PATCHBAY 101 - PART 1
WHAT IS A PATCHBAY?A patchbay is a box that is made of jacks and switches. Depending upon how the "Panel Jacks" are internally connected determines how the signals will be routed when you insert your plugs.
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT CONNECTIONS?There are many terms to describe the internal connections of patchbays. Each manufacturer interprets these terms a bit differently. So, it pays to ask a few questions before you buy one. The most common connection term is "NORMAL". Normal describes how the front panel jacks interrupt the rear panel connections when a plug is inserted.
Full-Normal - Both front jacks interrupt the rear connection
Half-Normal - Only one front jack interrupts the rear connection (but you don't which one until told)
Half-Normal (Top) - The "top" front jack interrupts the rear connection
Half-Normal (Bottom) = NYS-SPP-L1 = The "bottom" front jack interrupts the rear connection
Neutrik identifies the "Half-Normalled" jack with grey plastic. See the first image for connection reference.
REAR PANEL CONNECTIONSThe rear panel connections are historically used for routing signals from the output of your mixer to the input of your tape deck or DAW these days. These rear panel connections are maintained until you insert a plug into the front of the panel (for "normalled" configuration).
MIXER OUTPUT SIGNAL
This oscilloscope image "represents" a signal that could be coming out of your mixer and into the "top-rear" jack on the patchbay. This signal is automatically connected, through front jack switches, to the "bottom-rear" jack as will be seen in the next image.
MIXER OUTPUT ROUTED TO YOUR DAW INPUT
The pink trace represents the signal coming out of the rear-bottom jack. This is the same signal as the top-rear jack. Keep an eye on the pink trace as I insert plugs into the front panel jacks.
MIXER OUTPUT ROUTED TO "FRONT-TOP" JACK
The green trace represents the output signal available at the "top-front" jack. Because the NYS-SPP-L1 is "half-normal (bottom)", the top-front jack does not interrupt the rear signal connections.
MIXER OUTPUT SIGNAL "INTERRUPTED"
Notice that the "pink" signal is gone. Because the NYS-SPP-L1 is "Half-Normal (Bottom)", only the bottom front plug interrupts the connection on the rear jacks.
Note: The mixer output signal is still present at the front-top jack. So, to complete the connection we need to route the signal from the "front-top" jack into the "front-bottom" jack.
MIXER OUTPUT ROUTED THROUGH THE PATCHBAY
Patchbays can be very handy.
In a future post I will demonstrate the "SPLIT" patchbay configuration.
Thanks for reading,