A device used to make it easier to patch into various points of an equipment setup. Patch bays are comprised of several jacks that are wired to the equipment in a studio or live system. All of the ‘patch points’ one needs access to in the system show up at the patch bay, where they can easily be routed one place or another by plugging short lengths of wire between the points on the bay. The idea comes from the old telephone days where phone operators manually patched connections together so your mom could talk to aunt Mable. Similarly when you want to insert a compressor on that out of control bass track you can simply do it at the patch bay instead of having to crawl around under or behind the mixer and tape deck. Patch bay points can be wired in a variety of configurations including balanced and unbalanced, and with functionally different modes of operation such as Full Normal, Half-Normal, Open, Mult, and others.