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patchbay tip
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Production Techniques  
Author patchbay tip
numan7
patchbays, if you have never used one, are an awesome way to connect your outboard studio gear, including modular synthesizers, together. here's an example of what one looks like (top 2u below trim panel of rack):



in the back of patchbays are cable-snakes, which have a 25 pin connector on one side and 8 xlr or trs connectors (to connect to outboard gear i/o) on the other.

a very important, but easy to overlook, detail when installing a patchbay is to label all the snake ends permanently, since the gold lettering on Mogami snakes fades away with contact and time (and is difficult to read at all in the first place), as I am in the process of doing here:



this 10-20 minute activity can save you from much angst, headaches and vexation some late night of the future...!



cheers,
n7
Synthasonic
What brand of patchbay is that? I have four crappy re'ans where they never make a reliable connection and would like to get something better.
justin3am
Maybe a Neutrik TT patch bay?

+1 for patch bays though. They makes my life a lot easier. I have a pair of TT patch bays in my closet but I always go back to using those Behringer Ultra Patch jobs... they're cheap and they work. I also like the 1/4" patch bays because I can connect things like pedals and noise boxes directly to the front without an adapter.
Synthasonic
I was thinking Neutrik too, but after checking them out on Sweetwater, they're kinda pricey. I really only need two these days: one for my synth rack and one for my main writing station so I can access my audio interface. I really wish I could find a high quality 1/4" bay, though, because I can use an 8 channel 1/4" snake to run from the synth rack to the writing station when I need to use it and run 8 channels in to the audio interface that way. I am also trying to avoid the 10+ hours I'd have to spend soldering 50+ TRS 1/4" jacks for the synth rack and the audio interface PB. Aren't there any high-quality 1/4" PBs out there that are reliable?
robotfunk
I was amazed how much patchbays made life easier even in the smallest of studios. Keep in mind though, the patchbays themselves can be bought pretty cheaply, but the permanent cabling to all your gear costs a whole lot more. I haven't seen one with a DB25 connector on the back, I guess that could work out cheaper, but OTOH you have to get it at the length needed to reach the most distant piece of kit.
amsonx
I've got a DBX PB-48 about a month ago and this has totally open my modular to my other gear/FX/synth/mixer.
suboptimal
I have a pair of Neutrik patchbays and can't imagine having any rack gear without them. They're a little pricey but after several bad experiences with cheap patchbays, I decided to get something I could rely on. I've had them for many years and they still have a solid, reliable connection.

I think patchbays and behind-the-rack cabling are two areas where paying a little more pays off, by simply making those elements of your signal chain invisible. Put a Behringer patchbay and crappy Hosa cables behind your rack and you'll be going back there way more often than you like to deal with noisy connections and other issues. (Do not, under any circumstances, buy the piece of shit Behringer patch bay.)
lorenzovektor
suboptimal wrote:
I have a pair of Neutrik patchbays and can't imagine having any rack gear without them. They're a little pricey but after several bad experiences with cheap patchbays, I decided to get something I could rely on. I've had them for many years and they still have a solid, reliable connection.

I think patchbays and behind-the-rack cabling are two areas where paying a little more pays off, by simply making those elements of your signal chain invisible. Put a Behringer patchbay and crappy Hosa cables behind your rack and you'll be going back there way more often than you like to deal with noisy connections and other issues. (Do not, under any circumstances, buy the piece of shit Behringer patch bay.)


Neutrik is definitely the way to go in my opinion
Babaluma
I heard the Neutrik and The Rean were actually the same. I had a Neutrik for a while, but ended up selling it as it never got much use.
bastille
Patchbays are the least sexy, most quality of life improving investment you can make if you've got lots of outboard. If you never move your gear, solder bays are cheap. If you do, DB25 bays are painfully expensive but immensely convenient.
zerosum
Quote:
Aren't there any high-quality 1/4" PBs out there that are reliable?


I use a Samson S Patch +

No issues yet.
I got it because it has switches on the front for normalled, half, and straight through.
When it gets Flakey I'll probably replace it with a TT patchbay, which is what I prefer anyway but couldn't afford at the time of the last studio rewire.

I also use a cheap HOSA PDR-369 XLR patchbay for the inputs of my BAE 11 space 500 rack,
then I use a HOSA Little HO for my various rack preamp inputs.

Anytime I want to plug a 1/4"(and 1/8") piece of gear into the rack, I go into a DI then Preamp anyway, and when I want to get pedals in and out I use the Radial EXTC module.

This works for now.

Also keep your eye on this site:
http://www.misterpatchbay.com/patchbays/patchbay.html

This thing looks cool too, It would be nice replacing the HOSA XLR's with a rack that has TRS/XLR combo jacks 8_)
samspike
I have two Samson S+, both bought 2nd hand, on ebay, both reliable so far.

The other one you often see cheap on ebay is behringers. I don't think they are as solid.
EdJ
I have a most lovely Signex patch bay with ... wait for it... phono on the back.

Yup. Phono.

Still love it, patch bays are insanely useful for plugging stuff into/outof rack gear.

Btw, on the behringer front, a lot of folks I've spoken to like to take their patch bays and basically remove the patch bay bit, i.e. remove their sockets and replace them with custom ones. Apparently their sockets don't last very long and aren't very reliable, but the frame is just fine grin
nervous_circuits
I second the samson s patch+, that thing is realllly hand and high quality!
Cleaned up my studio a lot with just one.
numan7
oops forgot to check this thread.... d'oh!

the patchbay above is an audio-accessories db25 mini-shorty that Vintage King sells for $795.

it is a rather advanced patchbay, giving you jumper selectable 1/2 or full normal'ing per channel, and so on:

vintage king wrote:

Audio Accessories Shorti Quick-Switch to DB25 - 1.5
Patchbay with TRS out only to DB25 Female Connectors; Quick-Switch Normalling - digital ready - 1.5RU

The next generation of Shorti Patchbays has arrived; this 2x48 audio patchbay is wired to DB25 connectors. This unit features exceptional flexibility with the Audio Accessories, Inc. exclusive Quick-Switch normalling system located on the rear of the panel. The Quick-Switch normalling allows you to set the individual normals on a per jack pair basis. This enables you to full-normal (FN), half-normal (HN) or non-normal (NN) by sliding the switches into the appropriate position. You also have grounding options: isolated, bussed, or grounds vertically strapped (GVS).

* 2x48x1.5RU Mini audio jack panel
* TRS out to DB25 female connectors
* Pinned out for Pro Tools interface
* User-Programmable Normalling


I bought it after taking Ronin Chris Murphy's 3 day "boot camp" in Los Angeles. He had 2 and depended heavily on them for all of his projects.

cheers,
n7
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