Patch Bay Help

Discussion in 'Recording Studio' started by Freddy G, Oct 5, 2017.

  1. Freddy G

    Freddy G V.I.P. Member

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    Trying to wrap my head around how best to set up a patchbay in the studio. I'm hoping you guys can help.

    Currently, there is no patchbay. The outboard rack contains 16 mic pres, 4 EQs and 4 compressors.
    All of the mic pres have their inputs wired from mic panels on the walls at various locations. I don't really need to have mic inputs on the patchbay so that can stay the way it is (except one pre....a Manley Slam....more on that later).
    All the mic pre outputs currently go straight to the A/D interface (Antelope Audio Orion 32)
    Currently all the EQs and comps are wired to and from the Orion. So they are set up for mixing...for example if I want an EQ on a track, I would bus that track out of the 'box' (an Orion output) to the EQ, and then back to the Orion again.
    But I want to be able to patch an EQ or a comp to the output of a mic pre when tracking. And I also would like to be able to patch up a chain when mixing....eg. out from the Orion to an EQ and then physically patched to the Manley Slam (which is more than just a mic pre, it has compression and limiting as well)
    So I have a 48 point longframe bay. I'm thinking about having the outputs of 8 mic pres on the top row 1-8, all normalled to the bottom row (25-32) which goes to the Orion's inputs. That's straighforward enough. But for the EQs and comps, I guess I need to have input and output points on the bay so that I can patch them to mic pre outputs when tracking and also out and back in to the box when mixing. So as far as I can figure for one single EQ I would need to use up 4 points on the bay...
    one- output from Orion on top row normalled to
    two- input of EQ
    three- output of EQ to another top row point normalled to
    four - input of Orion

    Is this the way to go? Not sure if there's a better way.
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2017
  2. John Scrip

    John Scrip Senior Member

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    Only way I've ever known...
     
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  3. headstack

    headstack Junior Member

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    Typically in a studio, the bays are wired as follows.
    First we use what is often affectionately called "The Bingo System" where bays are labelled rows A, B, C, D, and so on from top to bottom, and numbered 1-48 left to right.
    Bays are setup Outs over Inputs, so the signal flow is a bit like a stream flowing downhill.
    Tie Lines from the mic panel outpus go on the top row so you can cross patch, or use different mic pres instead of a console channel strip, then the mic goes into the mic/line input, or in your case, your mic pres. These patch points are full normalled typically. Gear like EQs and dynamics processors go on no normalled rows, these are patched in as you desire, and these bays are your Accesory Tie Lines, or outboard equipment Tie Lines. The more things you can make available to the patch system, the more versatile your system will be. However, needlessly bringing everything up if you never access these functions, does add tiny amounts of what is called "Switch Distortion", which is caused as oxidation forming in the normalling contacts. It is subtle, yet additive, so if you can avoid any, it is best to do so wherever you can.
     
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  4. Nicky

    Nicky On The Road Less Traveled Premium Member

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    Not sure if this helps, but here’s how I route outboard hardware.

    I have 5 outboard preamps: 2 channel Trident 80B, 2 channel Ted Fletcher Pre/EQ/Comp, ISA One. Their outputs go into top row 1-5 on path bay, normaled to bottom row 1-5 which are sent to inputs 1-5 on the Audient audio interface via DB25 cable, bypassing the Audient preamps and finally into SONAR DAW in laptop via USB.

    [​IMG]

    To use the Ted Fletcher compressor, I have routed bottom row 9 and 10 (no-
    normaled) into the TF comp line in, and send the comp line out back into top row 9 and 10 via DB25 cable.

    To use compressor on Trident 80B channel 1, I run patch cord out of top row 1 to bottom row 9 into TF comp.

    [​IMG]

    I then run patch cord out of top row 9 to bottom row 1 into Audient interface. I now have mic going into Trident 80B channel 1 into TF compressor and back to Audient interface, then into SONAR on my laptop.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2017
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  5. Freddy G

    Freddy G V.I.P. Member

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    This is what I am going to do. It will save me 2 patch points per unit if I go no normal. Thanks!
     

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