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DI Box Necessary For Amp Going To PA?

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by Senexanova, May 24, 2018.

  1. Senexanova


    May 24, 2018
    I have a small gig coming up with a less experienced sound guy, so I'm thinking about DI ing instead of micing to make things a little easier.
    Is a DI box necessary between my amp and the PA? Or can the XLR cable go directly from the amp to the soundboard and it sound fine?
  2. Goatrope


    Nov 18, 2011
    Sarasota Florida
    You’re ok as is.

    I don’t know which amp you’re using, but usually there’s a pre/post EQ switch that gives you an option to select, depending on what your sound guy wants to do.

    Some people prefer specific DI boxes, and carry their own. RedDi would be a nice example of that.
    saabfender likes this.
  3. He didn't say if the amp had a DI or not built in, just mentioned using an XLR cable. More ifno please.
  4. If the amp has an XLR output, then a DI is not needed. (Though some people prefer to use one anyway.)
  5. Bodeanly

    Bodeanly Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2015
    Even if your amp has an XLR output, make sure it works, especially if you’ve never used it before. I’m not trying to say that I found out the hard way, but I found out the hard way.
  6. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    in those situations, try the "plan B" or even "C" of getting a DI box and feeding it a 1/4" line signal from the amp's "preamp out" or "effects send", that should work just as well as the DI out.
    s0c9 and Goatrope like this.
  7. Brent Davenport

    Brent Davenport

    Feb 20, 2018
    RedDi....... $700+ of pure sexy! I just saw one for the first time last week.... A huge red tube preamp with di that costs almost 2 truck notes? What's not to like? lol
    Seriously, I'd love to be able to afford one. I'm sticking to my SansAmp for now.
    Goatrope likes this.
  8. DI’ing is easier than mic’ing.
    The purpose of a DI is to convert the high impedance signal coming right out of your bass to the balanced low impedance signal that sound boards need. If your amp has a balanced DI output (XLR), then it can already accomplish this.
  9. waveman


    Sep 25, 2008
    You normally can get away with the XLR DI from your amp. I have however encountered a situation where a particular amp of mine seems noisy at a specific venue going that route, so we bypassed and used the house DI between my effects and amp. I always keep one in my gig bag just in case. A passive Livewire DI is just fine for @$30-35. I also carry a Sansamp BDDI, which works engaged or not.
  10. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    Your sound guy (particularly if inexperienced) may prefer placing the DI between your bass and the amp. This gives him full control over your sound coming through the PA, and if you adjust the knobs on your amp to hear yourself better on stage, it won't mess up the overall mix that the audience hears.
  11. s0c9

    s0c9 Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2014
    1964 Audio artist, Fractal Audio Beta Tester
    Not sure why this method implies that the FOH guy is inexperienced ??? It's one approach, that has worked well for many years, even when DI's DIDN'T have tone shaping, overdrive, etc. and were simply DI's :)
    saabfender likes this.
  12. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    I agree with you 100%. All I meant was, the less experienced the sound tech, the more important it is to keep things simple and work within his comfort zone. Providing a good, usable DI signal is something specific we as bassists can do to make the sound guy's job easier. :)
    s0c9 likes this.
  13. In my experience, soundmen prefer the simple Di box that just sends your bass guitar signal, only because some bass amp direct outs can be unpredictable, great example I had to use someone else's carvin amp a few years back, he didn't go direct out to the PA, but I wanted to and the direct out of the amp was noisey had some weird coloring thing happening, I got out my passive box and sent a clean single to the board the sound guy was all smiles and the show went great.
  14. saabfender


    Jan 10, 2018
    If he want to stick an SM58 in front of your amp, let him. Whatever the dude wants.
  15. Peteyboy


    Apr 2, 2018
    Los Angeles
    I used to play a venue where the sound man always wanted to mic my cab, even tho I had an XLR out on the front of the head. I prefer the direct route because I can send it dry, so I'd always tell him that I had a buzzing issue with one of my speakers so he'd choose direct. If your amp has a pot for DI level out, a ground lift, and the ability to send it dry or eq'd I'd always choose to go directly right outta the amp. You don't need to buy an additional DI box my friend.
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2018
    s0c9 likes this.
  16. Peteyboy


    Apr 2, 2018
    Los Angeles
    Herein lies the problem.
    rtslinger likes this.
  17. bucephylus

    bucephylus Supporting Member Commercial User

    Aug 18, 2002
    General Manager TecPadz LLC
    Sound engineers are all over the place on this. A player needs to be prepared to work with any of the options. It’s called being a team player.

    Most modern bass amps have decent DI’s built into them. That doesn’t stop a given sound engineer from demanding that the bass send happens some other way. It all depends on the person and how much time they have to explore options. You should at least be familiar with what your amp has and how it performs. That will allow you to supply the sound engineer with information, whether or not they want it.

    I’m doing mostly ampless gigs these days; and so, I’ve been doing a LOT of thinking about my send to the board. That’s ALL I have. I’m currently using a Demeter VTDB, which has a Jensen transformer; but, I continue to look at other options.
    PaulPriest76 likes this.
  18. filmtex


    May 29, 2011
    Absolutely. I have carried one of these


    In my briefcase for decades. Inexpensive, effective , easy to use and small. Don’t leave home without it
  19. Hundred proof

    Hundred proof

    Apr 22, 2018
    IMG_0500.JPG I dislike a dry lifeless sound, with an amp I like some compression and being right on the edge of OD so I've added a pedal that does all of that well to a good DI ... problem solved kinda. It's not like being in a good room plugged into my Sunn 200s but nothing is.

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