For those of you (like me) that have many ADAT-compatible devices that you seem to repatch every now and then (or very often), you need to check out this unit.

Made by Frontier Design Group, it is a 12in/12out lightpipe patchbay, accomodating 96 channels of audio. I actually bought a digital patchbay a couple of years ago by another manufacturer, only to be highly dissappointed that it only worked with 16 bit ADAT protocols--pretty much useless. So, I was hesitant on this purchase.

This unit is nice! Now, I have full patch capablities between my DA7 digital console, Mackie MDR hard disk recorder, DIGI002R, external preamps (with ADAT outs), and multichannel ADA converters. During tracking I have the instant option of tracking to the 002R or the Mackie. I can backup projects from the mackie to the computer via the 002R (supposing I would ever need to--but I can!), link the preamps to either the Mackie or 002R, etc. etc. You guys get the picture.

The only drawback I have found is that there is no included or optional software "control panel" that can interface with the unit. The unit is MIDI controllable via sysex messages, and I'm sure the right person could code a neat little program for it (hint hint).

All in all, this product is a must-have in a predominately ADAT lightpipe studio. The patchbay also works with SPDIF (TosLink) signals, too (NOTE: The behavior of the unit is that of a physical fiber patchbay, so no format or sample rate conversions are possible). While it won't make your recordings sound better, per se, it will allow you to work much faster!

Pros: Flexibility; well-built; simple to operate; no clocking issues.
Cons: No control software.

Overall: 9.5 out of 10

For more info: