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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Post by Homepage Englisch » Tue Jul 30, 2019 4:45 am

No color coding at all. It's a mess. Using shortest possible cables.

The only rule is, if I'm patching two cables with similar path - two outputs from topmost right module into two neighboring inputs in left module on the bottom, I use different colors so I can tell them apart.

I prefer rigid colorful cables from Mutable Instruments, don't like molded plastic with wide barrels. And thin, shortish yellow cables from MS20 turned out to be excellent, I'm using them in every patch.

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Post by InsectInPixel » Tue Aug 06, 2019 7:34 pm

i use orange cables mostly for clocks. all other colors are up for grabs (length pending)
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Post by Branconnier » Thu Aug 08, 2019 12:09 pm

Same here
MrNovember wrote:I'm really just getting into modular so I don't have that many options. But generally I'm finding shortest possible = the best

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Post by hsosdrum » Thu Aug 08, 2019 6:13 pm

Since I use all Dotcom Studio Cables my patches do follow a color system, but the system is strictly based on the length of the cable, not on the cable's function within the patch. And of course, with Dotcom Studio Cables only the shrink wrap within 2" or so of the connectors is color-coded; the rest of the cable is basic black.

I don't necessarily use the shortest cable that will fit between the connectors, I use the shortest cable length that still allows most of the wire to hang out of the way so I can get at the module knobs. Over time I've found that means using fewer 2-foot cables and more 1-foot and 3-foot cables. (Of course as this older photo below shows, things still can get pretty hairy around the EGs and VCAs.)

Image

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deke
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Post by deke » Fri Aug 09, 2019 7:19 am

I use colors - blue for pitch/audio, red for gates and triggers, grey for clocks, yellow for modulation, and green for modulators modulating modulators. It might seem a bit anal, but it helps me keep track of things and in learning more about all this stuff.

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Post by joeTron » Mon Aug 26, 2019 12:21 pm

I tried that. Worked great until I ran out of this particular color or that. Then my empty wallet came to mind. :zombie:

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Post by naturligfunktion » Tue Aug 27, 2019 2:55 am

It's a mess... but I try to save my long cables so that I am able to patch across the system

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Post by helix » Thu Aug 29, 2019 4:20 pm

Yep!
Green = Audio
Red = CV (so an audio being used as a cv would be red)
Blue = Clock
Yellow = Gate
Purple.... dunno why i got those. but i use them for envelope outputs mostly

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Post by Pelsea » Thu Aug 29, 2019 10:49 pm

Usually I don’t worry about it, but when I’m working on a patch with four or more voices, I use brown for voice 1, red for voice 2 and so on. That way I can quickly follow the yellow cables to find the ADSR for voice 4.

(I have enough cords to do this now, and not so many modules as many here.)
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Post by MindMachine » Sun Sep 01, 2019 12:09 am

I have various lengths of different colors for voice paths and then use various lengths of red, white and black for the control paths. I improvise live so this allows me to see which modules are being used for each voice.

Instant visual feedback for tweaking or trouble shooting.
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Post by spilthyfred » Sun Sep 01, 2019 12:17 am

I've been messing around with different schemes. Lately I have been liking the idea of using a single color for each individual voice.

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Post by Pelsea » Wed Dec 04, 2019 4:01 pm

spilthyfred wrote:I've been messing around with different schemes. Lately I have been liking the idea of using a single color for each individual voice.
After experimenting with various schemes (including individual labels numbering the cords) I've settled on the same approach, a single color for all of the audio cables in a voice. I get the Hosa mixed color packs so I can use the resistor color code, brown, red, orange, yellow, etc. However, for some things like an LFO that goes to several voices, I use one color of a different brand.
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Post by wackelpeter » Thu Dec 05, 2019 2:16 pm

Why not also use colored adhesive tape for the already colored wires to get more different choices? That's what i do, wrap a red tape at both ends of the yellow cable for example to distinguish it better from the one with a blue ring on both ends... works best in my usual rats nests... and when i use lot of cables with the same color i can easily figure out where it's routed at both ends... when you run out of colors of adhesive tape, then continue to use 2 rings at each end or combine different colors...

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Post by Pelsea » Thu Dec 05, 2019 9:15 pm

Colored tape works, but stick (heh) with brand name tape. Bargain bin stuff leaves a gooey mess.

You can also get colored clips.
Last edited by Pelsea on Thu Dec 05, 2019 9:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Pelsea » Thu Dec 05, 2019 9:21 pm

Pelsea wrote:Colored tape works, but stick (heh) with brand name tape. Bargain bin stuff leaves a gooey mess.

You can also get colored clips.

https://www.amazon.com/ezitown-Identifi ... able-4-6mm
Stupid editor lost the URL text. Twice.

