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XBay 128x128 pass through balanced programmable analog patchbay Consoles
Old 16th April 2019
  #61
Gear Nut
 
mrcross's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JGM View Post
@ mrcross
Is there still means by which I can determine on a connection to connection basis regarding Normal, Half-Hormal, and Pass Through? How does those work, or should I say implemented in your patchbays?
Your system looks totally intriguing, but I'm still trying to wrap my head around how I would implement one of your XBays in my studio.
I am also curios about the question posed in post #58 ?.
Thanks
Ironically I never owned a manual patchbay cause it originates from analog modular synth patch memory need, hence the unbalanced, pass through balanced and dc routing options. Marketing as such proved to be a recipe for epic failure, therefore now optimized as mic/line level router. Can't regret, cause the synth context is much more demanding, it kinda automatically became a high end line level piece by just changing the target audience. It all fell beautifully into place.

Help me out somewhat here, normal is a default destination. If so the you can have a default config sure, I work like that while release testing. The software could be updated to make that more transparant, noted.

Half normal is a passive mult. If so no, XBay's architecture makes it possible to upscale in an affordable manner. It is all 1:1, you can however solve that, and anything for that manner, by connecting external addon's. Split wires as passive mults or eg DI boxes as buffered mults.

I am not sure what you mean by pass through.

See 59 for 58
Old 16th April 2019
  #62
Gear Nut
 
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to add to the mult issue, even if it would be possible to route 1:n then a mult has not much need without being buffered and that's when **** starts hitting the fan. XBay now is de facto passive, that would be ruined by buffering. There would be negative feedback introduced, unit will heat up to the point of cooling needs, like Flock Patch. Not to mention the extra cost. With such a small router maybe acceptable but most certainly not for bigger ones. What would you do with 128 mults? Also with native mults you are forever bound to quality of the implementation. At least the advantage of external multing is that you can choose your own implementation's quality that suits your needs and budget.

What I consider a serious design flaw of the Flock is the vent inside that is audible, all that effort into making it transparent going to waste by a humming vent. Check the manual, not kidding. Maybe only for corner cases, can't tell, not my problem.
Old 16th April 2019
  #63
Gear Nut
 
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All public and private reactions considered, it is even more clear to me that there can never be one device that would perfectly fit every possible need and make everything else obsolete. There are so many pro audio context's that it is hardly of any use to compare one against the other with the intent to declare a winner.

In the meantime Flock came with some numbers, to me they seem datasheet figures, which means jack so far but is a start, indicating willingness to open up.

What stands out to the extreme is the cross talk spec, even the obsolete ssm2402 can't top that. That's either playing a dangerous game or it is really like that, in that case I take my hat off and bow. XBay can't get near that.

Flock spec = Crosstalk: -98 dB (at) 20 kHz Input

This is XBay crosstalk at 8V at any frequency. I am sure I can choose a voltage input that gives me -99 db or less at 20 kHz, say mic level to mic level. So what is the voltage level of the Flock spec? The problem here is not the Flock spec but people accepting it blindly and declaring it ok. That's why I prefer to not publish the report in public, it can lead to utterly meaningless conclusion's.




Before interpreting specs, either make sure you really understand it, otherwise first study this and keep your opinion to yourself, Audio Specifications , if everybody would do that then maybe more vendor's are willing to open up fully.

With that having said, when is cross talk relevant? Can think of a few things, having crystal clear vocal tracks while the band is playing and recorded alongside. In that case another example how XBay and Flock can be a perfect match. Especially when Flock is the mic level sub matrix of XBay, with preferably only condenser's for zero phantom risk. Just ditch the damn vent for crying out loud. There is much more sophisticated perfectly silent thermo electric solutions.

Last edited by mrcross; 17th April 2019 at 12:43 AM.. Reason: added XBay crosstalk spec
Old 16th April 2019
  #64
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I intent to not be around here for at least a few days, got units to finish and ship for paying customers, they deserve my dedication. I started this cause I saw too many waiting for something bigger without having a clue that is here already. Will catch up of course in case of more questions and remarks.
Old 17th April 2019
  #65
JGM
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrcross View Post
Ironically I never owned a manual patchbay cause it originates from analog modular synth patch memory need, hence the unbalanced, pass through balanced and dc routing options. Marketing as such proved to be a recipe for epic failure, therefore now optimized as mic/line level router. Can't regret, cause the synth context is much more demanding, it kinda automatically became a high end line level piece by just changing the target audience. It all fell beautifully into place.

Help me out somewhat here, normal is a default destination. If so the you can have a default config sure, I work like that while release testing. The software could be updated to make that more transparant, noted.

