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DI or Amp w/built in DI for home recording

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by citizenchris099, Jan 24, 2012.

  1. Noob question from a noob but this is really confusing me right now

    I plan on doing home recording exclusively. I will be recording/mastering using Ableton Live.
    I would like to do as much w/hardware as I can (effects pedals over plug ins etc..)
    So my question is this...Do I need a proper amp head w/built in DI or will a stand alone DI like the REDI or the Tone Hammer suffice?

    If its stand alone DI then how do I incorporate pedals in the chain? before/after the DI?

    Thanks so much for any and all assistance :)
  2. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    In that situation, I would use a DI.

    You can put pedals before the DI.
  3. ThudThudThud


    Jun 4, 2010
    Check out the Behringer (There! I said the "B" word) V-Amp Pro Bass.
    Lots of amp models, cabinet emulation, effects, compression, tuner. It also works as a very good pre-amp/DI.
    Works for guitar and keys too.
  4. the Behringer V-Amp looks awesome

    thanks so much :)
  5. DigitalMan

    DigitalMan Wikipedia often mistakes my opinions for fact Supporting Member

    Nov 30, 2011
    Find whatever sounds good to you, whether it's an amp, DI, preamp, or modeler. I like the idea of running multiple sounds into different tracks and blending to taste in the final mix. For example, I use an Avalon U5 as a DI for a great, warm, clean tone. This is the root of the sound. I add a Sansamp RBI with a slightly overdriven and mid-prominent tone for flavor, and bring it up to about 70% of where the U5 is. I also record the instrument signal for reamping, and a Fender Bassman emulation.

    I leave effects for the mix as well, unless they are integral to performing the song well.

    Note that these are all recorded on one take. I'm not suggesting recording multiple takes with different sounds. That would be a mess (for bass, although guitar and vocals do it all the time...)
  6. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I've heard world class bass tracks recorded with a Countryman or Radial DI, I've heard them done with a mic'ed speaker cab, I've heard them done with the DI out of the back of an amp. What counts is YOU. Gear is very nice and I like it, but it's the most meaningless part of the chain, other than you have to have something.
  7. I'm wanting to avoid having to mic an amp...for the foreseeable future at least

    so DI strait to my soundcard (either via an amp head di or plain ol di) is my prefered method of recording

    I agree that gear is the least important part of the chain. That said I do want to get it right.
  8. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    I think that it is important to think about what sort of sound you are looking for. The recording will dictate what type of tone you want to track. From there you can decide how to achieve that tone.

    There are a lot ways to get a clean signal without using a full amp. I can plug my bass directly into my Mac and record. No DI at all is used. For more serious recordings, a good pre-amp alone can do the job. A pedal can be used, if necessary, to add some dirt.

    Sometimes you want a tone that can best be obtained through an amp and speakers. In that case you need a mic. A DI build into an amp is going to give you only the pre-amp output. Other DI's can be inserted between the amp output and the speakers. In this case you are getting the tone of the pre-amp and the power amp.

    Often an amp is mic'ed and a DI is used and the two are balanced together to provide the best of both worlds.

    Even on recordings that you think are fairly clean, when you listen closely, bass is often recorded a bit dirty. Turned up to the edge of or just into distortion. Distortion is in the dynamics. This adds character and tone in the sound.

    So the simple answer is, there is no simple answer.
  9. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    When you say soundcard, what do you mean?

    If it's literally the computer sound card, you'll probably want upgrade that to an interface. If it's an interface, you'd be good...
  10. truly apreaciate all the help. by far this is one of the best forums on any subject I've found in a long time.
    I think more than anything im going for as clean and natural a tone as i can get.
    gonna go w/ Aguilar Amplification: Bass Pedals, Bass Pickups, Bass Preamps, Bass Amplifiers, and Bass Speaker Cabinets
    for now. The REDI is my dream DI i just can't justify the cost to my wife lol. I have a list of a few pedals I want in the chain as well. nothing crazy.

    the sound card im referring to is a Xone:2D | ALLEN & HEATH // WORLD CLASS MIXING
    its a fantastic midi controller/sound card hybrid. it has a mic/line level xlr input perfect for any DI to plug into.
    and the midi makes controlling Ableton Live a breeze
  11. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains

    As for DI's, I always recommend the Radial stuff or the Countryman. Both are world class DI's. I use a Radial JDI, a Countryman Type 85, and a REDDI on a very regular basis and they all sound great. Both the JDI/J48 & Type 85 are practically bulletproof.

    Since you're recording into the computer, you really don't need one of the tone shaping all-in-one preamp DIs. But people do like those as well. I guess it all depends what you want to do.
  12. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    Sans Amp Para Driver. clear enough for acoustic guitar and some options like sweepable mid. i use them in my live rig as well though I use an Avalon U5 whenever I can justify the carry...

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