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I don’t need no stinkin’ patchbay
Old 17th February 2019
  #31
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by nosebleedaudio View Post
If there's a better 1/4" PB out there I haven't come across it yet.
I've got a couple very nice Bittrees that I haven't used in years. They use the 3-pin crimping connectors, and I've got both the expensive crimping tool and the pin extractor. I'll make y'all a really good deal... :-)
Old 17th February 2019
  #32
Quote:
Originally Posted by hello people View Post
I plan to use several external units...compressors, eq etc with my DAW...are patchbays a good idea for both using the units during tracking and as inserts on pre-recorded tracks like vocals etc?

I'm wondering if I need a patchbay or if my RME Fireface UFX II has enough i/o that I wouldn't need it. I guess it may save me unplugging and plugging in and re-arranging cables to some extent.
I upgraded from a Digi002r to a UFX+ last year, and adding a patchbay was probably the single best addition to my workflow.

I use a handful of outboard preamps and a similar number of outboard processing boxes.. Routing in TotalMix adds latency which makes it basically impossible to track and monitor live through outboard in parallel (serial is fine)..

The patchbay adds half-normal routing options, splitting the signal which makes it easy to both capture and monitor both the unprocessed signal from the mic preamp as well as a processed signal simultaneously, in parallel, before A-D and, more importantly, without latency. This was a game changer for me.

Providing access to everything from the front of my rack is another huge advantage, which gives me much greater access to my outboard, and results in using it a LOT more. The added work of crawling around behind the rack to re-patch something meant it literally never happened, but when it's all on the front panel, it's so easy it makes me want to try routings I'd never have tried otherwise, as it now takes no time or effort at all.

Even in the mix with TotalMix, the patchbay will give you more flexibility to try different chains without struggling behind the rack.


for the $100 that an S-Patch plus will cost (plus the admittedly high cost of cabling it all.. learn to build your own if you haven't already!) it's honestly a no brainer. As I said, it was probably the single best thing I did for myself in the studio... maybe after sound treatment..? maybe.
Old 17th February 2019
  #33
Quote:
Originally Posted by themiracle View Post

for the $100 that an S-Patch plus will cost (plus the admittedly high cost of cabling it all.. learn to build your own if you haven't already!) it's honestly a no brainer. As I said, it was probably the single best thing I did for myself in the studio... maybe after sound treatment..? maybe.
Well personally, I ain't building sh**. I'd rather spend the $100 than lose the time.
Old 17th February 2019
  #34
Lives for gear
 
nosebleedaudio's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
I've got a couple very nice Bittrees that I haven't used in years. They use the 3-pin crimping connectors, and I've got both the expensive crimping tool and the pin extractor. I'll make y'all a really good deal... :-)
wow, that looks like I said that..
I still don't know how to do a partial "Quote"
Old 17th February 2019
  #35
Ah, wait. So the Samson S Patch Plus is approximately $120 vs the Switchcraft which is approximately $550? Hm. I still have a Switchcraft patchbay in my abandoned guitar rack. That's where the Neutrik came from as well. LOL. Maybe I'll use that too!
Old 18th February 2019
  #36
Quote:
Originally Posted by themiracle View Post
I upgraded from a Digi002r to a UFX+ last year, and adding a patchbay was probably the single best addition to my workflow.

I use a handful of outboard preamps and a similar number of outboard processing boxes.. Routing in TotalMix adds latency which makes it basically impossible to track and monitor live through outboard in parallel (serial is fine)..

The patchbay adds half-normal routing options, splitting the signal which makes it easy to both capture and monitor both the unprocessed signal from the mic preamp as well as a processed signal simultaneously, in parallel, before A-D and, more importantly, without latency. This was a game changer for me.

Providing access to everything from the front of my rack is another huge advantage, which gives me much greater access to my outboard, and results in using it a LOT more. The added work of crawling around behind the rack to re-patch something meant it literally never happened, but when it's all on the front panel, it's so easy it makes me want to try routings I'd never have tried otherwise, as it now takes no time or effort at all.

