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AES 2019: CB Electronics introduces XPatch-32 digitally controlled analogue patchbay
Old 24th September 2019
  #1
News Desk Editor
 
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Hardware AES 2019: CB Electronics introduces XPatch-32 digitally controlled analogue patchbay


CB Electronics introduces XPatch-32, designed by multi-award-winning designer Colin Broad. XPatch-32 is a 32x32 digitally controlled, fully analogue audio patch bay routing system for audio professionals and aimed at streamlining workflow in even the most demanding post or music studios.

The XPatch-32 system is controlled by our XPatch-32 program via USB, allowing for complex routings in seconds. Create, store and recall routings from sessions. Any input can be sent to multiple outputs. The XPatch-32 design is based on the A-Mon / I-Mon and shares the I/O and CPU cards, allowing for input and output muting and even gain control.

The front panel is equipped with 2x XLR combo connectors for input XLR line-level / ¼ inch jack DI input, plus 2 XLR output for quick auditioning of equipment. Also included are ¼ inch jack for headphone monitoring of inputs and outputs, OLED display and encoder with push button for function selection. In addition, there is a ¼ inch jack socket for a switch to step through snapshots (presets).

Once configured, XPatch-32 can operate independently of the XPatch-32 program and host computer via the front panel encoder or foot-switch. By switching between snapshots, the foot-switch enables the XPatch-32 to be used as a powerful studio or live performance tool for musicians.

In any studio, the XPatch-32 can make it quick and easy to use your favourite new and legacy hardware effect’s units in your mix. The XPatch-32 is a versatile stand-alone analogue routing/switching system for on-stage boutique instrument processing or amplifier selection.

Specification
  • 32x32 CROSSPOINT ROUTING
  • 2 INPUT COMBO XLR LINE LEVEL / ¼ INCH JACK DI INPUT
  • 2 OUTPUT FRONT PANEL XLR CONNECTIONS
  • FRONT PANEL HEADPHONE MONITORING
  • CREATE, STORE & RECALL ROUTINGS
  • ANY INPUT CAN CONNECT TO MULTIPLE OUTPUTS
  • OSX & WINDOWS COMPATIBLE SOFTWARE
  • SOFTWARE & FIRMWARE UPDATES VIA USB
  • 8 CHANNELS OF METERING
  • +4/-10 dBm LINE LEVEL SELECTION ON EVERY INPUT AND OUTPUT
  • I/O ON DB-25 CONNECTORS - TASCAM FORMAT
  • UNUSED I/O ARE MUTED TO MINIMISE CROSSTALK
  • FOOT-SWITCH INPUT FOR SELECTION OF SNAPSHOTS (PRESETS)
  • DESIGNED BY CB ELECTRONICS MULTI-AWARD-WINNING DESIGNER COLIN BROAD
  • LOAD AND SAVE PREDEFINED SIGNAL PATHS
  • CONNECT A TMC-1 OR TMC-2 TO USE AS A MONITOR CONTROLLER WITH ELECTRONIC PATCH

Release Date: Q4 2019

Price:
XPatch-32 Introductory price £1,800 ex VAT
XPatch-32 After Introductory price £2,000 ex VAT


Learn more: https://www.cbelectronics.co.uk/xpatch-32
Attached Thumbnails
AES 2019: CB Electronics introduces XPatch-32 digitally controlled analogue patchbay-xpatch-32-5.jpg  
Old 24th September 2019
  #2
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orco's Avatar
Great idea. Many manufactures are making these units now. Just not enough I/O.

Please make one at least 64 or 128 I/O.

you would sell allot more.

Old 25th September 2019
  #3
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Press Desk View Post

[*]+4/-10 dBm LINE LEVEL SELECTION ON EVERY INPUT AND OUTPUT

Wow. So this can be used as a monstrous guitar effects pedal patchbay!

Edit: Except no midi for PC changes. Oh well . . . .
Old 25th September 2019
  #4
Gear Head
 

Woahhh, nice! Ive actually been dreaming of sumn like this for a while now.

I'd need 2 or 3 so its out of question at this price but yeh these could be SUPER Fn cool!
Old 30th September 2019
  #5
Gear Addict
 

360 Systems and CM Labs (CM Automation) made somewhat similar products many years ago, but they were MIDI controlled. Not much fun to program.
Old 2nd October 2019
  #6
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XPatch-32 & TMC-2 Showing at AES NY 2019

The XPatch-32 and TMC-2 will be at AES NY 2019, come along and check them out!

Showing on Stand 935, AEA Ribbon Mics & Preamps.


We look forward to seeing you there!
Attached Thumbnails
AES 2019: CB Electronics introduces XPatch-32 digitally controlled analogue patchbay-xpatch-aes2019.jpg  
Old 2nd October 2019
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manymanyhaha View Post
Wow. So this can be used as a monstrous guitar effects pedal patchbay!

