1. Welcome to TalkBass 2014! If you're new here, we just went through a major site upgrade. Please post all concerns and bugs to the Forum Usage Issues forum. We will be monitoring that forum. Thank you for all of your feedback.

    The TB Android app is working, you may need to uninstall/reinstall. The iPhone app is still pending approval by Apple. If you haven't yet, try using your mobile browser - TalkBass is responsive to any screen size.

    Please read the TalkBass 2014 FAQ for lots of great info on the new software.

Keeping track of connections

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by nojj, Dec 9, 2013.

  1. nojj

    nojj Guest

    Joined:
    May 20, 2013
    Likes Received:
    0
    Like a lot of home studio owners, I have a fair amount of gear,
    and don't want to spend significant amounts of time switching cabling behind the desk.

    Have several patchbays and many connectors.

    But how to keep track of all that stuff, especially for gear or configurations that are rarely used?

    What I do is keep dated templates of the back/fronts of all the gear
    with more than a couple connections.
    Clipboard hanging by the recorder holds that,
    another holds stuff like track sheets.

    But sometimes that still is too time consuming,
    so I made some 1RU masonite spacers for the studio racks,
    and use a dry-erase marker on them,
    detailing the connectors on the bays and mixers.
    I do tend to reconfigure stuff periodically, handy to just wipe off the marker,
    and IMO looks more professional than gaffer's tape.

    Anybody else have some tips or solutions?
  2. Dave Martin

    Dave Martin

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2006
    Likes Received:
    0
    Everything in my room goes to a patchbay, which is labeled (actually numbered, but the principle is the same - each piece of gear comes up to the patch bay, where I connect as necessary for a particular session.

    A number of the engineers who work here will, when patching in outboard preamps, EQ's or compressors, will stick a piece of console tape on the gear to remind them what it's for. For example, the guy who worked in my roon over the weekend had a piece of tape labeled "GTR" stuck onto a preamp and also on one of the compressors. And, of course, console tape is used on the console.

    Look for 'Artist Tape" at an art supply house or Staples; that's console tape....
  3. bkbirge

    bkbirge Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2000
    Likes Received:
    0
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: Steak n Shake
    Get enough patchbays to wire every single i/o of your gear. Then label the patchbays. If you are using non-solder type bays (1/4" or xlr i/o) then label the patchbay end of the back cable as well as the gear end of the back cable. Keep a notebook or piece of paper handy with the patchbay connections also, sometimes it's hard to see a patchbay label when it's stuffed with cables.
  4. nojj

    nojj Guest

    Joined:
    May 20, 2013
    Likes Received:
    0
    Nice tip on the art tape, I've been using painters tape.


    I've enough patchbays to go around,
    but I'm hoping to upgrade to having all of them normalized.
    (Only two of mine are capable of setting thus)
    That'll cut down on the number of patchcables.
    Also built support harnesses for the cables on the back.

    Also would like a digital patchbay or switcher of sorts,
    a fair amount of gear here takes S/PDIF and or optical.
  5. seamonkey

    seamonkey

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2004
    Likes Received:
    2
    Mark the cables with colored tie wraps or tape.

    On the smart phone take a picture of everything and give the filename a good name.

    It sure is nice in the virtual world all this is saved in presets. :)
  6. Dave Martin

    Dave Martin

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2006
    Likes Received:
    0
    None of my outboard gear is normalled to anything, including the outboard preamps; though a basic signal flow (mic input to console pre to Pro Tools input) is half-normalled, none of the fun toys are part of that signal path. All of my mic inputs are on the same patch bay as my outboard preamps, and all of the outboard stuff (compressors, eq's) come up on the console patch bay. where I can insert it either on the way to Pro Tools, coming out of PT for a console mix or as an insert for an 'in-the-box' mix.

    I don't mind using lots of patch cords - it ultimately gives me a lot more freedom to choose my tools to suit a given application.
  7. nojj

    nojj Guest

    Joined:
    May 20, 2013
    Likes Received:
    0
    most of my normalled connections involve the monitoring system, or the house PA.
    For example, my audio computer is normalled to the Altec computer speakers and is rarely changed,
    but sometimes I like to send it to the HR824s.
    Some of the recording mixer, sub mixer, and the house mixer are normalized as well.
    I look on it as sort of a template.

    So how often does everybody spray out their patchbays?
    I usually hit mine a couple times a year with some deox.
  8. bkbirge

    bkbirge Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2000
    Likes Received:
    0
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: Steak n Shake
    Never. In 30 years. The constant patching takes care of cleaning the contacts for me.
  9. Dave Martin

    Dave Martin

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2006
    Likes Received:
    0
    Not here, either.
  10. nojj

    nojj Guest

    Joined:
    May 20, 2013
    Likes Received:
    0
    Most of the guys I know around here (at the home/rehearsal studio level) do have to clean them periodically.
    Must be the air or something........:D

    How does everybody handle strain relief?
    I bundle my cable runs in velcro where they come up behind the rack side of the desk.
    Then attached some coat-hanger loops to help support the added weight in the back.
  11. Dave Martin

    Dave Martin

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2006
    Likes Received:
    0
    At Java Jive, all of the patchbays are wired wtih multi-pair harnesses - the console has 8 channel harnesses (lots of them) on D-Subs that are broken out into (mostly) 4 in 4 out pairs, other than the Pro Tools interfaces, which are D-Sub to D sub. On the mic patch bay, 8 pair harnesses are hard-wired into the patch bay with enough spare cable inside the rack that there's no strain on the patch bay itself.
    Admittedly, this was a custom design, so the layout was taken care of before the harnesses were built.

Share This Page