#1
Well, I've read the sticky, I've searched, and I've Googled it. I need to know some things about DI Boxes. All the info I find on them are like a foreign language to me.

I have a "band" right now, for the most part, and we want to record a cover. Well, I have ACID Music Studio on my computer, but I've read that using a DI box is better than miking your amp. Is it just a box that hooks up to my amp's line out on one end and plugs into my sound card on the other? Also, can you use them with mics? Could I set up a couple of mics on my friend's drum set and hook them all up to the DI box and plug it straight into my sound card?

Also, I have a Musician's Friend catalog and it has a lot of mixers in it. Do they serve the same purpose as a DI box, except they let you change the signal and put effects and stuff on it?
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#2
Quote by philipp122
I've read that using a DI box is better than miking your amp.


Rarely the case. Not that you can't record direct, (even with a Pod or whatever), but almost always a miked up amp is best if you can get away with it. I think Boston was the first band to successfully release a popular album where guitars were recorded direct. Even 30 years later, most guitars are still miked. There must be a reason for that.

Quote by philipp122

Is it just a box that hooks up to my amp's line out on one end and plugs into my sound card on the other?


You could do that, but it wouldn't achieve anything that going without the DI box would do. What it does is it takes an instrument level signal and brings it up to a line level signal (which is usually what your interface/mixer is built to expect). Upon the recorder or mixer receiving a more robust signal, the end result is usually a more full and better realized sound.

Quote by philipp122

Also, can you use them with mics? Could I set up a couple of mics on my friend's drum set and hook them all up to the DI box and plug it straight into my sound card?


Completely unnecessary. In fact, when you consider that a microphone typically has an XLR cable, it is impossible. A DI box will have a 1/4" input (to receive a signal from an instrument) and an XLR output ( to send signal to the interface/mixer).

Quote by philipp122

Also, I have a Musician's Friend catalog and it has a lot of mixers in it. Do they serve the same purpose as a DI box, except they let you change the signal and put effects and stuff on it?


Your question above... that is what a mixer is for. Plugging in a bunch of mics so you can MIX them for whatever purpose.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#3
http://www.imperialmastering.com/guitartonevid/

It's around the mid point. DI boxes are meant to capture a 100% clean guitar sound, yet let you use your amp (in general, they allow you to use unbalanced and high resistance signals over longer distances...it's complicated). For bass, it helps provide a consistent sound in live performances, since bass cabinets can be overwhelming to mike. There are some pretty interesting ones that connect between a guitar amp head and the cabinet that provide a consistent accurate sound.

There's a device called a reamp (Radial makes a $99 one) which lets you use the clean DI signal and connect it to your amplifier so you can tweak your tone to your heart's content without having to play your guitar again. Also, the clean signal may be used for software amplifiers like iZotope's Trash to modify and distort...consider it a blank canvas.

And some mixers have DI boxes in them. If they don't, but it looks like it, it's probably a line input, which won't have enough resistance to handle guitar playing (so you will hardly hear anything). Their job, though, is to combine multiple signals into a stereo output.

And +1 to above.
Quote by keiron_d
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Recording Guitar Amps 101
Last edited by Fast_Fingers at Jul 28, 2008,
#5
Thanks for the info! I guesss for the guitar and bass I'll stick to miking the amp then. But what about drums? I need to set up multiple mics, and have to line them into one signal. do i NEED a mixer for that?
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#6
For drums, no. You need something to take multiple microphone inputs...it doesn't necessarily have to be a mixer, in fact, it's better if it isn't one. A Firewire interface with at least 4 inputs (ideally 8) will take all your microphone inputs and let you mix it with Acid after tracking. This gives you much more control over your music. Otherwise, you'd just have a stereo track.
Quote by keiron_d
thank you sooooooo much for the advice Fast_Fingers...i would hug you if i could...i looooove you!


True love exists in UG. Can you feel it?

Recording Guitar Amps 101
#8
Quote by Fast_Fingers
This gives you much more control over your music. Otherwise, you'd just have a stereo track.


Unless you take direct outs from the mixer and send them each individually to the recorder....

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.