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How a Professional Recording Studio Patchbay Works

Updated on February 23, 2010
Recording Studio Patchbay
Recording Studio Patchbay

Every professional recording studio makes use of patchbays to perform many tasks. How a professional recording studio patchbay works can be a mystery at first but is a very useful piece of hardware.

Patchbays like the one pictured above are groups of female connections in groups of 2. The group is one above the other. When nothing is plugged into the patchbay the group of 2 are connected. So whether you had a cable connecting the top connection to the bottom connection or no cable at all you would still have the same results. On the back side of patchbay is normally soldering points. These are used for permanent connections to all the hardware the patchbay is connected to in the recording studio.

Generally the top connection is connected to the output of a device and the bottom connection is connected to the input of another device. You could set up your patchbay any way you like but this way is the generally accepted practice.

Patchbays are used for convenience or to save wear and tear on expensive equipment. If there are more than one recording studio in a building sometimes patchbays are used to connect one studio to another. This lets all resources be used by every studio without having to move anything around. Recording studio patchbays can cost hundreds of dollars but are still much cheaper than priceless vintage analog equipment so they are used with the permanent connections of patchbays so the vintage gear does not wear out.

If you are thinking about new gear for your recording studio get a patchbay. Their usefulness is endless and they are actually very simple to operate.


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    • REV Dan Abaldo profile image

      REV Dan Abaldo 7 years ago from Yermo,Ca

      how true my friend what a patch bay does is a must in my early days as a Recording Engineer that was by baby next to the mixer, but routing is everything great stuff