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XBay 128x128 pass through balanced programmable analog patchbay
Old 7th April 2019
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
mrcross's Avatar
 

XBay 128x128 pass through balanced programmable analog patchbay

It's about time for an announcement. Available in 1U, 2U and 4U.

1U 64x64, soft balanced. 25% introduction discount $1,500 ex shipping, vat and customs
2U 128x128, soft balanced. 25% introduction discount $2,750 ex shipping, vat and customs
4U 128x128x2, hard balanced. 25% introduction discount $5,250 ex shipping, vat and customs

When introduction ends mentioned prices will be @100% and in euro's.

Lead time 4 weeks. Made to order, requires a 50% deposit. Group discounts on request.

Highlights

- No AD/DA, pure genuine analog signal flow
- All you can eat patch capacity
- Pass through balanced, see http://www.anatal.io/transport.png
- Hardly "active", power consumption in switched state, 5mA / U = 0.12 watt / U
- Double isolated power
- Triple regulated power, final stage linear regulated power from +-15v to +-12v
- Medical grade internal power supply, protects against all possible overload conditions.
- Clean minimalistic design, less is more
- Every unit is rigorously tested by an automated facility on every possible assembly fault.
- Distributed touch and desktop interface over wifi, intranet and internet.
- Runs on Mac, IOS, Windows, Android & Linux on any device, mobile or desktop.
- Midi controllable
- Can route analog audio but also digital audio, midi and control voltages.

Independent Audio Precision report available on request.

Link to a software demo packaged as chrome extension. The "real" software comes as standalone downloadable package. The demo comes as chrome extension because it updates automatically and is a breeze to install. AOS stands for Analog Operating System.

AOS - Chrome Web Store

Link to user guide

http://www.anatal.io/user%20guide.pdf
















Old 7th April 2019
  #2
Lives for gear
 

Congratulations, looks great! I'm very interested.

I would like to see the Audio Precision report if you could pm me a link?

A few questions if you would be so kind...?

Any screenshots or videos of the software in action? Or at least a description of how it's implemented?

What are the prices?

When are they shipping, and where from?

What is the warranty?

Could you explain what soft balanced/ hard balanced means? That diagram is beyond my limited brain...! Should I assume we half the channel count for true balanced operation?
Old 7th April 2019
  #3
Gear Maniac
 
mrcross's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr XY View Post
Congratulations, looks great! I'm very interested.

I would like to see the Audio Precision report if you could pm me a link?

A few questions if you would be so kind...?

Any screenshots or videos of the software in action? Or at least a description of how it's implemented?

What are the prices?

When are they shipping, and where from?

What is the warranty?

Could you explain what soft balanced/ hard balanced means? That diagram is beyond my limited brain...! Should I assume we half the channel count for true balanced operation?
Mail me at [email protected] and I send the report and a demo movie. I would get trouble posting the movie here because it is not my music that serves as illustration.
I updated the first message with prices & lead time. It ships from The Netherlands. First owners from the first batch get 5 years warranty.

The diagram concerns pass through balancing. It means that any common artifact XBay might inject will be balanced out by the destination device. If XBay would internally balance and unbalance (like most devices) then the artifacts would not be common and will end up in your mix. In short : XBay is ultimately clean.

Hard and soft balancing are both passed through, there is no sonic difference. Soft balanced means that the software routes signals in pairs (hot+cold=balanced). Hard balanced means that the pairs are hardwired. The soft balanced units offer the option to split the pair in 2 unbalanced separate routes. It is one of the hardest to explain concepts so don't hesitate to ask further. The software takes care of routing unbalanced to balanced and vica versa. It is a powerfull concept and can work out well if the unbalanced cables are short, you never need an adapter anymore.
If it the result is not to your satisfaction then you can route the unbalanced into an XBay connected DI or hardwire your unbalanced to a DI. Many options, what's best depends on your context.
Old 7th April 2019
  #4
Looks like what I’ve always wanted

Can’t wait to learn more
Old 7th April 2019
  #5
Gear Maniac
 
mrcross's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BudgetInfinity View Post
Can’t wait to learn more
Updated the first message with

Link to a software demo packaged as chrome extension. The "real" software comes as standalone downloadable package. The demo comes as chrome extension because it updates automatically and is a breeze to install. AOS stands for Analog Operating System.