Edit: Except no midi for PC changes. Oh well . . . .
Our plan is to have Midi selection of the snapshots.

Snapshot selection is already available from the control program, front panel encoder and footswitch.


You can download a pre-release copy of the XPatch program from our website.
Note: the pre-release XPatch program is being updated all the time, twice in the past week!

https://www.cbelectronics.co.uk/xpatch-32
Old 2nd October 2019
  #8
Gear Nut
 

Midi selection how? A midi controller will be able to work via the USB slot? Each "snapshot" will be able to be associated with a PC command? Or CC?

And what footswitch is this? Your footswitch is a 1/4" input. Is this a proprietary footswitch? If so, what does it look like? How does it work? You are advertising this as a possible live performance tool but not giving any details how that is possible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CBElectronics View Post
Our plan is to have Midi selection of the snapshots.

Snapshot selection is already available from the control program, front panel encoder and footswitch.


You can download a pre-release copy of the XPatch program from our website.
Note: the pre-release XPatch program is being updated all the time, twice in the past week!

https://www.cbelectronics.co.uk/xpatch-32
Old 2nd October 2019
  #9
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by manymanyhaha View Post
Midi selection how? A midi controller will be able to work via the USB slot? Each "snapshot" will be able to be associated with a PC command? Or CC?

And what footswitch is this? Your footswitch is a 1/4" input. Is this a proprietary footswitch? If so, what does it look like? How does it work? You are advertising this as a possible live performance tool but not giving any details how that is possible.

Midi will be over USB.

The jack is for contact closure, something like this will work.

https://www.gear4music.com/Guitar-an...ear4music/1SDB
Old 2nd October 2019
  #10
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by CBElectronics View Post
Midi will be over USB.

The jack is for contact closure, something like this will work.

https://www.gear4music.com/Guitar-an...ear4music/1SDB
In other words, the footswitch is just a rotary for the feet. I'm sure some folks will find that nice to have but for 32 ins/outs, not very conducive to live performance.

Each "snapshot" will be able to be associated with a PC command? And any midi controller that sends PC commands via USB will work? Will one be able to turn off individual inputs or outputs with CC commands? That's how something like the Voodoo Lab Hex works.

Or are you being vague because you don't know yet? I'm asking these questions because I have been looking for exactly this kind of thing for live performance.
Old 2nd October 2019
  #11
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XPatch-32 Midi Control

Quote:
Originally Posted by manymanyhaha View Post
In other words, the footswitch is just a rotary for the feet. I'm sure some folks will find that nice to have but for 32 ins/outs, not very conducive to live performance.

Each "snapshot" will be able to be associated with a PC command? And any midi controller that sends PC commands via USB will work? Will one be able to turn off individual inputs or outputs with CC commands? That's how something like the Voodoo Lab Hex works.

Or are you being vague because you don't know yet? I'm asking these questions because I have been looking for exactly this kind of thing for live performance.
Snapshot selection will be by Midi Program Change currently via USB, you would need to connect to the midi foot switch via Midiox or similar.

We can also fit a 5 pin Din on the front panel to avoid the need for a computer alternativly use Midi on the foot switch Jack!

You can also select snapshots using OSC from a tablet, again via a computer
Old 3rd October 2019
  #12
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Squawk's Avatar
Looks like a great system, but unless this has some connection with SSL and their X-Patch, the name is very misleading.

Surely you could have picked something a little more original? Something that hasn’t already been used previously for a digitally controlled analog patchbay made in the the UK? Is there some previous connection with SSL and CBE, or am I missing something here?
Old 3rd October 2019
  #13
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Very interested to learn more about this as a very configurable monitor controller. Pro's and Con's vs their X-Pand etc
Old 3rd October 2019
  #14
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Squawk View Post
Looks like a great system, but unless this has some connection with SSL and their X-Patch, the name is very misleading.

Surely you could have picked something a little more original? Something that hasn’t already been used previously for a digitally controlled analog patchbay made in the the UK? Is there some previous connection with SSL and CBE, or am I missing something here?
oouuu, I love the idea of this product but I smell a cease and desist coming.

I'm a fan of Mechwarrior,

so MechPatch would be a cool rename.
Old 3rd October 2019
  #15
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MickeyMassacre's Avatar
So same idea and price as a Flock with half the IO?
Old 4th October 2019
  #16
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shalimo's Avatar
 

Great product, I’m very interested...not sure if SSL approves of the naming.the price... is a little north of my needs. Good luck, I’ll sure to check you guys out at AES NYC.
Old 4th October 2019
  #17
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ionian's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by MickeyMassacre View Post
So same idea and price as a Flock with half the IO?
It's got the same IO amount as the Flock.

