Virtual Patchbay?


New Member
Oct 11, 2012
Gear owned
Hey guys,
I have my DM-4800 here (of which I'm still learning the ins/outs etc) and was wondering about routing my line level signals - specifically regarding outboard effects. My signal path is running out of my mic pres and was previously going into a patchbay, prior to entering the 4800. However, I would like to run my outboard gear without using a patchbay and I've heard that this can be done with my board. If this is the case, can someone help? What is the most optimal setup so that I can have options regarding where I want my line level signals to go prior to entering my DAW? As with many studios, I would like the option of "patching" my signals through Distressors, outboard synths, etc and I'm curious as to how this might be accomplished without using a patchbay.

Anyways, thanks in advance!
The 8 channel analog add-in card is a great option. 8 in, 8 out. You could probably do two of these with a 4800, although I am not sure. There are 4 assign sends and returns and a line input on every channel of the 24 mic pre inputs. You can also patch your DMs mic inputs through external gear via the insert effect loop.
Since digital routing on the DM means you can assign anything anywhere, you have plenty of flexibility in choosing what goes where. What specific routing goals did you have in mind?
Well, my first plan was to eliminate using a patchbay (by use of the line inserts) but now that I think about it (and have had a few discussions with other engineers), I'm leaning more toward keeping a patchbay in line. The line inserts are of course a good choice but for ease of use I think I'm actually going to come out of my mic pres, go into the patchbay (where all of my outboard effects are located), and then come out of the patchbay into the DM. In the future, I'm probably going to be having other assistant engineers working in here. So having the patchbay makes sense to me.

What do you think?
I'm still a big proponent of the analog cards, but I use two balanced patchbays in my setup. I like having all the channel inserts in the patchbay available for use and the assign sends and returns all available as well.
I like the patchbay option as well, and I AM using the 8 ch analog card as well. In fact, regarding my inputs, I'm using the 8 channel analog card AND 8 assignable returns (so 16 channels totals) in order to bypass the board mic pres.
I use a Neutrik balanced bay for effects routing and connecting line inputs into the board.

Besides that, I use a Fostex normalled bay for all 16 inserts of the board. I have no reason to bypass the board pres, but this way I can insert my analog compressors into the recording chain. For send effects, I think the analog card would be a good addition indeed.

I have three analog cards which allowed me to get rid of a patchbay and LOTS of cables. On the old site I had posted a picture of how many snakes I no longer need to use for my mixes. The Analog cards are the way to go.
jamsire said:
allowed me to get rid of a patchbay and LOTS of cables.
Same here, except I only have 1 card (16 send/returns are enough for my outboard F/X).

I'm so happy for not needing a patchbay anymore. I's so nice to have all patching stored into DM's projects where I can recall them with few clicks of the buttons. In matter of fact, during the 6 years I've had my DM-4800 I have needed to do any patching in my control room only twice:
1. I realised my setup was not optimal for my gear/usage profile.
2. I moved to the "new" (60 years old) house (also added some new gear at the same time)..

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