Colour coding a patchbay?
« on: July 20, 2007, 06:51:04 PM »
Hey Guys,

I'm finally labeling my bays! I've had a tatty sheet of paper with all my connections on for the longest time but not actually put labels on the bays themselves, fine for  me, not for friends, fellow engineers using my space!

I've laid out the labels not but I'm kind of wondering what others do RE colour coding them?

Normalled/Half normalled connections from what I understand are universally seen as RED, but what about the connections?

Do you use different colours for each pre/set of pres? Or do you say color all the Eq's one colour and say comps another? There are so many options!

Just wondering what others are doing? I've gone through numerous threads over the last hour or 2 and I've seen Keef's ones ( and a couple others but I've yet to find a thread that speaks specifically about the colour coding systems guys are using?

Any thoughts?


Matt Allison

We are not going to start thinking of ways to get an octopus to commit a crime, cause that just has failure written all over it – Earl J Hickey


« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2007, 07:15:24 PM »
i don't have a patch bay but my audio guru uses the color scheme used for resistors to label numbered patch points i/o the mixer: brown=1 red=2 orange=3 etc.
he desined the legend in illustrator, printed it out to make labels for the bay, as far as outboard labeling on the bay, i don't know--keep like devices together and label with model# in rows or columns--color code to distinguish processor type is a good idea
"really fine players do not use stomp boxes or master volume, they match the amp to the room and turn it up to 11.  Stevie Ray, BB King, Albert King, Duane Allman, Dicky Betts, Louis Armstrong"


Colour coding a patchbay?
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2007, 12:42:20 AM »
Yeah, I use resistor color coding for 1,2,3,.... and there are snakes out there that have the same first 8 colors.

As for labeling the patchbay, try those laser printer decals or ink-jet decals (buy them from eBay, real cheap)... you can have text, symbols, colors, whatever you want... wet the decal, and just slide it on the patchbay.


Colour coding a patchbay?
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2007, 08:53:21 AM »
In that search thread... There's a full description of how I do it out there somewhere... WAY too long for me to re-type though!

Usually I follow SSL patchbay color scheme for universality when wiring a console patchbay: Mic lines are white, Multitrack returns are green, Bus outputs are yellow, Inserts are pink and so on.

I think that wiring for the cable colour code is pointless IF the cable is going to be permanently connected... like to the back of permanently-installed gear, for example: I mean, if you're never going to look at the back gear every day, who cares what colour the wires are...

Now if you're marking up a 'utility' snake where the cables will be re-plugged all the time, that's a little more useful, but only really to people who don't know the colour code backwards, I suppose.

The greatest assistance that colour coding can be is to direct or 'steer' the patchbay user in a hurry. We all know what sequence things run in left-to-right, so numeric sequencing is of little benefit, though in a loose snake things get tangled, so THAT's where the benefit is greatest.

For the patchbays in the link, there are SO many patch points, and it's a three-man system (Music, Dialog and FX) that I follow the console (Harrison MPC-3/D) color scheme: On the console, all Music routing LEDs and indicators are Red, so all the patch points are red. In addition, all the music router points are now coloured red... FX LEDS are green, so the FX patch points are all green, likewise the FX router screen points. Same for the Dialog, which has Yellow indicators on the console, so the patch points are all yellow, as well as the router points. Shared/common points are tan/brown.

You won't believe how much it helps sort out messes when there are nine dbx compressors, and the FX guy keeps patching into the dialog compressors... (or as in the close-up photo, three TC6000's and three Lexicon 960L's.)

(Click thumbnails for larger pics...)

This is HALF of the patchbay... by the way...

"A waist is a terrible thing to mind"
Quote from: PRR
Ah, but that was 1999; we don't party like that any more.


Colour coding a patchbay?
« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2007, 08:39:26 PM »
Those bays are my inspiration!  Ever since viewing aqua desigs from a good printer, I am a convert to the laser printer color world, but I still prefer Word for the actual formatting.
I use SSL 4K world color coding mostly (geezer!), and then make anything else a shade of blue ( :wink: ), but like keef sez, engineers follow colors so the specific install dictates the scheme.

(or as in the close-up photo, three TC6000's and three Lexicon 960L's.)

Thu-thu-THREE of each?  Thats like a whole TT bay in itself if they are loaded!   :sam:  :sam:  :sam:  :sam:


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