Patchbay modifications are found on many of our machines including drum machines, sampling keyboards and synths. Essentially what a patchbay does is reroute digital data from the sound ROM or RAM, back in places it was never designed to go.
Each 3.5mm patchbay socket is home to a certain audio process or effect which either combines with the effect from another socket when they are patched together, or sometimes just produces an entirely new effect you've never heard before. Multiple simultaneous connections may also combine in unexpected ways to produce a brand new unexpected effect, giving you a virtually unlimited number of warped alterations and audio mutations. The only limit on the number of connections you can make at any one time are how many sockets and patch cables you have available. Connections can be made at any time or even switched in and out using the patchable switches (see below)
Effects produced by the patchbay might be applied to one sound, several sounds or the whole mix depending on which patch cables you have in place. You sometimes find that certain patchbay connections will effect a certain group of sounds, but playing another sound that isn't effected might change how the effect is applied to the original sounds for the duration that the new sound is playing. In some cases a certain sound might not even play, but triggering it will still have an effect on the way an effect is applied to other sounds.A stereo mix from a drum machine or siimilar will often involve sounds starting to interact with each other in unexpected and bizarre ways across the stereo field when certain patchbay connections are made.
Effects can range from the more subtle in the form of ring modulation, vibrato, alien pitch shifting and sound swapping, to the more extreme in the form of full on bit crushing, glitching, sample splicing, resequencing, audio strobing and speaker eating walls of distortion. These are the kind of sounds that many artists and producers spend weeks creating using a huge rack of synths, effects and samplers. Having said that, the vast majority of sounds available using our machines are entirely new and could not be created any other way.
These additions to the main patchbay on most of our machines further multiply your creative possibilities. In a similar way to the patching multiples you find on an analogue modular synthesiser, our multiples consist of three sockets which are connected together internally. If a patch cable is taken from any socket on the main patchbay and plugged into a multiple socket, then that signal also become available at the other two multiple sockets. These remaining sockets can then be patched back into the main patchbay or even into the other muliples or patchable switches for more complex setups, effectively multiplying your creative possibilities massively. Imagine a Y shaped patch cable and you've got the idea of what a patching muliple does.
These consist of a switch which is associated with two sockets. The switch simply turns the connection between the sockets on and off. They can be patched in line with any main patchbay connection simply by taking a cable from the patchbay into the first switch socket and then taking another cable back from the second socket into the patchbay or elsewhere. This essentially allows you to turn any effect or connection on or off at the flick of a switch instead of having to repatch any cables.
These are essentially the same as a patchable switch but instead of a switch there is a momentary push button which only connects the sockets as long as it is held down. This is useful for momentary spot effects, percussion fills or effects that can be triggered briefly and then take time to decay away.
The specific amount of multiples and switches are negotiable up to the total quoted on the individual machine mods page, i.e. if the standard mods on a machine offer 2 x patching multiples and 2 x patchable switches then you are welcome to request three of one type and one of the other, or four of one type instead.
Internal or external
Most of our patchbays are internal and mounted on the machine casing itself but sometimes there just isn't enough room inside the unit to install anything on the case, or it would just be inconvienient to do so. This is most common with rack mounted units but many drum machines are also effected. In this case we either mount the patchbay in a case bolted to the side of the main unit or in an external case connected to the main unit via a 25 way D type cable.