Maybe you meant to say the Flock (and this) has half the IO as the anatal Xbay 128?
Old 4th October 2019
  #18
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shalimo's Avatar
 

The key will be the user interface and ease of use. I have this built into my Ssl matrix and it’s a joy to use, I just hate that my WiFi has to be of.
Old 4th October 2019
  #19
202
Here for the gear
 

hidden in the site blurb is a key feature which might be extremely useful - gain control. Mr/Mrs CB can you explain how this works? is this feature available at any point in the routing? number of instances (is it like the gain on a crookwood that can be patched in but you only have a couple ?). . looks good, the flock has got even more expensive over UK way now so although this is still not a no brainer could be another option,

and I'm assuming the SSL surprise coming up isn't XPATCH v2...
Old 4th October 2019
  #20
Here for the gear
 

XPatch-32 Gain Control

Quote:
Originally Posted by 202 View Post
hidden in the site blurb is a key feature which might be extremely useful - gain control. Mr/Mrs CB can you explain how this works? is this feature available at any point in the routing? number of instances (is it like the gain on a crookwood that can be patched in but you only have a couple ?). . looks good, the flock has got even more expensive over UK way now so although this is still not a no brainer could be another option,

and I'm assuming the SSL surprise coming up isn't XPATCH v2...

Hi 202,

The XPatch-32 has gain/mute control on every input and output individually.

We have just updated the Pre-Release version of the XPatch-32 Control Software check it out, all feed back welcome.

https://www.cbelectronics.co.uk/xpatch-32

We have not heard of anything about a SSL suprise.
Old 4th October 2019
  #21
202
Here for the gear
 

Very interesting indeed, so presumably with a multi in and out analogue bus setup you could say trim before a main compressor or output to a convertor? and boost as well as trim? is there any sonic penalty for this? - looking at the other flock etc patchbay threads it might be a good idea to have some sort of signal/noise specs available as there is a lot of interest in this.

would love to see a video of this in action as well. UK stock due when? Like a few people we were waiting on the Flock availability and then sorting out their software licensing limitations but this might have arrived at the right time.
Old 8th October 2019
  #22
Here for the gear
 

With the current GUI the level control (except for the front panel i/o) is a simple +4/-10 switch on input and output, all inputs and outputs have 1dB step control of gain from -96dB to +22dB. Not wanting to add complication to the user interface we are looking at using OSC and/or Midi for gain control at a later date, that way you can define which channels to control! We are open to feedback from customers on this. The main advantages of the gain control are that it brings a number of other features with it - zero crossing mutes, level matching to minimize cross talk for example. The disadvantage of the gain control is that it requires a 6dB attenuation on the input and a 6dB gain on the output, however this reduces the signal level through the crosspoint switch which will reduce the distortion by keeping to the linear portion of the impedance curve.

I feel strongly that it is a mistake to mix mic with line signals in the patch due to cross talk problems, so we have not provided for mic switching. The other factor is that in the design of a Mic amp you need some gain at the input stage so as not to amplify extra input noise.

By buffering the Input and output we can guarantee the source impedance and load impedance of the cross point switch so that the performance will not be affected by external load or source impedance.

There should be a screen capture video later this week on the GUI and we will be publishing noise, distortion and cross talk specifications
Old 10th October 2019
  #23
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 202 View Post
Very interesting indeed, so presumably with a multi in and out analogue bus setup you could say trim before a main compressor or output to a convertor? and boost as well as trim? is there any sonic penalty for this? - looking at the other flock etc patchbay threads it might be a good idea to have some sort of signal/noise specs available as there is a lot of interest in this.

would love to see a video of this in action as well. UK stock due when? Like a few people we were waiting on the Flock availability and then sorting out their software licensing limitations but this might have arrived at the right time.
Youtube screen capture video now available on product page
https://www.cbelectronics.co.uk/xpatch-32
Old 11th October 2019
  #24
202
Here for the gear
 

looking good, thanks for the update.

Paths up to eight long - if i include my convertor out and in I could potentially have up to 10 stereo pieces in a normal master bus chain. Would the solution be to split this over two rows? or could paths become extendable beyond 8?

In the software i couldn’t get bypass to work on a stereo device, either clicking one side to bypass both or being able to highlight both channels of it and then bypass. Bypass and a/bing on the fly is a huge benefit/need for these systems so be good to get that right and snappy (what is the lag between updating on the screen and the unit - is it fairly instant? you don’t have to bypass then “transmit” do you?

