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I don’t need no stinkin’ patchbay
Old 17th February 2019
  #1
I don’t need no stinkin’ patchbay

I made a dumb mistake. Last year when I was planning my studio I kept reading about patchbays. You gotta have a great patchbay. I used to work in a studio that had a lot of the bantam and 1/4” patchbays. It was very confusing. But I expanded to the point where yeah, I was stepping up. Multi rooms, wall panels. A lot of I/O. Not too many synths or keyboards or even not a lot of outboard. Using a bunch of Metric Halo ULN-8s. I can route almost anything anywhere with those.

So I bought this fairly expensive bay from Redco.
Audio Accessories WDBP-961-SH | Redco Audio

But in the 6 months I’ve had it I’ve never had the need for it. Not once. Can someone tell me why I need to keep it?
Old 17th February 2019
  #2
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by henryrobinett View Post
Can someone tell me why I need to keep it?
Hard to say without knowing what all you've got.
Old 17th February 2019
  #3
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Drumsound's Avatar
Do you have outboard? If yes, when do you use it, tracking, mixing or both?

I'm asking out of curiosity. The real answer is if your not using it, you might let it go.
Old 17th February 2019
  #4
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Hyder boy's Avatar
 

Ease, speed, complete flexibility.
Old 17th February 2019
  #5
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James Lehmann's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by henryrobinett View Post
I bought a fairly expensive patchbay from Redco... but in the 6 months I’ve had it I’ve never had the need for it. Not once. Can someone tell me why I need to keep it?

Using a bunch of Metric Halo ULN-8s... I can route almost anything anywhere.
I think you've answered your own question, haven't you Henry?
Old 17th February 2019
  #6
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bambony's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by James Lehmann View Post
I think you've answered your own question, haven't you Henry?
What James said. if you are all digital there is no need for a patchbay. They are often the cause of problems even in very big well-maintained studios. The less connections the better.

Tony
Old 17th February 2019
  #7
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.
Old 17th February 2019
  #8
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bambony's Avatar
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.
A patchbay won't increase you I/O count. It just makes access to them "easier"... usually...

Tony
Old 17th February 2019
  #9
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EvilRoy's Avatar
 

You can route almost anything to anywhere. Keep the bay until you eliminate the word "almost".
Old 17th February 2019
  #10
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
The thing about a patchbay is that implementing it calls for putting in a lot of time, but doing it once. As opposed to rerouting gear without one, which means putting in a little bit of time every time you do it, but forever. Pick one.
Old 17th February 2019
  #11
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nosebleedaudio's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by henryrobinett View Post
I made a dumb mistake. Last year when I was planning my studio I kept reading about patchbays. You gotta have a great patchbay. I used to work in a studio that had a lot of the bantam and 1/4” patchbays. It was very confusing. But I expanded to the point where yeah, I was stepping up. Multi rooms, wall panels. A lot of I/O. Not too many synths or keyboards or even not a lot of outboard. Using a bunch of Metric Halo ULN-8s. I can route almost anything anywhere with those.

So I bought this fairly expensive bay from Redco.
Audio Accessories WDBP-961-SH | Redco Audio

But in the 6 months I’ve had it I’ve never had the need for it. Not once. Can someone tell me why I need to keep it?
Then it sounds like to me BEFORE you got the bay you didn't need it...
So I guess you have very little or none analog compressors ect..
Old 17th February 2019
  #12
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Swurveman's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by henryrobinett View Post

So I bought this fairly expensive bay from Redco.
Audio Accessories WDBP-961-SH | Redco Audio

But in the 6 months I’ve had it I’ve never had the need for it. Not once. Can someone tell me why I need to keep it?
How do you send your mic outputs to different outboard?

For example:

Mic output -> 1176 compressor, or LA2A Compressor, or Neve EQ, or API EQ etc.


How do you link sends?

