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Is there any need for a DI box with an Audio Interface?

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by Tupac, Feb 3, 2013.

  1. Tupac


    May 5, 2011
    I record with a Presonus Audiobox 22VSL, but the tone is really lacking. Would a Sansamp solve that? Or is there no need for it since it has an instrument input?
  2. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    The instrument input on the Presonus IS a DI, the interface is a type of DI box.

    Although the Sansamp is another type of DI, and it is marketed as a DI, it does not represent what to normally expect from DI boxes in general. The main function of the Sansamp is amp modeling, tone shaping to emulate playing through a tube amp. It includes a DI output.

    Most DI boxes, including the Presonus, have no amp modeling or other tone shaping. So if you want tone shaping or amp modeling, buy something that does that. It doesn't have to be a DI box, but in the case of the Sansamp, it can be.

    Also, there are many many tone-shaping and amp-modeling plugins available for most recording software platforms. So you can record clean, with the Presonus, and then color the tone however you like afterward. This is how it is often done by "real" studios.
    villis likes this.
  3. dave_p


    Dec 20, 2005
    Some interfaces require a little level boost to get your signal up to -6db or so without having the input level on your interface in the clipping range. An outboard pre amp will do the trick. You can also try the xlr out from your amp if it has one to the mic in on your interface.
  4. EricF

    EricF Habitual User

    Sep 26, 2005
    Pasadena, CA
    If you're not getting the tone you want directly from your Audiobox, there are lots of options.

    Personally, I'm a fan of recording the sound I want rather than manipulating it later with digital modelling. Running a SansAmp into your interface is a very viable solution. For me, running the XLR out of a SansAmp into the mic input of a good preamp often gets me exactly what I'm looking for.
  5. Tupac


    May 5, 2011
    So let me get this straight. For me, the only reason to get a Sansamp would be for tone modifications? If that is the case (or not), what's some tone shaping software or something I can use with Reaper?
  6. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    That's right. Googling "amp modeling reaper" turns up a bunch of links, including a video tutorial. :)
  7. KrisHayes


    Sep 30, 2012
    Well, the instrument in on an Audiobox is pretty crude. Any higher quality preamp or DI will be a major improvement. On the cheap, check out a Golden Age Pre-73. Has a mic preamp which you won't need, but I used the instrument in on that thing on tons of sessions! Right now am using a Daking Mic Pre One for overdubs, including bass, but that's likely overkill for your setup.
  8. tech21nyc

    tech21nyc Commercial User

    Aug 17, 2010
    Manufacturer: Tech 21
    The Presonus has a 1MegOhm instrument input so you shouldn't really "need" a DI. You probably just find the tone of your bass without any tone shaping or compression a bit lacking. As others have suggested you can use plugins or you can also reamp after the fact.

    Just to set the record straight, our Bass Driver DI can be used as a standalone DI and has many of the functions of a standard DI. It will convert a high Z signal to low Z and offers ground lift as well as line or instrument level. The SansAmp circuitry which can be turned off or blended offers analog amp emulation. The blend function allows you to mix the sound of the uneffected bass with the tube amp emulation if desired. In a recording situation like yours you could send the parallel out of the Bass Driver to one track and send the SansAmp output blended to 100% to a separate track. This way you can have more control over your sound at mixdown.
  9. Dilbert


    Nov 20, 2012
    Northampton, U.K
    fwiw, even though my interface has a hi-z instrument input i get far superior results using DI>mic input of interface