Small patchbay help

halenono

Member
Hello everyone,

I need some advice on wiring up a small patchbay. I have 4 wireless channels and a Shure SCM268 mixer in a portable rack case. I want to put a patchbay on the back to make it easier to hook up when I use it. I would like to have 5 XLR jacks on the back, one for each mic channel and one for the mixer. That way I can either just hook up the mixer to a speaker/amp/external mixer if I want to use the SCM268 to mix the mics, or I can hook up the four mic channels individually to channels on an external mixer if I want more control.
Ideally, when nothing is plugged into the mic outputs on the patchbay, the signal will go to the SCM268, but if I plug in a cable to one of the mic channels, then the signal would be cutoff to the SCM268 and only go out the patchbay. My understanding is this is called normalling the channels. However, from what I've been able to tell, there is no such thing as a normalling XLR jack (would need to be 1/4").
My question is, would it be OK to hook up a patchbay for this purpose without worrying about normalling the mic channels? Or is there a better way to go about setting this up?
 

RonHebbard

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
Hello everyone,

I need some advice on wiring up a small patchbay. I have 4 wireless channels and a Shure SCM268 mixer in a portable rack case. I want to put a patchbay on the back to make it easier to hook up when I use it. I would like to have 5 XLR jacks on the back, one for each mic channel and one for the mixer. That way I can either just hook up the mixer to a speaker/amp/external mixer if I want to use the SCM268 to mix the mics, or I can hook up the four mic channels individually to channels on an external mixer if I want more control.
Ideally, when nothing is plugged into the mic outputs on the patchbay, the signal will go to the SCM268, but if I plug in a cable to one of the mic channels, then the signal would be cutoff to the SCM268 and only go out the patchbay. My understanding is this is called normalling the channels. However, from what I've been able to tell, there is no such thing as a normalling XLR jack (would need to be 1/4").
My question is, would it be OK to hook up a patchbay for this purpose without worrying about normalling the mic channels? Or is there a better way to go about setting this up?
@halenono
Have a close look here: https://www.neutrik.com/en/neutrik/products/plugs-jacks/jacks/combo-i-series
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard
 
Last edited:

RonHebbard

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
@RonHebbard Thanks for the reply. Two issues, though. I believe the combo jacks only switch with a 1/4" inserted, and they only come in female.
Consider bringing out your four wireless outputs via parallel connected XLR3's and your rack mounted Shure mixer on another male XLR 3; then utilize as you require. Perhaps I'm missing something; alternately include a transformer coupled splitter.
@TimMc Would you care to comment?
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard
 

DrewE

Well-Known Member
Do your wireless microphone receivers have both line and microphone level outputs? If so, I think the easiest solution would be to connect the line outputs from them to the SCM268 and the microphone level outputs to the panel connections.

Failing that, a plain Y cable connection will, in general, work acceptably well; it isn't ideal, but it also wouldn't typically be problematic in this situation. I don't think there are any XLR jacks with switched contacts; the structure of the connector pretty well precludes doing that, or at least doing it easily and reliably. It would, of course, be possible to wire up a separate external switch associated with each channel if desired.
 

Ben Stiegler

Well-Known Member
Do your wireless microphone receivers have both line and microphone level outputs? If so, I think the easiest solution would be to connect the line outputs from them to the SCM268 and the microphone level outputs to the panel connections.

Failing that, a plain Y cable connection will, in general, work acceptably well; it isn't ideal, but it also wouldn't typically be problematic in this situation. I don't think there are any XLR jacks with switched contacts; the structure of the connector pretty well precludes doing that, or at least doing it easily and reliably. It would, of course, be possible to wire up a separate external switch associated with each channel if desired.
Y adapter not a problem if you are only using one output leg at a time as he indicated. Even if both sides were connected to true balanced inputs, there would be a tiny gain loss that you could easily make up in the receiving device. I’ve sourced good y adapters from seismic audio and last time I needed some ( time alignment speaker proc outputs to many pairs of powered speakers),
they had a discounted 4 pack.
 

TimMc

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
Y adapter not a problem if you are only using one output leg at a time as he indicated. Even if both sides were connected to true balanced inputs, there would be a tiny gain loss that you could easily make up in the receiving device. I’ve sourced good y adapters from seismic audio and last time I needed some ( time alignment speaker proc outputs to many pairs of powered speakers),
they had a discounted 4 pack.
Unless transformer-equipped, most input splitters are essentially just Y-cords. So long as source impedance is 10% of less of input impedance, all will be good and load loss will be negligible. Use both the SC268 and the split if there's a need. The "normalizing" the OP refers to is not needed and with XLR, is not possible.

That said, I think the OP's proposal will look nice and pro, but is mostly unnecessary unless a patch bay is needed to keep users from mis-connecting stuff.
 

The above module will bring do the normalling you need at a very attractive price point. You'd need to build adapters to go in and out of this.

Another alternative would be to use a plain XLR panel like:

With this panel I would build it out with two sets of XLR connections to the mixer inputs and the receiver outputs. Then have a set of short XLR cables to do the normalling. Simply disconnecting one end of a patch cable when the second scenario is in use.

Dan
 

Users who are viewing this thread