Question about patching a 19" rack stereo multi-effects unit into a patchbay.

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Tekhed66
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Question about patching a 19" rack stereo multi-effects unit into a patchbay.

Post by Tekhed66 » Fri Dec 18, 2020 1:51 pm

Hi all...

I'll try and be brief.

I've recently (finally!!) got around to making my studio and patching all of my assorted bits and pieces together. I decided to get a 19" cabinet to install all of my synth modules/samplers and route them through a balanced patch bay (Samson S4) to my DAW.

Synth/sampler audio output is in mono (eg. L output only) into a single input jack in the patchbay.... so far, so good.

I also have a rack stereo multi-effects unit (TC Electronics M-One XL) and want to occasionally run my keyboards through the MFX... the M1XL has balanced L + R inputs and L + R outputs... I'm connecting the M1XL to my patch bay with XLR to TRS patch cables (so 4 cables in total)... this means I have two patchbay jacks for input and two jacks for output.

I thought I had my head around this but I've realised that if I plug a synth (using the single patchbay jack output) into the M1FX input jack, I'm only plugging it into either the L or the R input jack and then routing only the L or R output into my DAW.

Am I correct in thinking that I'm effectively running the effects unit in mono and not as a stereo unit??

Have I stuffed up with my patching and is there a way to get both L and R effects output signals into my DAW (since it's a stereo effects unit)?

Do I need to use both L and R audio outs from my synths?

This is really doing my head in.... the more I think about it, the more I realise I just don't know...

BTW - the M1XL manual states that only the L input must be used for mono signals...this is selected via the setup menu which I've done.

Any help/advice would be really appreciated

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desmond
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Re: Question about patching a 19" rack stereo multi-effects unit into a patchbay.

Post by desmond » Fri Dec 18, 2020 2:13 pm

Patchbays aren't really designed as flexible signal routers - that's what mixers do!

While you can put effects inline with instruments, different effects units handle mono/stereo inputs differently - some always sum stereo inputs to mono anyway for effects.

I'm surprised you can't tell whether you are recording in mono or stereo - the difference is rather obvious! If you're recording from one output of the FX unit, then yes, it's mono, you'll need to record in stereo from both outputs if you're patching FX inline.

I don't know your requirements but it's much more flexible in general to patch in FX via sends/returns in a mixer, and use the mixer to route single or mixed signals, mono or stereo, panned etc to the various FX units. Without a mixer, you are always compromised in routing options with just patchbay connecting alone.

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Tekhed66
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Posts: 197
Joined: Thu Jun 04, 2015 6:59 am
Gear: Roland JD990 / JD800 / XV5080 / SH-01a,
Behringer DM12, Korg Triton Rack / M1 / Radias,
Akai s5000, Yamaha An1x, Kawai K5000s,
Studiologic Sledge 2
Band: The Creepy Uncles
Location: Australia
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Re: Question about patching a 19" rack stereo multi-effects unit into a patchbay.

Post by Tekhed66 » Fri Dec 18, 2020 2:53 pm

desmond wrote:
Fri Dec 18, 2020 2:13 pm
Patchbays aren't really designed as flexible signal routers - that's what mixers do!

While you can put effects inline with instruments, different effects units handle mono/stereo inputs differently - some always sum stereo inputs to mono anyway for effects.

I'm surprised you can't tell whether you are recording in mono or stereo - the difference is rather obvious! If you're recording from one output of the FX unit, then yes, it's mono, you'll need to record in stereo from both outputs if you're patching FX inline.

I don't know your requirements but it's much more flexible in general to patch in FX via sends/returns in a mixer, and use the mixer to route single or mixed signals, mono or stereo, panned etc to the various FX units. Without a mixer, you are always compromised in routing options with just patchbay connecting alone.
Hi Desmond

Thanks for your reply.

I was using a mixer prior to setting up my studio with a patchbay and had the effects unit going through the usual send/return route... I know I'm recording in mono through the patchbay (maybe my description wasn't clear) ... my ping-pong delay neither pings nor pongs at the moment (!?)

I was just wondering if I had overlooked something obvious but you've confirmed my suspicion regarding the limitations of a patchbay... I might still dig out the mixer and incorporate it with the new setup... nothing has been nailed down yet so I still have options.

cheers

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desmond
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Re: Question about patching a 19" rack stereo multi-effects unit into a patchbay.

Post by desmond » Fri Dec 18, 2020 3:04 pm

Patchbay re-orgs are always a bit of a headache until you figure out your needs and how best to achieve them.

It's good when it's done, though! :thumbleft:

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