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Help me pick a patchbay setup, please!
Old 30th January 2019
Gear Addict
🎧 10 years
Help me pick a patchbay setup, please!

Alright so, I have a small home studio setup and have a just added a couple pieces of outboard gear. I think having a patchbay would really help me out, but that world is pretty overwhelming, it seems... so I'm looking for a bit of guidance.

Current setup:

Logic > Ensemble Thunderbolt > Dangerous D-Box. Current outboard stuff that I use:


Recently added:

2x 512v

Currently en route:

2x Western Dynamo 1909

Other things I own that I think would be fun to use with a patchbay:

OTO BIM / BAM / BOUM / Biscuit, pedals (are these usable being high impedance?)

Everything was pretty easy to use without a bay until I started thinking about mixing with the 1909s, then my brain started to sorta melt a bit. Has anybody else worked with this particular setup, or something close to it?

I was thinking about the Bittree PS48DB25F because of the ease of use of DB25 connectors.

I'm curious to hear thoughts / recommendations. How would I set this up signal flow-wise? The only note is that this is a little home studio and I have no aspirations for doing anything huge, rather just trying to simplify my life by not having to walk behind my desk all the f'n time to replug stuff. That Bittree is at the top of my budget. Thanks in advance!
Old 30th January 2019
Gear Addict
I have some ideas for you, but it would help me to know a little bit about how you are currently set up. Otherwise all I could give you would be general advice. For example, what do you have routed where at the start of a typical day?

Also, what is it about your setup that you almost never have to move about? And what pieces are you having to patch and re-patch?
Old 30th January 2019
Gear Addict
🎧 10 years

So ideally I'd like to be able to do a couple of things. When tracking, it'd be nice to be able to switch between pres. Currently I've really only got 4 external ones, so theoretically I could have each of them quasi-permanently wired to an input on the Ensemble, but I still think it'd be nice to be able to switch around if need be. Plus I'd like the ability to patch in a comp to that signal chain easily.

The other thing I imagine doing is patching stuff in during mixing, probably a lot of things like comps on a drum bus or maybe auditioning some more aggressive comp settings on an individual track. The OTO boxes I have are all stereo, so I imagine it'd be pretty nice to have them wired up for bus use as well.

So, I might be oversimplifying this, so please let me know if I am, but... the Bittree has 3 dsubs on the top row and 3 on the bottom for i/o. Would my setup be:

Dsub to Dsub for Ensemble Out
Dsub to xlr fan for Ensemble In

Dsub to Dsub for VK 500 Rack Out
Dsub to Dsub for VK 500 Rack In

Then the last two Dsubs out to / in from whatever other effects I'd wanna use?

Edit DAMMIT I forgot the D-Box. See, this is is why this stuff just makes me crazy, haha...
Old 30th January 2019
Gear Addict
Don't forget your mics. Do you eever use more than the 4 outboard pres you have?

The first thing I want you to do is to concentrate on how you typically use what you have. We need to get typical, everyday, run-of-the-mill usage out of the way, first. This is how we're going to tackle things like setting up your normals.

The goal is to establish a "ready state" that you can easily customize without going behind your desk. We have to establish that ready state, first.

How do you go about plugging mics into your system? Do you make direct patches behind the desk or do you have a snake with stage box or a mic panel in your rack?

The easiest way to look at this is to start at the top of your signal chain. Tackle getting signals into your computer the easiest way, then concentrate on getting them back out. Once we have a "to tape" and "from tape" pathway established, then it will be easier to fit everything else in so you can patch into both pathways.

My rig, for example:

I have a 16 ch stage snake feeding 16 channels of preamps. I patched the mic snake directly to the preamps and labeled them accordingly on the box. My preamps are then normaled in my first patchbay to my analog inputs, 1-16, on my interfaces (technically, 1-8 on one and 1-8 on the other).

I have a second patchbay dedicated to signals coming from my computer. Back when I was running more of a hybrid system (I had a partner who owned a console we used for mixing), the outputs of my interface, 1-16 were normaled to the line inputs of the console, 1-16. I also had the dedicated monitor outs in the patchbay so I could either monitor from the DAW master directly, or I could use those as 2 extra outputs for mixing.

Now that I'm no longer with my former partner and no longer have a console, I still have the 16 outs in the same place (convenient for setting up HP mixes or reamping or whatever) while I have nothing underneath them. My dedicated DAW master now feeds my monitor controller.

My third bay is non-normaled and houses my various comps, gates, eq's, etc.

My ready state is such that I can come in, plug up mics, place them, sit down and start getting levels without having to patch a thing. If I need a comp or gate or whatever, then I can patch it in between mic pre and interface with ease. Works for me.

If I want to get creative, then I have all the flexibility I need, but mostly because I figured out the mundane workflow, first.
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