What's the difference between a DI and an Audio Interface?

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by Tupac, Dec 9, 2012.


  1. Tupac

    Tupac

    Joined:
    May 5, 2011
    If I understand right, the goal of both is to translate analog to digital as best as possible. What purpose does each have in terms of bass recording? :confused:
  2. Got2SadowskyNYC

    Got2SadowskyNYC

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2012
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    Disclosures:
    Artist: Sadowsky, Bag End, Visual Sound, Pedaltrain, George L
    A DI lowers the impedence and balances the bass signal to match a microphone. This allows you to plug into a snake or directly into a sound board with no tone lose.

    An Audio interface is an outboard box that is used to connect analog instruments and/or mics to a computer so you can record digitally. These usually contain both XLR and "instrument" 1/4 jacks and have the A to D converters.

    So you would actually use both to record bass.
  3. mambo4

    mambo4

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2006
    Location:
    Seattle
    Analog to digital is the goal of an Audio interface only.

    A DI used to connect a high-impedance, line level, unbalanced output signal ( what comes out of your bass)
    to a low-impedance microphone level balanced input, usually via XLR connector(what goes into a recording or mixing console).
  4. Got2SadowskyNYC

    Got2SadowskyNYC

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2012
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    Disclosures:
    Artist: Sadowsky, Bag End, Visual Sound, Pedaltrain, George L
    Didn't I say that?
  5. Register to disable this ad
  6. Tupac

    Tupac

    Joined:
    May 5, 2011
    Ohhhh, okay. Can I record without a DI? Very likely a silly question, can't you just turn down the input knob on your interface to do the same thing?
  7. Got2SadowskyNYC

    Got2SadowskyNYC

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2012
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    Disclosures:
    Artist: Sadowsky, Bag End, Visual Sound, Pedaltrain, George L
    If there is a high imp. "Instrument" input, then yes.

    If there is only XLR inputs the no.

    It's not the same thing.

    (It's possible to plug a 1/4 into an XLR using an adapter, but it will not sound as good as if you use a proper DI. Even a cheap DI will sound better than this option.)
  8. mdjuszyn

    mdjuszyn

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2011
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    My interface has a button that says "HI-Z" on the instrument 1/4" input. That's what you could use in lieu of a DI.

Share This Page