Guitars come in a variety of shapes and sizes and can be used with a multitude of accessories. One of the most essential accessories for any guitar player is a good set of patch cables.
In this article we’ll take a closer look at what patch cables are, how they’re used, and some of the benefits of using them.
What are Patch Cables?
Patch cables are used to connect the various electronic components of a guitar rig, such as the guitar itself, pedals, and amplifiers. They are short, typically less than two feet in length, and have jacks on either end that can be plugged into the instrument and amplifier.
The most common type of patch cable is an instrument cable, which is used to connect the guitar to the amplifier. Instrument cables are usually a quarter inch in diameter and have two jacks: one for the guitar and one for the amplifier.
Patch cables can also be used to connect pedals together, create effects loops, or patch in external devices such as computers or phones.
These accessories are typically made of coiled shielded cable, which helps reduce interference from outside sources.
Benefits of Using Patch Cables
One of the main benefits of using patch cables is that they help keep your signal path short and clean. The shorter the distance that your signal has to travel, the less likely it is to be degraded by interference or other noise.
Another benefit of using patch cables is that they give you a high degree of flexibility when it comes to configuring your rig. Patch cables allow you to easily add or remove devices from your signal chain, and they make it easy to change the order of your pedals.
Finally, patch cables are relatively inexpensive, so you can experiment with different configurations without breaking the bank.
Now that we’ve answered the question of “What are patch cables?” and identified their benefits, let’s take a look at how they’re used.
How to Use Patch Cables
As we mentioned earlier, patch cables are used to connect the various electronic components of a guitar rig. The most common use for patch cables is to connect the guitar to the amplifier, but they can also be used to connect pedals together, create effects loops, or patch in external devices.
To use a patch cable, simply plug the jacks on either end into the respective devices. Be sure to match the correct jack size (quarter inch for instrument cables, for example) and polarity (tip-positive or tip-negative).
If you’re connecting multiple pedals together, it’s important to pay attention to the order in which they’re connected. The order of your pedals will determine how they interact with each other and will have a big impact on your overall tone.
When connecting pedals, it’s generally best to start with your guitar and work your way through the signal chain from there. For example, if you’re using a wah pedal, you’ll want to connect it before any other pedals in order to avoid colouring the sound of the other pedals.
Patch cables are an essential accessory for any guitar player.
Patch cables give you a high degree of flexibility when it comes to configuring your rig, keep your signal path short and clean, and allow you to experiment with different configurations at a low cost.
Now that you know what patch cables are and how to use them, you’re ready to start building your own guitar rig!