mic pre's)
half a dozen comps,reverbs and hope for some other high end toys in the future
and we've bought 5 DBX 1/4" 48 point bays
How the heck should we set this up so that a visiting engineer could figure it out logically?
We've got 36 xlr lines from different rooms, 18 line ins (residing with the xlr's on thre different patch panels)
I'm thinking that there will be no "normaling" of the room lines to mic pre's but I'm not sure.
Would love any help.


Well-Known Member
Apr 22, 2001
Keep all like gear together. I set mine up with the outboard together and in order of how it appears in the rack. The unit at the top of the first rack is the first one on the left of the bay etc. Also, label everything. That's the only way people will find things.


Well-Known Member
Sep 5, 2000
(Moved from the cross-post in the ProTools forum, dated November 13, 2001 07:12 AM)

If you leave out the normalling, just make sure you have enough patch cables handy to patch everything in. Not that you shouldn't have that many even if you did normal, to enable cross-patching if neccesary. Yes, not normalling will make the patchbay job a lot easier.
Use a little common sense when mapping out your bay. Keep similar patches linear and close together. For example, a row of Control24 mic ins makes the most sense immediately above or below a row of XLR feeds. T'ain't rocket science. As long as you clearly label everything on each bay, any engineer worth his salt should be able to figure it out readily.
Good luck, and clean solder joints! :)


Well-Known Member
Feb 10, 2001
I'd like to second Angelo in recommending not giving up entirely on normalling. I don't know the control 24 much in terms of ins and outs, but on a typical console you might want to normal the 888 outs (1-16) into "tape" returns (1-16). In the case where you are using outboard pres patched into the 888's, and the board mostly for monitoring, you could alternately just normal the 888's into the line ins. Most of the time that immediately saves you 16 patch cables. Basically, just see what makes sense and saves a lot of patching - especially since 1/4" patch bays are not the most robust in the world - they'll last longer with less plugging and unplugging. Other good candidates for normalling: Aux Sends into headphone amps or FX inputs. DAT/cassette/CD players into Aux returns. Remember, you're not locked into any signal path by normalling - it's just a default template that gets you up and running quickly and cuts back on patchbay spaghetti. By knowing my particular work habits, through normalling, I can occasionally do a whole session with just a half-dozen patch cables. And nothing gets more confusing than a patchbay with 50-60 cables plugged in. Just be careful not to set up any accidental feedback loops. And don't discount the option of TT Patchbays. The reliability and connective quality is exponentially greater than most 1/4" bays. Audio Accessories bays are very reasonably priced. ;)

Doug Ring

Put in at least two spare rows for expansion (at the top so that you don't have to have to use a miner's lamp and push aside bunches of cables).

Get some nice labelling software and use colour-coding for your normalling.

Put in parallel strips (at least 3 jacks bused together, and then another 3 alongside for distributing a stereo signal to two inputs).

A couple of phase-reversed jacks i.e. connect them together with tip and ring reversed.

A row of alternative connectors: RCA/phono, type B, XLR, 3.5 mm.... whatever.