Welcome to West Coast Studio Services, specializing in recording studio help troubleshooting help, recording studio faq, wiring questions, patchbay questions, and wiring faq. Owned and operated by Scott Hasson, established 1984.

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DO I NEED A PATCHBAY?

Well maybe not today, but if you plan to evolve into a gear filled, rack engulfed, recording system then yes. If you have a console for monitoring then it's already time. The patchbay is the center of the studio. All analog inputs and outputs should be at one location, easily cross patchable, without having to crawl behind any gear. As an artist, you should never have to think about the wiring system while creating music.

 

WHAT IS A POINT-TO-POINT PATCHBAY?

I solder the Mogami snakes directly to the rear of the switchcraft patchjack. There are only 2 connectors per audio run. The bay and the gear input. Over-the-counter patchbay systems all have a user connector at the back of the bay. This extra connection is not needed, not sonic friendly, and not worth paying for. If I have to solder 96 points of mogami to 96 1/4" balanced connectors to plug into one of these bays, you have now payed to wire the system twice. The cost of the connectors almost cover the switchcraft bay, and after adding in the cost of the over-the-counter bays, well, you've now paid more. Not to mention the plastic jacks, the in-line normal switches, and the bulky frame size. Yuk.

 

WHAT IS A NORMAL?

It's basically a jumper, that takes the signal that comes into the top row, and sends it out the bottom row without using a patchcord. I use Mogami wire for jumpers (see pic), instead of a switch in a pc board. Yuk. A full normal is used for microphones, and both rows break the signal, since you can't take one mic to two mic pres. A half normal is used for line level signals, and the top row "mults" (makes a copy) of the signal, and the bottom row breaks the signal path. A properly normalled point to point bay directs all signals without patchcords.

 

SHOULD I USE GOLD OR SILVER XLR'S?

I use whatever the gear uses. It makes sense to not mix the metals, but i doubt it matters sonically.

 

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