Studio Signal Flow – Prezi Slideshow

Studio Signal Flow


  • Signal Flow Concept
  • Signal types and Connections
  • Signal Flow Diagrams
  • Patchbays


Signal Flow

the defined directional “flow” of sound throughout a studio, setup, system, rig or whatever.

Types of Patchbays

Signal Flow Break Down

XLR – 1/4″ – TT

Most signal audio production signal flows can be broken down into this basic format:

XLR Patchbay


1/4″ Patchbay



Used to interconnect any piece of equipment throughout a studio

Passive Attenuation

Signal Processing




Signal flow is routed throughout a studio via external cables or internal busing

TT Patchbay

with db25 connections on back

Analog vs. Digital Signals

Patchbay Normals

De-Normal, Full-Normal, Half-Normal

De-Normal (Open)


Most simple patchbay configuration. Requires every piece of equipment to be patched with a patch cable.

Automatic connection between top and bottom. Allows for “normally connected” signal paths to remain connected without patching. Adding a patch cable to the top or bottom breaks the normal.

Block Diagrams

An overview of a system’s signal flow


Most common studio patchbay setup. Similar to full-normal, but the normal is not broken if a patch cable is plugged into the TOP jack. It splits the signal, keeping the normal and allowing for an additional signal path. Plugging into the BOTTOM jack breaks the normal.

Block Diagram Symbols


Active Gain Stage

Fixed Attenuation

Allows boosting or cutting of signal loudness

Pan Pot

Panoramic Potentiometer

Attenuation Only

Block Diagram Examples