AOS - Chrome Web Store

Link to user guide

http://www.anatal.io/user%20guide.pdf
Old 7th April 2019
  #6
Gear Maniac
Very interesting product.

Could you explain why the larger version is called 128x128x2 and not something like 256x256?

Is it two 128x128 in one box that are not communication to each other or does it effectively work as a 256x256 patch?
Old 7th April 2019
  #7
Gear Maniac
 
mrcross's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by casiotone View Post
Very interesting product.

Could you explain why the larger version is called 128x128x2 and not something like 256x256?

Is it two 128x128 in one box that are not communication to each other or does it effectively work as a 256x256 patch?
Sure, it is indeed two 128x128 in one box with a special backpanel. The top board is for hot and the bottom board for cold. A special backpanel routes hot/cold into one balanced cable. It is therefore called hard balanced. It is a remarkable simple concept that works well but is hard to explain and comprehend from a functional point of view. Two distinct 128x128x2's would give you a 128x128 hard balanced stereo router.

Soft balanced and/or stereo is always one matrix. Hard balanced and/or stereo is always multiple distinct matrices having the exact same route combination. For balanced in the same enclosure and for stereo in separate ones.

But please don't break your head over this too much, if you tell me what you need then I can tell you which XBay will cover that.
Old 9th April 2019
  #8
Gear Maniac
 
shakermaker3's Avatar
 

Thumbs up

Can you plug microphones into the I/o of Xbay?
Old 9th April 2019
  #9
Lives for gear
 
Squawk's Avatar
Holy flock!

This is great! 64x64 as just the starting point! Wow!
Old 9th April 2019
  #10
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Squawk's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrcross View Post
1U 64x64, soft balanced.
How is the 1U 64x64? Could be my lack of morning coffee, But I’m only seeing 32x32 from the photo.

Is this not using standard db25 connections?
Old 9th April 2019
  #11
Gear Maniac
 
mrcross's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by shakermaker3 View Post
Can you plug microphones into the I/o of Xbay?
Dynamics can connect directly, condensor's need external phantom power supply. You might experience unacceptable crosstalk between mic and line level signals. Grouping mic levels prevents that to a certain extend. For a perfect solution a dedicated mic level sub XBay (or any auto router) is the way to go.

XBay does not supply phantom and is not protected against phantom power. There are several reason why it is like that.
- Supply on all channels is extremely dangerous IMHO, you would have something in the heart of your studio that can destroy everything that can't handle +-48v in a split second. You can make the mistake to put phantom on TRS eg. Or I could make a faulty software update and simply destroy your complete studio in one go. No matter how small the risk, not taken.
- Protection by caps would block dc, hence no cv routing possible.
- Protection by diode clamps would add THD, which is not common and cannot be balanced out by the destination.

In case of a phantom mistake, the max damage in materials is $30 + around one hour work max by either you or a pro service that will not involve soldering. If you disable the mixer desk's phantom then the risk is close to zero. External phantom supplies and pre amps are usually phantom blockers to the destination, also dedicated phantom blockers exist. Although XBay itself is not protected against phantom, it does protect all your gear from a phantom routing mistake, which a manual patchbay would not do.
Old 9th April 2019
  #12
Gear Maniac
 
mrcross's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Squawk View Post
Holy flock!

This is great! 64x64 as just the starting point! Wow!
Finally
Old 10th April 2019
  #13
Gear Maniac
 
mrcross's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Squawk View Post
How is the 1U 64x64? Could be my lack of morning coffee, But I’m only seeing 32x32 from the photo.

