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Thread: audio patchbay "101"

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    audio patchbay "101"

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    Hello: I have a Yamaha AW16G, which is a sixteen-track digital recorder. It has eight audio input jacks, and I have more than eight pieces of gear that I want to connect to it. I have a Behringer PX3000 24-channel patch bay. So far, so good. When I go to read articles about how to connect them, it seems that every one of them dives right into using aux gear like effects and returns, etc. I don't have those units. All I want to do is to be able to hook up the analog outs of the gear (using TS 1/4" cables) to the patch bay so that I don't have to keep plugging/unplugging cables into the 16-track recorder. The goal is to have the synths and drum boxes plugged into the patch bay once and for all, and then route them to the recorder via short cables and switch settings.

    I have read over and over again about the modes: normal,half-normal, and thru. Still, it seems that one should be able to just connect eight short jacks from the patch bay to the recorder, leave them there, and then move mode switches and short cables (in front of the patch bay) to achieve flexibility in routing the signals from the various instruments. Is this really that difficult? If someone could detail just one such re-routing, that would be a great solution.

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    Ok Bhweb, first of all, forget all about any references to "balanced" working. Little is any of your kit will I suspect be balanced. This could have bad effects on noise, hum levels but one problem at a time eh?

    IMHO you want the patch bay set to Half Normalled. This means that outputs from gear link down to a jack below without a jack inserted in the front panel and you can plu into that front output and send it to other gear WITHOUT that breaking the link. However, if you jack into the lower INPUT that will break the link.

    So, say you bring the 8 Yammy inputs to lower ins 1thru 8 and then two synth channels to 1&2, another synth to 3&4 and a drum machine say to 5&6 (assuming "stereo" kit) somehting else on 7&8. That setup means those bit of kit will always route to those recorder inputs and you have NO patch leads inserted.

    Now you want to record a CD track say? the CD's output is in 9&10 at the back so you would just run a pair of patch leads from outputs 9&10 to (say) inputs 1&2. The incumbent synth is then silenced.

    On a practical point. Will you be making up your own cables? I advise it because you are going to need a H of a lot!
    Assuming so, do not buy the otherwise excellent neutrik plugs. You can get very servicable plugs from 'Zon in bulk for much less money and since they will just be static, in the kit, do not need to be super rugged.
    Similarly buy a reel of two core* screened cable that is FOIL screened and of around 3mm OD. This stuff is MUCH easier to strip and has a single drain wire for the shield, much easier to work with than braid or lapped screens. The foil also gives 100% RF screening.

    And! FFS draw everything out and label the ***T out of everything!

    Looks much harder in print than to do once the elektrikal pennies have dropped!

    Yes, 2 core "balalnced" cable. Cost is little more and it can be useful.

    Dave. (always around so details can follow as and when. jusask)

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    My way is to simply make sure that you identify how the studio will be wired for 99% of the time, and using the half normal setting, the sources go into the rear top row, and the row underneath connects them to where they are going. This gives you the facility to send them somewhere else by for example, taking the L and R synth top row and feeding via two patch cables to two different destinations - maybe a recorder, or sampler, vocoder etc - something you won't do every time. My patch bay spends most of it's time with nothing in it. I've got a rack DI unit, and the patch bay lets me get some of the inputs available to the DI. At the moment, I'm using just 8 inputs to my mixer for getting four synth modules and keyboards in so I can hear them, so 8 inputs (4 pairs) to the mixer as a 'norm'. If I need to record one, I'll over patch sending two to the recording interface line ins.

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    or you can do a hybrid of both where stuff you always used is connected without patching and everything else isn't
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gtoboy View Post
    or you can do a hybrid of both where stuff you always used is connected without patching and everything else isn't
    Err? WTGR, that is what Rob and I have said? "Normalized" means those ins and out you use most of the time do not need patch chords. Only when you need to use an input for another source do you break the normalized link.

    Dave.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ecc83 View Post
    Err? WTGR, that is what Rob and I have said? "Normalized" means those ins and out you use most of the time do not need patch chords. Only when you need to use an input for another source do you break the normalized link.

    Dave.
    I think his suggestion was not to use a patch bay. So, just plug directly into the mixer the stuff most used, then swap it out for the stuff used less often.

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    Yeah, sorry I wasn't very clear. ^^^ This.
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    Sure - but I'm not good at reading upside down, and remembering which are inserts and which are line inputs, and it's dark, and there's a jumble of cables, and in my studio the space behind the mixer is pretty close to a wall. Nobody needs a patch bay - but they make life soooooooo much easier if you need to plug and replug gear frequently. If you don't, why bother?

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    Quote Originally Posted by rob aylestone View Post
    Sure - but I'm not good at reading upside down, and remembering which are inserts and which are line inputs, and it's dark, and there's a jumble of cables, and in my studio the space behind the mixer is pretty close to a wall. Nobody needs a patch bay - but they make life soooooooo much easier if you need to plug and replug gear frequently. If you don't, why bother?
    An alternative of course is a 24 way line input mixer (find one!) with 8 group outputs. Then everything is connected all the time and you can fade/pan in any source you like.

    Be a lot bigger and more expensive than a patch bay tho'but and you still need a shedload of cables!

    Dave.

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    A really good patchbay for even a modest studio is a COLOSSAL amount of work to do it right.

    Whether or not it's worth it, only you can decide. I've had studios with and without. Right now, mine is without and I hardly miss it. BUT I don't take in customers, anymore. I have my setup that i like and retain.

    Fumbling with cables is a huge hassle, I agree. Frustrating and maddening. You're doing Studio Yoga to reach and see and often foul something up.

    So don't get one because you see someone else with one. The first time i did that it was great. Really glad i had it. The second time, it was not at all worth it. Kinda convenient at times, but not worth the time/energy/money involved. This time, i just didn't and I'm not gonna. Probably oughta sell mine.

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