Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

DI vs. DI from amp

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by AssMan, Apr 4, 2001.


  1. AssMan

    AssMan

    Dec 2, 2000
    Minnesota, USA
    I'm going to the studio later this week and am planning on recording 2 tracks, miked amp and DI. I'd like to know wether I should use a DI box, my amp's DI pre, or my amps DI post (pre meaning before the pre-amp and post meaning after)? I might only use a DI too, depends on time, unless they record both at once. I know this is rather redundent, but I haven't seen any post DI vs. pre DI threads. I have a Series 3 carvin redeye combo (R600 Head) It has a DI level knob too.
     
  2. brewer9

    brewer9

    Jul 5, 2000
    Perfect question. I'll bump this back to the top for an answer.
     
  3. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Most amp DIs offer only poor DI functionality/quality, you might want to A/B first before you use one or the other.
    Pre usually means pre EQ and FX loop.
    Post means either post EQ and pre FX loop or post everything - it depends on the amp. Check the manual or the manufacturer's website for info - or check it yourself by putting an effect there and recording/listening to it.
     
  4. sgraham

    sgraham

    Aug 30, 2000
    Tyler, TX
    I use a DI box because my G-K RB800's DI is WAY
    too hot, and it's post EQ (I'd rather EQ it at the board and mix it with a miked signal).
     
  5. AssMan

    AssMan

    Dec 2, 2000
    Minnesota, USA
    I never use my effects loop, I just put my bass into my BFX708 then into the amp. It sounds better this way, because my FX loop is after my main eq but before my graphic, where I really shape my sound. My post is post everything. I've recorded with it on a few 4 track demos, and my bass sounded better than the drums, guitar and vocals, it was clearer too. I don't think it would be too hot either because the DI has it's own volume control and ground lift. It's good DI too, it recorded clearer than my ampeg B3's DI, at least on the 4 track. I also want to use my amps graphic eq because, I can't get my sound with just a 3 band shelving eq, but the studio might have a better grahpic eq.
     
  6. I like to take a DI line straight from the bass through a countryman or Radial DI and blend that with a miked signal. In all the recordings I've played on or engineered this seems to work best. Unless you have an Aguilar (or similar quality) preamp, the onboard DI is not up to scratch for studio use. But if you have time, experiment and find what you like best. You should (pretty much) have the sound you want before you start tracking stuff. Spending a bit of extra time getting great sounds before actually recording is definately worth it. "We'll fix it in the mix" is not a good way to go.:D
     
  7. Call ahead and speak to the engineer/producer. Tell him which amp/DI you have. S/he may encourage your to bring it or may feel more comfortable with the studio's DI's.
     
  8. I have a weird situation. When my band did our live CD I actually had two DIs and the XLR out of my Aguilar 359. I used a DI called an Evil Twin(dont know if that the model of company) I also used the expensive Avalon, the 2 space unit with the Compressor and EQ on it. I had many variations of all three and sometimes just one. It all depended on the feel of the song. I absolutely loved the Avalon but at a list of around $2000 I seriously doubt I ever get one. Well what Im saying amongst this babble is listen first, decide after
     
  9. JohnL

    JohnL

    Sep 20, 2000
    Grayson, GA
    I prefer the separate DI, with a miked rig if time/money applies. If you go clean and uncolored to the board or tape, you can always change eq, add effects, etc. later. If you are able to mike your rig, you can get "your sound" onto the tape as well, and mix the two. It is surprising though, how what sounds good coming out of your rig does not always sit well in the mix. A lot has to do with how the engineer eq's the drums, especially the bass drum. If you can speak to the engineer first, great. Most studios will usually have a high quality DI on hand if you do not.
     
  10. AssMan

    AssMan

    Dec 2, 2000
    Minnesota, USA
    I used the purple Avalon that the studio had and it's great, I didn't touch the thing though (we'll fix it in the mix) and now I wish I screwed with it, the first mix we did I was there and told the guy which sounds I wanted and we sifted through and it sounded great, but something got messed up when we went from ADAT to DAT so we ended up digital glitches so they had to redo the mix and we didn't find the problem until we were mastering, so they re-did all the post work with out us and now the bass sounds like ****, the kick drum and vocals are too loud, and the guitar is too quiet. That Avalon was great and that's all I used, like I said I should of eq'ed it, but even with this crappy sound, I can still hear a lot of good tones and potential in there, they just aren't the sounds cut through. We'll have to go back in and fix it. I know we can get it to sound good, the first mix we did was bitchin', so it'll be worth the extra $ to fix it. That Avalon costs $2000? ****.
     