Is this not using standard db25 connections?
You are kind of answering your own question it is db25 so there are 16 signals lines. Db25 does not obligate you to use it strictly for balanced, the cable makers do. If you want to use it as a 64x64 unbalanced (eg behringer neutron fit's nicely) then you are free to do so. The convenient way is to use Anatal db25 split box with off the shelf multi 8xTRS, see image. The most affordable is make your own db25 multi 16xTS cable.

You can use XBay 64 as a 32x32 balanced or 16x16 balanced + 32x32 unbalanced, or any combination as long as it is together 64. You have 64 individual channels at your disposal interfaced by db25 connectors. Balanced costs you 2 channels, one for hot and one for cold. There is no internal balancing and unbalancing. Did I send you the demo movie yet? It speaks more than words.
Attached Thumbnails
XBay 128x128 pass through balanced programmable analog patchbay-img_20190409_225549.jpg   XBay 128x128 pass through balanced programmable analog patchbay-20180913_031008.jpg  
Old 10th April 2019
  #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrcross View Post

But please don't break your head over this too much, if you tell me what you need then I can tell you which XBay will cover that.
The dual 128 is a great idea for max balanced routing( which in my humble opinion about 95% of potential customers will want)

Does the software have the ability to get the two 128x128’s to work in unison?

I think you need to simplify your explanation and discuss how many patch points you have for standard balanced line level audio .. the most likely use for this. Then, separately mention that by going unbalanced the options multiply ...

All positive suggestions I hope you can take in the spirit they are made in :-)

Happy to see no phantom power on this unit .. that ruled out other options for me as I have a separate xlr patchbay for mic pres and to be honest you don’t change the routing mic->pre that often and if you want to you just plug the mic into a different tie line.
Old 10th April 2019
  #15
Lives for gear
 
EvilRoy's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrcross View Post

Hard and soft balancing are both passed through, there is no sonic difference. Soft balanced means that the software routes signals in pairs (hot+cold=balanced). Hard balanced means that the pairs are hardwired. The soft balanced units offer the option to split the pair in 2 unbalanced separate routes. It is one of the hardest to explain concepts so don't hesitate to ask further. The software takes care of routing unbalanced to balanced and vica versa. It is a powerfull concept and can work out well if the unbalanced cables are short, you never need an adapter anymore.
If it the result is not to your satisfaction then you can route the unbalanced into an XBay connected DI or hardwire your unbalanced to a DI. Many options, what's best depends on your context.
Why would one choose the hard balanced option if the soft balanced option is more versatile and cheaper?
Old 11th April 2019
  #16
Gear Maniac
 
mrcross's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by javamad View Post
The dual 128 is a great idea for max balanced routing( which in my humble opinion about 95% of potential customers will want)

Does the software have the ability to get the two 128x128’s to work in unison?

I think you need to simplify your explanation and discuss how many patch points you have for standard balanced line level audio .. the most likely use for this. Then, separately mention that by going unbalanced the options multiply ...

All positive suggestions I hope you can take in the spirit they are made in :-)

Happy to see no phantom power on this unit .. that ruled out other options for me as I have a separate xlr patchbay for mic pres and to be honest you don’t change the routing mic->pre that often and if you want to you just plug the mic into a different tie line.
You are probably right about that 95%, I would however like to promote the option because things like analog modular synth gear is unbalanced + under the right conditions unbalanced CAN be "better" than balanced. Inserts are often unbalanced too, for which XBay also can be used. The software takes care of routing it all transparently. It would be a waste to ignore it IMHO. Maybe you can help me with explaining that better I lack an outside view, which is definitely a problem explaining things clear.

Regarding pre amps I actually get a lot of requests about pre amp auditioning, if it is possible and how it works. With midi you can switch quickly, with either a keyboard/controller manually or with a sequencer.
Old 11th April 2019
  #17
Gear Maniac
 
mrcross's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by javamad View Post

Does the software have the ability to get the two 128x128’s to work in unison?
If you mean the 4U, that is a hardware thing, a passive micro controller mult and a special backpanel. The software is agnostic about it.

