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Flock Audio Patch: analogue patchbay, computer control

Innovative system offers reassignable 64-point patching with switchable 48V phantom power

Now shipping: Patch, Flock Audio's software-controlled patchbay system.Now shipping: Patch, Flock Audio's software-controlled patchbay system.
Canadian startup Flock Audio announced the Patch system a couple of years back, but have spent time perfecting and readying it for manufacture. It finally began shipping worldwide in March.

The concept is simple enough. The Patch hardware comprises a 64-point analogue patchbay in 1U rack form (the inputs are arranged on D-Sub connectors on the rear panel). The twist is that control of the patchbay’s assignments and routings is carried out from an easy-to-use graphical application on a Mac or Windows computer, Patch App, which is connected to the patchbay via USB. No audio is ever converted to digital — all channels running through the Patch remain in the analogue domain and only the patchbay routings are altered digitally. In short, it keeps audio analogue but all control is digital and computer-based, with all the advantages that entails — for example, Patch App routings can be quickly stored and recalled.

The hardware has a few nifty extras, too. Two input and output connectors are located on the front panel on quarter‑inch jack/XLR ‘combi’ connectors, so you can instantly patch equipment into your system. And 32 of the Patch’s connections can be supplied with switchable 48V phantom power for microphones that need it.

Available now in the UK from SX ProUS, the Patch retails for £$2199.

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