Long cable runs for DI

Discussion in 'Accessories / Connections' started by Bobby Yarrow, Feb 26, 2004.

  1. Bobby Yarrow

    Bobby Yarrow Guest

    I'm trying to think of how to get DI bass from the live room to the control room without such a long run at instrument-level. I think it's pretty clear that the bass sounds better when it's in the control room getting plugged straight into a preamp with a 10-ft cable or whatever. If I'm tracking bass from the live room, the path is pretty long: at best it's instrument> splitter> breakout thing > 30 foot (?) cable> preamp.

    Seems to me I'd do better if I showed the bass something of proper impedance early on, or if I managed to make the long run at line level, or both. Bringing the preamp into the live room isn't a really viable option, and I'm not sure that putting a DI in front of the preamp would do the preamp any good.

    How do you handle this?
  2. deanp920

    deanp920 Guest

    If you could please rephrase these statements, citing your specific gear by brand name, your question would be much easier to answer.

    Don't make any generalizations; every set-up is different. I need to know exactly what you have and how it is connected, before trying to advise you.

  3. Bobby Yarrow

    Bobby Yarrow Guest

    Hi. Ok, well, there's a couple ways I do it, but here's one:

    Bass (say a p-bass, something with passive p/u's) > via instrument cable to > an a/b/y box (say a whirlwind) > connected via instrument cable to > a break-out box at the end of a snake (like a stage box, a set 1/4" TRS female jacks mounted in box at the end of a snake) > via about 30' of snake to > the instrument input on a preamp (say avalon 737).

    That run doesn't sound as good as p-bass>instrument cable>737. I suspect that having such a long run at instrument level is the problem.

    The only option I can think of is putting a direct box (like a countryman) out in the live room, and then making the send via xlr to the preamp.

    Thanks for your help.
  4. deanp920

    deanp920 Guest


    Yeah, it is probably a combination of the long cable and the brand of cable; the former is probably a bigger culprit.

    The cable's inherent capacitance is rolling off some frequencies, due to the fact that your high impedance pickups are affected much more severely by that capacitance than a lower impedance source would be.

    So, a completely different brand of cable run of the same length will probably sound different, but will still degrade things somewhat.

    The DI will add its' own sound as well, but maybe that will be a good thing.

    The acid test will be to run your bass through the DI from a very short cable. Repeat the two evaluations you already described, this time using the DI as an output instead of your bass, and see if you hear a difference. If you do hear a difference, then your cabling and/or switcher box are suspect.

    A short cord right to the preamp will still probably be the winner, in terms of reproducing your pickup's output clearly.

    Using a good, clean DI box with a high impedance input (>1M) and low impedance output (<600ohms) with a short cord in your live room will hopefully get you much closer to the original ideal.


    [ February 26, 2004, 10:44 PM: Message edited by: deanp920 ]

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