Tweet Patchbays can be intimidating. There are dozens of different cables. Everything is color coded in some cryptic language. And one wrong move can bring things to a screeching halt. Patchbays are actually pretty simple. Most commercial studios use a patchbay — especially those with a console.
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Tweet Patchbays can be intimidating. There are dozens of different cables. Everything is color coded in some cryptic language. And one wrong move can bring things to a screeching halt. Patchbays are actually pretty simple. Most commercial studios use a patchbay — especially those with a console. Everything is connected to the patchbay. It allows you to quickly connect different pieces of gear together without having to crawl behind them and physically run cables from one unit to the other.
But the more gear you have, the bigger your patch bay needs to be. You know those old movies where people would make phone calls and speak to an operator? Even hybrid studios with only a few pieces of outboard gear can benefit from a patchbay. Patchbay Design Typically, patchbays have 24 channels per unit. Most modern patchbays use tiny telephone TT , or bantam connectors on the front. DB or D-sub cables are multi-pin connectors that can carry 8 analog audio signals simultaneously.
One end of the D-sub cable has a single DB connector. This is a huge space-saver. For instance, console channel outputs connect to the patch bay using a single cable, instead of 8 separate TRS cables.
Patchbay Layout Patchbays are organized based on the needs of the studio, so none of them are laid out the same way. The whole point is to speed up your workflow by allowing you to make common connections quickly. If your studio is set up for recording, you might set up patches for cue headphone sends or synthesizers.
Generally, patchbays are organized in order of signal flow. Outputs are almost always on the top row, with inputs on the bottom row.
This makes it easy to patch one piece of gear into another. Some studios color-code their patchbays to help separate the different sections. For instance, you use different colors for preamps, EQs, compressors, and effects units. Or, you could use one color for console connections, and another for outboard gear. Even using different colors for inputs and outputs can help speed things up.
Signal Flow Most manufacturers provide patchbay templates to help you line up the text to the connection point. The inputs are digitally assigned to DAW inputs. But what about the rest? Remember, every patchbay is different. Insert Sends.
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But really, once you know the fundamental rules and conventions the process is as easy as running cables from one piece of gear to the next. Take into account that most of us end up unplugging three cables by accident for every one we successfully add and you can understand why a patchbay is a non-negotiable piece of equipment. Patchbays are becoming increasingly important due to the increased popularity of structured wiring, where commercial buildings and homes are built with cabling within the walls and flooring. There is no rewiring in these cases so even the casual user is beginning to be confronted with the issue of using a patch panel. Since collaboration and communication are critical for efficiently recording high-quality music and audio while the creative juices are flowing, nothing is more important than unraveling this mystery and putting it back together in our heads in the same way others have. The reason is that, before we review any specific models, we give a summarized run down of everything you need to know about these miracle machines, including how to use one. In the same way, it brings you into alignment with other professionals and also keeps you organized.
Behringer PX3000 Ultrapatch Pro Multifunktions-Patchbay