For those who doubt the need for a DI box

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Guitarfreak, Apr 14, 2010.

  1. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member

    I did a side by side today simulating having a DI box vs. not having one. (I don't actually have one) Before you say WTF, here's what I did.

    1. Run guitar into MXR KFK 10 Band EQ (has two identical outputs)
    2. One output goes to amp
    3. One goes to FireBox HI-Z input.

    Then I set up a mic and recorded the mic and dry DI at the same time. I reamped the DI through my Radial PRO RMP straight to the amp and recorded at the same settings and mic position. This is what ensued.

    SoundClick artist: Bleeding Arrows - page with MP3 music downloads
    SoundClick artist: Bleeding Arrows - page with MP3 music downloads
  2. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    And your point is is that you cannot hear a difference? Did you notice the extra buzz? That part was free. You didn't need to do anything extra to get that. The whole point of re-amping is to utilize a different sounding amplifier, a different placement of the microphones for a stereo effect based in an acoustic environment, digital stereo FX to create a pseudo-stereo feed to the same amplifier twice to make stereo. What? You don't realize that the Radial PRO RMP IS A DIRECT BOX. You merely need to run it backwards if there are no active electronics inside as described. It's a transformer that matches low impedance to high impedance. You run it backwards and it's a DI box. You never knew you had one did you? Plugging your guitar into an equalizer is a bad experiment. Gain staging is all wrong. Impedance matching is wrong. It's not a high enough input impedance. It's only a 10K to 20K input. You need a 1 million ohm input. Even your direct box is probably only 50K on the high impedance side. Too much loading on the pickups. Then what is it you want to accomplish should be your question.

    Death metal for dead ears
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  3. jg49

    jg49 Well-Known Member

    Remy wrote "Plugging your guitar into an equalizer is a bad experiment. Gain staging is all wrong. Impedance matching is wrong. It's not a high enough input impedance. It's only a 10K to 20K input. You need a 1 million ohm input."

    While the addition of graphic eq pedals are sure to add some noise I don't think the impedance match in the specific eq GF used is as wrong as Remy made it out to be. MXR KFK1 Kerry King 10 Band EQ Pedal | Sam Ash Music 1-800-4-SAMASH

    The MXR box is specifically designed for guitar, it has stereo outs on it, I guess with a mono source they would be identical not really sure how the box is wired.
  4. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member

    No actually my point was that plugging straight into the amp gave you an accurate signal versus taking a DI through my converter then reamping. The amp shows the pickup the correct impedance and thus results in a strong signal from the pickups. I found the reamped signal to be dull and frumpy sounding and far undersaturated. I also heard much more low lows and highs come through on the amp version, the reamped one seemed a big squashed. Considering that I reamp most or all of my projects these days I am convinced to get a dedicated reamp box. One of the Countryman 85 sort.
  5. Jeemy

    Jeemy Well-Known Member

    I've been looking at the MW1 studio tool - you might wanna check it out?
  6. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    Oy Vay
  7. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    We need to get some stuff cleared up here. While you can use SOME DI boxes to "re-amp", that is certainly NOT their intended use in 90% of the applications out there in Musicland. DI's are designed to properly load and isolate a high impedance source (geetar pickups, keyboard outs, and the like) to drive a (usually) long, ( and hopefully) balanced line to the mic preamp on a mixing board. Without noise pick-up. Or level drops. Or HF response loss. The fact that you can take a passive (transformer-balanced) DI box and use it bass-ackards to re-amp is icing on the cake. And talk to the folks at Countryman. The 85 is an active DI and not designed to re-amp. At all. AFAIK, active DI's do not pass signal backwards.
    A transformer-based passive DI is your best bet for that . Or even better, a dedicated Radial box.

    And that Kerry King tattooed box, while it DOES have 2 outputs to provide some "stereo-like" effects processing, the outputs are not actually stereo...they are 2 outputs simply wired together in parallel fashion, driven by some little Chinese chip that provides a bit of buffering.

    Oy vey to be sure.
  8. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member

    Oh yeah, I never thought the KFK ten band was for use as a DI, that's not the point of this thread. The DI box part of it (and it's really tongue in cheek) is the guitar straight to the amp because using high quality DI box and reamp boxes before and after the AD/DA helps to simulate a true guitar to amp relationship. The non-DI box part of it was taking the guitar straight DI without DI box and then reamping it through the reamp box. Silly I know, but it gets the point across. I just wanted to show what NOT using a DI box takes away from the tone when you don't use one. Anyway, I was just using the KFK to split the mono signal to two pieces so that I could run one to the amp and one to the neutrik connector as if I was taking a straight DI of the guitar plugged in there. I thought that was implied, but I guess I should have explained further.

    I'll do another comparison in a few weeks when I get the DI box.
  9. Space

    Space Distinguished Member

    I can hardly wait...
  10. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    currently Billings
    I'd say the majority of pro studios mike the amp and don't use the DI unless it's as a duplicate track. Bass guitar on the other hand is more often a DI track. A properly tweaked guitar rig will have a bloom to the sound that a DI box can't duplicate no matter the amp modeling. YMMV.
  11. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member

    I just like doing it because it allows me the luxury of nailing the performance (at low volume) and worrying about the tone later.
  12. jg49

    jg49 Well-Known Member

    I have never been able to accurately reproduce in all aspects a guitar/amp hookup utilizing any of several reamping methods. I have used passive DI reversed, I presently use an active Radial J48 and a Radial Xamp (specifically designed reamp device) and that has produced the best results. It still does not quite match up to the spark of guitar meets amp and falls in love, more like heavily drinking sot meets ex wife has a quick go round. I take a DI on nearly every recording it is great for doubling or when you get that brilliant improvisational passage but the amp tonality isn't quite right eg; too distorted, noisy pedals, etc. Nothing beats the REAL THING, or is that Coke's slogan?
  13. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member

    Haha, good point. Just about the only thing I think you can't do with reamping is feedback, but if you are clever I think you could probably pull that off too. I also like how you can EQ the guitar signal before you send it to the amp. Essentially before it interacts with any gain staging (other than the recording process) which greatly affects how the amp sounds. You can EQ the pickup, tighten the frequency response, or curve it to make it sound the way that you want... BEFORE it hits the amp. Yeah you've got EQ pedals and rack units to use, but IMO they're not as intimate as a parametric EQ with fully tweakable parameters. 'Chemistry' can't be measured in the audio world, much as it can't be measured in the bedroom, when it's there you know it, and when it's not... you don't get a call back.

    I think the effectiveness of reamping lies within your equipment and not really technique related at all. The more "accurate" your setup is, the more accurate the actual transmission of initial signal will be all the way to the amp. Unfortunately it's an intricate setup with lots of opportunities for quality loss. I've heard a clip from a friend of mine who does professional reamping comparing straight through to reamping and the difference was about %5, with only the sub lows being affected. In a mix, I don't think you are going to miss those too much. The tone was unaffected and the feel was still there.
  14. soapfloats

    soapfloats Well-Known Member

    Cincinnati, OH
    Home Page:
    That's just fantastic. My nominee for metaphor of the year!
    I've tried re-amping w/ a passive DI, and my experiences are similar.
    Additive, yes. Replacement, no.
  15. jg49

    jg49 Well-Known Member

    Maybe you could get your friend to pop in here and tell us how/what he is doing I'd love to learn.

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