Even in the mix with TotalMix, the patchbay will give you more flexibility to try different chains without struggling behind the rack.


for the $100 that an S-Patch plus will cost (plus the admittedly high cost of cabling it all.. learn to build your own if you haven't already!) it's honestly a no brainer. As I said, it was probably the single best thing I did for myself in the studio... maybe after sound treatment..? maybe.
Great mate, thanks for that testimonial. I literally know almost nothing about patchbay setup. So it looks like I'll be investigating. S-Patch you say...is that a Samson or something?

By the way, what do you mean by 'learn to build your own'? Build your own patchbay unit?

One more thing...do you use an external hardware mixer? Why or why not?

Thanks
Old 18th February 2019
  #37
I've got a single Samson S-patch 48 point bay in my monitoring rack along with the monitor controller, a four-in/four-out dante interface, Crown power amp, and a panel with six male XLRs and six female XLRs. I've got my usual signal flow set up on the half-normalled bay.

It's been worth the cost to have the patch bay. When I'm testing a new piece of gear or patching in borrowed outboard stuff it's very convenient.
Old 18th February 2019
  #38
I've got the same Audio Accessories as the OP. I was scared away by an unbalanced Tascam I had during the ADAT years. Crawled behind the racks for years and convinced myself that I could find the perfect chain for everything. Finally broke down and got one and am so glad I did. It takes some time to map it out and lot of $$ in cabling. But once it's set up, you'll wonder how you lived w/out it.

I agree that the OP doesn't have enough outboard to justify it. You need at least 4+ to consider...
Old 18th February 2019
  #39
Quote:
Originally Posted by hello people View Post
Great mate, thanks for that testimonial. I literally know almost nothing about patchbay setup. So it looks like I'll be investigating. S-Patch you say...is that a Samson or something?

By the way, what do you mean by 'learn to build your own'? Build your own patchbay unit?

One more thing...do you use an external hardware mixer? Why or why not?

Thanks

It's the Samson S-Patch Plus. I like it because it's got the mode switch on the front (normal/ half-normal, thru), and TRS cables are probably an easier format to get started with.. not to mention that your ufx+ is all TRS i/o.

learning to build your own cables can save you a little money, but the wire and connectors are still expensive, and if you've not had the pleasure it's a **** ton of work to make TRS cables.. I got better at it and can be pretty efficient working in batches, just have to plan the cables you'll need.

I do not use an external hardware mixer. Just the ufx+ with the patchbay so I can track with processing in parallel and easily patch in hardware that is not 'normalled' into the ufx+ ... the why is simply that I never found a need for it..
Old 18th February 2019
  #40
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uptheoctave's Avatar
I have two of those patchbays.
The top out has all the outputs of my outboard half normalled to the audio interface inputs.
The bottom one has all the audio interface outputs half normalled to the outboard inputs.

So I can pull up all my outboard as insert effects in my DAW.
If I want to create effects chains I can repatch.
Old 18th February 2019
  #41
Quote:
Originally Posted by themiracle View Post
It's the Samson S-Patch Plus. I like it because it's got the mode switch on the front (normal/ half-normal, thru), and TRS cables are probably an easier format to get started with.. not to mention that your ufx+ is all TRS i/o.

learning to build your own cables can save you a little money, but the wire and connectors are still expensive, and if you've not had the pleasure it's a **** ton of work to make TRS cables.. I got better at it and can be pretty efficient working in batches, just have to plan the cables you'll need.

I do not use an external hardware mixer. Just the ufx+ with the patchbay so I can track with processing in parallel and easily patch in hardware that is not 'normalled' into the ufx+ ... the why is simply that I never found a need for it..
Well themiracle, I sound like I'm in your boat. I'm using the RME Fireface UFX II and I'm sure it has 4x xlr in on top of all the TRS. Be that as it may, I want to integrate the external hardware I have (ART Pro VLA 2, Klark Teknik 2A, KT-76 and KT-EQP) as both tracking units and as inserts. So would a patchbay allow me to easily, from the front panel of the patchbay, route for my needs?

Example for recording: Mic -> Grace m101 Pre -> KT76 -> KT 2A -> back into RME -> into DAW

Insert - out of DAW -> into KT-2A/ EQPKT/ KT76 -> back into DAW

One thing I don't get is how patchbays i/o themselves to your interface. Is that a matter of a single out from the RME into the patchbay and then letting the patchbay handle everything from there? And out of the patchbay that goes back into the RME via one line?
Old 18th February 2019
  #42
Quote:
Originally Posted by hello people View Post
Well themiracle, I sound like I'm in your boat. I'm using the RME Fireface UFX II and I'm sure it has 4x xlr in on top of all the TRS. Be that as it may, I want to integrate the external hardware I have (ART Pro VLA 2, Klark Teknik 2A, KT-76 and KT-EQP) as both tracking units and as inserts. So would a patchbay allow me to easily, from the front panel of the patchbay, route for my needs?

