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Creating Custom Patch Leads for an Aphex Aural Exciter Rack Unit

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As part of a series of on-site visits I made to a Pro Tools studio in South London, UK, I helped resolve why my client wasn’t able to connect his Aphex Aural Exciter rack unit as an insert effect on a channel of his Soundcraft TS24 Mixer via his bantam patchbay.

I started with basic checks, made sure the settings on the were correct, the unit was powering on correctly and that the right power supply was connected. I made sure that the cables were in the right sockets and that the patch connections were working with other gear in the studio. I tested the setup on other mixer channels that I knew were working in order to eliminate the mixer as a problem. I was able to determine that the mixer channel was fine and that the exciter was working with a different set of jack cables running outside an insert point connection.

After testing with my multimeter and reading various technical specification sheets online, I found the answer was to do with how the insert points on a Soundcraft TS24 are balanced on the insert returns but not the insert sends. The patch leads my client was using needed to be resoldered to work properly with this configuration of his equipment. Not a problem. Got my soldering kit out of my bag and repurposed four patch leads into two new custom ones for this pair of connections.

This is a pic of two existing patch leads I combined to create a custom lead. Not a picture of the finished lead.

Once the leads were created, I tested the signal path and confirmed the client was now able to use his Aphex Aural Exciter as an insert effect on his mixer.

About the Author


I’m the owner and lead technician for Audio Support, a small company based in London, UK that connects remotely with clients worldwide to help them with their music technology issues. I’ve run Audio Support since 2005 and in that time I’ve seen and solved thousands of recording studio problems. 

Outside of Audio Support, I run music workshops at a local school, play bass in a 90s tribute function band and perform modular synth jams with friends on Twitch.

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