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Question: Can I plug a mic directly into my patchbay? Ribbon Microphones
Old 21st August 2007
  #1
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uptoolate's Avatar
 

Question: Can I plug a mic directly into my patchbay?

I have a Neutrik patchbay with 1/4 inch. balanced jacks.

Can I plug mics directly into this using an XLR to 1/4 trs cable?

I don't want to have to crawl behind my rack to plug mic cables into my pre amps.

Thanks.
Old 21st August 2007
  #2
Gear Head
 

No!!!!!!!

tuttSpend the money on a xlr patchbay
better safe, stikethan sending stike48volts stikesomewhere it don't belong!
Old 21st August 2007
  #3
Gear Nut
 
bonneybear's Avatar
 

Yeah why not...

I do it all the time, for a ref vocal in the control room. I usually use a 57 , Phantom 48 v
turned off ! My patchbay is 1/4" TRS. I use an XLR to TRS cable/adapter then plug into the preamp in, on my patchbay.
Old 21st August 2007
  #4
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RCM - Ronan's Avatar
Its done all the time. I am not an electrician but I have worked in studios big and small all over the world and I have never been in one that had an XLR patch bay as the main patch bay. most are TT/bantum.
Old 21st August 2007
  #5
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Isn't a cable that is XLR on one end and 1/4" TRS on the other, exactly the same as a regular mic cable?

I am not talking about using any type of adapter. Just a different cable.

A guy at Sweetwater told me I could do this, but I thought I should ask here to make sure. (not having complete faith in the info he gave me)

I do need to run phantom power on the mics in question.

Thanks.
Old 21st August 2007
  #6
Lives for gear
There is a reason XLR connectors are used with microphones, and not 1/4" TRS. When you plug a TRS connector in, the Tip (XLR pin 2) will contact the sleeve (ground) of the jack. Then the Tip will contact where the sleeve (Pin 3) should contact at the same time the sleeve of the 1/4" plug is connecting with the ground of the jack. So basically for an instant, your Pin 2 (hot) will contact with the ground, sleeve, and then it's proper contact, as you are plugging it in.

Mix this with phantom power and you will have dead mics.

Don't be a cheap ass. Buy a proper snake, or just tie wrap some xlrs together and label the female ends.
Old 22nd August 2007
  #7
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AudioFocus's Avatar
 

Everybody is always up in arms about this. I have wired several pro and home studios from the ground up and have never used XLR patchbays, to me the thought is ridiculous. You can run mics, 48v, through a patchbay 1/4" or otherwise. The only way you can screw up is if you patch a mic input w/ 48v to a ribbon mic, or other device sensitive to 48v. So if you're not a moron you shouldn't have a problem.

Cheers,
AudioFocus
Old 22nd August 2007
  #8
Registered User
 
Rick Sutton's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AudioFocus View Post
So if you're not a moron you shouldn't have a problem.
Administer IQ tests to all visitors before they use your patchbay so you can make sure no morons slip through.
Old 22nd August 2007
  #9
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CoteRotie's Avatar
 

You can do it, but to be safe it's good to keep phantom power OFF when connecting and disconnecting mics.
Old 22nd August 2007
  #10
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uptoolate's Avatar
 

Are XLR to 1/4 inch adapters ok to use for this purpose, or should I stick with cables with these ends?

Also, what is the "Pro" way to do this. How do the big studios patch into their pres?
Old 22nd August 2007
  #11
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stevep's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by PoorGlory View Post
There is a reason XLR connectors are used with microphones, and not 1/4" TRS. When you plug a TRS connector in, the Tip (XLR pin 2) will contact the sleeve (ground) of the jack. Then the Tip will contact where the sleeve (Pin 3) should contact at the same time the sleeve of the 1/4" plug is connecting with the ground of the jack. So basically for an instant, your Pin 2 (hot) will contact with the ground, sleeve, and then it's proper contact, as you are plugging it in.

Mix this with phantom power and you will have dead mics.

Don't be a cheap ass. Buy a proper snake, or just tie wrap some xlrs together and label the female ends.
This shouldn't happen with Bantam jacks


I would go ahead and plug in to the Patchbay but should not be a regular practice

But a better way is to connect a XLR bay thats connected to the TT bay. And if you want normaled to the mic pre amps



Old 22nd August 2007
  #12
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stevep's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by uptoolate View Post

Also, what is the "Pro" way to do this. How do the big studios patch into their pres?
XLR panel that the mics plug into, wired to the TT bay and full normaled to the console mic inputs

I have Punch Down Blocks in the middle for even more flexibility


Old 22nd August 2007
  #13
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Energie's Avatar
 

All the places I have worked at or been to has had Their pre's connected VIA TT mostly, and different room's consoles to studio rooms patched through TT, so you can do this and run phantom power through it. Is there a better way, sure. The only this was ever an issue would be when someone kept phantom power on, and someone who didn't know what they were doing accidently patched the to mic patch into an input of say an ISDN box, fried the inputs. As long as you are careful, don't leave phantom power on, and engage after you patch.
Old 22nd August 2007
  #14
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CaliTone's Avatar
 