Example for recording: Mic -> Grace m101 Pre -> KT76 -> KT 2A -> back into RME -> into DAW

Insert - out of DAW -> into KT-2A/ EQPKT/ KT76 -> back into DAW

One thing I don't get is how patchbays i/o themselves to your interface. Is that a matter of a single out from the RME into the patchbay and then letting the patchbay handle everything from there? And out of the patchbay that goes back into the RME via one line?

This was something I did not understand until I purchased my patchbay, and it made me wonder how I ever got along without it.

The magic of a patchbay (to me) is the 'normal', 'half-normal' & 'thru' patch relationships they offer. Essentially, you'll do what octatonic described..

The top row of patchbay connections are ALL OUTPUTS. Always.

More specifically, they are ALL BACKSIDE OUTPUTS from your DAW and Hardware. The bottom row are all the BACKSIDE INPUTS.

The way to organize them is to think about what hardware outputs you want most often going into the line inputs on your UFX. These are your default connections and will be vertically aligned.

eg:
My first 8 connections on the top row are all of the HW OUTPUTS that I most often want to go into my UFX+ backside line inputs, this is my default setup. The first 6 are my outboard mic pres. 7 & 8 are my favorite pair of compressors. The first 8 connections on the bottom row are the backside INPUTS on my UFX+.

<-fav mic pre outputs ->
O O O O O O O O O <-- outputs

O O O O O O O O O <-- inputs
<- UFX+ inputs 1-8 ->

.. with all of these switches set to half-normal.

Normal / Half-Normal / Thru

When the front-panel switch is set to 'normal' or 'half-normal' whatever signal is coming out of a top row output is automatically routed to the input directly below it. No front-side cabling is required for this routing. When set to 'thru' nothing is routed internally by the patchbay. In these cases the physical outputs must be routed to their destination inputs using patch cables.

The difference between normal and half-normal:

Normal can be interrupted. If you connect a cable to an output connection of the patchbay that is set to normal mode, that signal will no longer flow to the vertically aligned input directly below it. You are rerouting that output signal to a new input somewhere else.

Half-normal cannot be interrupted. If you connect a cable to an output connection of the patchbay that is set to half-normal, the signal will continue to flow vertically down to the input below it. Your new connection will send a COPY of that signal to a new, 2nd destination.

'Thru' is used when you DO NOT want to route a signal from an output to the vertically aligned input below. Routing for this output must be routed physically using cables to patch the signal to a physical input, either on the face of the patchbay or, possibly another physical input, such as the front facing xlr inputs on the UFX.

In all cases, the bottom row of physical inputs on the patchbay override any signal routing happening internally.
...

So when no patch cables are connected to the front of the patchbay the signal from my mic pres flow directly to inputs 1-6 on my UFX, with the outputs of my 2 favorite compressors flowing directly into inputs 7-8 on the UFX.

Half-normal outputs allow me to take whatever signal is coming out of the patchbay and route a copy of it to an additional input. So, for example, I can record the output of my u87 through my BAE 1073 mic pre directly into my DAW, and simultaneously send a copy of that signal, in parallel, to a hardware compressor, before it also goes into my DAW. Now I'm recording both the unprocessed signal and the compressed signals individually into my DAW, in parallel. Pretty sweet!


For the next 8 vertical output/input pairs:
The outputs (top row!) are used to expose, and in some cases provide internal routing options for outputs 1-8 on the UFX.
1-2 carry the main outs, and route directly to the amplifier internally (normal or half-normal work here, depending on whether you want to route the mains elsewhere. be careful.)
3-4 are set to THRU. The outs are physically connected via the front panel to an external headphone amplifier.
5-6 are half-normalled to outboard compressors. These compressors have no dedicated physical input on the UFX, so this is only outgoing signal.
7-8 are also half-normalled to outboard compressors. These are the same two compressors that are half-normalled into UFX inputs 7-8 (so routing inputs 7-8 to outputs 7-8 in TotalMix would create a feedback loop.)

