Patch cord color - Do your patches follow a system?

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Do your patches follow a color system?

No, all my patch cords should have the same color
7
4%
No, I just use whatever cable color/lengths that are available
111
70%
Yes, and I try to follow a specific system (please elaborate in a comment)
41
26%
 
Total votes: 159

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snakehead
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Post by snakehead » Thu Oct 09, 2014 9:22 pm

sduck wrote:Blue. 3 feet long. Exclusively. Everything that can be patched can be patched with 3 foot long blue cables. To use anything else is folly. Inconceivable. If you're not using blue 3 foot cables, you're just wasting your time. :deadbanana:


am I gonna have to put a smilie on this?
Oh yeah, this is the way to go! Somehow the patches sound sweeter when you use only blue cables, all at three feet length!

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Chaotic
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Post by Chaotic » Fri Oct 10, 2014 10:10 am

My patchcords are like my music.
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Midiot
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Post by Midiot » Mon Nov 26, 2018 1:43 pm

Yes...mostly color-coded.
At least I try to, sometimes I run out of a color.
(these are simply my own choices, my personal plan)

BLUE....V/octave, pitch, audio voice.
GREEN.....gates and triggers, modulated timing, anything from gates.
GREY...clocks exclusively.
YELLOW and WHITE....mostly reserved for "long cables".
BROWN, ORANGE, BLACK, PURPLE, RED...used for anything else.

Amounts..

My largest collection is Greens (gates) all different sizes.
Next largest is Blue.
Grey cables are the hardest to find (buy), but thankfully I don't need too many.

I have a Synthrotech triangular hanging cable organizer.....bolted to the top of a cheap mic stand. It swivels/turns nicely.

http://store.synthrotek.com/Cable-Holder-27_p_584.html
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(type of music I make.... drone atmospheres, deep late-night beats.)

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Midiot
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Post by Midiot » Mon Nov 26, 2018 1:51 pm

Refund wrote:I try to stick to the one colour for every 'voice' I patch up in my system
This an interesting idea too...though I haven't tried it.
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Pelsea
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Post by Pelsea » Mon Nov 26, 2018 2:46 pm

I number them, using electrician's tear off number tape (comes in little cards or in a dispenser). I only use the numbers when I'm taking a patch out for performance. Then I write a list of what each cord connects to. When I'l rebuilding a patch, I pull any cord out of the bag and the number tells me where to connect it.

I'd like to color code the cords for each voice in a patch, but I doubt I'll ever own that many cords.
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Post by Antonio Blanca » Tue Nov 27, 2018 8:30 am

I've had started with one single color but moved to a three color theme time ago. I am quite happy with this system so far:

Pink = Audio IN/OUTS.
White = Anything is not Audio IO or a random voltage.
Orange = Randomization.

I'use randomization a lot over my patches so having them controlled visually is crucial. It also helps a lot to know the random density in my patch just by having a look to it.

The only cables are creating some "color chaos" are the stacked ones, they are free souls :)

Cheers :miley:

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Post by pricklyrobot » Tue Nov 27, 2018 10:15 am

I do fixed colors for “constants”: blue for Gate, pink for Pitch CV, red for modulation. Then I use ‘color per voice’ for just the audio path.

I specifically sought out cable brands that had each color in multiple legnths.

I’ve only got a 6U system, but my memory is visual and I’m easily confused;)

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Post by gonkulator » Tue Nov 27, 2018 11:13 am

I have changed my scheme to leaning heavily toward length >= color. It seems to make more sense for me since my patches are not usually up for very long. It makes it a lot easier to put cables back quickly. I can have two lengths the same color, but one color not more than one length.
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ersatzplanet
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Post by ersatzplanet » Tue Nov 27, 2018 11:36 am

I have a big enough system that I typically do more than one sound or patch at a time, so I *try* to use the same color for all elements of that patch. It really helps troubleshooting or modifying a patch when all associated modules are easily identified by the color of the cord. The only deviation happens when I just don't have the color in the length I need. Typically this is on long between cabinet connections and I have long black cords with colored O-rings on the ends for that.

