Patch Cords, or patch cables as they are also known, are electrical or optical cables used to connect or patch together one or more electrical or optical units for routing signal. There are a multitude of electrical or optical components that utilize patch cords for connection - a switch connected to a computer, a switch connected to a router, or a vast array of musical instruments and accessories all get their signal flow from the use of patch cords.
Patch cords come in a number of different lengths, colors, and connections. In an audio studio setting, patch cords usually are found as color-coordinated pairs, implemented by the use of a patch bay or patch panel, to route signal to and from hardware devices and analog instruments. Different types of patch cords include microphone cords, headphone extension cords, XLR cords, TTL (tiny telephone lines), RCA, and ¼” TRS phone cords. Patch cords however, are typically referred to only in context of using the cords with a patch bay or patch panel.
Patch cords come in different lengths, varying from being connected end to end for instrumental multi-effect connections, or cords up to 100’ used in audio and theatrical productions to transfer sound from power amps to their respective speaker sets. In audio productions, analog ¼” patch cords are used to connect electric guitars, basses, drum machines, and synthesizers to patch bays for signal routing, or for connecting directly to a DAW for audio recording.
The ability to make custom patch cords is a huge benefit to the home studio enthusiast. With a little time and patience, it is very easy to create your own cords, and one can end up saving a significant amount of money in the long run. In creating your own patch cords, you have the benefit of creating a cleaner studio environment, because you can customize your lengths so that there is no excess cord taking up floor space or cluttering up your racks.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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