Since the patchbay is not routing UFX outputs 3-4 above to their corresponding vertically aligned inputs, those are available as auxiliary inputs, which I'm currently using to expose the inputs for a pair of la500a compressors.


The final set of 8 vertical output/input pairs expose all remaining backside i/o for the incredible convenience of front-side patching. No more crawling behind a rack with a flashlight. This opens up the possibilities by making it quick and easy to patch together different signal chains.

Here is a diagram of my current patchbay setup, with a few notes that I hope you find helpful.

patchbay diagram - Google Sheets

Anyways. It was a total game changer for me.

Easy pre-AD parallel processing makes it so easy to try things. Hope you appreciate it as much as I have.

One caveat is that it instantly doubles your cabling requirements, and that does not include any physical front-side patching you plan to do. It's why I learned to build my own cables. I also got pretty picky about cable length, as that much cable can get messy, and expensive, quick.

Also, I've revised this a few times already, and I'm sure it'll change again, not just with new gear, but also as I discover new workflow options. I'm not sure yet about those la500a inputs.. I figure they could just as easily be below their outputs, but I thought it might be fun to try routing to them in TotalMix sometime..

Last edited by themiracle; 18th February 2019 at 10:20 PM.. Reason: cables
Old 18th February 2019
  #43
Quote:
Originally Posted by themiracle View Post
This was something I did not understand until I purchased my patchbay, and it made me wonder how I ever got along without it.

The magic of a patchbay (to me) is the 'normal', 'half-normal' & 'thru' patch relationships they offer. Essentially, you'll do what octatonic described....
This is fantastic. Thanks very much for your kind assistance.



P.S Unfortunately for me I won't be setting my studio up for another 18 months, due to overseas work commitments. But anyway, that gives me more time to learn about patchbays.
Old 22nd February 2019
  #44
Quote:
Originally Posted by themiracle View Post
This was something I did not understand until I purchased my patchbay, and it made me wonder how I ever got along without it.
Again, this was excellent and really helpful...but I wanna ask (and sorry if it was mentioned and I just didn't see it) how does the actual patchbay unit itself connect to your interface? I mean, is it one cable running from one TRS output on the (in my case RME Fireface UFX II)? Or several cables direct from the Fireface into the patchbay? Or...??

I'm puzzled by this.
Old 23rd February 2019
  #45
Quote:
Originally Posted by hello people View Post
Again, this was excellent and really helpful...but I wanna ask (and sorry if it was mentioned and I just didn't see it) how does the actual patchbay unit itself connect to your interface? I mean, is it one cable running from one TRS output on the (in my case RME Fireface UFX II)? Or several cables direct from the Fireface into the patchbay? Or...??

I'm puzzled by this.
In the case of the Samson and other TRS-based patchbays, there are TRS jacks in the back, so you run a cable from the back of the patchbay (TRS plug) to whatever device you are connecting to.

In my case, my Presonus monitor controller has TRS inputs and outputs, so those connect to the patchbay with straight TRS-TRS cables. I've got an XLR patch panel (not a patchbay) on the back with TRS cables wired to the various XLR connectors. My Dante I/O has screw terminals so I built "bare wire to TRS" cables for those inputs and outputs, and the Crown power amp has XLR inputs so there are XLR-TRS cables for that.

I've got a couple of DB25-TRS cable sets as well for other interfaces with those connectors.
Old 23rd February 2019
  #46
Half the fun of patchbays is in the planning.

1st draft.
Old 23rd February 2019
  #47
Lives for gear
 
The dman's Avatar
 

I just setup a small writing and recording room and choose the Sampson Spatch. It seems like a cool piece for the money. I like that you can select Normal, Non normal and thru from the front of the bay.

I have more expensive TT bays and wiring in my main studio but it will work great for the intended purpose.
Attached Thumbnails
I don’t need no stinkin’ patchbay-rack.jpg  
Old 23rd February 2019
  #48
Quote:
Originally Posted by hello people View Post
Again, this was excellent and really helpful...but I wanna ask (and sorry if it was mentioned and I just didn't see it) how does the actual patchbay unit itself connect to your interface? I mean, is it one cable running from one TRS output on the (in my case RME Fireface UFX II)? Or several cables direct from the Fireface into the patchbay? Or...??

