New Music Gear Monday: Flock Audio PATCH Digital Patchbay

Flock Audio Patch on Bobby Owsinski's Production BlogOne of the things that most of us hate about the studio is having to connect gear via a patchbay. It’s a necessary evil that’s been with us since the phone company started about a hundred years ago, but it’s prone to corroded connections, intermittent patch cords, and general time-consuming setup on a large session. If you have a home studio it’s even worse because you straddle the line over keeping you gear hard-wired or committing to an expensive but more convenient pro patchbay install. Thankfully, those days look like they’re over now with the new Flock Audio PATCH digital patchbay system.

The PATCH system is 100% digitally controlled 64 point (and expandable) analog patchbay routing system completely controlled by a software application on your computer. It’s all digitally controlled analog so there’s no AD/DA convertors to worry about, as it lives in a sleek 1U Hardware unit that’s connected to your computer and DAW via a standard USB connection. The actual patching is controlled on your computer wit a Mac/Windows compatible software application.

The app is a snap to learn (see the video below) and shows a list of all your outboard gear that you can then drag and drop into multiple signal paths that even include the ability to mult different pieces together. These active signal paths can then be memorized recalled later so you can get your entire patch setup back in the blink of an eye. Imagine the time that can be saved on a session with a load of traditional patch cables poking out of every jack that has to be reconfigured!

Connections on the hardware unit are via DB25 connectors, but there’s also 2 input and 2 output combo jacks on the front panel for last minute direct hardware patches. 48 volt phantom power is also available and selectable on each input, with a built-in failsafe so you don’t cause any harm to a piece of gear patching something in incorrectly.

The Flock Audio PATCH system has so many other features that can’t be adequately described here, so it’s well worth checking out. It’s a great idea that could become a studio standard before too long. The unit isn’t shipping yet, but there’s a pre-order discount where you can get the unit for only $1695 until July 31st.

Check out the PATCH website and the video below for more details.

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