Examples

Mic output-> LA2A/Neve EQ
Mic Output-> 1176->LA2A->API EQ
Mic Output-> API EQ-> 1176

etc. etc....
Old 17th February 2019
  #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by nosebleedaudio View Post
Then it sounds like to me BEFORE you got the bay you didn't need it...
So I guess you have very little or none analog compressors etc..
Yes. No more. I have a Millennia HV-3D 8 channels mic pre unit. I sold all of my outboard compressors, save for the RNC which I haven't seen in many years! LOL. NO outboard. I'll compile a list in a minute.
Old 17th February 2019
  #14
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nosebleedaudio's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by henryrobinett View Post
I made a dumb mistake. Last year when I was planning my studio I kept reading about patchbays. You gotta have a great patchbay. I used to work in a studio that had a lot of the bantam and 1/4” patchbays. It was very confusing. But I expanded to the point where yeah, I was stepping up. Multi rooms, wall panels. A lot of I/O. Not too many synths or keyboards or even not a lot of outboard. Using a bunch of Metric Halo ULN-8s. I can route almost anything anywhere with those.

So I bought this fairly expensive bay from Redco.
Audio Accessories WDBP-961-SH | Redco Audio

But in the 6 months I’ve had it I’ve never had the need for it. Not once. Can someone tell me why I need to keep it?
Am I right that you never had it wired up to anything?
Seems like you should have discussed your setup/needs to someone that was truly interested in helping you..not just selling you something you would rarely if ever use...
So I guess you also don't have a console?

The real problem with bays is you have to go from nothing to a fairly large & $$$ set up to maybe just use a few pieces of gear.
Maybe whats really needed is a small bay using 1/4" long frame connectors for those who ONLY need say 10 patch points..
I have used the long frame for Mic level/Mic pre only, worked great...
Old 17th February 2019
  #15
Yup. I have no real outboard. I use mainly Metric Halo and UAD and random other plugins. I DO have a PCM91 reverb, old Dat machine and Adat just because. I have a BUNCH of very old synth/samplers I'm likely never going to use. I have a pre midi Mini Moog I'll hook up. It's really cool, if for nothing else but it's vintage look.

I was feeling ambitious and thought I'd hook all that old stuff up to have at the ready. But this room is, for now, set up for real musicians playing live. I know. Tailor-made for outboard compressors and EQ. Naw. I love the completely clean sound of my Metric Halo and Millennia type pres. I feed the folks reverb, eq, compression from the PCM91 and Metric Halo.

The MH allows me to route pretty much anything to anywhere as it is. That's why I'm feeling pretty stupid. 34 I/O, mic and or line. I was figuring I'd route everything into the patch bay. But I can't see where that's helping me. It's just standing in-between.
Old 17th February 2019
  #16
Quote:
Originally Posted by nosebleedaudio View Post
Am I right that you never had it wired up to anything?
Seems like you should have discussed your setup/needs to someone that was truly interested in helping you..not just selling you something you would rarely if ever use...
So I guess you also don't have a console?
I didn't discuss it. I do not have a console. I'm not blaming the sales guy. I had read/half read a bunch of articles. My whole goal was to NEVER have to climb in back of the racks again. Maybe once or twice a year to replace something. But I wanted to set it up once and leave it. The foggy idea was that my solution lay in a bomb patch bay! LOL. So I called up Redco with my order ready. It was appended to all the wall panels and cabling I was ordering, mainly. It was an expensive order. One more item didn't seem out of hand. It SOUNDED like I knew what I was doing. LOL.
Old 17th February 2019
  #17
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by henryrobinett View Post
I didn't discuss it. I do not have a console. I'm not blaming the sales guy. I had read/half read a bunch of articles. My whole goal was to NEVER have to climb in back of the racks again. Maybe once or twice a year to replace something. But I wanted to set it up once and leave it. The foggy idea was that my solution lay in a bomb patch bay! LOL. So I called up Redco with my order ready. It was appended to all the wall panels and cabling I was ordering, mainly. It was an expensive order. One more item didn't seem out of hand. It SOUNDED like I knew what I was doing. LOL.
If you have the room set up for what you do and you do it the same pretty much all the time, you might not need it.

