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Mic Pre's on Patchbay

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Mic Pre's on Patchbay

Postby trunkdog » Mon Feb 12, 2018 7:46 pm

Let me state from the get go: I appreciate the phantom power issue. So here goes…

I have relatively inexpensive mic pre's and channel strips that I would like to be able to "patch at will". The usual suspects, ART MPA's, Joe Meek, PreSonus, etc. My setup has both XLR and TRS patchbays. I don't know the technical term but the XLR bays functions as a "coupler" only to my knowledge; Mic XLR in the front / XLR out on the back typically to the console or audio interface.

I've read a ton of webstuff relating to this but am still unclear as to the physical connections.

I would like the pre's / channel strip to reside between source (mic or DI) and console input with the ability to patch any source (mic or DI) to any preamp or channel strip.

I promise not to "hot plug 48V" or otherwise perform careless and potentially catastrophic exercises.

Any takers on explaining the cabling to me?

I'm guessing I'll need XLR to TRS cables of minimum length and good quality.

Do I need a "true" XLR patchbay with normalizing and such?
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Re: Mic Pre's on Patchbay

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon Feb 12, 2018 9:10 pm

I really wouldn't recommend patching mics on a TRS patchbay, it's just not worth the risk. It is sometimes done using professional Bantam (TT) or PO316 patchbays, but I'm not a fan of that either unless the phantom supply is provided at the studio wall boxes!

trunkdog wrote:I don't know the technical term but the XLR bays functions as a "coupler" only to my knowledge; Mic XLR in the front / XLR out on the back typically to the console or audio interface.

That's fine, you can wire the rear male XLRs to your preamps, and plug the tails from your studio wall bax into the front as required... Or you'll need to buy another set with male XLRs on the front and females at the back so that you can wire the studio wall box connections to the rear XLRs, and then patch between the two strips with short XLR-XLR patch cables

I promise not to "hot plug 48V" or otherwise perform careless and potentially catastrophic exercises.

You say that, but you'll get caught out sooner or later. In the heat of the moment you'll forget, or switch off the wrong phantom supply, of not leave it long enough for the phantom power voltage to decay... It's just not worth the risk. Patch on XLRs and you might get a thump, but you wont get the big preamp-wrecking spikes you'd get from the shorts incurred with TRS plugging.

Do I need a "true" XLR patchbay with normalizing and such?

No normalising needed, but an XLR patchbay with both sexes will be.... Or you could use a dedicated mic patching system like the Manley MicMaid -- although is only a 4x4 router.

https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/manley-micmaid

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Re: Mic Pre's on Patchbay

Postby trunkdog » Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:17 pm

Thanks for the response Hugh. Let me try and get my head around what you have offered. I do have two of the XLR bays you mention and will look at that setup.
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Re: Mic Pre's on Patchbay

Postby trunkdog » Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:23 pm

Well if I approach understanding you…

In order to change mic pre's yet leave the source (MIC/DI) on its proper channel I intend to try using (2) XLR patchbays.
_________________________________________
PATCHBAY 01 (16 XLRF)
_________________________________________

NUMBER -----------BACK -------------- FRONT
01 - MIC / DI  OUTPUT 01 TO XLRM PATCHBAY 02 PORT 01
02 - MIC / DI  OUTPUT 02 TO XLRM PATCHBAY 02 PORT 02

08 - MIC / DI  OUTPUT 08 TO XLRM PATCHBAY 02 PORT 08
09 - MIC PRE AMP 01 OUTPUT - PATCHBAY 02 PORT 09
10 - MIC PRE AMP 02 OUTPUT - PATCHBAY 02 PORT 10
11 - MIC PRE AMP 03 OUTPUT - PATCHBAY 02 PORT 11

16 - MIC PRE AMP 08 OUTPUT - PATCHBAY 02 PORT 16
_________________________________________
PATCHBAY 02 (16 XLRM)
_________________________________________
NUMBER -----------FRONT --------------BACK
01 - PATCHBAY 01 PORT 01 - MIC PRE AMP 01 INPUT
02 - PATCHBAY 01 PORT 02 - MIC PRE AMP 02 INPUT
03 - PATCHBAY 01 PORT 03 - MIC PRE AMP 03 INPUT

