DI Help

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by stingrayK, Feb 5, 2020.

  1. stingrayK


    Mar 4, 2015
    Hello all! I appreciate your input from the start! I am having trouble finding a DI bass unit that doesn’t have “white noise” or buzz.

    I have a power conditioner and the correct power supplies. I have also tried the Humx. The pedals I have tried (and loved their sound) but could not use are as follows.

    • Darkglass B7K Ultra
    • Tech 21 GED-2112 rackmount
    • Le Bass Two Note
    I play in a classic rock band as well as church. Church is where I have the issue. The buzz really shows up there. I have have thought about the Aguilar Tone Hammer and the Ampeg SCRI, but I have mixed emotions.

    Should I bite the bullet and get the Fractal Audio AX8? It seems like the best option. And I have the funds.
  2. s0c9

    s0c9 Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2014
    1964 Audio artist, Fractal Audio Beta Tester
    Given your post, it AIN'T the DI's that have the buzz... it's crappy power at your church!
    The buzz is probably a ground loop... talk to your church techs
  3. DonaldR


    Mar 26, 2012
    I like my Ampeg SCR-DI. You can power it with a 9v battery, that will remove the hum (I think).
    stingrayK likes this.
  4. kittywithabanjo

    kittywithabanjo Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2014
    Coquitlam. BC
    I agree this is a power issue, I have used two of the items he listed with no issue.
    s0c9 and stingrayK like this.
  5. Geri O

    Geri O Endorsing Artist, Mike Lull Guitars and Basses Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 6, 2013
    Florence, MS
    I think this problem needs a professional diagnosis. I mean from audio professionals used to sussing out power and noise connections for a living...

    In situations such as this, there could several places the noise could be coming from, as well as several things with the devices you mention. The cables being used by you, both power cables and instrument cables, the data cables in use for other devices, EMF from lighting devices, just an insane number of variables.

    I will say this, in all of my years as a pro sound guy and diagnosing such issues in HOWs and other institutions, I've found only one place with "dirty power". Every other place has turned out to be devices that caused problems in audio equipment such as copying machines, coffee makers, cookers and microwaves, and lighting devices such as old-style (to some of you, maybe....:D) lighting dimmers and more recently, intelligent lighting and LED fixtures, notable some early Chinese instruments that weren't filtered so well. In the single case of dirty power I mentioned, I began to notice wild voltage swings (the house lighting getting bright and dim on its own was our first clue) that turned out to be the transformer on the slab outside of the building. It took a few trips and week of recording by the power company to get the utility to finally address the faulty transformer and replace it.

    One quick test to eliminate your bass and cables is to unplug the bass and cables from the DIs and see if they are still noisy to the house console. Go from there (could be quite a trip). Most of these case aren't necessarily the fault of one device or the other, but the interaction of many devices being used simultaneously and different areas (production, even catering, HVAC, etc).

    I don't mean to discount anyone else's experiences and solutions they've had success with and certainly keep the ideas and suggestions coming! But this can turn into a very deep rabbit hole very quickly for so many reasons. I hope you are able to figure it out quickly, but be prepared to really dig.

    Good luck!
    Goatrope and s0c9 like this.
  6. s0c9

    s0c9 Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2014
    1964 Audio artist, Fractal Audio Beta Tester
    Might also be a [not-so-simple] ground loop, or NO ground relative to other power sources.. which both can often be the culprit!
    Geri O likes this.
  7. thumbknuckle

    thumbknuckle In Memoriam

    May 23, 2012
    Westfield, MA
    Have you tried a regular DI box with a ground lift? You seem to be using elaborate devices that require AC power and have all sorts of processing built in. In my experience the best way to eliminate noise from ground loops is with a simple transformer based direct box.
  8. stingrayK


    Mar 4, 2015
    Thanks for all the great advice!
  9. Noise can be coming from light faders. Especially if music and lighting gear are on the same circuit.

    Or can be from your bass single coil pickups. If so, noise gate may help.

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