The Patchbay Blog

Out of the Box

On Jun 4, 2012, at 12:59 PM, **********@comcast.net wrote:


Hi Mr PatchBay!
 Hey Robert,
I am building a personal studio, "out of the box" (using DSD recorders like standalone tape machines) and need to get a patchbay ASAP.
 
No problem.
 
From my reading, the TT bantam jacks and sockets seem to be the preferred audio patch form factor among pros and with your prices, it seems a no-brainer to go that way over the alternative long form 1/4" or TS/TRS style jacks.
 
Correct sir.
 
 
My goal for the patch bay in my system, besides the obvious ease of making connections, is to make it easier to make full use of all my COMPs, EQ's and processors. In other words, leveraging the gear I already have in creative signal routing scenarios.
 
There you go. You can try different gear inserted as fast as you can plug in a patch cable.
 
At one point I was considering the Dangerous Music Liaison box to make it super easy to reconfigure the mixing/mastering chain of processors on the fly.
 
However, besides the high cost, I wanted even more flexibility and channel capacity that that unit offers, so back to general patch bays!
 
I hear that…
 
My studio is only 8 tracks wide, at the moment.
 
8 channels of outboard hi end preamps
8 channels of outboard compression
8 channels of outboard EQ
6 channels of Mid/Side processing
4 channels of analog reverb
4 channels of digital reverb
4 channels of gates
Allen & Heath Zed 14 mixer
4 - Korg MR2000S 2-channel DSD recorders (sync-able into a virtual 8 track recorder)
And looking to add 4 analog delay lines
 
You get the picture!
 Yes I do.
I am new to audio signal routing, although I worked in a video studio for a summer.

It's easy. You'll have no problem after working in a Video suite.
 
I would like to start with a single 96 point TT Bantam Patchbay of the best quality brand you recommend. However, I am not sure whether to wire full normal or half normal though…

Well, you do NOT want any of your nice effects normal or half-normal… We do not want the outputs going back to the inputs causing a feedback loop.
Only the channel inserts for the Allen & Heath Zed 14 mixer should be full or half normal. That way the channel insert, being full or half normal, completes a loop going out of the send from the channel insert to the top-row of the patchbay then it normals to the bottom-row and back out of the patchbay to the channel insert return. This way the loop is not broken and the channel works as "normal" as if there was no send loop inserted.
Only when you want to patch an effect into something let's say... channel #1: You patch out of channel #1 on the top-row of the patchbay, breaking the loop (and now the channel is not working until we complete the loop), plugging the other end of that patch cable into the input of one of your effects,comps, pre amps etc. that is also on the top-row of the patchbay let's say channel #17. Then we patch from the output of that effect (which is on the bottom-row under channel #17) back to the channel return (which is on the bottom-row under channel #1) to complete the loop. Dig? or did I totally lose you?

Patchbay Normaling


No Normals is when the top-row of jacks is not connected to the bottom-row of jacks

Full-Normal : Each jack on the top-row is connected to the jack under it on the bottom-row. This allows the audio or video signal to “pass-through” the patchbay without using a patch cable. When we want to change the “normal” signal path we can use a patch cable to change the destination of the signal.
Placing a patch cable into the either row breaks the signal path. The signal follows the patch cable to where it is patched.

Half-Normal: Each jack on the top-row is connected to the jack under it on the bottom-row. This allows the audio or video signal to “pass-through” the patchbay without using a patch cable. When we want to change the “normal” signal path we can use a patch cable to change the destination of the signal.
Placing a patch cable into the bottom-row breaks the signal path. Placing a patch cable into the top-row allows the signal to still go to the jack under it on the bottom-row (without breaking the normal) and also follows the patch cable.

96 Point Patchbays:
To make Full Normal wire from Blue #1 to Blue #49
From Orange #1 to Orange #49; wire from Blue #2 to Blue #50 From Orange #2 to Orange #50 etc.

To make Half Normal wire from Red #1 to Blue #49
From Black #1 to Orange #49; wire from Red #2 to Blue #50 From Black #2 to Orange #50 etc.

Please see the above instructions in action as a Quicktime movie on the “
How to Wire a Patchbay” page. 
 
If, with your experience, you have suggestions for combinations of mutliple patch bays or any other configuration you can suggest to get maximum use of my small set of high-quality audio tools, fire away and I will re-budget if necessary.

I have three base types of TT patchbays:
Solder type: Which is the cheapest to buy but more work on your part to built it.
Punch-Down style: Most costly but faster to hookup and when your studio grows, much easier to change. This type patchbay requires cable with no connectors on one end. I always tell people that if they need two ten-foot TRS cables attached to the rear of the patchbay, then buy a twenty-foot TRS to TRS and cut that cable in half. then punch the "cut end" to the rear of the patchbay. How to punch: 
http://www.misterpatchbay.com/How-to-Wire/How-to-Wire.html
Patchbays with connectors already mounted: These would be DB-25 Female or E3 connectors. More costly again but if your gear has DB-25 all you need are costly eight-channel snakes that can be DB-25 Male to either XLR, TRS, DB-25 or RCA. ( I do not sell DB-25 snakes). E3's are a three-pin connector you would have to mount on your cables and then plug-in to the rear of the patchbay.
Custom made patchbays. These arrive with the normals already set and the cables and connectors pre-installed. All you do is plug-n-play. Prices are around $500 for four feet of wire and any connectors; $600 for 15 feet of wire and any connectors; $700.00 for 30 feet of wire and any connectors.

Your price ($9/each) on the Jo-Gami Gold-Tip Two-Foot TT Bantam Patch Cables is great!

Hell yea…

 If you can help me put together a TT bantam patch bay with 24 patch cables to start, that would be a GREAT help!

Sure… what kind do you patchbay do you want? 

Thank you for your time.

No problem.

Sincerely,
Bobby Hickey

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