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FDP Forum / Performer's Corner / Why use a direct box?

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Juice Nichols
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Panama City, FL

I'm just a dude, playing a dude...
Oct 11th, 2017 10:39 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Sure, you can run it straight into the board and it will work. If you have a direct box, I'd use it though. Same with your acoustic guitar, if you have one use it, unless your PA is like mine and has a couple Hi Z inputs in which case you don't need one.

DI info

wborys
OldFartBassPlayerWalt

Robbinsville, NJ

what do you mean the bass is too loud?
Oct 11th, 2017 10:54 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Question: should the extreme low frequencies be rolled off slightly to protect the speakers?

Juice Nichols
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Panama City, FL

I'm just a dude, playing a dude...
Oct 11th, 2017 11:22 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Walt, you shouldn't need to unless it sounds like crap. The speakers themselves should be capable of handling the frequencies they're designed to handle.

Unless your board is equipped with a parametric EQ or you can insert a GEQ on the channel, you'll more than likely be cutting way more of the bass frequencies than you want to anyway. The "bass knob" on most small PA's cut a pretty wide swath (or Q) and you'll more than likely be cutting freq's that you still want.

Peegoo
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Oct 11th, 2017 12:03 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

A direct box is a transformer that converts high-impedance signals like guitar pickups to a low-impedance signal that a typical board likes to see.

Sound quality is a whole lot better and induced noise in the signal is rejected when a direct box is in line. This is critical when recording.

For playing live, it's a wash most of the time unless you have really noisy/dirty power, etc.

Here's a decent overview

gdw3

LA-la-land, CA

Insert clever comment here
Oct 11th, 2017 02:09 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Also, a good reason to use a DI is if you have a long cable run. You're going to get more signal loss (as well as noise, as mentioned above) from a long guitar cable going to the board compared to an equally long XLR cable coming from a DI.

rockstar_not

USA

Thank God for guitars!
Oct 15th, 2017 08:07 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Peegoo and gdw3’s responses are primarily the same and the main reason to use a good DI.

Roly
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Whitehorse Canada

I don't get out much
Oct 16th, 2017 02:59 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

You can't lift the ground on an unbalanced source.

shunka

Willoughby, OH , USA

I'm arrogant and a moron
Oct 18th, 2017 11:08 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

WHAT IF I'm SUB MIXING all the guitars through a small mixer and an XLR into the board?

Juice Nichols
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Panama City, FL

I'm just a dude, playing a dude...
Oct 18th, 2017 11:58 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

The point of the DI is to get a balanced signal into the mixer. What you do with the signal once it's in the mixer doesn't matter with regards to the DI.

Peegoo
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Oct 18th, 2017 02:10 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Right. The DI is necessary prior to the first gain stage in an unbalanced mic or instrument's signal chain.

The DI cancels induced noise before the noise can be amplified (along with desired signal) by a gain stage.

hushnel
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North Florida

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Oct 19th, 2017 03:34 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I have a SABDDI, mostly it's for back up, but occasionally I use it to tweek my sound, if I can't get the amp or bass to do what I want it to. Or direct recording.

Tony Wright
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Stillwater, OK

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Oct 19th, 2017 09:21 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

CAN you? Of course.

SHOULD you?

Depends on how important the gig.

In the end, it is your call. (Edit to add:) I would at least carry a DI in case I get to the gig and the wall circuits are junk or the motor is shot on the ice maker or blender or some other electric device is throwing junk in the wall current. Just common sense from my perspective.

(This message was last edited by Tony Wright at 11:23 PM, Oct 19th, 2017)

Roly
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Whitehorse Canada

I don't get out much
Oct 20th, 2017 03:52 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I think Tony just said the long version of
"you can't lift the ground on an unbalanced signal"

Long coaxial signals can add noise that is impossible to remove.
It's unlikely that short (under 20 feet) coaxial cable will introduce noise into the system unless there are shielding issues with the source(in which case, a DI won't solve the problem) or the cable.

Always use a DI...it's a no brainer.



acplayer

MA

Earn while you learn
Oct 20th, 2017 06:25 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

When in doubt I use a DI.
I have had noise added to the signal when using a (built-in)DI out from a bass amp. This has happened more times than not.

I have never experienced noise added to the signal chain by using a passive DI....

DI w/ ground lift switch = flexibility

My classical ensemble

spacedawg
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Delco, PA

"I'll take a simple C to G
Oct 21st, 2017 11:15 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Acoustic guitars just sound better with DI box IMHO. I assume a bass would benefit from all the circuit goodies as well.

Mick Reid
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Australia

American-made in Oz!!
Oct 21st, 2017 05:36 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I'm pretty late to the party here (as usual) and I'll add that I am far from a "pro sound guy" like some others above.

But in any situation where a high impedance source (guitar, bass) is going into a low impedance input (mixer, DAW) it is my first and natural instinct to use a DI.

For 40 bucks each it's worth having a couple of Behringer DI-100's in your kit.
Say what you want about Behringer, but I've seen plenty of their DI's in pro sound peoples gear boxes and are what I have had in mine for years. They use a 9v battery or phantom power. Cheap, simple, good.


Roly
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Whitehorse Canada

I don't get out much
Oct 22nd, 2017 05:31 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I have no issues with the noise level or tone of Behringer DIs.
I do have an issue with the proximity of the pad switches to the 1/4" input.

We were filming a live show and the artist comes out and plugs in....Roly takes the mute off of the acoustic guitar rail and it goes nuts.
Turns out that the performer inadvertently disengaged one of the 20 dB pad switches while plugging in his guitar cable.
After that, I started taping bottle caps over the pad switches.
My current go to DIs are BSS AR-116.
Not only do they have the usual pad switches, they have a polarity switch and a three position low pass filter....very handy for zingy acoustics and violins.


gmanNJ
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Joisey

Oct 22nd, 2017 06:30 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Behringer makes good stuff IMO but its delicate. The price point is good tho....good enough to carry a spare if/when the main unit takes a dump.

I have a couple passive Whirlwind EDB-1
solid extruded metal construction but its passive.

My go to is this one.
I use phantom power and beat the crap outta it
Been using it for years now-it owes me nothing. BUT I do keep the passive ones in the gig bag just in case

Behringer Ultra DI model DI-100

Juice Nichols
Contributing Member
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Panama City, FL

I'm just a dude, playing a dude...
Oct 23rd, 2017 06:59 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

The only Behringer product I've had go bad (and I have numerous products) was an active DI. What I thought was a bad cable from a keyboard actually turned out to be the input jack on the DI. Other than that I don't have a negative thing to say about their products.

RicOkc

Nicoma Park, OK.

"Let the music do the talking"
Oct 26th, 2017 11:04 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Consistent sound no matter where you are.

Previous 20 Messages  

FDP Forum / Performer's Corner / Why use a direct box?




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