When I used to do jingles in the same 2 rooms all the time, you might see, maybe 6 patch cables in the bay, total (for 3 compressors). If it was an instrumental, maybe just 2. But I'd assist outside engineers in the same room and I'd have to run down the hall for more patch cables because I'd run out.
Old 17th February 2019
  #18
AS to the question whether I ever had it wired up to anything. Right now about half has dsubs going to 3 of my 4 ULN-8s. BUT they're doing nothing. Normal. I've never, not once, patched anything to anywhere. I don't know what I was thinking.

Right now, in terms of my layout I have 10 mic/line I/O in my Control Room. That's one ULN-8 and a ULN-2. 21 going to my main Tracking Room that splits off to a side kitchen tracking room. Then 3 more into an ISO room. ALL of those 34 I/O can become outputs for phones or whatever. It's pretty easy that if I do get more outboard at a later date, to just hook them up directly to a ULN-8 and route it to wherever. UNLESS I'M MISSING SOMETHING!!
Old 17th February 2019
  #19
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nosebleedaudio's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by henryrobinett View Post
I didn't discuss it. I do not have a console. I'm not blaming the sales guy. I had read/half read a bunch of articles. My whole goal was to NEVER have to climb in back of the racks again. Maybe once or twice a year to replace something. But I wanted to set it up once and leave it. The foggy idea was that my solution lay in a bomb patch bay! LOL. So I called up Redco with my order ready. It was appended to all the wall panels and cabling I was ordering, mainly. It was an expensive order. One more item didn't seem out of hand. It SOUNDED like I knew what I was doing. LOL.
Just the "set it once and leave it" sounds like you really didn't need a bay..
Hope I don't come across as be a jerk, just that I can think of a few ways to set up some flexibility and NOT need a bay..
I understand the "behind the rack" part...

Plus it sounds like you mainly use this to record YOUR group, not a studio for hire kinda thing..
Old 17th February 2019
  #20
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swafford's Avatar
 

If you are not using outboard, I don't know why you have a patchbay.

On the other hand, with just 12 channels if analog I/O and enough outboard to put an EQ/comp on 10, the patchbay I got last year has made my life so much easier and since I wired it up for half normal, I rarely even pull out a cable. Just pull up my basic MIO and Logic templates and everything goes where I want it to. Having never been an engineer in a studio, it took me awhile to wrap my head around the best way to hook everything up, but right now, I got it rocking.
Old 17th February 2019
  #21
Quote:
Originally Posted by nosebleedaudio View Post
Just the "set it once and leave it" sounds like you really didn't need a bay..
Hope I don't come across as be a jerk, just that I can think of a few ways to set up some flexibility and NOT need a bay..
I understand the "behind the rack" part...

Plus it sounds like you mainly use this to record YOUR group, not a studio for hire kinda thing..
Well yes, kind of. I'm a writer and have a band or two. BUT I do record others. The idea is to supplement my income by recording others. So far not having a bunch of outboard hasn't been a hindrance. Do you think that it would? Is that what you're saying? I'm not sure why it would make a difference.
Old 17th February 2019
  #22
Quote:
Originally Posted by swafford View Post
If you are not using outboard, I don't know why you have a patchbay.

On the other hand, with just 12 channels if analog I/O and enough outboard to put an EQ/comp on 10, the patchbay I got last year has made my life so much easier and since I wired it up for half normal, I rarely even pull out a cable. Just pull up my basic MIO and Logic templates and everything goes where I want it to. Having never been an engineer in a studio, it took me awhile to wrap my head around the best way to hook everything up, but right now, I got it rocking.
What I was really partially thinking is that Millennia. I haven't yet hooked it up to the patchbay. I think that's where it makes sense.

What I DO have and find useful is this cheaper Neutrik line 1/4" PB. THAT is routed to line of several ULN-8s.
Old 17th February 2019
  #23
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nosebleedaudio's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by henryrobinett View Post
Well yes, kind of. I'm a writer and have a band or two. BUT I do record others. The idea is to supplement my income by recording others. So far not having a bunch of outboard hasn't been a hindrance. Do you think that it would? Is that what you're saying? I'm not sure why it would make a difference.
OK, unless I missed something; you use what outboard Mic pres on the SAME mic lines, and No compressors??
So, your NOT using this Pre>compressor for this track, later using a different pre>compressor for another session ect..then for overdubs a different pre and or compressor ..other words mixing and matching..
BUT, since I have spent NO time at your place seeing how you do it, it makes no sense for me to even suggest any set up...
If it works for you then...
Old 17th February 2019
  #24
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swafford's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by henryrobinett View Post
What I was really partially thinking is that Millennia. I haven't yet hooked it up to the patchbay. I think that's where it makes sense.