I'm puzzled by this.
You probably already have your answer above, but just in case it’s not clear, you are making a physical connection for every input on your interface. In my case all 8 line-ins and all 8 line-outs on the back of my ufx+ are connected via short TRS cables to the back of the Samson S-Patch, 16 connections in total, just between the back of the interface and the back of the patchbay.
Hope that clears things up. I had a hard time wrapping my head around patchbay planning until I got my hands on one..
Old 23rd February 2019
  #49
yep
Gear Nut
 

If you are a home recordist, writing room, or a vocal-only type project studio either working ITB or with a mostly fixed setup of mostly static signal chains, then yeah, there is not a ton of advantage to having patchbays.

Similarly, if your studio charges $200 a day, then the client is getting a great price, and part of that might mean having to put up with a certain amount of freezing tracks, variable latency, and delays and/or limitations when it comes to routing.

But if you are a multi-room studio with outboard charging $1,000+ per day, you need to be able to route anything anywhere, and not hold up the session for it, and not have latency in the headphone mixes, etc. And for that you need patchbays, for everything.
Old 23rd February 2019
  #50
Hm. Well I don’t know. I’m a multi-room studio with a lot of mics, high end 34 channel I/O, but not a lot of outboard. Nobody has to wait for anything. $100-ish an hour. No freezing tracks. Stable system. 96 pt bantam patchbay I’m not using. All is happy.
Old 23rd February 2019
  #51
Quote:
Originally Posted by themiracle View Post
You probably already have your answer above, but just in case it’s not clear, you are making a physical connection for every input on your interface. In my case all 8 line-ins and all 8 line-outs on the back of my ufx+ are connected via short TRS cables to the back of the Samson S-Patch, 16 connections in total, just between the back of the interface and the back of the patchbay.
Hope that clears things up. I had a hard time wrapping my head around patchbay planning until I got my hands on one..
Ok, thanks again, Yeah that's more clear now. So, all inputs and outputs on the back of my Fireface UFX II go to jacks on the back of the patchbay and from then on the front of the patchbay acts like the back of the Fireface...all i/o are accessible on the front of the pb...and I can use cables to route them how I need to.

Something like that...it'll probably be a more concrete concept for me when I have the pb etc in front of me. I'll just have to methodically work out what I want to go where.

I want to be able to route for both tracking and mixing.

Thanks to the others who chimed in above too

Old 24th February 2019
  #52
Quote:
Originally Posted by hello people View Post
Ok, thanks again, Yeah that's more clear now. So, all inputs and outputs on the back of my Fireface UFX II go to jacks on the back of the patchbay and from then on the front of the patchbay acts like the back of the Fireface...all i/o are accessible on the front of the pb...and I can use cables to route them how I need to.

Something like that...it'll probably be a more concrete concept for me when I have the pb etc in front of me. I'll just have to methodically work out what I want to go where.

I want to be able to route for both tracking and mixing.

Thanks to the others who chimed in above too

Yes, exactly, but with the added bonus that you get automatic routing from the top row output to it's corresponding bottom row input for all half-normal and normal relationships, so you don't need a single front-side connection to access all of your default routing.
Old 24th February 2019
  #53
Gear Maniac
 
askomiko's Avatar
 

I'm waiting for the Cranborne ADAT500 -lunchboxes to hit the market, it has an insert point for every 500-slot. Also, it allows bypassing any 500 modules and using the insert return as a input to the AD-conversion only. Therefore, routing all the insert points into a patchbay would provide maximum flexibility, but also the maximum cable jungle, and the signal would take an unbalanced trip around the bay. Hmm...
Old 24th February 2019
  #54
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by henryrobinett View Post
... not a lot of outboard.
And also not a lot of freelancers in the chair, and not a lot of hybrid mixing. And not too many process-oriented free-spending clients who are accustomed to taking an hour or two to dial in a sound on one instrument? Safe assumptions?
Old 24th February 2019
  #55
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by henryrobinett View Post
Hm. Well I don’t know. I’m a multi-room studio with a lot of mics, high end 34 channel I/O, but not a lot of outboard. Nobody has to wait for anything. $100-ish an hour. No freezing tracks. Stable system. 96 pt bantam patchbay I’m not using. All is happy.
If you have minimal outboard, then sure, a patch bay is not necessary.

