I've contemplated buying a patchbay (PB) for years. It took me a while to try & understand the "nomal" "half normal" & " thru" modes that are offered on these items. I thought i understood it enough to purchase one, yes there are cheaper PB you can buy but i decided to go for the Samson as it had the configuration switches on the front of the unit. My research noted that some PB have these on the top so only accessable with the unit not rack mounted. Or leaving space above to access within the rack. Other types have you physically remove & rotate modules from the back. So i paid slightly more to make my life & configuration easier. I'm glad i did. It's a solid item, very well made & looks great. Step one was planning all my output & input connections for the PB. I did this in MS Excel but a pen & paper would work too. If you've never used a PB before i would recommend this route. I have a 16 channel mixer & lots of synths. As i don't require them all making sound at once i decided to only bring channels 1-8 from the mixer into the PB. Normally Top row are outputs from gear & the bottom row are inputs (when using the patchbay in a "nomal" or "1/2normal"). So on the PB 25-32 correspond to my 1-8 mixer inputs. Directly above these i have connected some of my main synths & modules on the PB that is 1-8. These are configured as "normal" so connect directly into the mixer. I plan to have my outboard effects connected at the opposite end of the PB. Again these will be normal. My mixer has high gain inputs on channel 1& 2 so i want to bring the channel inserts from the mixer to the PB so i can patch together a compressor etc when i'm recording guitar or bass. This should leave some unused space on the PB in the middle. I'm probably going to run my other synths into the PB set as "thru". I can then just patch them into a mixer channel by the use of a patchlead when required. This patchbay has certainly changed my life. I can't believe i didnt buy one sooner. No more fumbling around the mixer jacks trying to plug something new in anymore. I have a synth output PB1 which is normaled into PB25 this goes into my mixer channel 1 by default. I picked up my guitar the other day & took the 1/4" jack & plugged it into PB25 - bam - guitar breaks the synths connection & lets me input the guitar into mixer channel 1. Just great & speeds up your workflow. PROS: Brings inner calm & happness to your studio. Killer piece of kit!!! CONS: I think i need another Samson S-Patch patchbay ! You can almost double the amount of cables required in your studio.
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