What is a patch panel?

What is a patch panel?

What is a patch panel - Also known as a patch bay or patch field, a patch panel is a routing device featuring a number of connection jacks of a similar or certain type, facilitating the interconnectedness and routing of various hardware.  With a patch panel, testing circuits and signal flow can be done with flexibility and ease, and are a dream come true for working with multiple hardware devices. Most commonly used in commercial and home recording studios, television and radio production, and computer networking, patch panels increase workflow and productivity, and can also stimulate creativity.

Through years of being a home recording enthusiast, I’ve acquired a few nice pieces of hardware.  While it is far from being a full arsenal, there are definitely a few great choice options for tracking purposes and master buss duties at the mix and mastering phase of a project.  The only main distraction was my thinking that I did not have enough gear to justify getting a patch panel. Having to go behind my desk every time I wanted to use a different preamp or hardware insert was getting old - fast.  Also, I was noticing how some of my connection points were starting to be a little more difficult to seat properly.

Upon learning that a band wanted to bring in a few hardware pieces of their own for an upcoming session, the time had come to bring in a patch panel.  They were able to quickly patch into my system with ease, and a number of routing options were immediately in play.  Also, gone were a few ground humming issues that seemed to be tied to a certain outlet in my studio.  Looking back on how much time was spent without the use of a patch panel made me realize my own inefficiencies, and also made me look forward to the freedom the new patch panel presented for myself and future clients.

With the patch panel, easy customization of signal flow became available. The wear and tear of constantly plugging and unplugging made me feel like the life of my gear was extended and protected.  The constant push and pull on the inputs and outputs of hardware were eliminated, ending fears of losing the use of a certain piece due to technical problems from a heavy hand during connection - this is speaking from experience, believe me. The organization of the patch panel provides easy circuit identification, as well as different grounding options ensuring clean, consistent signal flow.

Patch panels are fast becoming popular in home cinema installations, home recording studios, computer networking, and radio and television broadcasting.  My patch panel has changed the landscape of my personal home studio, providing increased stability, efficiency, and new routing options that were never realized or explored previously.  Patch panels offer a much more organized and refined approach to networking and studio workflow.  The time saved by implementing a patch panel into my home studio has meant more time creating, and less time troubleshooting.  I just wish I had made the move sooner!  

what is a patch panel
If you want to discuss how a patch panel can improve your workflow in your recording studio, drop us a line at +1 (818) 500-8142 or email us at

We love to talk signal flow!



Jack Field
Jack Field