Are they helpful? Absolutely. But 100% necessary - no. If you have all your outboard hooked up to your interface(s), you can essentially use the interface and internal DAW inserts as your "patch bay". You have to be OK with multiple rounds of DA/AD though - which IMO is not a huge deal in 2019.

If I was building a studio from scratch - I'd give patch bays a thought, but don't know if I would end up with one or not. Since I've had various studios since tape days, I already have most of them configured, and when I built the new studio a couple of years ago, I went ahead and implemented a pretty substantial patch bay system. If I had had to buy all the cabling and bays from scratch it would have cost $25k +, but I'm happy I put it in - even though I don't use it all that much.

I can now literally get anything to anywhere within a few seconds vs. pulling out racks all the time.

I have 96 i/o and essentially chain stuff inside my DAW thru inserts most of the time though....
Old 24th February 2019
  #56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
And also not a lot of freelancers in the chair, and not a lot of hybrid mixing. And not too many process-oriented free-spending clients who are accustomed to taking an hour or two to dial in a sound on one instrument? Safe assumptions?
Yes. Well, I only built this version of my studio maybe 6 months ago. It's personally set up. I foresee no freelancers. No real hybrid mixing, I guess. I do sum in a strange set up - Metric Halo ULN-8 3d. 5 of them. But it's an expanded sense of ITB, I guess.
Old 24th February 2019
  #57
Lives for gear
 
nosebleedaudio's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by henryrobinett View Post
Yes. Well, I only built this version of my studio maybe 6 months ago. It's personally set up. I foresee no freelancers. No real hybrid mixing, I guess. I do sum in a strange set up - Metric Halo ULN-8 3d. 5 of them. But it's an expanded sense of ITB, I guess.
If it works and makes sense to you and it DOES sound good IMHO, I would not think any more about it..
EVEN If you had another engineer to come in and track or mix ect what would be the big deal...YOU set up most of the Ins/Outs and then record...
There will always be somebody who THINKS their way is better...
Old 24th February 2019
  #58
I think I'll keep it. Who knows? Future. I'll hook my Millennia up to it. It's a bit overkill for just that.
Old 24th February 2019
  #59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aural Endeavors View Post
I don't know if this will help you, but I have always been on the edge of buying one, but I never do because I don't re-route my outboard enough to be a hassle or eat up too much of my time. Mind you, I have maybe 12 pieces of outboard gear. If I didn't have any outboard and only had one external preamp, I wouldn't even think about a patchbay. Also, all of my outboard is in a large rolling rack that is very accessible; removable front, back, and side panels. That plays a part in me not needing one. That said, I go through phases and will go through a mixing phase where I'll want to do a lot of constant re-routing. Those are the times when a patchbay will be more convenient and save a lot of time.
Similar situation. I started using my outboard more when mixing and started getting very frustrated switching gears from mixing to tracking mode so finally got one and I’m really glad I did. It makes for much quicker transition and far less hassle. Not to mention mid session auditioning of different chains. That could be a session vibe killer pre patchbay.

It’s kind of a tough pill to swallow because it’s double the cable and very expensive especially considering it’s not a function as much as it is just purely for convenience. You don’t “need” it. But time is really one of the most valuable currencies and therefore it’s been a really good investment for me.
Old 24th February 2019
  #60
Quote:
Originally Posted by chinesewhiteman View Post
Similar situation. I started using my outboard more when mixing and started getting very frustrated switching gears from mixing to tracking mode so finally got one and I’m really glad I did. It makes for much quicker transition and far less hassle. Not to mention mid session auditioning of different chains. That could be a session vibe killer pre patchbay.

It’s kind of a tough pill to swallow because it’s double the cable and very expensive especially considering it’s not a function as much as it is just purely for convenience. You don’t “need” it. But time is really one of the most valuable currencies and therefore it’s been a really good investment for me.
Do you ever run tracks through any of your preamps? Those are just as important to me as mixing tools, which has got me thinking... I'm wondering if there are patch bays out there that have XLRs on the rear and TRS on the front? Or perhaps a breakout solution since the XLRs would take more room. I'd like to run my current mic cables from the studio (about 16) to the patch bay, and have those normaled to 16 preamp inputs, for example.
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