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What's the difference between a DI and an Audio Interface?

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by Tupac, Dec 9, 2012.

  1. Tupac


    May 5, 2011
    If I understand right, the goal of both is to translate analog to digital as best as possible. What purpose does each have in terms of bass recording? :confused:
  2. A DI lowers the impedence and balances the bass signal to match a microphone. This allows you to plug into a snake or directly into a sound board with no tone lose.

    An Audio interface is an outboard box that is used to connect analog instruments and/or mics to a computer so you can record digitally. These usually contain both XLR and "instrument" 1/4 jacks and have the A to D converters.

    So you would actually use both to record bass.
  3. mambo4


    Jun 9, 2006
    Analog to digital is the goal of an Audio interface only.

    A DI used to connect a high-impedance, line level, unbalanced output signal ( what comes out of your bass)
    to a low-impedance microphone level balanced input, usually via XLR connector(what goes into a recording or mixing console).
  4. Didn't I say that?
  5. Tupac


    May 5, 2011
    Ohhhh, okay. Can I record without a DI? Very likely a silly question, can't you just turn down the input knob on your interface to do the same thing?
  6. If there is a high imp. "Instrument" input, then yes.

    If there is only XLR inputs the no.

    It's not the same thing.

    (It's possible to plug a 1/4 into an XLR using an adapter, but it will not sound as good as if you use a proper DI. Even a cheap DI will sound better than this option.)
  7. mdjuszyn


    Nov 17, 2011
    My interface has a button that says "HI-Z" on the instrument 1/4" input. That's what you could use in lieu of a DI.