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Best way to configure patchbay for mic pres and line pads? Studio Accessories
Old 2nd February 2017
Gear Maniac

Best way to configure patchbay for mic pres and line pads?

Hi all,
I’ve been putting off buying a new patchbay for my set up – I’m not quite certain how I want it all set up and so am reticent to commit - last time I looked into it it seemed like the Switchcraft 9625 was the unit that let you switch between normalled / half normalled etc from the front panel - might anyone know of any other patchbays that do this without compromises in quality?
Aside from that I’m wondering if anyone can advise on this issue: I have a number of mic pres, that I use with microphones when recording but that I also want to try using at line level looping audio out from protools into them and back into protools (or into other outboard) - some of these pres don’t have line level inputs so I need to put a pad in the signal chain before it hits the mic pres to take the signal down to mic level - DW Fearn make this
I think there are some other options too - anyway, as I still want to use them with mics as well I’ll need to have the options for the pad inputs and outputs on the patchbay - just wondering what the most elegant way of doing this might be, the mic pres only have one input and it would be good not to have to be disconnecting that when I want to plug a mic in – should I buy something like this
Patch Bay - Hosa Technology
Have the outputs of that all going to the mic pre inputs, I’d be able to plug mics into the front inputs of that patchbay - and when I want output from protools going into mic pres I would have the line pads’ inputs on the Switchcraft and their outputs patchable as xlrs into this Hosa xlr patchbay - ??
Is anyone else doing this in their set up? Is there a simpler way? It feels to me like, if I’m recording with mics that having the signal into the mic pre bypassing the patchbay entirely might be better somehow – more “pure”? ??!

Any thoughts or advice are greatly appreciated – thanks!
Old 2nd February 2017
Lives for gear
PdotDdot's Avatar
I think Neutrik makes patch bays that may be worth checking out but I do not know if they are pro level or not.
Old 2nd February 2017
Gear Addict

Originally Posted by PdotDdot View Post
I think Neutrik makes patch bays that may be worth checking out but I do not know if they are pro level or not.
Not worth it, if its the NYSSPPL.
Old 3rd February 2017
Lives for gear
PdotDdot's Avatar
Originally Posted by TurboT View Post
Not worth it, if its the NYSSPPL.
Thanks, good to know!
Old 3rd February 2017
Lives for gear
stevelindsay's Avatar

I do what you are thinking of with an XLR patchbay and external mic pres. I had the Hosa stuff, they were OK, but I sold them and went with 4 x ART P16 XLR bays. They are racked to provide patching for up to 32 mic lines between 4 studio rooms and hardwired to console and external mic pre amps. Works a treat. Got a bunch of 1m XLR patch cables made up. Very easy to patch any mic lines to wherever I want them to go if needed.
Old 3rd February 2017
Lives for gear
I'm not aware of anything w/ a lower noise floor that has the half normal change over on the front like that.

Redco is about the same quality (Good PCB patch), but the normal are controlled by pulling the unit out 1" ($600/96tt-db25)

The next step up is audio accessories, gets you into point to point wiring. but the normal are on the back. very hard to get at when all is plugged together. ($900/96tt-db25)

The best patch bays (in terms of noise floor) are Ghielmetti. They use a 4 pin plug to switch from pass through or not. So you have to keep track of the non typical plugs. But this is controllable from the front and the best sounding patch bays I'm aware of. They even offer a model w/ lights on the labels. ($1200/96tt-db25)

Considering good cables are about $2000 for any 96tt-db25. It get's costly fast.

Also the Redco is the only 1U like the switchcraft, the others are 1.5U
Old 3rd February 2017
I just picked up this:

Configure Your Own Audio Accessories 96 Point TT & DB25 Patchbay with Custom Mogami & Neutrik Gold Cabling | Pro Audio LA

It's not too hard to switch the normals with it wired up. Just need a small screwdriver (and iPhone flashlight) to move the switches.

The 1.5U size makes it much easier to label and see what you've got.

I've got the outputs from my live room, my outboard pres, outboard fx, and console inserts patched in. Picked up some female xlr -> TT cables so I can use my pres while doing overdubs in the control room. So far, so good.
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