08 - PATCHBAY 01 PORT 01 - MIC PRE AMP 08 INPUT
09 - PATCHBAY 01 PORT 09 - HELIX XLR MIC INPUT 01

EXAMPLE MIC 01 TO MIC PRE AMP 01 TO HELIX CHANNEL 01 
PB01-01 - MIC / DI  OUTPUT 01 TO XLRM PATCHBAY 02 PORT 01
PB02-01 - PATCHBAY 01 PORT 01 - MIC PRE AMP 01 INPUT
PB01-09 - MIC PRE AMP 01 OUTPUT - PATCHBAY 02 PORT 09
PB02-09 - PATCHBAY 01 PORT 09 - HELIX XLR MIC INPUT 01

(30) XLRM TO XLRF 8 CHANNEL PATCH SNAKE (18" - 24" LONG)
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Re: Mic Pre's on Patchbay

Postby trunkdog » Wed Feb 14, 2018 4:39 pm

I suppose a case of these are in my future.

https://www.glsaudio.com/GLS-Audio-XLR- ... p_532.html" target="phpbbpopup" target="phpbbpopup" target="phpbbpopup

I am in no way affiliated with GLS or any of their outlets and stand to make no real or perceived monetary gain or otherwise benefit from the sell or promotion of their product offerings.

Does make my link legit?
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Re: Mic Pre's on Patchbay

Postby The Korff » Wed Feb 14, 2018 5:54 pm

trunkdog wrote:Does make my link legit?

That depends what on earth you mean, but the link does work in case you were wondering.
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Re: Mic Pre's on Patchbay

Postby resistorman » Wed Feb 14, 2018 6:16 pm

I wired my studio with a patch bay for microphones and regretted it ever after. Of course, I lived on an island in the middle of the ocean which meant corrosion was intractable, but still, mics put out a delicate signal that’s easily corrupted. Would this device accomplish what you need?

http://www.radialeng.com/cherrypicker.php
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Re: Mic Pre's on Patchbay

Postby trunkdog » Wed Feb 14, 2018 6:52 pm

resistorman wrote:I snipped…Would this device accomplish what you need?

http://www.radialeng.com/cherrypicker.php" target="phpbbpopup

Thx resistorman, probably works for me. I'll d/l the manual and give it a look. At 1/9 the cost of the MicMaid it's worth the research.
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Re: Mic Pre's on Patchbay

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Feb 14, 2018 7:01 pm

I reviewed the Cherrypicker and Golddigger here:

https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/ra ... rry-picker

These do a different thing to the MicMaid, though.

The Cherrypicker routes a single microphone into any of four preamps, and the Gold digger routes any of four mics into any single preamp.

But the MicMaid routes any of four mics into any of four preamps... which is a whole lot more useful!

:D

H
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Re: Mic Pre's on Patchbay

Postby trunkdog » Wed Feb 14, 2018 7:09 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:I reviewed the Cherrypicker and Golddigger here:

https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/ra ... rry-picker" target="phpbbpopup

These do a different thing to the MicMaid, though.

The Cherrypicker routes a single microphone into any of four preamps, and the Gold digger routes any of four mics into any single preamp.

But the MicMaid routes any of four mics into any of four preamps... which is a whole lot more useful!

:D

H

Correct as I had just read your review. It just gives me other options to consider.

Certainly not apples to apples but an option. Who knows, I may have a patent before I'm through kicking this around.
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Re: Mic Pre's on Patchbay

Postby resistorman » Thu Feb 15, 2018 12:18 am

Hugh Robjohns wrote:
But the MicMaid routes any of four mics into any of four preamps... which is a whole lot more useful!

:D

H

Very true! If you’re only using one mic at a time, I suppose you could plug the Gold Digger into the Cherry Picker and route any one of four mics to any one of four preamps :lol: I guess that would be useful if you worked all day long recording many different lead vocals. Would not want that job, personally...
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