patchbay headache

#1

easy all.
so i’m rearranging my studio and i’m kinda stuck. logic isn’t my strength is spose.

so that’s the issue:
i’ve bought a samson s-plus 48ch patchbay to get optimum connectivity. apparently this is above my IQ.

my setup so far: synths / drum machines / sampler, 1x 22ch soundcraft Mixing console (+ 1x 8ch A&H mixing console i could use), 4x fx pedals / 3x fx-racks, 48ch patchbay, RME interface, ableton live

anyone has a similar setup and can explain the routing system?
this shit is melting my brain…

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#2

most patchbays normalize from top row to bottom row, so you’d normally have like instruments going in the top row normalizing to corresponding mixer channels on the bottom row - this means those instrument outputs will be routed to those mixer channels without needing a patch cable on the patch bay itself. Then effects and stuff you would usually want to normalize to aux sends/returns.

How many instrument outputs do you have in total that you want to be patched to the mixer?

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#3

hey!

so you’d normally have like instruments going in the top row normalizing to corresponding mixer channels on the bottom row

ok. so this is irritating: isn’t it the other way round? inputs are on the bottom row, outputs on the top row?

so i have the drum machines / mpc with a total of 20 outs (seperated drums etc.)
-> as there are so many channels just for the drums, i could split them up and route at least one drum machine with its 8 outs to my smaller mixing console to merge them and then send the sum to my bigger 22ch soundcraft (or use the patchbay - but that’s the struggle i’m having).

then i have 4 stereo synths
& 4 mono synths

does this make sense?

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#4

oh: and i would like to inject my compressor sending the compressed signal to one of my channels on my soundcraft console for parallel compression

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#5

I dont think it matters, check with your patchbay manufacturer tho i guess

Yeah this sounds sensible, patch one of your drum machines to the other mixer directly then take the master out (or whatever) from that to two channels (L&R) on the bigger mixer - normalized via the patch bay.

Normally compression is done on an insert, if you want to do this and your mixer has inserts, you’ll need to get those Y cables (1 x Stereo TRS jack, to 2 x mono jacks) you’ll need one of these cables for Left and one for Right.

I did all this a while back with a 96 way bantom patch bay and a 32 channel desk, good to plan it out with a drawing with the patch bay in the centre and work out where you actually want each output to end up on your mixer - some mixer’s channels and not all the same so this would determine usually what you want on each particular channel

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#6

ok. i’ll start patching the fuck out of it now…

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#7

& thanks a lot!!!

if anyone else has useful tips and tricks: don’t hesitate to share!

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#8

once you’ve worked out the main channels, then you’ll need to work out the Aux’s for your effects processors, they will probably just be a stereo send and return per aux, you may have more effects processors than you have aux sends and returns so choose wisely which FX you want to be normalised to the Aux’s on the patch bay, any others will just need to sit on the patch bay and you can patch those manually

Just make an excel spreadsheet with all of the mixer inputs, patch bay ins and outs, and instrument outs, then the mixer auxes with fx sends and returns, then inserts for dynamics (like compression, etc). Should make it easier to get your head round it.

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#9

I understand how brain melting patchbays can be. We have 6 96 point patchbays that we have reconfigured a few times now…ask @cyclopian how confused I was last time I did it :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:
The key to patchbays is to really think through your normalization to enhance your workflow. I would have it so that the instruments flow into the channels on the mixer. Does the mixer have busses or is it just a stereo mix and track outs affair? Also, with 20 outs from your instruments, two aux sends and the stereo out you are out of room already. The other thing about patchbays, is you always need more :cowboy_hat_face:. Is the ultimate goal to mix on the board or more to track through the board? Or both? Also, how many AD/DA do you have? That is also going to eat up real estate on the patchbay.

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#10

the main mixer i’m using is the soundcraft mtk 22

as for my 20 outs: i’m using another mixer to sum up the drums. from there it flows to my main soundcraft mixer.

so the thing is, i’m not sure how to use the patchbay in a logical way that actually enhances the workflow.
let’s take the fx: i have some fx right next to my soundcraft mixer. that’s for the aux.
then i have a rack with other fx and a compressor (i want to use it for both, NY comp and very heavy compression for certain elements) .
-> they should stay modular as i use them just selectively.

well - before i get more patchbays i gotta dig this one first haha.

Is the ultimate goal to mix on the board or more to track through the board? Or both? Also, how many AD/DA do you have? That is also going to eat up real estate on the patchbay.

my ultimate goal is to both, mix and track thru the board. so far my setup was very unintuitively. to get a clean mix i had to record track for track. takes a lot of time and the flow is inexistent. so i always had to jam a bit and when i got the feeling i changed to recording.

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#11

oh - i forgot: i have a RME ucx as interface. but the soundcraft mixer has a built in interface for multitracking etc.

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#12

great thread, also id definitely recommend patchbays where you can switch between normal, half normal, and thru, more flexible with placement but it does get a little harder to remember whats going on. making a spreadsheet really helps though, color code it if it makes sense to you

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