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  • Comprehending Patchbay

    If one would happen to have a DBX 48 and around 6-7 rack guitar effects (most with stereo outs) is there a way to setup the patchbay so that one can plug into any individual rack effect and have it route to a stereo out going to an amp or even powered speakers? - goal would be to be able to pull out of that effect, plug i to a different one and that would be the only wiring needed to jam.

    I'm looking at the ins-outs-normal-half normal- turn it around back to front.............. and I feel like Forrest Gump not understanding why Jenny don't Luv Me.

    Thanks for any help/insight.
    Remember These Daze

  • #2
    I Like This

    http://tweakheadz.com/patchbay-setup/
    Remember These Daze

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    • #3
      I've run patch bays for recording for 40 years. There's many different ways of using them. For what you want to Its it wont be quite that easy, but still a hell of a lot easier then digging in back of those rack units trying to plug stuff in and out.

      What you do in your case is run jumpers to the back of the patch bay from your rack effects. You could run the top row with the ins and bottom row with the outs. Then connect your outs to whatever amp you're using and plug into any rack you choose. You can also link them in series if you want.
      If you have rack units with effects sends or foot switches those can all be wired into the patch bay too.

      You're still going to play telephone operator when switching/reconfiguring units (that's where patch bays in fact come from, the old telephone operator exchanges manually plugging in connections.

      What you cant so is have all your outputs connected to the same speakers or amp. There are issues when you parallel outputs because electricity isn't like auto traffic traveling down a one way street. If you parallel two sets of outputs, they would feed the speakers but you'd also have the output of one unit feeding into the output of the other unit in the wrong direction which may in fact damage it. This is why I say you'd have to swap the leads/jumpers of both the inputs and outputs when switching units.

      What you would do for your situation is run the outputs of all your units to a mixer and the mixer feeds and amp. its can be a normal multitrack stereo mixer with the channels panned hard left and right or a line level mixer which simply buffers everything into a stereo output. Then you could do what you're planning and simply plug into whatever unit you want. You'd probably turn the other off to cut down on ambient noise feeding the line level mixer.

      Also I mentioned plugging the inputs and outputs to the back of the patch bay so you had easy access to them from the front of the patch bay.

      This is true for some types of patch bays but not all. There are many types of patch bays so you have to look up its routing configuration.
      For example, the one Behringer patch bay I have uses a typical switched plug configuration. I use it to connect mics to my multitrack recorder.

      I plug the mics into the one back row, and the leads going to my recorder with the other row. When nothing is plugged in the front of the patch bay, the top and bottom rows in the back are connected together. My mics are all connected to the recorder.

      If I then plug something into the front of the patch bay, the plug disconnects that particular mic from the back and what I have plugged in the front is the only item connected.

      Some patch bays have dip switches that let you reconfigure how the front and back plugs connect and how they switch connections.

      If you had the same patch bay as I have you couldn't connect all your ins and outs to the back of the units because they would short the two together when nothing is plugged into the front. I'd have to look up the configuration again, but you'd likely need to connect the back row to the inputs a front row to the outputs and have jumpers running from the front and back to make your specific application work safely.

      They make a higher end Behringer patch bay that uses dip switched to disconnect the top and bottom back rows which would be something you'd have to look for specifically. This PX3000 has that option because they know its something that people do allot. http://www.sweetwater.com/store/deta...FQEOaQodkMYMUw

      If you look at the manual here, it shows you how the throughput of the plugs change depending on how the switches are set. http://www.parts-express.com/pedocs/...nual-42629.pdf

      I realize this stuff gets pretty complex but its really not much harder then reading a road map once you understand how it can be used. You should also realize it isn't overly technical either and doesn't make life quite as easy as you'd like, but its sure allot better then digging around in the back of a road case with a flashlight loaded with gear trying to plug things in. There's usually so many wires back there you're bound to knock some cable out trying to get anything done.

      A patch bay at least puts everything up front. Then you can make up labels and mark all your ins and outs. Then you simply grab some 1' jumpers and connect stuff together however you need it. There aren't a whole lot of options beyond that. They have some digitally controlled switching and routing options but they can get real expensive in cost. Compared to a $70 patch bay its a no brainer.

      Also note: Most of the patch bays out there all use the exact same plastic plugs. There's absolutely no difference between a Behringer, a Tascam Neutric, Samson etc. They are the exact same plugs. The cases may be a bit different but that's it. The additional switches are worth the extra cost if that's something you need, like your case but otherwise shop by price.

      Don't buy them used either. Used patch bays are usually sold when the connectors are starting to go bad or when some idiot tries to clean the jacks with contact cleaner. The jacks are made of some kind of PVC plastic. When contact cleaner is used on them they develop cracks and crumble into pieces.

      There are some high end Patch bays that use all metal jacks. These units are very expensive and are usually custom built for studios. If you find one on EBay the rear of the unit often doesn't have jacks. They have large snakes that get soldered into place and are wired to the studio gear and consoles. You need to be very good at salvaging these kinds of units, rewiring one and repurposing one. Some use non standard plugs too so beware. Some old studios in fact used old telephone exchange units, one because they were built well using good solid brass connections. Second because they got them for practically nothing as telephone exchanges updated and got rid of them.

      Anyway - Hope this answers some of your question. Its a very useful tool to have. If course the unit itself isn't that bad in price. Its getting quality jumpers and connectors that are just important. You may want to check the Monoprice site for those. they sell the entire jumper for half the cost of making your own so I'd definitely use them as a recourse. Stay away from those cheap plastic molded jacks too. One good pull on those suckers and they go bad.

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