A Patch Bay allows convenient changes in the setup of electronic and musical instruments. Since a large amount of rack-mounted equipment ends up being mounted in a rack, it can be difficult to keep opening the back up to swap around cables. A patch bay has connections in the front and back. The connectors in the back are attached to the equipment inside the rack, and the connectors on the front are used to select where the signals are routed to.


  +-------------+
  | Unit One    | Reverb
  +-------------+
  | Unit Two    | Digital Delay
  +-------------+
  | PATCH BAY   |
  | 1 2 3 4 5 6 | Connector Numbers
  +-------------+
  | Unit Three  | Dolby/dbx Noise Reduction
  +-------------+
  | Unit Four   | Distortion
  +-------------+
  | Unit Five   | Chorus
  +-------------+

In this example, Unit One goes to connector 1, Unit Two to connector two, etc. Say we do not want to use the distortion system in or new song. If you didn't have a patch bay, you would have to go into the cabinet and re-route wires. With the patch bay, your signal can go from 1 to 2 to 3 to 5. All you would have to do is install jumper wires to the connectors on the patch bay. There are different types of connectors available for patch bays, such as MIDI and 1/4-inch sockets.