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Patchbay ?s

 
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floid
re-cappin' neve


Joined: 03 Jan 2006
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2016 11:50 pm    Post subject: Patchbay ?s Reply with quote

I'm toying with the idea of a new patchbay setup. TRS bays take up a LOT of space. I've looked at some 1u 144 point tt bays (48 channels of configurable normalp pair plus single) and find them appealing b.c. flipping one over gives a vertical stack of single/ pair/pair/ single that, for instance, allows outboard to be laid out on the general logic of

Comp out

Comp sidechain/alt input
Comp in

Eq/verb/etc out
Eq/verb/etc In

Outboard pre outs (inputs fed by stage box)

This gives each row its own function w/o sacrificing a bunch of dead jacks. The same layout would also make it easier to represent my mixer's signal flow and normals on a per channel/ bus basis. And handily enough, it gives me the patchpoints I need in just 2u with a little room to grow. But there's a catch - these bays use a vertical ground bus scheme that can't be broken, which means all those "isolated" jacks aren't really, y'know, isolated. The seller tells me this is actually an advantage b/c, "it makes the patchbay the center of your grounding scheme instead of the mixer," but I smell a case of ground loops. I've been looking back over the Rane wiring guide and read this thread that had some really useful discussion, and it's made me leery. It feels like the wrong place for a star ground, anathema to consistent wiring, a nightmare for incorporating unbalanced gear, etc etc.
Thoughts?
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Nick Sevilla
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2016 1:26 am    Post subject: Re: Patchbay ?s Reply with quote

I've been using cheap Samson TRS patchbays since I built my studio. Clean them with compressed air / some lubricant twice a year.

They work great.

How many patch points do you really need?

Also, TT patch cords are a lot more expensive... something to consider.
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vvv
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2016 5:12 pm    Post subject: Re: Patchbay ?s Reply with quote

And I gotta guess, more of a PITA to solder the cables?

I have some old Tascam TS bays I use, what I bought used.

My run is mostly 2', the longest is mebbe 4.5'.

I cleaned 'em when I installed 'em 3-4 years ago, just now having one scratchy jack issue.

But then, I do use 'em at least weekly, and hit nearly every jack at least monthly.
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floid
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2016 8:42 pm    Post subject: Re: Patchbay ?s Reply with quote

8 track tape, 4 track tape, 8 i/o DAW, 16x4x2 mixer, 8 channel sidecar, a few quad pres, 20 or so channels of compression, nearly that in eq, a few verbs and tape delays... It adds up. And yeah, I should probably thin the herd... so I can get better stuff to replace it Rolling Eyes
I've currently got 3 neutrik bays and a tascam. The tascam was a mistake, I don't like it. I wired it in b/c I had it and couldn't find a neutrik for the price I wanted to pay. But the 16 against 24 layout sucks, and it's not the best way to incorporate unbalanced lines. One way or the other, I need to replace it and add another bay to incorporate recent additions and add flexibility to my mixer. And another bay sooner than later. That's 6u of space. The other issue is layout - I like the idea of having a mixer channel laid out vertically, with my inserts, line, tape machine and corresponding converter channels all right there where they're gonna be used; the example I gave shows how I could apply a similar channel strip logic to my outboard.
I get that bantam is pricey, that there's labor in wiring the loom. I like to think my soldering chops are up to it though, not to mention snake has to be soldered to something. And 3 neutriks plus fistfuls of trs is money too...
The stack of single/ pair/ pair/ single just kind of made a light bulb go off. The grounding thing is the hiccup.
Trying to think it through...
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A.David.MacKinnon
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2016 10:47 pm    Post subject: Re: Patchbay ?s Reply with quote

I'm about to rewire to expand my home mix room. I've already got 2 tt bays and I'm adding another 3. I'm not sure what it's like where you are but here in Toronto used bantam bays can be found pretty easily and cheap (about $30-50 each).
I'm planning to strip my existing bays and start from scratch. The set-up will likely be -

Bay 1 normalled
row 1 - mic lines from snake
row 2 - pre amp ins

Bay 2 normalled
mixer direct outs/bus outs/preamp outs
converter ins/16 track ins/4 track ins

Bay 3 normalled
converter outs/16 track outs/4 track outs
mixer line ins and tape returns

The rest will be for the mixer master section (normalled to the two track) and outboard gear.

Bantam cables are pricey but if you buy good ones they'll last for ages.
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floid
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2016 8:11 am    Post subject: Re: Patchbay ?s Reply with quote

Wow, wish I could find those prices!
Thanks for the layout example. Mine was reversed, makes more sense this way. Where do you keep your channel inserts? Do you do anything special for phantom at the mic bay? Would you see an advantage to patching mics at the bay in a one room studio?
A question that's bugged me for a while: how do others handle sidechain compressors? I normal side to input on one bay, take the output on the next. But this interrupts the overall flow of the layout.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2016 8:13 am    Post subject: Re: Patchbay ?s Reply with quote

FWIW, pro'bly OT, but I owe thanx to someone here for the idear a few years ago, as I use an actual XLR snake tied directly into my preamps. The XLR ins box, then, is sorta related ...

I am, y'see, all about the kludge. Twisted Evil
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A.David.MacKinnon
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2016 10:28 am    Post subject: Re: Patchbay ?s Reply with quote

floid wrote:
Wow, wish I could find those prices!
Thanks for the layout example. Mine was reversed, makes more sense this way. Where do you keep your channel inserts? Do you do anything special for phantom at the mic bay? Would you see an advantage to patching mics at the bay in a one room studio?
A question that's bugged me for a while: how do others handle sidechain compressors? I normal side to input on one bay, take the output on the next. But this interrupts the overall flow of the layout.


There's a massive electronics surplus warehouse on the outskirts of town here. It's where old TV stations go to die. Most of the gear is AV stuff but there are always patchbays and bales of snake cable. It's a total godsend.

I don't really use inserts all that much and when I do I just use insert cables and keep it out of the patchbay altogether. Another thing to consider is that most inserts are unbalanced so if you wire them to the patchbay you're adding X amount of unbalanced cable to the mixer circuit. I have no proof but that idea makes me worry about noise and RF. For ease of patching you might do better to make yourself some longish insert cables with bantam jacks on one end and then use them as needed. It'd solve the patching issue and save you from crawling behind the racks every time you want to use an insert.

Phantom on the bay has never been an issue for me. As long as you turn it off before doing any patching you'll be ok. Most studios I've ever worked at were wired that way. I prefer to have the snake terminate at the patchbay but lots of people just plug it right into the pres. I like the flexibility of patching my pres.
These three row bays might be a good spot for the sidechain. -
top - comp out
middle - comp in
bottom - sidechain
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