The length color coding idea is much less useful for me, and is not really needed since I hang my cords and can easily tell the lengths by just looking at them. When looking at a fully patched system, having the different sounds coded by the color of the cords is MUCH more useful to me. Want to find the filter that module is connected to? Look for the filter patched by the same color. Want to remove a sound from the modular, as in - that bass line is just not working, why not make a tonal drone instead? Just pull all the cables of that color and start over.
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SunPulse
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Post by SunPulse » Tue Nov 27, 2018 6:06 pm

I have a smaller system but I do try to keep cable colours organized. But only because I'm anal and it bugs me if I don't.

Green = CV
Red = Gate/Trigger
Yellow = Audio
Blue = Modulation
Purple = That one lonely cord that goes to my tuner

:hmm:
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NewAndImprov
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Post by NewAndImprov » Tue Nov 27, 2018 9:31 pm

The only color coding I use is for my external sequencers, an SQ1 and a Keystep, I use purple for pitch and green for gate, kind of a mnemonic device. Once the signal gets into the modular, I use whatever cord works despite the color.

cycad73

Post by cycad73 » Tue Nov 27, 2018 9:51 pm

I use the Serge scheme for bananas and the stackcable scheme for stackcables... color coding by length does help. Otherwise I don't code -- color for me *means* length.

I've found that it helps to use **close to** the shortest length cable possible for every patch, without putting any tension on the cable. Just have them be a little longer than they need to be but no more.

I'm a bit OCD and I hate seeing the mess caused by overly long cables. I'll just quickly repatch if I've chosen a cable that's too long, unless I've run out of the proper length.

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paranormind
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Post by paranormind » Tue Nov 27, 2018 11:16 pm

I started following a per-length pattern, but in practice, when patching my 6U system, I end with a vast majority of 20cm or 30cm cables. So decided to just randomize and tend to follow 1-color per "signal voice".

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wackelpeter
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Post by wackelpeter » Wed Nov 28, 2018 12:04 pm

i don't use Colour codes but with all the volours i have and the very large number of cables often ending up in a rats nest, i Always thought of Stripping some coloured adhesive tape to the Ends of each cable making them more distinguable in the mess with which i often end up...

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pirx
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Post by pirx » Wed Nov 28, 2018 5:20 pm

I am using color by length scheme (red = 4", orange = 8", yellow = 12", green = 18", blue = 24", purple = 36", black = 72"), silicone 12 AWG cable with Pomona 1825 stackable banana plugs. Signal/CV path in banana systems tends to split and diverge a lot, so I find coloring by length more useful in practice than coloring by voice.

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Post by Parnelli » Wed Nov 28, 2018 5:32 pm

sduck wrote:Blue. 3 feet long. Exclusively. Everything that can be patched can be patched with 3 foot long blue cables. To use anything else is folly. Inconceivable. If you're not using blue 3 foot cables, you're just wasting your time. :deadbanana:


am I gonna have to put a smilie on this?
This must be where I'm going wrong then, because I'm using 4 foot cables in multiple but meaningless colors... :doh:

Honestly though that being said I've often thought about such an organizational thing as color coding cables, but once I'm excited and patching I'm reaching for whatever I can get my hands on really.

Maybe some day...

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Post by cptnal » Thu Nov 29, 2018 4:00 am

My patches are colour coded by time. The earliest connections are very disciplined with maybe one colour representing CV, another pitch and so on. Or they may be colour coded by voice. But once I start getting carried away colour choices are dictated by what cables I have left and where my hand lands when I reach for one. :goo:

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Post by cornutt » Thu Dec 06, 2018 1:39 pm

wackelpeter wrote:i don't use Colour codes but with all the volours i have and the very large number of cables often ending up in a rats nest, i Always thought of Stripping some coloured adhesive tape to the Ends of each cable making them more distinguable in the mess with which i often end up...
I have some cables where I've done the trick with colored electrical tape on the ends. Hmm... idea. Get a Pancode number-sticker book and number the cables. I wonder how much that would help. May have to try it...
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pugix
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Post by pugix » Sat Dec 08, 2018 10:48 am

My 5U patch cords (1/4 inch) have color coded sleeves. Most are from synthesizers.com, which are coded like the resistor code for length (brown = 1 foot, red = 2 foot, etc.).