What I DO have and find useful is this cheaper Neutrik line 1/4" PB. THAT is routed to line of several ULN-8s.
I started out on the Neutrik 1/4". Hated that thing, it was always really noisy. I keep my outboard pres in my tracking area and use them on the returns of my ULN2's...sort of - have to unplug stuff from one when I want to use it. I could use an analog I/O edge card in that spot. Aren't the ULN8 pres sort of Millennia like?
Old 17th February 2019
  #25
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subspace's Avatar
When I have a piece of gear I haven't wired into the bay yet, I find it incredibly frustrating. It would be kind of a relief to not go through that and just leave everything hardwired, easier to do if you're recording everything through Metric Halo interface pres and Millenias with no outboard. Who cares, it's all transparent stuff anyway.
On last night's tracking session, the kick in and snare top were going though 1084s, kick out was a Focusrite and the rest of the drums were on Audient preamps. The bass and guitar were on Trident pres and the vocal started on a CAPI, but we switched it to a Trident after the first song. Kick in and snare top we're hitting 160XTs, bass hit a KT-2A (hard), acoustic got an 1176-KT and the vocal got a CAPI FC526. I wouldn't want the band to wait around for that to be hard patched, but if everything went straight in with no choices to be made it would've been even faster. So, yeah, what's your bay for?
Old 17th February 2019
  #26
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.
Old 17th February 2019
  #27
Quote:
Originally Posted by swafford View Post
I started out on the Neutrik 1/4". Hated that thing, it was always really noisy. I keep my outboard pres in my tracking area and use them on the returns of my ULN2's...sort of - have to unplug stuff from one when I want to use it. I could use an analog I/O edge card in that spot. Aren't the ULN8 pres sort of Millennia like?
Very Millennia like.
Old 17th February 2019
  #28
Quote:
Originally Posted by nosebleedaudio View Post
OK, unless I missed something; you use what outboard Mic pres on the SAME mic lines, and No compressors??
So, your NOT using this Pre>compressor for this track, later using a different pre>compressor for another session ect..then for overdubs a different pre and or compressor ..other words mixing and matching..
BUT, since I have spent NO time at your place seeing how you do it, it makes no sense for me to even suggest any set up...
If it works for you then...
I rarely need or want to track with outboard. But sometimes I do pre/post with inline Metric Halo compression, EQ, character plugins, which are all top notch. The built in pres of MH are also top notch. That's why I've sold so much of my outboard. I hang onto the Milennia because I just can't let it go. But I've already sold 8 other channels of Millennia and a nice Opto tube compressor.
Old 17th February 2019
  #29
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James Lehmann's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by henryrobinett View Post
What I DO have and find useful is this cheaper Neutrik line 1/4" PB.
Quote:
Originally Posted by swafford View Post
I started out on the Neutrik 1/4". Hated that thing, it was always really noisy.
I'm with 'swafford' on this - ditch the cheap Neutriks, Henry!

I had three and they all developed intermittent connection faults over time no matter how many times I dismantled them and carefully cleaned every module.

I replaced the very patchy (haha!) Neutriks with the Samson S-Patch and can thoroughly recommend this unit if you go the 1/4" route - it's light years better in build, functionality and reliability than the Neutriks. And the normalising switches on the front panel are just brilliant. If there's a better 1/4" PB out there I haven't come across it yet.

Take the blue pill!
Old 17th February 2019
  #30
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nosebleedaudio's Avatar
If there's a better 1/4" PB out there I haven't come across it yet.

Take the blue pill! [/QUOTE]
Never used a switchcraft 1/4" long frame?..NO comparison..
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