Using a DI between guitar and USB Interface?

August 2019 is the first KVR Guitar Month so here's a new forum for discussion of all things guitar!
KVRAF
4036 posts since 26 Nov, 2015 from Way Downunder

Post Sun Nov 21, 2021 4:07 pm

Does anyone do this? What are the benefits? Is it much different from using a buffered effects pedal with low impedance output?

If possible, please recommend me a good DI :)

I find plugging my guitar directly into my Focusrite 2i2 doesn't sound the greatest with amp sims, so I am considering trying a DI.

KVRian
943 posts since 27 Apr, 2005

Post Sun Nov 21, 2021 4:15 pm

It isn't "much" different from using a buffered effects pedal, so if you have those, you might not need one. I use a direct box, but mine is cheap, and just crapped out on me the other day, so I will not recommend that one. most DI's have a ground loop switch that can cut back on noise if that is an issue. Most DI's will also have an amp out, allowing you to keep the guitar signal going to an amp for recording, while simultaneously delivering a dry signal to the DAW where it could be used for sims, or reamping.

KVRAF

Topic Starter

4036 posts since 26 Nov, 2015 from Way Downunder

Post Sun Nov 21, 2021 4:19 pm

ShawnG wrote:
Sun Nov 21, 2021 4:15 pm
It isn't "much" different from using a buffered effects pedal, so if you have those, you might not need one. I use a direct box, but mine is cheap, and just crapped out on me the other day, so I will not recommend that one. most DI's have a ground loop switch that can cut back on noise if that is an issue. Most DI's will also have an amp out, allowing you to keep the guitar signal going to an amp for recording, while simultaneously delivering a dry signal to the DAW where it could be used for sims, or reamping.
Yeah, that sounds great about splitting the signal simultaneously to a real amp while also capturing direct for "re-amping" with software. Does the ground lift create any danger electrically? Is there anything I'd have to be careful of, either hurting myself or blowing something up when lifting the ground?

Currently looking at a Radial J48.

KVRian
943 posts since 27 Apr, 2005

Post Sun Nov 21, 2021 4:37 pm

MogwaiBoy wrote:
Sun Nov 21, 2021 4:19 pm

Yeah, that sounds great about splitting the signal simultaneously to a real amp while also capturing direct for "re-amping" with software. Does the ground lift create any danger electrically? Is there anything I'd have to be careful of, either hurting myself or blowing something up when lifting the ground?

Currently looking at a Radial J48.
it's unlikely that you would encounter the sort of circumstances that would hurt you at home in a studio, but in live environments with big powered mixers, guitar amps, and microphones, it could happen. I've played gigs where there was a difference in electrical potential between the Mixer and my Amp, and got a painful electric shock right in the mouth. a lot. fun times.

KVRian
943 posts since 27 Apr, 2005

Post Sun Nov 21, 2021 4:41 pm

should also say that the only noise the ground loop can fix is noise related to difference on potential of electrically powered things in your studio. it won't fix noise from your PC and monitors, etc... just find a good place to play in your studio where that doesn't happen.

User avatar
KVRAF
4424 posts since 16 Aug, 2017 from South Yorkshire

Post Sun Nov 21, 2021 4:45 pm

I get my best Gtr input from an old MOTU Traveler HiZ.

I'd consider a SSL 2 or a Golden Age Project Pre-73 Jr. Both similar in price to the DI box.
Last edited by The Noodlist on Sun Nov 21, 2021 4:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Currently trying to turn noise into music. :neutral: Is boutique the new old?

User avatar
KVRAF
2164 posts since 4 May, 2012

Post Sun Nov 21, 2021 4:51 pm

Radial is a good choice if you have the coin. The DI box will impart more tone than some might suggest - it surprised me when I was doing research. What I noted from others was to pair passive instruments with active boxes and active instruments with passive boxes.

I went for a dbx, which is sitting right next to me now - affordable and sounds fine. The pad is also nice as I can cut the level and then use makeup gain in the Clarett, which sounds perfectly clean.

KVRist
232 posts since 4 Aug, 2020 from Montreal, Canada

Post Sun Nov 21, 2021 5:34 pm

Been studying and testing some boxes these weeks... IK Z-tone is the most interesting one. There's an orange-needled knob that allows to adjust its electrical impedance, so that if you plug your guitar directly into it (or all pedals true-bypassed) the magnetic pickups will respond differently as well as the sound. The downside is that the thru output does not function when it's unpowered. Mine is the pedal version ("Buffer Boost").

Rupert Neve RNDI is the other one that is staying. Very clean and crisp attacks, awesome for rhythm playing and sounds great with bass guitar. It's a sonic revelation should I say, not a hype!

J48 has a tinge of coloration that I'm not sure I liked - just a personal, very subjective taste! It's definitely decent, and the coolest about it is the "merge" button that rewires the thru output as a 2nd input, for a stereo source for example. But I've sold it, anyways!

