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What should my next upgrade be?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Guitarfreak, Jul 5, 2009.

  1. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member

    I had a few threads about my next mic, but the past few nights I've been helping someone to record better guitar tone and it occurred to me that I don't have a DI box. I think that that is a necessary evil before a second mic. What do you think?
     
  2. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Why? I mean there is nothing wrong with a DI. I have a dozen of them left over in my road kit, but why do YOU think you need one? Doesn't your amp head have a separate output that functions as a DI?
     
  3. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member

    well I think I need a DI because I've been told that it's better to have that dry signal going in via XLR at lo z than a hi z connection through a 1/4" connection. And once you have the dry signal there you can pretty much do anything with it, with re-amping and software emulation and all that. Another mic is just another track you can only do so much with. Unless what I've been told has been over hyped, then in that case I don't really need a DI box.
     
  4. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    I take DI's off pianos, electracoustic guitars, it sounds fine. Maybe a little ... in your face (which is why you want the amp/mic - it adds depth and lets you get vocals in FRONT of the guitar in the mix).

    The DI reduces noise and may change the tone very slightly for the better (extended highs and blah blah blah).
     
  5. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Ok. So now you think you need a DI and know why one might want to use a DI. There are for your purposes three types, 1-active 2-passive & 3-the DI off of your guitar head. Any or all of them are good and useful.
     
  6. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member

    I'm thinking passive DI box because

    1. reamping and two way signal flow
    2. price :D

    Using the Emulated DI out on my guitar amp has given me mediocre results before and I would avoid using it if I can get a nice pretty little box to play with :cool:



    http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/ProDI/

    but I know Remy likes this one

    http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/JDI

    Also, if I MUST go active...

    link removed
     
  7. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    Cheap DIs: they'll suck depth out of your midrange. But they'll suck less than just plugging it into a cheap mixer preamp.

    Expensive DIs: leave you depth in the mids.

    Active DIs: give you extended HF response and maybe more features (the added power to the circuits lets you have things like splitters, and the box I have lets you connect speaker level outputs (like, 40W guitar amps).
    Annoying when you don't notice you hit the switch, and you wonder where 40dB of your guitar signal has gone...
     
  8. jg49

    jg49 Well-Known Member

    Query? Where exactly would this proposed DI go in your signal chain?
     
  9. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member

    It would be the first thing that I plug my guitar into. The hard bypass of the box would go into my effects/drives and the XLR out would go straight to my FireBox.

    Code, are you implying that $99 is considered 'cheap' in the world of DI? and that I should devote more money to it in order to get any desirable results out of it?
     
  10. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    I don't know what's cheap and not. I just know what I can and can't afford...
     
  11. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    If you are looking for quality of recording then I would go for the JDI passive box with the Jensen transformers. Otherwise there isn't any advantage to your "clean" channel.
     
  12. jg49

    jg49 Well-Known Member

    Since your firebox has instrument level input on at least one channel you do not need a DI in order to direct in your electric guitar. A simple y cable would be sufficient provided both your amp and the firebox were plugged into the same outlet using polarized plugs thus almost eliminating the chance of ground loop hum.
    The only reason I can think to do this is to reamp and you would probably be better off with something like this for that purpose
    http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/ProRMP/
    Ifr you are looking for a slightly different sound the y cable could be placed after your pedals and sent direct to your Firebox, this too could be reamped of course you would be stuck with the pedal settings. The other thing Davedog was talking about is sending the clean signal (first option) through VST guitar plugin like Pod Farm etc.
    Just don't think that for the investment you are really upgrading.
     
  13. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member

    So jg, contrary to what I've been told a DI box will not sound at all better than plugging my instrument cable straight into channel 3 or 4 in the back of my box? Well if that's true then that's a bit disheartening. The results I get are so dark that they don't really contain many frequencies above 5000Hz, and that's if I'm lucky!

    Well, I did just swap my volume pots out for higher rated ones and my tone has brightened a bit, so maybe I will try to DI later sometime and see how it works? :?
     
  14. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    This is where I feel the quality of the preamp circuitry comes into play, and to some extent the AD conversion.
     
  15. jg49

    jg49 Well-Known Member

    If you plug your guitar into the rear of the Firebox your results will be poor, these rear inputs are for line level. The front #2 input is the mic/instrument and the center hole of the neutrik connector will accept 1/4" instrument input. THe rear input is where you should be plugging a DI from your amp which in most cases is after the preamp and is line level. Try it and your DI recording should improve greatly. Here is your manuals diagram
    http://www.presonus.com/media/diagrams/04_FIREBOXhookupbig.jpg
     
  16. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member

    yeah I still don't really get the difference between the different signal types, you know line level and such. I've plugged into both and actually I've gotten better results straight into the inputs in the rear :\ And before you ask yes I did remember to set the preamp levels properly when plugged in the neutrik. I don't know, there was just less noise and dropouts in the rear.

    As it is now I can use these to run a split signal. I don't really like using the Metal Master that much however because I can't help but feel like it colors the tone too much. The EQ is IMO the best way to go, I'll leave it flat and maybe give it a volume boost to hit the amp harder.

    link removed

    link removed
     
  17. jg49

    jg49 Well-Known Member

    Dropouts, noise? WTH? Record into 3 and record into 2, guitar only and then guitar and pedals and post an example as you like to say.
     
  18. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member

    Haha, I just got home. I will search for an example of both inputs recorded DI, I know they are there somewhere, but where is the question...
     
  19. A DI BOX IS GREAT FOR DOING JUST WHAT YOU DESCRIBED FOR BALANCED +4 DBu GEAR. SOME PEOPLE LIKE THE NATURAL COMPRESSION YOU CAN GET FROM MORE EXPENSIVE DI BOXES, HOWEVER MY EXPERIENCE WITH HOME STUDIO TYPE OF INTERFACES OR DIGITAL MIXERS IS THAT SOME INPUTS DOUBLE AS TS AND TRS 1/4 INCH, USUALLY AT LEAST TWO, SOMTIMES MORE, AND BOTH SOUND GREAT EVEN THE OLD 001 I WAS USING. ALSO PODS AND OTHER SIMULATOR PREAMPS ALSO HAVE THIS FUNCTION OF CHOICE WITH OUTPUTS, AND DOUBLE AS DI BOXES, TS OR TRS. DONT GET TO CAUGHT UP WITH THE PHYSICS, ITS LIKE RAY CHARLES SAID, IT DOESENT MATTER HOW MANY TRACKS OR WHAT KIND OF EQUIPMENT, THE QUESTION IS...... HOW DOES IT SOUND BABY.
     
  20. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Apparently Ray Charles also typed in CAPS all the time also.

    But then, he had a good excuse.
     

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