Right before the pandemic hit, things were really humming here at Acadia. We had a record number of musical projects in the works and had just completed a major upgrade: the design and installation of a custom 384-point TT (bantam) patchbay to connect every piece of gear in our control room.
Our previous patchbay setup consisted of 1/4″ TRS bays which were unreliable and difficult to keep plugged in properly due to the sheer number of 1/4 plugs and the effects of gravity.
After some research it was clear there was one guy right for the task. We enlisted the services of Bob Hickey – AKA Mr. Patchbay.
We ordered four, high quality Audio Accessories 96 point units and via a large and complex spreadsheet, were able to specify the cable length and connector for every last patch point from XLR male or female, 1/4″ TRS or even DB25 connectors for our AD/DA converters. The new system features high quality, low-noise cable terminated using ELCO connectors on the patchbay side and whatever connector we specified on the other end. Bob hand soldered all of the 1152 solder points and made each line the perfect length to reach it’s associated rack bay. We also set many rows to be “normalled” so that the audio signal flows automatically to another piece of gear without needing a patch cord, further improving the sound and simplifying our setup.
We took great pleasure in getting rid of our large collection of relatively cheap plastic molded 1/4″ patch cables and replacing them with Mr. Patchbay’s custom Mogami TT/Bantam cables, built to last.
Once we reconnected our gear, the difference was instantly audible – we had absolutely gained a db or two of gain and the high end clarity was profoundly improved. We could not be happier with Mr. Patchbay’s work and the price is untouchable! (Check out Bob’s website – he has worked with a staggering number of studios installing patchbay systems and with artists as FOH engineer including Pink Floyd!)
The improvement in audio quality inspired us to replace all of the existing multi-channel snake cables that connect the live room and iso booths to the patchbay with brand new Canare cable. Several hundred solder points later, we had added new connectors on both ends and we are glad to report that any number of audio gremlins have seemingly evaporated.
We’re loving our new setup – come down and hear the difference for yourself!