Could you have the snapshot display floating or also part of the paths page. I can imagine a lot of tweaking the routing and then having a similar but swapped chain and needing to create various setups and then instantly audition. Maybe an A/B/C/D preset on the paths page so you could quickly switch between modifications.

an undo or history feature on every page would be very beneficial

if the gain is constantly adjustable wouldn’t having an option to toggle showing and controlling the gains as part of the path display be awesome, i’ve not seen that and would be v useful for mastering or general mix bus chains. i think that is the page most useful to the everyday studio person.

good luck with it all
Old 11th October 2019
  #25
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 202 View Post
looking good, thanks for the update.

Paths up to eight long - if i include my convertor out and in I could potentially have up to 10 stereo pieces in a normal master bus chain. Would the solution be to split this over two rows? or could paths become extendable beyond 8?

In the software i couldn’t get bypass to work on a stereo device, either clicking one side to bypass both or being able to highlight both channels of it and then bypass. Bypass and a/bing on the fly is a huge benefit/need for these systems so be good to get that right and snappy (what is the lag between updating on the screen and the unit - is it fairly instant? you don’t have to bypass then “transmit” do you?

Could you have the snapshot display floating or also part of the paths page. I can imagine a lot of tweaking the routing and then having a similar but swapped chain and needing to create various setups and then instantly audition. Maybe an A/B/C/D preset on the paths page so you could quickly switch between modifications.

an undo or history feature on every page would be very beneficial

if the gain is constantly adjustable wouldn’t having an option to toggle showing and controlling the gains as part of the path display be awesome, i’ve not seen that and would be v useful for mastering or general mix bus chains. i think that is the page most useful to the everyday studio person.

good luck with it all
Thanks for taking the time to evaluate the GUI, it has evolved a lot since the original especially the way the paths are used.

To answer your questions
Paths longer than 8 - Not a problem I just felt 8 was more than enough I can increase this to 10.

Stereo Bi-pass - in the next version as well as stereo insert, and stereo delete I have also implemented keyboard short cuts for these functions

Time Lag - Because the paths may go both across and down the software has to check all the chains after a modification, however I may be able to speed this up in some cases - there were also some bugs in earlier versions where the screen was not updating!

Snapshots: unfortunately the snapshots do not translate very well into paths, However I like you idea of A/B/C/D presets for the path page.

Gain Control: I have not yet implemented this as it is difficult to work out a solution that does not over complicate the user interface.

Undo: Yes that would be nice, I will have to think about how to do it

I am in New York next week for the AES if anyone wants to talk you can find me on the AEA stand.
Old 11th October 2019
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matt82aust View Post
Very interested to learn more about this as a very configurable monitor controller. Pro's and Con's vs their X-Pand etc
Hi Matt
As a monitor controller there are some limitations, the main one being the lack of a summing section. On the next version of hardware we will add a Mono sum, this will allow two outputs (For example Ls and Rs) to be used to generate a mono Sum to be connected to a dedicated input or if I can work out how a stereo down mix.

My original thoughts were of using it in the same way as the A-Mon or I-Mon but you are correct it could replace the XPand! which would leave 24 i/o for electronic patch!

Best Regards

Colin
Old 11th October 2019
  #27
202
Here for the gear
 

i'm sure you'll get a lot more comments at the show!

re: gain control display, i think you're really on to something if you can access this on the paths page, even if a toggle button flipped the names of the devices to a numerical input for that, but would be fantastic if it could be built in to paths page, under the boxes and spread the rows further apart maybe? Especially for OTB mixers where often the hardware is stuck on a fave setting and input adjusted to hit at the sweet spot, often via PT output fader but you can't do that if it's the second unit in a hardware chain you want to trim/boost


all the best with it.
Old 11th October 2019
  #28
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 202 View Post
i'm sure you'll get a lot more comments at the show!

re: gain control display, i think you're really on to something if you can access this on the paths page, even if a toggle button flipped the names of the devices to a numerical input for that, but would be fantastic if it could be built in to paths page, under the boxes and spread the rows further apart maybe? Especially for OTB mixers where often the hardware is stuck on a fave setting and input adjusted to hit at the sweet spot, often via PT output fader but you can't do that if it's the second unit in a hardware chain you want to trim/boost


all the best with it.
Thanks 202,

Paths, I checked and changing one constant from 8 to 10 and you can have 10 units in a path
Gain, I will make some experiments in the paths display, if you contact me at colin(at)colinbroad.com I we can exchange ideas.

Colin
Old 22nd October 2019
  #29
Here for the gear
 

CB Electronics designer Colin Broad overview of the XPatch-32 software.

CB Electronics designer Colin Broad giving an overview of the Pre-release version of the XPatch-32 software.

Old 29th October 2019
  #30
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XPatch-32 Paths Tab

CB Electronics designer Colin Broad giving an overview of the Paths Tab of the Release version of the XPatch-32 software.

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