Half normal is a passive mult. If so no, XBay's architecture makes it possible to upscale in an affordable manner. It is all 1:1, you can however solve that, and anything for that manner, by connecting external addon's. Split wires as passive mults or eg DI boxes as buffered mults.

I am not sure what you mean by pass through.

See 59 for 58
Unfortunately I can only view your bays from a analog point of view, as most of what you say goes over my head.
So the way I have my bays patched is typically most of the gear is patched Half-Normal, meaning the connected input is sent directly to its corresponding connected output. But I can monitor the source material (if need be) without breaking the original connection. So yes it is a form of Multing. I then have a few connections Normalled, so patching the source or destination will break the connection. And then there are a few pieces of gear that are connected on the bays, but does not automatically have a connection. These are used as needed. These Ins and Outs are connected on the patchbay, but have no source or destination. These are wired as Pass Through or Non-Normalled.

I am surmising the way your bays function by default is everything is wired as Normal, but can be re-patched by using the software patching app.

Can you explain a little what you mean by "Split wires as passive mults or eg DI boxes as buffered multi."?

Thank you.
Old 18th April 2019
  #66
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ARIEL's Avatar
This looks pretty brilliant !!! well done
Old 18th April 2019
  #67
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrcross View Post
All public and private reactions considered, it is even more clear to me that there can never be one device that would perfectly fit every possible need and make everything else obsolete. There are so many pro audio context's that it is hardly of any use to compare one against the other with the intent to declare a winner.

In the meantime Flock came with some numbers, to me they seem datasheet figures, which means jack so far but is a start, indicating willingness to open up.

What stands out to the extreme is the cross talk spec, even the obsolete ssm2402 can't top that. That's either playing a dangerous game or it is really like that, in that case I take my hat off and bow. XBay can't get near that.

Flock spec = Crosstalk: -98 dB (at) 20 kHz Input

This is XBay crosstalk at 8V at any frequency. I am sure I can choose a voltage input that gives me -99 db or less at 20 kHz, say mic level to mic level. So what is the voltage level of the Flock spec? The problem here is not the Flock spec but people accepting it blindly and declaring it ok. That's why I prefer to not publish the report in public, it can lead to utterly meaningless conclusion's.




Before interpreting specs, either make sure you really understand it, otherwise first study this and keep your opinion to yourself, Audio Specifications , if everybody would do that then maybe more vendor's are willing to open up fully.

With that having said, when is cross talk relevant? Can think of a few things, having crystal clear vocal tracks while the band is playing and recorded alongside. In that case another example how XBay and Flock can be a perfect match. Especially when Flock is the mic level sub matrix of XBay, with preferably only condenser's for zero phantom risk. Just ditch the damn vent for crying out loud. There is much more sophisticated perfectly silent thermo electric solutions.
I am terrible at interpreting specs properly but to my uneducated mind, this looks like pretty darn good crosstalk specs. Isn't normal line level about 1-2 volts? Someone far more knowledgable than me might correct my folk ideas though....
Old 19th April 2019
  #68
Gear Nut
 
mrcross's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ARIEL View Post
This looks pretty brilliant !!! well done
Thanks!
Old 19th April 2019
  #69
Gear Nut
 
mrcross's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JGM View Post
Unfortunately I can only view your bays from a analog point of view, as most of what you say goes over my head.
So the way I have my bays patched is typically most of the gear is patched Half-Normal, meaning the connected input is sent directly to its corresponding connected output. But I can monitor the source material (if need be) without breaking the original connection. So yes it is a form of Multing. I then have a few connections Normalled, so patching the source or destination will break the connection. And then there are a few pieces of gear that are connected on the bays, but does not automatically have a connection. These are used as needed. These Ins and Outs are connected on the patchbay, but have no source or destination. These are wired as Pass Through or Non-Normalled.

I am surmising the way your bays function by default is everything is wired as Normal, but can be re-patched by using the software patching app.

Can you explain a little what you mean by "Split wires as passive mults or eg DI boxes as buffered multi."?

Thank you.
You kind of define your own default. The software loads the last config on startup, it goes on how you left it. If you want a Normal config then you can have that as an initial config by loading it from the file system. I am sure this still does not make any sense to you. This thread and all the public and private replies are for me also a learning period how to explain things. I wish to wrap it all up once into something general.