KVRAF

Topic Starter

4036 posts since 26 Nov, 2015 from Way Downunder

Post Sun Nov 21, 2021 9:22 pm

shawshawraw wrote:
Sun Nov 21, 2021 5:34 pm
Been studying and testing some boxes these weeks... IK Z-tone is the most interesting one. There's an orange-needled knob that allows to adjust its electrical impedance, so that if you plug your guitar directly into it (or all pedals true-bypassed) the magnetic pickups will respond differently as well as the sound. The downside is that the thru output does not function when it's unpowered. Mine is the pedal version ("Buffer Boost").

Rupert Neve RNDI is the other one that is staying. Very clean and crisp attacks, awesome for rhythm playing and sounds great with bass guitar. It's a sonic revelation should I say, not a hype!

J48 has a tinge of coloration that I'm not sure I liked - just a personal, very subjective taste! It's definitely decent, and the coolest about it is the "merge" button that rewires the thru output as a 2nd input, for a stereo source for example. But I've sold it, anyways!
Thanks for your insights. The IK Multimedia definitely interests me - it seems to be geared towards what I want.

So I'm guessing for guitar DI you'd use the balanced XLR output and connect that to the USB interface?

KVRAF

Topic Starter

4036 posts since 26 Nov, 2015 from Way Downunder

Post Sun Nov 21, 2021 9:25 pm

Unaspected wrote:
Sun Nov 21, 2021 4:51 pm
Radial is a good choice if you have the coin. The DI box will impart more tone than some might suggest - it surprised me when I was doing research. What I noted from others was to pair passive instruments with active boxes and active instruments with passive boxes.

I went for a dbx, which is sitting right next to me now - affordable and sounds fine. The pad is also nice as I can cut the level and then use makeup gain in the Clarett, which sounds perfectly clean.
Is the DBX called the 'DB12'? I'm thinking active is the way to go.

KVRist
232 posts since 4 Aug, 2020 from Montreal, Canada

Post Mon Nov 22, 2021 5:49 am

MogwaiBoy wrote:
Sun Nov 21, 2021 9:22 pm
So I'm guessing for guitar DI you'd use the balanced XLR output and connect that to the USB interface?
Yes. An XLR cable to the interface's mic input. (+48v on usually)

User avatar
KVRAF
11379 posts since 26 Jun, 2006 from San Francisco Bay Area

Post Mon Nov 22, 2021 6:44 am

ShawnG wrote:
Sun Nov 21, 2021 4:41 pm
should also say that the only noise the ground loop can fix is noise related to difference on potential of electrically powered things in your studio. it won't fix noise from your PC and monitors, etc... just find a good place to play in your studio where that doesn't happen.
I had to move two cities over to find that spot. :lol:

Seriously, I had such bad noise no matter what in my old San Mateo house. I could never figure out the issue, but a Hum Decimator pedal did help a lot. Moved last June and the hum and noise was gone. Exact same rig.
Zerocrossing Media

4th Law of Robotics: When turning evil, display a red indicator light. ~[ ●_● ]~

KVRian
943 posts since 27 Apr, 2005

Post Mon Nov 22, 2021 7:53 am

zerocrossing wrote:
Mon Nov 22, 2021 6:44 am
ShawnG wrote:
Sun Nov 21, 2021 4:41 pm
should also say that the only noise the ground loop can fix is noise related to difference on potential of electrically powered things in your studio. it won't fix noise from your PC and monitors, etc... just find a good place to play in your studio where that doesn't happen.
I had to move two cities over to find that spot. :lol:

Seriously, I had such bad noise no matter what in my old San Mateo house. I could never figure out the issue, but a Hum Decimator pedal did help a lot. Moved last June and the hum and noise was gone. Exact same rig.
unfortunately not much you can do if you have dirty electrical supply. Thankfully the noise at my house is more manageable. if I'm sitting in my studio chair it's terrible, if I turn away in my chair, or stand three feet away, it's fine. doesn't even matter very much if its single coils or humbuckers, still significant noise on my chair (single coils are a bit worse tho) my Dean ML with EMG actives is dead silent though.

User avatar
KVRAF
2164 posts since 4 May, 2012

Post Mon Nov 22, 2021 1:42 pm

MogwaiBoy wrote:
Sun Nov 21, 2021 9:25 pm
Unaspected wrote:
Sun Nov 21, 2021 4:51 pm
Radial is a good choice if you have the coin. The DI box will impart more tone than some might suggest - it surprised me when I was doing research. What I noted from others was to pair passive instruments with active boxes and active instruments with passive boxes.

I went for a dbx, which is sitting right next to me now - affordable and sounds fine. The pad is also nice as I can cut the level and then use makeup gain in the Clarett, which sounds perfectly clean.
Is the DBX called the 'DB12'? I'm thinking active is the way to go.
I have the basic Di1 - half the price at under £50. Rock solid unit.

User avatar
KVRAF
4424 posts since 16 Aug, 2017 from South Yorkshire

Post Thu Nov 25, 2021 4:41 pm

This chap is using a Focusrite interface with several DI boxes.
https://youtu.be/6eS-tcuHqb0
Currently trying to turn noise into music. :neutral: Is boutique the new old?

Return to “Guitars”