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Why Be Normalled

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Basically it's when you have one set of jacks connected to another set, usually the ones below. So, if you wire the output of a device to the top jacks, and wire the input of another device to the bottom jacks, then they are "normally" connected, without using a patch cable - but you can use a patch cable to break that normalled connection and re-route the input elsewhere, or send something else into the 2nd device. :)
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Well put, Chris. Additionally, normal-ing comes in two, "flavors", full or half normal. Full normal-ing indicates that a patch cable in either receptacle on your patch bay will cut the connection. Half normal-ing indicates that one receptacle can act as a Y-jack, while the other cuts the normal. Common uses of half normal-ing would be [list=1] [*]\The effects loop on a guitar amp. [/list] In this manner, you can route the output to another device without interupting the normal signal flow. If you choose to route another mixer channel or any line out to that particular recorder input, the patch cable disconnects the normal channel output. This eliminates additional noise from the now unused mixer channel. I prefer the sound of my Korg Pandora multi-effect over the channels on my solid state, Fender Power Chorus, guitar amp. By taking the stereo output of the Korg and plugging into the stereo returns on the amp, I bypass all circuitry save for the Chorus effect, reverb, and power amps/speakers. Again, less noise is the primary objective of breaking the normal. There are many routing configurations that are possible with normal-ing. You can reverse the above description to create a multiple y-jack for summing several signals to one input. Diagram the typical signal flow from mics and instruments to mixer channels to effects, recorders, and monitoring before you set up your patchbay. This will enable you to better design positions and normal-ing of your system. If you need un-normal-ed inputs or outputs, you can either reverse modules in your patch bay so the normal-ed side faces the rear of your rack. This causes the normal to be broken by the cables connecting your gear to the patchbay. Hope this assists you. :)

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