If you really want to separate boxes in unison for stereo then it is indeed the software that sends the same config over 2 USB instead of 1 USB.
Old 11th April 2019
  #18
Gear Maniac
 
mrcross's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by EvilRoy View Post
Why would one choose the hard balanced option if the soft balanced option is more versatile and cheaper?
The only valid reason for a hard balanced is the patch capacity, it is has twice the IO of the soft 128x128.

With two separate soft 128 boxes you have a 128x256 instead of 256x256. The hard balanced is a 256x256 but you can only use it as 128x128 balanced. Balanced is 2 IO, unbalanced is one IO.

It must always be in one box otherwise the matrix breaks and you loose the total patch freedom. Ultimately with enough small boxes you are left with zero patch freedom, completely useless.
Old 11th April 2019
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrcross View Post
The only valid reason for a hard balanced is the patch capacity, it is has twice the IO of the soft 128x128.

With two separate soft 128 boxes you have a 128x256 instead of 256x256. The hard balanced is a 256x256 but you can only use it as 128x128 balanced. Balanced is 2 IO, unbalanced is one IO.

It must always be in one box otherwise the matrix breaks and you loose the total patch freedom. Ultimately with enough small boxes you are left with zero patch freedom, completely useless.
Got it, thanks.

Sigh. My automated mixer has 256 non-automated tie lines for outboard, on db25s even. The mind boggles at what I could do with this.
Old 11th April 2019
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EvilRoy View Post
Got it, thanks.

Sigh. My automated mixer has 256 non-automated tie lines for outboard, on db25s even. The mind boggles at what I could do with this.
Do you have automated faders? That combined will recall a lot but still not the eq and settings on gear unfortunately. I am building up a small toy studio with analog synth modules for myself to play and experiment with. With vca's, vcf's, adsr's, vco's, mixer mod's and DI boxes you can make mixing channels, eq, compressor's and all kinds of effects that is all controllable with CV for total analog recall. Mixing with DAW and converts will also solve a lot but I am a fool for analog, just for the sake of it
Old 11th April 2019
  #21
Are the inputs and outputs dedicated inputs and outputs? What I mean is can I patch an input to an input, per se? I ask this because the 32x32 is just not enough for me, but in my rig, it would leave a handful of outputs not being used. If they could be repurposed as inputs, I could keep more of my outboard connected instead of having to pick/scale down.
Old 11th April 2019
  #22
Gear Maniac
 
mrcross's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sam guaiana View Post
Are the inputs and outputs dedicated inputs and outputs? What I mean is can I patch an input to an input, per se? I ask this because the 32x32 is just not enough for me, but in my rig, it would leave a handful of outputs not being used. If they could be repurposed as inputs, I could keep more of my outboard connected instead of having to pick/scale down.
Correct dedicated IO, in theory you can bounce out back to in with a mix component but I never tried that out. Left over IO can always serve as extra mult or mix space. You can save channels by connecting balanced with reversed DI, you loose out on the pass through balanced concept. Which does not need to be a problem perse, depends on your own standards and/or ears.
Old 11th April 2019
  #23
Gear Maniac
 
mrcross's Avatar
 

to add to that, you can double the capacity yourself by wrapping the whole unit in DI and reverse DI. With cheap stuff that might be more affordable than a bigger unit but no pass through balanced in that case. It is theory, I would not recommend it to totally wrap a unit this way.
Old 11th April 2019
  #24
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Squawk's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrcross View Post
You are kind of answering your own question it is db25 so there are 16 signals lines

Quote:
Originally Posted by javamad View Post
The dual 128 is a great idea for max balanced routing( which in my humble opinion about 95% of potential customers will want
Exactly this. Marketing as 64x64 out of the box is slightly misleading.

Yes, that’s a nice feature for inserts, some consoles, synths, etc., but 98% (I’ve upped it ) of your potential customer base will be using it for outboard with balanced XLR connections, not TS connections. (They are also probably not using a bunch of Behringer synths in need of an expensive patch bay).

