PARIS' Patch Bay Window

Quick access: Common applications for your Patch Bay

The following detailed tutorials cover some of the Patch Bay's more commonly-used applications

[the following article is unfinished and not yet fact-checked - feel free to add or correct information]

An overview of the Patch Bay

The Patch Bay is one of the most useful features of PARIS. It gives PARIS a flexibility and power that is more akin to a "studio mainframe" rather than a classic DAW. The Patchbay is accessed by pressing the letter B on your computer keyboard, or the number 7 followed by a period on your C16.

Mastery over signal routing in the Patch Bay will give you the ability to create individual headphone mixes, or route click tracks to headphones, supply reverb/FX in different quantities to different headphone mixes, permit live inputs to be monitored independently of their "record enable" status, patch in external effects processors, send a strip of audio SMPTE to an external output to drive an external sequencer without having to listen to it, keep live mics open for player feedback without recording them, route blocks of external tracks through PARIS via ADAT, render native effects onto a track (or even hardware effects) - all with (virtually) zero latency and pristine sound quality.

The Patch Bay also contains certain peculiarities and assumptions that can reduce even seasoned PARIS users to despair. Included below are a couple of general observations about the Patch Bay that are worth bearing in mind.

What's in your Patch Bay?

The patch bay contains representations of both your external hardware (MEC and its associated modules, etc) and your internal software (PARIS mixer), and allows you to patch between them digitally. There is virtually no visual distinction between your hardware and software "inputs" and "outputs", so it's important to keep clear in your mind what is software and what is hardware to avoid confusion. The patches you create work whether or not they are visible in the main window of the Patch Bay; you drag them into that window to *examine* or *change* their patching, but once you've done that you can drag them back into the "holding tank" (upper RH pane) without consequence.

These objects are representations of external parts of your PARIS hardware:

These objects are representations of internal parts of your PARIS software:

This offers a lot of flexibility in routing from software to software or software to hardware.

The Very First Thing You Need To Understand About Your Patch Bay

Many musicians have reported finding PARIS' patch bay difficult to understand. This might well be due to our training; your guitar's OUTPUT has always gone to your distortion pedal's INPUT; your keyboard's Midi OUT has always been patched to your Midi interface's IN. That's the way we do things in the audio world - "outs" go to "ins" - and when you're patching between objects that represent *software* in your Patch Bay (the Mixer to the Mixer inserts, for example) it's done the same way - by patching "ins" to "outs".

But when you're patching from software to hardware - how would you tell PARIS' Patch bay that you want the signal that's being sent into INPUT ONE on your MEC to go IN to Mixer Channel One? By patching from MEC MASTER A's Input 1 to the IN of Mixer A's Channel One.

That's right: when you're patching between the patchbay objects that represent software and the patchbay objects that represent hardware - you have to connect "ins" to "ins" and "outs" to "outs". It might be easiest to view connections between PARIS' software and its hardware as mapping instead of patching; you're mapping "MEC Input 1" to "Mixer Channel 1".

Additional general observations:

1) A hardware input can feed multiple mixer inputs. For example, input 1 on MEC Master A can feed any or all of your mixer channels, should you need sixteen tracks containing the same information. However, the reverse is not true - each software input can only receive *one* input. You can't attach all four of your MEC's analog inputs to Mixer A's "Track One".

2) You can have eight modules installed in a single MEC - but you can only place them into four slots in the MEC Modules object in the Patch Bay. Hence you can't use more than four I/O modules at a time per MEC (each ADAT module counts as two modules - 8 channels of ADAT input and 8 channels of ADAT output). It may seem illogical to permit eight modules to be installed in your MEC when only four at a time can be accessed, but it has its uses; for example you can store one Patch Bay configuration that uses one group of modules and another that uses another group.

3) "One way" patches (ie a headphone send from an aux to an output and then to a headphone amp) will usually not work until you *complete the loop* - meaning the aux requires a connection both "from" and "to" it. Just "close the circle" by routing that aux's return to any input you aren't using such as an unused mixer in or Aux.

4) You cannot patch across submixes (eg you can't patch from Mixer-A FX into Mixer B's inputs) internally via the Patch Bay alone. However, you can use hardware cables to patch between MECs - which suggests some interesting possibilities.

What You Need To Know About Storing And Recalling Patch Bay Setups

To come - tutorial on how PARIS stores the setups.

More notes on patching-related topics, which will eventually be sorted and compiled here, are available at John Bercik's excellent Paris Notes site.

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