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12/21/14

Patchbay Neutrik NYS-SPP-L1

Patchbays can help minimize headaches when hooking up your studio. One unfortunate thing about patchbays is that there isn't any industry standard for defining how each connection is described.

PATCHBAY 101 - PART 1

trenton blizzard patchbay neutrik nys-spp-L1
In this post I will be demonstrating the basic connections of the Neutrik NYS-SPP-L1. The NYS-SPP-L1 is a relatively inexpensive 19" rack-mount patchbay that requires 1/4" TRS (Tip-Ring-Sleeve) plugs.

 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.

"NORMALLED"

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

trenton blizzard NYS-SPP-L1 half normal

Neutrik identifies the "Half-Normalled" jack with grey plastic. See the first image for connection reference.

REAR PANEL CONNECTIONS

The 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


trenton blizzard NYS-SPP-L1 rear input 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


trenton blizzard NYS-SPP-L1 rear panel connection

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

trenton blizzard NYS-SPP-L1 mixer output routing to front plug

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"

trenton blizzard NYS-SPP-L1 mixer output 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

Assuming we plugged the "top-front" cable into the input of your compressor and the output of the compressor back into the front-bottom jack, this is how you would "route" the output of your mixer through a compressor, before you go into your DAW.

Patchbays can be very handy.
In a future post I will demonstrate the "SPLIT" patchbay configuration.

Thanks for reading,
Trenton

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