That being said, I appreciate that you have larger channel offerings, above your 32x32 base model.
Old 11th April 2019
  #25
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EvilRoy's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrcross View Post
Do you have automated faders? That combined will recall a lot but still not the eq and settings on gear unfortunately. I am building up a small toy studio with analog synth modules for myself to play and experiment with. With vca's, vcf's, adsr's, vco's, mixer mod's and DI boxes you can make mixing channels, eq, compressor's and all kinds of effects that is all controllable with CV for total analog recall. Mixing with DAW and converts will also solve a lot but I am a fool for analog, just for the sake of it
Yes, all the routings can be recalled but not the analog bay. Being able to reconfigure all the outboard routing with a button push would be pretty cool. This thing could really open up some possibilities in a CV synth rig too. Why didn't they invent this thing decades ago? Digitally controlled switching has been around forever.
Old 11th April 2019
  #26
Lives for gear
Been following this product family for ages now so glad to see some forward movement with these larger sizes.

In my opinion I think you have the potential for a great product here, but your marketing is a little “engineeringy”

I would encourage you to try and clarify your sales presentation or perhaps find a design /marketing partner who can help - and so let you focus on the bit you seem to be good at

Meant in the most constructive way of course.

The 128*2 looks great for me but still only gets me a little over 2.5 96 way bantam patch panels.
Old 11th April 2019
  #27
Gear Maniac
 
mrcross's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Squawk View Post
Exactly this. Marketing as 64x64 out of the box is slightly misleading.

Yes, that’s a nice feature for inserts, some consoles, synths, etc., but 98% (I’ve upped it ) of your potential customer base will be using it for outboard with balanced XLR connections, not TS connections. (They are also probably not using a bunch of Behringer synths in need of an expensive patch bay).

That being said, I appreciate that you have larger channel offerings, above your 32x32 base model.
Can we agree to disagree and still be ok
Old 11th April 2019
  #28
Gear Maniac
 
mrcross's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by EvilRoy View Post
Yes, all the routings can be recalled but not the analog bay. Being able to reconfigure all the outboard routing with a button push would be pretty cool. This thing could really open up some possibilities in a CV synth rig too. Why didn't they invent this thing decades ago? Digitally controlled switching has been around forever.
It has been invented decades ago, they called it telephony. Nobody ever bothered to apply it to such an insignificant niche as the pro audio industry <- irony
Old 11th April 2019
  #29
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mrcross's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Disco Cubist View Post
Been following this product family for ages now so glad to see some forward movement with these larger sizes.

In my opinion I think you have the potential for a great product here, but your marketing is a little “engineeringy”

I would encourage you to try and clarify your sales presentation or perhaps find a design /marketing partner who can help - and so let you focus on the bit you seem to be good at

Meant in the most constructive way of course.

The 128*2 looks great for me but still only gets me a little over 2.5 96 way bantam patch panels.
Well, I agree completely. I am from Europe, other kind of marketing culture anyway and way less opportunities getting funds for promising startups. Close to 100% of all requests comes from USA. At some point I gave up and just kept on developing with blinders, nobody has a clue anyway what it is about. The dynamic range between the internal complexity and the functional simplicity is too much to comprehend for investors over here I guess. I hooked up with several people along the way, including everything you suggest, they all abandoned cause they lost faith, I never did. Apart from that I like to finish what I start.
Old 11th April 2019
  #30
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Squawk's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrcross View Post
Can we agree to disagree and still be ok
haha, of course! I appreciate what you guys are doing.

In full disclosure, I'm waiting for my Flock Audio Patch 32x32 patchbay that is on the way, but I think competition is always good, and I appreciate the fact that you are able to take it beyond 32x32 balanced connections.

There's been a real gap in this product market. I've owned several X-Patch units, and also several CM Automation/CM Labs "Sixty-Four" units over the last decade. The Sixty Four was promising, but these new products are taking it even beyond what SSL could accomplish with the X-Patch, and that's very encouraging. I hope it does well for you
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