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Snake, Studio 192 and Digimax DP88 with TRS Patch Bay and two compressors – can I make this work?

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asked Sep 25 in PreAmps, Signal Processors and Monitoring Hardware by halfacre (120 points)

After losing my prior studio and gear in a fire, I've taken the opportunity to upgrade to a multi-room, semi-pro setup – only to find myself way over my head. 

Here's the gear I have:

  • 16-Channel Snake with XLR Male Fantail (running from live room)
  • Studio 192
  • Digimax DP88
  • ********* PX3000 TRS Patch Bay
  • ********* Powerplay 8-Channel Headphone Amp
  • WARM WA2A Limiter/Compressor
  • ART Pro VLA II Leveling Amp

Running this all into Logic Pro X on a mid-2012 Mac Pro (USB 2.0) 10.12 (Sierra)

What would be the best way to connect these devices such that I can patch any given signal through one of the compressors (or any other outboard gear down the road)? 

My first attempt connected the fantails to the top row on the back of the TRS patch bay, normaled to the bottom row and out to the 192 and DP88. This worked for the 192, but not for the DP88 - got only hiss on those channels.

Had this worked reliably for all 16 channels, my hope was to patch any of those signals to the compressors wired in on 3 of the remaining 8 channels (2 for the 2 channels on the VLA, and one for the WA-2A). I tested this theory out on the 192 channels that are working, but I just get a lot of noise and a killed signal whenever going through one of the compressors, regardless of configuration and whether phantom power is used or not.

Though I've been religiously careful about phantom power on the TRS connections, the whole thing was making me a bit nervous as all this is brand new gear and I have little idea what I'm doing. I need to back away and get some advice before I blew something.

I can't help but think my going from XLR to TRS and back again in the signal chains (in order to use the patch bay) is messing things up...

Overall it looks like the DP88 isn't yet working for me at all. I have the 192 and DP88 connected according to the instructions in the DP88 documentation (two optical cables and the clock cable). DP88 sync light and the power button are blue, as I understand it should be. The condenser mics I referencing in the live room require phantom power, which I'm using.

It's not clear to me whether Universal Control should be seeing the DP88, but it isn't – it only shows the 192. Tried rescanning the network to no avail.

I've pored through the documentation for both units, and even invited a friend over (who runs his own studio and doesn't understand why this setup won't work for me) but haven't been able to get any further than this so far. I got a fantastic Studio 192, and then a bunch of expensive paperweights... would love to know of a way to put these to work in the manner in in which they were intended. If it means I'm short some crucial pieces of gear – or got some that will never work in my situation – that would be great to know too. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

So if it isn't crystal clear by now, I'm extremely new to this level of gear setup. I can rock the hell out of an Audiobox and a laptop tho, you guys...

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