I am about to buy a Samson Spatch (which is a "Fully Balanced" unit) and I wanted to order Patch Cables along with it... For the front of the unit (to do the patching), do I get balanced or unbalanced cables? A lot of the online stores are recommending that I get unbalanced. Is this correct??
For the back of the unit, which cables are the best to use to connect my 'Bay to my interface (Motu 8pre)? Should I just use more patch cables? Balanced? Unbalanced?
Unless you're patching in guitar pedals, I can't think of a situation where balanced cables would be a detriment. Whether or not you can use unbalanced depends more on what gear you are connecting to the bay than the bay itself.
Balanced patch cables from the back of the unit to your interface.
The only issue with guitar pedals is you need an unbalanced cable on the input to turn the power on.
I'm not sure about that but my studio is a mess right now and it'd be a lot of work to verify. I don't quite believe this though as those on/offs have more to do with a cable being present as far as I know. You very well could be right. I'd recommend the OP test that. Who knows, maybe that's pedal-specific? My Stereo Memory Man for example doesn't run on batteries at all and that feature is, is to conserve battery life. It may be untrue, it may be completely true, it may be partially true. Be sure to test with your specific pedals.
The reason I say to keep pedals manually routed through the front though is because you're going to have those on a desk/floor so running long patches to the back of the patchbay is actually going to make that setup cumbersome. I use my patchbays to put everything from the back of rack gear to the front for routing flexibility. If an input/output is on the front of something, it's useless to run a cable from the front of your rack to the back just to fill a point on your bay.
That being said, some pedals may work fine with line-level signal, some may sound worse. Ultimately, I think it depends on the pedal. Be generally careful how much your total output coming out of your computer is because a hot line on stuff like that may unintentionally distort just because pedals are designed to handle guitar-level voltage which is a lot quieter than something off a preamp which is basically what a line-out from your interface is. I find I'm usually cutting 20db when I reamp.