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Midi switchers, glorified patchbays - or a studio forte? Dual-Channel Preamps
Old 9th November 2003
Lives for gear
DanV's Avatar

Midi switchers, glorified patchbays - or a studio forte?


I've been thinking about midi-routers/switchers lately.
You know the dealeys that let you open or close effects loops, a/b amps etc. etc. all via midi control.

I think I might like one for my rack, I figure it would give me a lot more of a reason to pick up more lo-fi pedals and the likes. And all so keep my I/O on my multiface a lot less tangled.

Several questions:

Are there any out there that wont bastardize my signals?
Any that also can deal with mic level signals?
Any that are able to be manipulated with midi notes as well as program changes?
Finally is there anything that will do all of the above, and have the oh so handy cross fade feature to prevent clicky switches?

Thanks Slutz
Old 10th November 2003
Lives for gear
DanV's Avatar

Wow, first time I've never had any bites... guess this is sort of a grey area,
Old 13th November 2003
Gear Nut


So, Digital Music Corp (, makes something called the Ground Control Unit, that, when connected to the switcher (which they also sell), allows you to select various loops of midi and connected pedals, to your specifications. It will not bastardise your signal, though I don't know if it accepts mic level signals. Also, i'm not sure if it responds to midi note events -- controller changes yeah, but I'm not sure about notes themselves... it might. Crossfading -- I'm pretty sure it doesn't.

Other options include the bradshaw switching system:

Sorry, that's all I can think of at the moment. I'm not sure any of it is quite as robust as you're hoping for.

b :*
Old 13th November 2003
Lives for gear
Albert's Avatar

A company called 360 Systems used to make some midi controlled audio switchers called the AM-16 (unbalanced) and AM-16B (balanced). They are patchbays that can be programmed from the front panel and the various configurations can be recalled by external midi patch change commands or front panel buttons.

As I remember those particular units don't do a lot of midi programming itself, but 360 also made something called the "Midi Patcher" that did. Also, Digital Music corp. made something called the MX-8, which is a midi processor/patchbay.

To get all the features you've requested, you'd probably need to find an audio patchbay with midi control like the AM-16 and use it alongside a midi patchbay/processor like the MX-8 or the Yamaha MEP-4.

I've owned and used all the gear mentioned above. Of those, the Yamaha MEP-4 is a great midi processor, and is easy to use once youg et the hang of it. The AM-16's are really very quiet and clean as far as the audio signal path. Not quite straight wire, but very clean. No signal mangling!
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