Patching, Levels, and Monitoring
There are some other vital areas to talk about that fall outside our main topics. These include essential gear like patch bays and important information about setting proper levels, setting up your studio monitors, and monitoring setup. Understanding these will help complete your knowledge of home studios and the components that go into them.
Patch Bays to the Rescue
If you have a lot of gear that you need to plug in often, you're going to love a patch bay. A patch bay (shown in Figure 8-2) doesn't look like much. But don't let looks fool you; this is one powerful piece of gear.
On the front panel are lots of input jacks; on the back panel are lots of matching jacks. Instead of crawling around the floor and repatching (reconnecting) all of your gear, you can leave it permanently plugged in to the back of the patch bay and use the front to make connections. Patch bays are also great for mixers that have rear connections because you're saved from the headache of crawling around or lifting up the mixer every time you need to patch something. If you have a small studio, you might never need one, but as you grow in size a patch bay is essential. You won't find a professional studio without several patch bays.
Figure 8-2: Audio patch bay