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Instrument to Line Level

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by davio, Apr 18, 2021.


  1. davio

    davio Supporting Member

    Nov 2, 2006
    Boston, MA
    I purchased a Behringer P1 thinking I could use one of my DI boxes to feed my bass into one channel and get a monitor mix from the board in the other. After setting it up, the output is super quiet and after a lot of digging (can't find anything helpful in the Behringer documentation) I found that it needs line level inputs as mic level won't cut it.

    Is there anything in a DI-like format (preferably 9v) that can amplify my 1/4" instrument signal to XLR line level or have my plans of mounting this on my board gone out the window?
     
  2. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2021
    EatS1stBassist likes this.
  3. davio

    davio Supporting Member

    Nov 2, 2006
    Boston, MA
    Thanks. I've seen things like that. I'll do some reading on that one. I guess I could just use a 1/4" to XLR adapter but I was hoping for a cleaner solution to my already somewhat messy solution. XD
     
    EatS1stBassist likes this.
  4. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    There probably is a 1/4" unbalanced in, XLR balanced out 9v preamp out there somewhere, but my google fu is apparently too weak to find it...
     
    EatS1stBassist and davio like this.
  5. davio

    davio Supporting Member

    Nov 2, 2006
    Boston, MA
    Same, buddy... Same.
     
  6. Real Soon

    Real Soon

    Aug 15, 2013
    Atlanta, GA
    So, bass into DI box, DI box to house and to Behringer, and return from the board into the Behringer, and the output to your earphones? Hrm, yeah... the board will be line, but preamp pedals commonly output instrument level thru the DI XLR. Stating the obvious strictly for my own understanding.

    What's the rest of your rig? DI box with dual XLRs to go to house and Behringer simultaneously? Are there any preamp pedals with extra outputs prior or anything?
     
  7. davio

    davio Supporting Member

    Nov 2, 2006
    Boston, MA
    Current trial setup is bass -> pedalz -> JDI -> P1 (JDI thru to amp...never had a sound person complain about the DI from my MB800 but I always have my Countryman in my bag just in case)

    DI's out is mic level so lower than instrument.

    As I'm seeing it, I still need the DI to get the signal to my amp but then I have the mic level out to boost to line level (XLR->XLR). Unless I'm missing something...as always.
     
  8. Wasnex

    Wasnex

    Dec 25, 2011
    You could get a pedal Preamp/DIs that has balanced line level output. For example take a look at the Mesa Subway Preamp DIs. They have a mic level DI, and line level preamp out. Both are XLR with a ground lift:
    subway_preamp-back.jpg

    Here are links to both models:
    Mesa Boogie Subway Bass DI Preamp | MESA/Boogie®
    MESA/Boogie®

    I would not personally recommend the solution you are pursuing since I believe your mix will hard pan the bass to one side and your monitor mix to the other side.

    Here is a better solution IMHO, providing the audio-tech has two channels that can be dedicated to you. Use a regular DI to send you bass to FOH. Have the audio tech build a nice stereo monitor mix for you with your bass and the kick drum in the center. If you sing, your voice should also be in the center. Everything else should be panned off center in 3-5dB increments up to about 15dB L/R. The only thing I would pan any harder than 15dB or 20dB max is stereo reverb. You can hard pan stereo reverb because it is dense and continuous from L to R.

    The reason you don't use hard panning is to protect your hearing. When you hear a sound source equally in both ears you get binaural summing and the sound is perceived as 6dB louder. If you only hear that sound in one ear you have to turn it up 6dB for it to be perceived at the same volume.

    Using a stereo mix also helps protect your ears. When everything is jumbled in the center of the mix, it becomes much more difficult to distinguish one instrument from the next. In order to hear better the tendency is typically to crank the volume. When all of the instruments are panned out in natural horizon it becomes much easier to hear each instrument, so we don't have to turn up as much.

    Low frequencies are omni-directional, so IMHO the lowest frequency instruments should always be panned dead center as that will create the most natural sound.

    If running through the main mixer is not an option, consider getting a small personal mixer with a High Z instrument level input. Plug your bass into a High Z input and plug the monitor mix into one of the line level inputs. Then you can at least adjust the panning to a more appropriate value. You don't want hard panning, but also you don't want full mono either. The output of the personal mixer will be line level XLR suitable for the P1.

