D.I. from my amp or D.I. back to my amp??

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Bassmanbob, Mar 17, 2003.

  1. Bassmanbob

    Bassmanbob Supporting Member

    Please excuse me if this should be in another forum, but here we go:

    I have a new Eden Metro Combo. It has a D.I. output in the back to go to a PA. I figured that I wouldn't have to use a D.I. box anymore, but our sound guy (who's opinion I respect) said that he still wanted me to go to the PA through a D.I. box. He stated that my amp DI would not sound as good as if I were to go directly to the PA through a DI box. Is he correct and if so why? If not, why?
  2. Wouldn't sound as good... hmmm, unless he's A/B'd them and had an unbiased 3rd party compare the two, I'd say that his statement is more speculation.

    One reason he may want to use the outboard DI is because in doing so, your amp's gain control setting won't affect what he "sees" at the mixing board.
  3. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    IF the amp's DI is "pre" (ie before the pre-amp), it should sound pretty much the same. If it's "post", then I agree with him and you should use a DI box. Some amps have a switch which let you choose.

    Or it could just be a case of him liking that particular brand of DI.
  4. If the Metro's DI / preamp are like my WT600, the DI is post gain, i.e. the gain is the only thing that affects the DI's output. You can twiddle and tweak the tone and master vol. 'till the cows come home, and not affect the DI / FOH.

    Yeh, I've heard that some sound guys are hell bent on a particular DI (Countryman and Avalon seem to have a loyal following).
  5. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    I've got an Australian made amp (Ebony) which is great except for the DI. It's 100% post the preamp. So every time I touch a knob, the soundguy gives me death stares. I'm talking every little EQ tweak, volume adjustment, everything. Ebony are a new company so I presumed they'd be open to suggestions. I sent them an email asking them to consider a pre/post switch. They didn't even reply.

    Most soundguys in Oz turn up with el-cheapo DI's that often look older than me. So I went and bought a sansamp DI. Problem solved!
  6. DigMe


    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    If the soundguy told me that I had to run through a DI box instead of the true direct out on my head I'd tell 'em to get bent and assume that they don't know what they're talking about. I know my head and I know the DI is fine. That's from experience. Your head may be different though.

    brad cook
  7. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    On the Eden WT-100 pre amp Im using its got a pre/post eq and a pre/post comp switch.

    Oh and in addition to the standard direct out it has left and right channel Direct outs. These seperate channels can either be used with stereo effects, or for bi amping. It also has a dedicated DI level control.

    The one time Ive played out with it the soundguy let me use it, and it just took a couple signals for him to tell me to turn the level down untill he had it at a comfortable level and for the rest of the gig I had some killer FOH bass tone. Of course the guy wouldnt give me anything through the monitors though.


  8. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    this should probably be another thread buy here I go anyway........

    I'm a sometimes sound guy. If the stage monitors are capable, I'll put some bass through em. But not many are. Even the ones with 15's are usually crossed over so that nothing under say 100hz gets through em (ie they're optimised for vocals). Next time you're playing around with your amp, cut all the frequencies under 100hz and see what it sounds like, and see how much volume you lose. Then see how much louder you have to crank it to get back to a decent volume. Keep an eye on your speakers though, they take a beating.

    Use your amp as a monitor!
  9. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    I was pretty sure that was it, but this wasnt a small place. They are actually gonna host a concert featuring "The Used" and "Coheed in Cambria" on April 5th (guess who has tix!) I figured that the monitors they had there should have been able to handle at least some bass.

    I play with a guitarist who always believes there's too much bass even though the other guitarist drummer and singer all agree that its good or even low, so I try not to piss him off with my stage rig. I cant imagine what he would say if I threw my amp on the floor facing him!

  10. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    Oh and he insist on cranking the bass on his guitar just so he can make the sound all nice and muddy!

  11. SOUND GUYS the ruination of good bass tone. He just doesn't you to do anything that will upset his little world. The DI on your amp head is fine and it will probably send the same gain to the board that your outboard DI does. On the other hand, better keep him happy or you might get screwed in the mix.
  12. Jon Burnet

    Jon Burnet

    Jan 21, 2001
    Memphis, TN
    nick your guitar playr needs a kick inthe damn pants. if he's not willing to eq for the band he's better off in a solo project.
  13. Bassmanbob

    Bassmanbob Supporting Member

    Thanks for the replies. I'm not sure about pre or post output, but I know the amp's DI has its own volume control. I'll have to look at my owner's manuel and read it again.