  11. brewer9

    brewer9

    Jul 5, 2000
    Is the SansAmp Bass Driver a good enough DI for this purpose? I also own a BassPod Pro, is that worth using? I too am gonna be recording soon and this info would help a lot? Thanks in advance.
     
  12. JohnL

    JohnL

    Sep 20, 2000
    Grayson, GA
    I have a SansAmp and a Countryman; depending on what sound you want, the SansAmp may be perfect. I use it to get that "miked" sound, love it, and no one has ever complained about the sound. The Countryman is almost transparent (IMHO), and sends your bass's tone to the board/tape virtually uncolored.
     
  13. bootyquake

    bootyquake

    Mar 29, 2001
    Washington, DC
    Many engineers I know prefer to put the bass in direct to the board, however it gets there. My favorite sound is going through those Avalon compression/preamp boxes. As my engineer puts it, "Don't worry Eric, the compression is on full. Dynamic range is the enemy."

    I love the studio. I never get to hear my bass so fat.
     
  14. brewer9

    brewer9

    Jul 5, 2000
    It sounds like you saying to forget the POD. IS that right?
     
  15. bootyquake

    bootyquake

    Mar 29, 2001
    Washington, DC
    Was that question about the POD for me? In any case, I think that the POD is a fine way to record bass direct, but you should understand the different ways to go.

    The advantage of the POD technology is coloration. I'm recording direct to Cakewalk Guitar Studio for home stuff these days, and without a modeling preamp, everything sounds pretty straight ahead to me. I can color it later, it mixes nice, but it's not the same thing as have a pretty tone to work with.

    Now, that's for the guitar parts. On bass, the job is a little different. The basses role on tape is to occupy the lower-mid frequency range between the thud of the bass drum and the midrange roar of the lower guitar strings. Much the other frequency information is lost. To my ears, the bass POD colors the tone of the bass part, which is really nice for punk and rock and roll, especially in a trio or something where there's a lot of space.

    In many situations, however, the POD is coloring frequencies that get lost among the other instruments. As a producer, I like to start with raw, clean bass tone, usually through a nice tube compressor or leveling amp, then in mixdown we can do all the tricks to make the tone stand out. However, as with any effect, if you record with the color, you can never get rid of it.

    If you're using a studio that runs Pro Tools hard disk recording, hopefully they'll have the Amp Farm from Line 6. Then you can go direct and decide on the amp model after the fact. That ability is so cool I can't say enough.

    Best of luck. Remember the Law, If It Sounds Good, It IS Good.
     
  16. brewer9

    brewer9

    Jul 5, 2000
    Hmmmmm, thanks. I'm gonna skip the Pod this time around and go direct. If I need to fatten it up I can do it later. By george I think I got it!
     
  17. bootyquake

    bootyquake

    Mar 29, 2001
    Washington, DC
    Sounds like a plan. If this is one of your first times in the studio, I think you may be pleasantly surprised just how fat a bass sounds when recorded direct with some nice compression, through a high-quality mixing console (Mackie and Neve are not the same animals, trust me), onto serious media like ProTools, 2" tape, or ADAT. Sadly, unless you have a $20,000 stereo, you never get to hear it that nice again.

    Toys are great, but remember, simplicity is what cuts through on a track and makes it stand out. Which brings me to the real issue...PERFORMANCE...but that's for another thread.
     
  18. Ok, here's a question for you:

    How does the SABDDDI stack up vs dedicated DI's when the colouration (no, that's not a typo, it's English) circuit is off?
     
  19. 31 hz

    31 hz

    Dec 29, 2000
    I recorded w/ an evil twin (tube pre amp) and LOVED it, but still had a difficult time getting the eq that I wanted off the trident board.

    Sometimes I find a poor headphone mix, or an 'unsavory' bass sound in my headphone monitors can be VERY VERY distracting and can really affect my groove. has this happened to anyone else?

    Any input on the Eden DI out''s off the amp as well?

    Thanks so much!! 31 hz
     
  20. Hell, DI bass can sound good even through a POS Tascam digital mixer, into Cakewalk. The "engineer" (my old band's keyboardist) put some multiband limiting on, which made it even bigger; at my suggestion, he boosted 6dB at 250Hz, then dropped the track a bit in the mix, and it fit PERFECTLY. All I used was the (defective) bridge pickup on my Dean Edge Custom 5.