When I track my own vocals, I record in the control room. All the mic pres are hooked up to the patch bay. So I run XLR-TRS cable into the patchbay. Never had a problem.
Old 22nd August 2007
  #15
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In order to battle going behind the racks, I had Rapco custom make me a 1U rack panel that has XLR female on it. This way I can easily access XLR with a mic. They are plugged into my pres from there. It makes life a lot easier. I spent five minutes on the phone with someone, describing what I wanted. I had it like two weeks later and it was less than $75. Not bad for a custom order.
Old 22nd August 2007
  #16
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AudioFocus's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by CoteRotie View Post
You can do it, but to be safe it's good to keep phantom power OFF when connecting and disconnecting mics.
Patchbay or not, you should NEVER plug a mic in, or disconnect with 48v engaged.
Old 22nd August 2007
  #17
Gear Head
 

C'mon in the heat of a session a cross patch can happen if your only set up with 1/4" patchbays.Keep it simple
Old 22nd August 2007
  #18
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by money-pit View Post
C'mon in the heat of a session a cross patch can happen if your only set up with 1/4" patchbays.Keep it simple
and how would that change with TT? people do it all the time
Old 23rd August 2007
  #19
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uptoolate's Avatar
 

Thanks guys

Thanks guys. I think I have a clear understanding now.
Old 23rd August 2007
  #20
Quote:
Originally Posted by AudioFocus View Post
Everybody is always up in arms about this. I have wired several pro and home studios from the ground up and have never used XLR patchbays, to me the thought is ridiculous. You can run mics, 48v, through a patchbay 1/4" or otherwise. The only way you can screw up is if you patch a mic input w/ 48v to a ribbon mic, or other device sensitive to 48v. So if you're not a moron you shouldn't have a problem.

Cheers,
AudioFocus
Correcto!

All my mic lines from the studio are connected to the patch bay.

The only time I get freaked out is when using my precious ribbons - then I'll haul the lunchbox to the room to ensure there is no 48v to the mic. the thought of phantom power spreading around through the patchbay is kinda scary - even though I have the Neutrik TRS with individually isolated modules - I'm just afraid to blow my AEA r84 - not worried about my Royers.
Old 23rd August 2007
  #21
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stevep's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoundWeavers View Post
the thought of phantom power spreading around through the patchbay is kinda scary.
How would that happen ?



.
Old 23rd August 2007
  #22
Registered User
 
Rick Sutton's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by stevep View Post
How would that happen ?



.
Not likely, but a misplaced patch dropped into a complex mult could conceivably spread the "joy".
Old 3rd October 2007
  #23
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I am thinking of getting an XLR patch panel made so that I can plug my mics directly into that.

Question:

Option 1: Should I just connect the xlr patch panel directly to my mic pre inputs and bypass the patchbay (Neutrik 1/4 inch balanced) all together?

Or

Option 2: Should I go ahead and connect the XLR panel to the patchbay, and hit the mic pres from the patchbay?

One reason for considering the patchbay route is that almost all of my existing mic cables are XLR and I don't like the idea of buying a bunch of XLR to 1/4" cables.

What are some other situations that would make option 2 a good idea? I just mean what is an example of a time when I would need to hit the mic pre from the patch bay? (if that makes sense)

And I'm wondering too about the extra connections and cable lenght that I will encounter from hitting the patchbay. With good quality cable, how many feet is too many before you start to audibly degrade your signal?

Thanks for your assistance in helping me understand all of this.
Old 3rd October 2007
  #24
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Sigma's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by AudioFocus View Post
Patchbay or not, you should NEVER plug a mic in, or disconnect with 48v engaged.
hmmm ..old consoles were wired with 48 phantom on all the time.. hmmmm

the prob with ribbons and phantom isn't phantom on..it turning phantom on and off with the mic plugged in
Old 3rd October 2007
  #25
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Benmrx's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sigma View Post
hmmm ..old consoles were wired with 48 phantom on all the time.. hmmmm

the prob with ribbons and phantom isn't phantom on..it turning phantom on and off with the mic plugged in
The Quad Eight at my place has phantom on all the time. No way to turn it off, unless maybe a mod was done. The whole thing is on the patchbay, been patching mics and what not (even ribbons, mind you cheap chinese ribbons) through the bay for a couple years now. No problems so far.
Old 3rd October 2007
  #26
Registered User
 
Rick Sutton's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sigma View Post
hmmm ..old consoles were wired with 48 phantom on all the time.. hmmmm

the prob with ribbons and phantom isn't phantom on..it turning phantom on and off with the mic plugged in
Or a miswired cable.
Old 3rd October 2007
  #27
Lee
Gear Maniac
 
Lee's Avatar
I've done mic xlr->tt patchbay input with 48v multiple times in multiple places and never had a problem. the mics are fine, the sound is fine.

I don't know how that would be all that different from a TRS, so I don't really see it being an issue. but I'm not an electronics person. all I can say is it's always worked for me.
Old 4th December 2007
  #28
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so how about xlr>trs transformers, are they the same as xlr>trs adapters, or an actual xlr>trs cable? i feel like i noticed a considerable decrease in gain when i added a 1meter xlr>trs cable to my existing 15ft xlr>xlr cable, but it could have been caused by splitting the signals thru my half normalled patchbay....

basically, i have my 3 interfaces connected to my patchbay via trs, and i am about to wire my 2 pre's and compressor as well, via xlr>trs. the only thing left to do is to connect my microphones to the patchbay and i need a way to make the best connection....

the information in the above posts was helpful, now i know phantom is the main issue, but my question is this...will a trs adapter, a trs transformer, a short trs>xlr cable, or a long mic cable that ends in trs all perform the same when directly connected from mic to patchbay??? will the mic level be the same? will there be considerable added noise?
Old 4th December 2007
  #29
do it. duh
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