Originally Posted by Kyleseglin
What's an insert? Does that mean the part of the patchbay or only in a console
Let's slow down a minute here. We're going to go off on a tangent...
First off, congratulations on starting off right with a patchbay. I have been through many re-wiring days and except for moves, it was to integrate a new piece of gear. The patchbay has always sped that process up. Now, I'm at a point where I need to break out a whole new rack if I want to add anything and that affects my desk etc etc long story...bottom line, you have a long way to go but you're doing the right thing up until that point which is where expansion has to be carefully planned....
Now, you have a couple things to consider before starting this project. I'm not sure where your manley's mic inputs are but if they're in the back, you need some Xlr to trs jump cables (1-1.5ft), get as many as you have mic inputs x2 divided evenly between male and female.
If you have 2 inputs for example, you need 2 Xlr male to trs male and 2 trs female to trs male.
There's a specific way that TRS to XLR cables are wired and it's standardized.
So, you plug male Xlr to your pre input and male trs into the back of your patchbay. Then, use an XLR female plugged onto the mic and plug the trs male into the front on the same slot so the line runs through the patchbay but otherwise is a direct line from the mic to the mic ore input on your pre.
Now, just plug everything else on the back of your gear into the back of your patchbay...
Trs to trs is not an issue because of the way their wired, shield and negative are set up to be interchangeable. You run the risk of additional noise from the trs to ts cord so keep it very short, just long enough to run from your gear to the patchbay without coiling around in a loop and keep it away from power cables and ESP wal-warts as best as you can.
Now, get a pack of 10 1' trs to trs jumper cables. Now all of the plugs from the back of your limiter, compressor, preamp and a/d/a converter are in one convenient place.
Then, it's just a matter of not normaling everything initially, get used to thinking about signal flow by plugging in each piece how you want it to chain each time. Eventually, you will look into half-normaled and how that works and it'll blow you mind but for now, plug everything in every time, the long way, by hand.
So then your chain is mic > mic pre in - mic pre out > Rnc in - Rnc out > RNlc in - RNlc out > apogee in
Then when you mix,
Apogee out > Rnc > RNlc > apogee in
Or dual path and use more outputs and inputs on the apogee if you want to say use the Rnc for drums and the RNlc for the vocals.
Then, you can record those inputs onto new tracks and set something else to go through the apogee out.
just use the patchbay to bring the plugs in the back to the front.
Also, if your Manley pre has one of those Xlr/trs combo inputs, there shouldn't be any difference if you plug your guitar into the patchbay input that routes to a pn Xlr cable that goes to the pre in. The only change might be that the pre has some sort of automatic trs detection that changes the input impedance, consult your manual but I doubt it. All of the pres that I've used all have either mic and 1/4" inputs in the front or the Xlr in back and a ts high impedance input in the front.
You're about to make your rig modular. The other cool thing is its easier to integrate temporary gear with a patchbay because you are only dealing with the back of one unit and you don't want that to be a semi-permanent wiring setup anyway, you just want to quickly plug it in and get sounds. Now you can record a di guitar straight through the Rnc and then use a reamp box to send the output into your pedal board or straight to an amp. Or you can integrate a turntable for sampling temporarily if you don't normally do vinyl to digital transfers or if you are bringing a dj in. Or any other wild thing you come up with. I like to bring my guitar into my computer and affect it with any number of plugins live and then send that out to my amp to record. You get some latency from the plugins but you can optimize and reduce it or just find a cool tone, record the part dry and then apply the effect after the fact. All of this, especially when I'm combining hardware and software or using guitar pedals as plugins etc is possible because of my patchbay.
As for an insert, that only matters if you are using an analog mixing desk, don't worry about it yet and my advise still stands.