Getting into Euro I started out with bunches of patch cords of different makes, lengths, and colors. It was confusing. Some of the cords had wide barrels, some narrow, some in between. Some were smooth, others kinky. I bought sets of Tiptop stack cables, which come color coded by length.

Since I'm used to finding a cord by length, I was aggravated by having some green cables 20 inches long, others 12, etc.. So eventually I sought and bought regular cables the same length and color as the Tiptops and added more longer ones. Now, when I see a purple cord, I know it is 24 inches long, etc. A green cord of any kind is about the same length as the Tiptop green cable, etc. If a patch cord is just a little too short for my purpose, I know which ones are next up in length. And I've narrowed the number of different types of cord down to four.
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Post by fluxmonkey » Sat Dec 08, 2018 10:19 pm

when i was doing 1/4", i had a chance to get a bunch of custom cables made. all cables were coded by length (different cable color by length); within each length i had as many different heatshrink strain relief colors as were available, to make it easier to trace in a complex patch.
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Do your patches follow a colour system?

Post by MarkLaEl » Sun Jul 14, 2019 11:18 am

I use the following colour code for cables:-

BLUE CV
GREEN CLOCK RATES, TRIGGERS, GATES and LFO's
YELLOW RAW AUDIO OSCILLATOR SIGNALS
RED ALL OTHER AUDIO SIGNALS

All my non-5U gear uses Davies 1900S series from THONK.

If I could afford it I would have colour-anodised discs on every knob on the BOX66 Synthesizers.com system. In the meantime I have coloured the exisiting metal caps with Permanent Marker which sounds crap but is actually quite effective.
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morgulbee
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Post by morgulbee » Sun Jul 14, 2019 1:56 pm

I use all the colors of the rainbow in various lengths. I find it easier to trace them than if I used the color-by-length or color-by-purpose schemes. I certainly see how useful those can be, but I don't think they would work for me as well as rainbow colors.

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Post by Parnelli » Sun Jul 14, 2019 2:41 pm

I try to be organized as such, I really do. In fact most of my patches start out with a patch cable theme, but as I am a type A person stuck in a type B body it all goes to hell in a hand bag in a hurry once I get excited... :doh:

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Patch Cord Colour

Post by MarkLaEl » Mon Jul 15, 2019 9:11 am

I use the following code for Patch cables and, where possible knob colour as well:-

BLUE CV
GREEN CLOCK RATES, LFO's, GATES and TRIGGERS
YELLOW RAW AUDIO OSCILLATOR WAVEFORMS
RED ALL OTHER AUDIO SIGNALS

I don't see the point in colour coding cable lengths as once the Patch is made, the length is irrelevant.

I wish suppliers would offer the option of a single colour set, because where I have had to purchase a set of six colours, I have a growing stack of 'totally unusable' BLACK and WHITE ones!!!


If I could afford it, I would order colour-anodised discs for the Moog-style knobs but in the interim have coloured mine with Permanent Markers which sounds crap but actually looks quite good.Image
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chiasticon
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Post by chiasticon » Tue Jul 16, 2019 8:54 am

length is more important than color. if a cable is longer than it needs to be, you have more to sort through to find where the hell everything's going. and if the colors are random, fine. just so long as there are colors. everything the same would make it even more confusing. I follow the same approach with 1/4" cables into my mixer/patch bay. so when I'm troubleshooting something, I only have to follow the path of the one or two red cables (or blue, or green, etc), instead of possibly every cable.

that said, I don't play out. if I did, and I took a modular, I would organize it by color and maybe label some cables/cable groups.

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