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Connecting the recording world together...

I am just about to rewire my studio. I was thinking about Mogami studio quad cable using 48 point 1/4" to 1/4" patchbays.

If I hook all my gear up, mic pres, comps and eqs using XLR to TRS to the patchbays and then use TRS cable to route the signal to the recorder and inserts of the mixer can I expect a loss in quality?

My plan was

Mixer inserts and recorder to Patchbay
Outboard gear to another patchbay

Then use TRS to route the desired I/O to the desired I/O. Is this the way it is supposed to be done?


Dave62 Sat, 03/05/2005 - 19:33

I would think about going with Tiny Telephone patchbay with 96 in one rack space. This is a more common studio setup(twice the points in one rack space). Mogamai and Canaire make TT TRS patch lines.
The wire you mention is more of a mic wire as opposed to line level patching wire, which does not need to be as armored because it is in a rack. Mogami and Canaire make a hi quality patch wire for this purpose.
As to the loss in quality, the way you describe is fine as long as you regularly clean the patchbay with the proper cleaners. You also may want to plan to "normal" some inputs to outputs in your patchbay to save patching points you routinely use. For instance the patch(mic) lines from the studio would be "normalled" to your mixer or mic pre's and not require a patch cable, but if you insert a patch into the mic output it breaks the connection to the mixer and is patched to another preamp. Another common "normal" is the mixer or mic pre outs to the daw or recorder ins. Inserting a patch here can be used as a balanced insert point. Happy soldering! :D

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purecountry70 Fri, 08/08/2014 - 10:41

I was wondering if I may jump a board to this topic. I bought a Behringer PX3000 patchbay, I also have a MACKIE SR32-4 Mixer and a M-Audio Fast Track Ultra 8R interface. what I'd Like to do is have the 8 inputs available on the patchbay, then connect all my outboard gear to the patchbay as well. I also bought a Stage Snake , which I put in the Live room to Track, I connected that to the first 8 inputs on back of the Mixer, I know with this MACKIE Mixer, if you put the TRS plug in the insert at the first click it acts as a direct out. Could someone offer a suggestion as how to wire this patchbay up

I'd appreciate it thanks

RemyRAD Fri, 08/08/2014 - 11:48

This is an old thread and you're asking a multifaceted question. I'll see if I can help? I'm good at putting my feet in my mouth so...

First things first. You need more than one patchbay. You need TRS patch bays with selectable " full normal " and " half normal" and no normal. But those are the entry-level patchbay's, that have 1/4 inch connectors on the front and 1/4 inch connectors on the back. Fine, if that's what you like? That's not what real studios use. Just so you know.

My patchbay's are configured as such:
direct outs from each input module on my console are on the top row. They in turn are half normal to the bottom row. The bottom row is then plugged into the line inputs going to the multitrack machine. That's all you can get on one patchbay.

On the next patchbay are the outputs from the multitrack machine on the top row. Half normal to the bottom row which feeds the line inputs on the audio console. And that's it for that patchbay.

Somewhere within that mess lies another patchbay. This patchbay is the insert outputs from the console, on the top row. Half normal to the bottom row, back into the insert on the console. And that's it for that patchbay.

Then I have another patchbay. This patchbay has the to track and multi-track bus outputs from the console. Some of which are half normal to the bottom row, going into other recording devices. Such as a stereo mix down machine/computer/solid-state recorder, etc.. 8 outputs, half normal to a 8-track computer audio interface device, exclusive of your 24 track recorder feet from the direct outputs of your console.

Then I have a patchbay that has my compressor limiters, noise gates, ancillary outboard surgical EQ's on a no normal patchbay. Where all of the inputs to those devices are on the top row. And all the output from those devices are on the bottom row. Then there are the inputs and outputs from your digital effects devices and reverbs. Some of which may have been normal to be connected to the echo and Q. sends, from the console, to the studio and headphones, greenroom, living room, basement, vocal booth. You get the idea.

Then you have to buy all the patch cords or build them yourself. I have over 100. And it's not enough sometimes. This is not an inexpensive endeavor. Nor can it be done quickly without other extenuating problems such as ground loops. Which becomes a huge, huge problem for most. This is where the new types of electronic routing switchers has become so popular. But combining that with vintage analog equipment can kind of curdle your milk. Which is why many of us still stick with the old-fashioned 1/4 inch telephone patch bays.

One should also note that real, professional patch bays and patch cords, while they are 1/4 inch. They are not the same 1/4 inch plugs and jacks you find on those entry-level, low cost, Behringer and other manufacturers, patch bays.

Professional patch bays can be delivered with numerous different interface options. There were the old-fashioned ones that had what we called " Christmas trees ". Whose contacts needed to be soldered. It took huge lengths of time and skill. Then another type of interface option was offered called "punch block". This required a special tool but you didn't need to solder anything. Sometimes they worked well for years. Sometimes they never worked well for extended periods of time.

With each type patchbay and interface, ground loop is a huge issue. There are many different ways to contend with that dilemma. That's another book.

I hate wiring patch Bays, days and days and days...
Mx. Remy Ann David