Patch cord, also called a patch cable, is the standard electrical and optical cord used in connecting electrical and optical devices together for the purpose of routing signal from one unit to another. Often found in computer networks, television and film broadcasting and commercial and home recording studios, the patch cord is the way it all comes together.
Manufactured in a wide variety of styles from ¼” mono instrument cords, color coded patch cord pairs, XLR microphone cords to headphone extension lines, patch cords are often made of coaxial cables, with signal carried through a shielded core, with the earthed ground connected through a wire mesh surrounding the core. The end of each cord is attached to a connector, allowing the devices to be plugged into one another. The type of connector can vary widely, with different types of adaptors and sizes.
A patch cord can vary in length, ranging anywhere from straight end to end connections used to merge guitar multi-effects together, to upwards of 100’ in length for connecting power amps to their respective speaker outputs in large concert settings. A patch cord is the ability by which sound travels from an electric guitar to an amplifier, or from a drum machine to a patch bay, connecting multiple signal routing options together in one centralized hub.
The ability to make your own patch cord is very convenient and cost effective, and can add to the customization of your home studio setup. Being able to create custom lengths of patch cords can aid in the wiring of custom guitar effects pedalboards, keeping connections tidy. This is also a huge benefit in creating the perfect patch bay, with matching cord colors aiding in the organization of hardware setup and signal flow.
Patch cords can also be grouped together to create what is referred to as a “snake” in studio terms. A snake is a group of patch cords bundled together in one complete hose-like cord, with patch bays connected at either end to facilitate the connecting of devices.
If you want to discuss how good patch cords can improve your workflow in your recording studio, drop us a line at +1 (818) 500-8142 or email us at email@example.com
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