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Post by fireclown » Mon Dec 09, 2019 9:21 am

it took a long time to think of a use or strategy involving colored patch cables.
The best I can come up with is keeping the sequencer/switch/quantizer/vco/vcf and EG patch chains of a particular sound a little more obvious. Probably most useful to me for grabbing the right sequencer knobs at the base of the patch.
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Post by Flounderguts » Mon Dec 09, 2019 12:45 pm

I had a color system, but people kept gifting me cables...

What I do now is a secondary color using a band of heatshrink on the barrel. Red barrels are audio, black are primary voice, yellow are modulators.

I found that putting the heatshrink bands on them made a *tactile* difference that made it easier patching in low light conditions. I really liked that, so I used an old soldering iron to make dimples in the barrels of my un-banded cables.

One dot each side is clock and trigger
Two dots are sequencer ends...

What I really want are cables with flat barrels, triangular barrels, and square barrels to go with my round barrels.
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Re: Patch cord color - Do your patches follow a system?

Post by subduct » Fri Mar 06, 2020 8:34 am

I spent much longer than is reasonable thinking about this. In the end:
  • audio = red
    clock/gate/trigger = yellow
    modulators = red
    pitch cv = green
Colours based on what the signal is doing - i.e. if an audio signal is modulating, it's a red cable
I got some 30cm and 60cm polarise cables in each colour which fit nicely across an Intellijel 7u and it does help me visualise signal flow as I am learning.
I reserve the right to abandon this system and by all black cables at any point :twisted:

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Re: Patch cord color - Do your patches follow a system?

Post by starthief » Fri Mar 06, 2020 2:39 pm

My current system is one color per length. It makes patch teardown very quick! Since I patch from scratch, record and unpatch in a single session, around 2-3 hours, it works pretty well.

I'll admit sometimes I do have to trace cables to figure out what I did, though. Color coding by signal type (gate/CV/audio) might bring a little more clarity... or might not? :hmm:

I don't think I would want to try to color code by voice. I commonly find that some patch cables apply to multiple voices, and don't really separate until partway through the flow. I'd probably waste more time trying to decide what color to choose than I'd save.

I'm thinking about ditching stackables for star mults, just for more uniformity in my cables and color coding. That would also help with a length issue. I stick to 24" and under cables, so I can hang them where the dog won't steal and chew them :hihi: but it's a little too short for corner-to-corner patching.
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Re: Patch cord color - Do your patches follow a system?

Post by Monofunk » Fri Mar 06, 2020 3:32 pm

I have a bunch of black patch cords that are various lengths and it's a mess. One reason I haven't chosen to color code is because I'm always tearing down patches and starting over. Maybe if I plan to keep a patch up I'd consider using a color system but that does not happen in practice so I've avoided it. If I were to use a color system I'd probably organize colors by length and not one that followed any logic like audio or CV.

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Re: Patch cord color - Do your patches follow a system?

Post by DSC » Fri Mar 06, 2020 3:34 pm

starthief wrote:
Fri Mar 06, 2020 2:39 pm
My current system is one color per length. It makes patch teardown very quick! Since I patch from scratch, record and unpatch in a single session, around 2-3 hours, it works pretty well.
It works well for long term patches too :tu: The only thing I would add is to try and make your longer cables brighter in color. This way, with a quick glimpse you know where your longer runs are located. This works if you patch in the 'dark' too.

Image

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Re: Patch cord color - Do your patches follow a system?

Post by Monofunk » Fri Mar 06, 2020 3:36 pm

DSC wrote:
Fri Mar 06, 2020 3:34 pm
It works well for long term patches too :tu: The only thing I would add is to try and make your longer cables brighter in color. This way, with a quick glimpse you know where your longer runs are located. This works if you patch in the 'dark' too.
This makes a lot of sense and looks easy to navigate.

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Re:

Post by InsectInPixel » Sat Mar 07, 2020 7:51 pm

Pelsea wrote:
Thu Dec 05, 2019 9:21 pm
Pelsea wrote:Colored tape works, but stick (heh) with brand name tape. Bargain bin stuff leaves a gooey mess.

You can also get colored clips.

https://www.amazon.com/ezitown-Identifi ... able-4-6mm
Stupid editor lost the URL text. Twice.

Image
these are great! i use them now. Thanks!
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Re: Patch cord color - Do your patches follow a system?

Post by Monofunk » Sat Mar 07, 2020 8:28 pm

Those clips look very handy.

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Re: Patch cord color - Do your patches follow a system?

Post by otnemem » Sun Mar 08, 2020 12:26 am

I generally use whatever is available to reduce length of the fable between connectors, but that gives me enough hang to access knobs easily.

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