Let's start with Normal. Here I have my pc, vcf and vca by default on the first mixer channels. I can save that config and recall it at anytime. I am assuming that is what you mean. See attached image

A passive mult means that the signal is simply split by wire, the consequence is that you have 2 times half the signal strength. If it is so called active then you get 2 times the signal at full strength because it will be amplified to unity gain. It comes at a cost of course like everything.
Attached Thumbnails
XBay 128x128 pass through balanced programmable analog patchbay-screenshot-2019-04-19-03-44-37.jpg  
Old 19th April 2019
  #70
Gear Nut
 
mrcross's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moondog007 View Post
I am terrible at interpreting specs properly but to my uneducated mind, this looks like pretty darn good crosstalk specs. Isn't normal line level about 1-2 volts? Someone far more knowledgable than me might correct my folk ideas though....
Well I dare to say the majority is, it is a delicate subject. Just a db at a certain frequency means nothing. The voltage added only gives you a vector in a 3D space. Practically meaningless. All frequencies added (like the xbay cross talk spec) is the first thing that makes somewhat sense. A 100% complete spec is all the voltages added, that would give a surface graph but it means that an awfully lot of measurements need to be performed, but it is doable. I plan to go for that the next time. It would be in full sight for anyone that has a clue what it really means.

A desk or DAW mixer is a crosstalk machine. I can make a crosstalk free metal switch but man it will cost you, money and space. It would only be for a certain peace of mind that the absence of a chart position cannot be blamed by the equipment used. Ironically the ones able to buy such, already have had their position.

This image is a surface graph, something I grabbed from the net. It is not even regarding crosstalk and most certainly not related to any xbay spec. Strictly for your comprehension.
Attached Thumbnails
XBay 128x128 pass through balanced programmable analog patchbay-image21.gif  
Old 19th April 2019
  #71
Gear Nut
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moondog007 View Post
to my uneducated mind
IMHO it depends on how you look at it, what you consider yourself now and where your ambition is, how relevant it all is. Strictly as an artist, why would you care? For producing/mixing I guess some basic knowledge can never hurt and for mastering and gear development you should know it all to get the best result.

Here is a reasonable trustworthy source to get some more knowledge if so desired Rane Library , it does not matter if you get it all (at once). I guarantee you at least some info will click and stick if you go over it a few times.

For real in depth stuff and not always free info AES | Audio Engineering Society
Old 19th April 2019
  #72
Gear Nut
 
mrcross's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moondog007 View Post
Isn't normal line level about 1-2 volts?


The level thing, especially regarding headroom can be very daunting. At some point I stopped trying to calculate the headroom in dB cause it is impossible. Gladly someone agrees No Such Thing as Peak Volts dBu

Audio is simply never a fixed voltage, it is a wave and although seemingly is has direction, it really hasn't.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #73
Gear Nut
 
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Another one of those block rock'n "opinions"

Anything added to a piece that is not core functionality makes it more like a Swiss army knife instead of for instance a dedicated bread knife. There are however circumstances wherein I would prefer a Swiss army knife over a bread knife without consideration. Crowd likes to see overall winners and losers, preferably by knock out.

Every piece has something to go for depending on how important certain aspects are for a certain context. Comparing a car/truck/bicycle? Sure car can go fastest from A to B, truck goes faster from A to B with a big enough load, bicycle get's you faster from A to B with enough traffic jam.

Here is another example of a "spec" regarding the most expensive platinum relay based router out there. I am guessing the average reflex is : don't have a clue what it means but it is low and the other guys 'n galls say it is ok so I jump on the bandwagon.

IMD < 0.003%

which is -90dB (see THD to dB - convert percent % to decibels ) but at what frequency's , level and load?

Here is XBay IMD, need to say more?



Here something else that speaks more than 1000 word's.

DM Liaison = $12.00 / matrix point
XBay 8U x 2 stereo = $0.08 / matrix point

interpolated DM Liaison 8U x 2 stereo = $3,145,728.00



Again added to this, like always, don't take my word for anything. Always do your own research and don't forget to make nice music / productions / mixes and mastered tracks.

There's no business like patch business like no business I know
Old 3 weeks ago
  #74
Lives for gear
@ mrcross - you say your principals are open source, does this go for your control protocol also?

Could we take your source and fork/rework/contribute to the switching software with our own additions?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #75
Gear Nut
 
mrcross's Avatar
 

Yes Disco Cubist you can fork/rework/contribute as long as you not connect it to other hardware with commercial intent, in that case a license is required. A high level protocol example to make a connection =

let con = new switchConnection()
con.from.mod = 'PC'
con.from.port = 'Left'
con.to.mod = 'mixer'
con.to.port = 'in 1'
connectionList.push(con)
sendit()

disconnecting is done by removing a connection from the list and sendit()

The low level protocol is a binary stream of pin IO specification, I would stay away from that if you want to keep things stable

Btw I am working on mute,swap and insert macro's. It is actually quite easy to make another type of graphical interface, and fun of course.
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