    The sound guy, who's my friend and always telling me to crank up my volume, said that by using my amp's DI, it would make my amp try to act like a PA when we already have a good PA. I didn't really understand this... any thoughts???
  14. alexclaber

    alexclaber Commercial User

    Jun 19, 2001
    Brighton, UK
    Director - Barefaced Ltd
    I've been quite fortunate in getting sound guys to use the DI out on my SWR GP. I have it post EQ but I have the head set completely flat save for Aural Enhance at 10 o'clock. Any messing with the tone during the gig comes from my hands, the onboard eq and my fx pedals.

    One thing that's always helped in persuading them to let use my preamp's DI is by having an XLR lead permanently plugged into it so I can just give them a lead to plug ito the stage-box or mixer. Also, the GP has a ground lift and level control just in case but I've never had to mess with them.

  15. my question is...if you have a fancy pre (SWR GP, like I do) why in the world would you want to send a pre-everything signal to the board? I want the tone shaping my pre gives me to go to the house. Sounds better than a plain old direct box. As for changing settings on my amp during a performance, my motto is 'set it and forget it' so I'm thinking I won't have too much trouble. The permanently attached cable that alexclaber speaks of sounds like a great idea!
  16. Bassmanbob

    Bassmanbob Supporting Member

    Yes, that's what I was thinking. I'll talk to our sound guy and see what he says. I don't play with too many effects (just a chorus pedal on one or two songs), but I didn't use them at this last gig because of me going directly to the board.
  17. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA

    There is some merit to this idea especially if your bass sounds bad stand alone, but there is also merit to sending to the house pre EQ as opposed to post EQ.

    When you EQ your bass on the preamp, you are shaping the signal to sound good powered by your amp and coming through your bass cab. If you send the same signal to the house, you then have a different amp and different speakers dealing with the same sound. They are going to amplify it differently.

    It is very possible you might be cutting a band that humps in your bass cab but actually is weak in the house mains or vise versa. Also, there may be standing frequencies or dead spots in the room that the sound tech needs to account for.

    If you give him an altered spectrum, you are really tieing his hands.

    If you have a naturally good sounding bass, Pre is usually better, IMO.

    My personal solution: I send both. and blend them.

  18. Agree 110%.
  19. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    Yeah he's talking about tone shaping. In his eyes' that's the PA's job. It all comes down to differing perspectives.

    That's a big part of it, yes. The other part is the gain structure. Sending a pre-amplified signal to the desk, it immediately hits a second pre-amp. The signal is too strong so you have to use the 20db pad in the desk. Now the signal is too weak so we have to turn the gain up. Gain knobs are funny in that once they get past a certain point (which varies from desk to desk) they start to get noisy, sound thin and crackly, and your tone starts going backwards fast.

    If you love your amp sound, then insist on using a mic as well as a DI. DI may be seen as the comprimise but so what, bass equipment design is full of comprimises. Remember that the PERFECT bass enclosure would be made of concrete..... there's an obvious comprimise there and there are plenty more examples........

    And don't think that your immaculate stage sound is being wasted. It's not. With all but the biggest PA's, we're often mixing in conjunction with the sound comming off the stage. A crappy amp sound makes our job muck harder.
  20. Caca de Kick

    Caca de Kick Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    I disagree with letting the soundman take control with a dry pre signal from me. My sound is years in the making, and 99.9% of the time I have never heard the board moron nail killer bass sounds in the 20-30 seconds he spends on a bassist.
    *BUT* The biggest advice I can give is what peteroberts already said in his post above: "set it and forget it". Don't screw with your EQ once your band has already started the show! You can give the soundman that much.

    I give the the soundman a choice...either he can take a post signal off the head, or mike my cabinet, simple as that! Am I a prick? Yes I am!
    I have only had one guy put up and argument about it and he ended up having PA troubles anyway, but the rest, no.
    Also, another big deal about my setup is, during the set I switch between 4 and 5 string and even active and passive basses and several effects pedals. Sorry, but the house soundman doesn't help me there when I just put down an active Spector and pick up a passive Fender, the next song kicks off and I need to be there. I know exactly where to regulate the input volume knob to for each bass, and I do not screw with the EQ...my basses are setup and dialed in as best they can for each other.

    Most house soundpersons are there as a weekend extra-money job. Of course they're going to want to use DI boxes and keep things very elementry. Maybe it's easy when you have a bassist who plays one bass the entire set and with the same technique, but definitely not me.
    We often hire one of two pro sound engineers that have both worked for touring pro bands and record companies...and, what do you know, both think miking the cabs and a post DI gets the biggest and richest bass sound. Obviously, I love those guys!