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Radial JDI & SansAmp BDDI v2. How to use them?

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by Syl_Funky_bass, Nov 12, 2020.

  1. Syl_Funky_bass


    Jun 4, 2016
    Hi Guys,

    Noob questions time:

    I've just received a brand new Radial JDI for a ridiculously low price.

    I only play active 5 string basses and occasionally synth bass (Novation BSII, Sub 37).

    I also recently acquired a SansAmp BDDI which I'm very happy with.
    Other than these two devices I don't have own any other DI box.

    Since I bought a SansAmp I didn't plan to buy a Radial JDI anymore so my first question would be how can it be useful to me considering my current setup? I'm thinking that the Radial JDI could be useful for my synth (live).

    More noob questions:

    1. I of course have an idea of what a DI box is used for but I've never had the feeling to have perfectly understood its functioning and use. I would like once and for all to have a complete and clear explanation of all the uses of a good passive DI box such as the Radial JDI (especially for a (active)bass/synth bass player).

    2. How does the it compare to the SansAmp BDDI and is there any added value to owning one if I already have a SansAmp. Also, combining the Radial JDI with a SansAmp BDDI would be pointless right?

    3. Last question is pretty much related to to the previous ones: soundwise what difference is there really between a Radially JDI and any other commonly used passive DI boxes for live performance?
    I would say that 90% of the time I come on stage here in Belgium I'm given one of these sturdy BSS AR133 DI boxes with rubber on the sides. With a Radial JDI and/or SansAmp is it OK for me from the bow on to always tell PA companies when I get on stage that I will use one of my DI boxes (because they would presumably/undoubtedly be better?)

    4. Last question concerns studio work: how do you use and compare DI boxes in the studio. Why is it important, what difference does it make?

    Thank you very much in advance.
  2. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    1. The main purpose of a DI box is to connect a high-impedance unbalanced signal (like a bass guitar) to equipment that expects a low-impedance balanced signal (like a mixing console or microphone preamp). Using a DI (instead of plugging your bass directly into the console) can make your bass easier to record, with better signal-to-noise ratio and a more full-frequency tone.
    2. Radial JDI and SansAmp are very different tools, designed for different tasks. It is fine to own both the JDI and the SansAmp (just like it is fine to own both a hammer and a screwdriver). If you like the sound of the two combined then no, it is not "pointless"! If you like the sound, then you don't need our permission.
    3. Probably no difference. BSS and Radial are both pro gear and will probably get the job done just fine. I recommend to use the venue's DI (not your own that you brought from home) as that will be the most familiar tool for the sound guys. It's like, I don't bring my own ketchup from home when I go out for a burger; I use the restaurant's ketchup.
    4. In the studio, I use the studio's DI. Usually the engineer says, "plug this into your bass" and then hands me one end of a 1/4" cable. The studio engineer will have selected a DI that compliments the other high-end equipment in the recording studio. Everything is set up and ready to go, by the time I get there.
    5. I don't play synth so I'm not an expert. You should check your bass synth's manual to figure out what kind of output jack it has. It's possible that it's a high-impedance unbalanced signal and would need a DI just like your bass guitar. But it's also very possible that your bass synth already has a balanced or line-level output. You should check your bass synth's documentation (or a relevant forum) what is the best way to connect it to studio recording gear. Your synth may--or may not--be the same recording "best practices" as your bass guitar.
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2020
    el jeffe bass and Syl_Funky_bass like this.
  3. Syl_Funky_bass


    Jun 4, 2016
    Thank you so much! This is exactly the kind of advice/explanation/guidelines I've been looking for.
    Mushroo likes this.
  4. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    I like the JDI quite a bit for keys. To me it seems to take some of the harsh digital quality away. I use a JDI Duplex which is one the stereo versions. Although the keyboard may have a mono out, many patches sound much better in stereo.

    If you are offered a BSS AR133, it's not worth arguing over IMHO. Audio techs often want to use their own gear because they are familiar with it and know how it works and sounds. This gives them sort of a reference point and makes it easier for them to do there job.

    Also the BSS is a very good DI. The difference in sound quality between the BSS and Radial will be very, very subtle; probably not even discernible in a live setting. I don't see any problem with offering or even asking to use your JDI, but if the audio tech wants to go with his/her normal DI, I suggest dropping it.

    If you argue the point, you will most likely waste time, make the audio tech mad, and still wind up using his/her DI. You usually don't have the power to force this sort of decision unless are paying the bills; then it can still be a fight.

    Also if you are adamant about using a specific DI, this sort of stuff should be worked out long before gig day, like a pro. On gig day, the audio tech will be managing a million things and trying to make everything go smoothly, so he/she won't have a lot of free time or mental energy to deal with something that adds uncertainty to the situation unnecessarily.

    I am not trying to excuse bad behavior on the audio techs part, but hopefully you can empathize with being stressed out trying to manage a bunch of tasks and dealing with someone who wants a last minute change that should have been requested weeks ago. Now imagine there is a technical problem with the sound system, that could potentially delay start time, and you are person trying to troubleshoot the problem, while someone is whining about some trivial matter that will add even more uncertainty into the situation. FYI, sounds systems are extremely complex, and there are almost always little problems to work out.

    When I was touring, we usually used our own PA and audio tech, but sometimes that was not appropriate or possible. Several week before the event we negotiated and coordinated all of our technical requirements with the audio staff. On some gigs, we used our backline, mics, and DIs, on some gigs, everything was provided, and it was all worked out in advance.
    s0c9 and Syl_Funky_bass like this.
  5. Zbysek


    Mar 23, 2017
    Czech Republic
    There is. You can use BDDI for bass and JDI for your keys...

    No, it wouldn't. You may want to send two signals to FOH: one dry/clean (JDI), one wet/overdriven (BDDI). That's what I do with my big pedalboard (using different devices).
    Syl_Funky_bass likes this.
  6. Zbysek


    Mar 23, 2017
    Czech Republic
    Syl_Funky_bass and Wasnex like this.
  7. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Use the BDDI for your bass, IF you like the way it affects your tone.

    For keys, use the Radial when you provide your own DI.
    Syl_Funky_bass and Zbysek like this.
  8. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    how are you using the sansamp?

    the idea behind it is to create a colored, maybe even distorted "tube amp sound" that goes straight to the PA. if you run it with the blend off and the EQ mostly flat then you're not using much of what it's made for and might be better off with the JDI.

    if you use the sansamp like i do (blend at 100% to create a slightly gritty SVT kind of tone) then yeah, no need for the JDI, save it for something else.
    frnjplayer, Syl_Funky_bass and Wasnex like this.
  9. Primary

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    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.

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