With everything now in the box, its possible to get impatient if something takes too long to set up, and having the patchbay right really helps. But what if you could store and recall your patches for integration with your DAW for recording and processing?
Thats what the SSL X-Patch does. Its not much to look at - a single rack unit, un-fussy silver panel with power and a couple of sets of I/O on front, but it could revolutionise your workflow and creativity by opening up routing possibilities previously untried.
With 16 inputs and 16 outputs, the X-Patch is an analogue patchbay which can be digitally controlled via Ethernet, MIDI and also via iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.
Setup As with any patchbay, you’ll need to plan your setup. With all connections on four, 8-way D-type connectors except for the 2 x combi inputs and 2 XLR outputs paralleled on the front panel, you’ll need to get these leads ordered in and all the right plugs to go on the other ends to match your desired gear before you can use it. Using the provided software, each device can be named, set up to be -10dB or line level and given a choice of gear type - Device, Insert or Unlink within the control software. This is relevant as it helps you manage the equipment connected, preventing feedback loops, level mis-matches and ensuring you cant use the same patch more than once. You’ll then need to figure out how to wire it up, whether balanced or unbalanced and your good to go.
Once installed, the X-Patch requires its own ethernet connection to make it available on your network and controllable via any computer. You can then set up patches and discrete device chains to recall to your hearts content.
What it Cant Do You cant use it for control voltage routing such as analog synthesizers, nor will it deal with phantom power, nor merging or splitting of audio signals.
But Any other routing can be achieved simply and easily, and in the case of Steve here, its made quite a difference to his work flow. Allowing instant integration and configuration of his effects, instruments and sound processing setup, and allowing him to quickly set up a patch, no matter how complex.
Sure this could be seen as a luxury, but when you think how much time you can spend messing about trying to get things hooked up, if you need to be efficient then this could make the difference. Its not only for the studio patch use, other applications could include guitar pedal board recall for the uber live setup, complex 5.1/stereo monitor setup switching etc. As Steve says if you think about how useful a patchbay is, then add recall , then you have the SSL X-Patch.