di box connection

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by xiaonick, Sep 5, 2012.

  1. xiaonick


    Sep 5, 2012
    hi guys,

    is it possible to connect a di box in this way?

    Bass guitar -> bass combo line out -> input of di box -> mixer
  2. Rip Topaz

    Rip Topaz

    Aug 12, 2005
    Willow Street, PA
    Beta tester for Positive Grid
    Possible, yes.

    Advisable? Not so much.

    Gives the sound guy not much to work with.
  3. xiaonick


    Sep 5, 2012
    hmm whats the cons of this setup since i want the sound of guitar via the combo
  4. Hactar


    Sep 25, 2011
    Boulder, CO
    Basically, this is generally undesirable for the sound guy as he can no longer be assured of a consistent sound. That is, if you suddenly change your EQ and/or gain/drive settings mid-show, the board suddenly receives a drastically different send.
  5. uhdinator


    Apr 20, 2010
    If you want the sound of the amp you have to mic the speaker.
  6. ggunn


    Aug 30, 2006
    Austin, TX
    Sure, it's possible. It will even work if the FOH board is capable of sufficiently attenuating a line level signal when it comes in on an XLR (mic) input. Some boards can't do that. Whether it will sound like you want it to is a matter for experimentation. Try it.
  7. Better to go:

    bass -> DI -> amp

    and keep the stage volume low.

    Trust me when I say that sound guys have heard "but the sound is in my AMP!" a thousand times. Let them do their thing.
  8. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    What if their thing is not your thing?
  9. If you are their employer, then tell them what to do, and they have to do it (or not get paid).

    If they are employed by someone else (studio, nightclub, headlining band, etc.) then do your job and let them do theirs.

    "Sounding good direct" is a basic Bass 101 skill that anyone can learn with a few hours' practice. If you can't sound good without EQ/effects, then you haven't yet mastered the instrument.
  10. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    LOL! Give me a break! One has nothing to do with the other.
  11. I get that you disagree with my point JimmyM (which is cool), but I'm not sure I understand your counter-point. Can you give some constructive advice about your approach to good live sound? :)
  12. the Arsonaut

    the Arsonaut

    Aug 27, 2012
    a decent soundfella could make the Line Out function, especially if it's a Pre Amp output.

    If not, and a microphone is not available, or desirable, then taking a DI from bass is an option. Not the option to get your amp/cab tone...but an option.

    Sounding good direct is probably more of a "letting the soundguy do their job, and learn accordingly" than a master class.
    Wait, do we have to take classes?
  13. georgestrings

    georgestrings Banned

    Nov 5, 2005

    Although *I* don't have a problem sounding good direct - in fact, I make sure all my basses will sound good that way - and *I* don't use effects, I realize that there are many bassists out there who have incorporated effects and certain sound characteristics into the bass sound that works for *their band*... Blanket statements are rarely totally accurate, and yours is no exception...

    I mostly gig hybrid amps, and prefer to have a little of my amp's preamp tube warmth in my sound going thru the FOH - but all my gigging basses sound good enough to go direct, if I have to.... BUT, what works for me might not necessarity work for other players... I also understand that with an approach like mine(post EQ DI send), if I use radical EQ settings, or twist knobs all night, it might cause an issue or two at the board...

    - georgestrings
  14. georgestrings

    georgestrings Banned

    Nov 5, 2005
    Another possible option in this situation is that *if* his combo has a jack for an extension cab, he can use a DI that will handle a speaker level signal, and run it out of the extension cab jack - like a JDI or Countryman... This approach still has the same pitfalls as a Line Out to DI, or post-EQ DI send - but sound-wise, is the next closest thing to using a mic...

    - georgestrings
  15. georgestrings

    georgestrings Banned

    Nov 5, 2005

    I think Jimmy was trying to make the point that if the soundman insists on a bass to DI send only, in some cases they're playing "producer" more than being a soundman - because they're actively changing the sound that the band is going for, via changing the bass sound...

    IMO, a band shouldn't have to radically alter their sound, just to make life easier for the soundman - but cooperation on both sides always works the best...

    - georgestrings
  16. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    I've used an H&K "Redbox" on my guitarist's Peavey combo preamp output. For that fact, that sonofagun will handle speaker level input. Sounds pretty good, too, when a mic is not available. Never tried it with my bass rigs.

  17. When does JimmyM not?

    This gets thrashed out once a week in live sound. I'll cut it back to the bare minimum. Here ya go:


    Ampeg --> Heil PR40

    but now:

    bass --> REDDI

    But wait, there's more: bassists have the sole right to determine how their signal gets to the board.

    ta daaaa ;)
  18. scatbass


    Feb 4, 2009
    Atlanta, GA
    Many preamps and heads have line outs...with the option to send pre or post eq signal.
    This stuff about "sudden changes in EQ" is technically possible...but very unlikely and not as much of an issue in the real world as it is made out to be.
    As long as you have a post-DI volume control for your onstage level that does not affect the DI send...you'll generally be OK.
  19. I agree 100%, if and only if the band owns/rents that board and the person operating it.

    If it's not your board and not your guy, then why should you have the "sole right" to determine how it is used? That would bet he corollary of the sound guy coming on stage, tweaking the knobs on you bass and telling you what notes to play during the set. Boundary issues. You play with your toys and I'll play with mine. As a side note, if you don't trust this person's experience and artistry then why have you selected him as the all-important arbiter of your band's mix?

    Anyway, most of the players I admire (Jamerson, McCartney, Pastorius, Manring, etc.) are capable of sounding good through a nice DI (like the REDDI for example)--not saying that is their only good sound--so logically I spent a few hours early in my career learning how to do it myself. I think a lot of the players who say "DI sound sucks!" have just never sat down and spent the time figuring out how to do it right. It's like a microscope and can expose a lot of flaws in your playing, which I think can be intimidating if you've never done it before.

    Also remember that music isn't about being right all the time, or having the ballsiest tube sound. It's also about working/playing well with others, teamwork if you will. Trust me from experience that if you can get a good tone coming out of the bass, without extensive post-processing, that you will get compliments and gratitude from live soundmen, studio engineers, and fellow band members. You will develop a reputation that you are quick to set up, easy to work with, and that your sound is versatile and sits well in a mix.

    Yes, I know this is a weekly debate. I've been a member here for years. :)
  20. Rockin Mike

    Rockin Mike

    May 27, 2011
    A lot (maybe even most) bass players' sounds will come out fine with bass->di->board. Certainly will work fine for a classic sound. So I think letting the sound man do it his own way is fine for old-school.

    I don't think the question of who-pays-who should enter into it. The band is the product, that's what the audience came to hear, so everybody on the team from roadies to musicians to soundmen are all there to get that done. Everybody should be enabling the band's sound, not changing it.

    Some players use effects and highly colored amps/speakers to get a specific tone. If I want to use a flanger on Stranglehold, it should sound flanged to the audience.

    Professional courtesy means I don't want to make the sound guy's job harder. If I want to mic my cabs, maybe that means I bring my own mic and stand with 10' cord and leave the cord on top of the amp so he can plug in just as easy as a DI.

    Volume spikes and radical tone changes? Who's to say what's art and what's noise? I guess the answer would be... the artist. Besides, a bassist can supply plenty of volume and tone tweak right from the bass guitar, especially if it's active. Controlling your own sound is part of playing the instrument. If people lose gigs because they can't do that then it's part of the learning experience. Having sound guys modify all bass players' tone and bypass their effects on general principle is not a good answer.