    Anyway...hope of these ideas help.

    Good luck!
     
  9. Radial usually has these types of problem-solver solutions — like the box for mic-level bumping to instrument level so you can run your mic through a bunch of stompbox effects and then shift it back to mic-level for the FOH/Recording console.


    Not sure what you mean by "prior".

    Arkham preamp has two outs.



    At any rate, in my travels I've seen boxes for instrument to line-level and vice-versa. I just can't remember brand names or product names. Some will have been DIY, but definitely commercial-made stuff is out there.
     
    ugly_bassplayer likes this.
  10. davio

    davio Supporting Member

    Nov 2, 2006
    Boston, MA
    Thanks for all that @Wasnex ! This unit is able to combine both signals into shared mono which is my plan. In this case, pan controls the weight that each signal gets in the mix and volume is for overall volume. I'm trying to keep this small enough to fit on my board and simple enough that any engineer will be able to provide what I need (even if I can't get my own monitor mix...that's why I want to be able to mix in my own signal) since I play a wide variety of gigs from small clubs to weddings, large corporate events, and festivals and don't always have the same engineer or sound company.
     
    Wasnex likes this.
  11. davio

    davio Supporting Member

    Nov 2, 2006
    Boston, MA
    Their website was my FIRST stop on this party train! :)

    If you happen to remember any names from your travels please let me know! I've been googling furiously but getting frustrated...
     
  12. el murdoque

    el murdoque

    Mar 10, 2013
    Germany
    I have a Behringer P2 and two Sansamp pedals, the BDDIv2 and the PBDDI.
    Both are capable of driving Line Level, or at least very juicy instrument level through XLR and 1/4". Both run off a 9V battery if they must.
    The XLR out has a pad switch and the 1/4" has a boost switch. I don't have a spare XLR cable lying around right now, but I can connect the Sansamp's 1/4" out to the Behringer and get a solid signal.
     
    EatS1stBassist likes this.
  13. MYLOWFREQ

    MYLOWFREQ Supporting Member

    May 13, 2011
    What are your other DIs? Some DIs (like the SansAmp BDDI) let you to send a line level signal via the XLR cable.
     
    EatS1stBassist likes this.
  14. davio

    davio Supporting Member

    Nov 2, 2006
    Boston, MA
    I have a JDI and a Countryman. I've never liked the shaping of SansAmps (had a few of them over the years) so I'm not really interested in adding something like that to the mix. Plus that's even more real estate on the board.
     
  15. MYLOWFREQ

    MYLOWFREQ Supporting Member

    May 13, 2011
    I see. I was wondering if you had the SansAmp already, you could have turned the blend knob all the way counterclockwise and get zero SansAmp and 100% of your clean tone.
     
    EatS1stBassist likes this.
  16. davio

    davio Supporting Member

    Nov 2, 2006
    Boston, MA
    Real talk: I've seen the Rolls brand around for ages but have always passed them off as cheap garbage. Am I right to do so? I found the Rolls MP13 and it looks like what I need but I'm hesitant to give it a shot. Why does nobody else make such a seemingly simple piece of equipment???
     
  17. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    Rolls Pm-351 Widely used as an IEM interface for people who don't move much. Drummers, keyboardists. I used one as a headphone amp while on the road a couple of years back.
     
    Jacobfred likes this.
  18. Jacobfred

    Jacobfred Supporting Member

    Nov 21, 2012
    Boise, ID
    I can vouch for the Rolls units. I've had a few of them including the PM351 and the PM55P (which has a limiter to save your ears) and never had an issue sending instrument level signals to the 1/4" inputs. Alternatively take your DI out to the Mic In on whichever one and then use the XLR pass through to send to house. FOH can also send a line level mix back for you to blend in
     
  19. davio

    davio Supporting Member

    Nov 2, 2006
    Boston, MA
    Interesting. I guess that answers my question to some extent. I'm not entirely sure how I'd make that work with my setup, though. Looks like it performs as an instrument DI as well but I still need my signal to go to the amp. I'll do some more reading. Thanks for the lead!
     
  20. davio

    davio Supporting Member

    Nov 2, 2006
    Boston, MA
    Nice! But it looks like those units use 1/4" inputs for the monitor signal...? I always get an XLR. Plus my signal is XLR from the DI at that point.
     
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    May 6, 2021

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