DI Box is sucking my tone ?

Discussion in 'Recording Studio' started by TheUnknownOne, Nov 2, 2018.

  1. TheUnknownOne

    TheUnknownOne SS.org Regular

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    Hello Folks,

    I recently asked myself something, after a year of playing through this chain : Radial PRO48 > Scarlett 2i2 LINE input, I've never been completely satisfied because sometimes the low end chugs clips while I loose a lot of input on the treble strings....So if I adjust that, I've got either too much gain on the bass strings or not enough :(

    As a consequence I'm always tweaking my input gain depending if I'm tracking rythms or leads. That's a cool workaround but clearly not the perfect solution.

    Yesterday I tried going direct in the Instrument input of my scarlett, and I lowered the pups as much as I could : everything felt a bit more balanced input wise, but I eventually had to monitor my pick attack very much to avoid clipping. But it was playing kinda smooth, with a better pick reactivity on the low strings : I had the same feel that I have when playing live on an amp, and the low end sounded MUCH CLEARER.

    Also, I'm pretty sure the guitar has nothing to do with it because I experience the same thing with 3 different axes.

    So, is my Pro48 a tone sucker ? Should I just ditch it and buy a 2i4 with the pad ?
     
  2. Metropolis

    Metropolis SS.org Regular

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    Plug into mic pre with xlr cable, and phantom power on. See then how it goes. Can you adjust input gain inside plugins?
     
  3. DudeManBrother

    DudeManBrother Hey...how did everybody get in my room?

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    I recently got a Radial J48 and it solved the problem you’re describing. My bass tones going direct into my interface were okay, but the low end really quickly flubbed out and I had to be really careful about my attack. The J48 brought a full top end and bottom end that stays usable. Guitar DIs really came to life as well.

    I realize the PRO and J are different boxes; but I’d suspect your interface is more of an issue than the DI box. Could also be in your general gain/volume staging setup as well.
     
  4. TheUnknownOne

    TheUnknownOne SS.org Regular

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    You mean going in the mic Pre with the DI ? Tried that already in fact but did not solve my problem sadly


    Okay that seems like something I should try. Can I ask you what is your signal chain ?

    I should probably try to upgrade to a second gen 2i4 since I need that midi Input and people seem to not have the hot pickups clipping problem with that one, and it's only a hundred bucks used
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2018
  5. TheUnknownOne

    TheUnknownOne SS.org Regular

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    So I did a little thing with a cheap Samson S-Direct I had at my rehearsal's room, and It seems like there's really something going on in the low mids and bass response of the Radial Pro48...

    (Sorry for the slopiness haha)

    Samson S Direct: https://instaud.io/private/0deac0b17946c61c1b2fcfeb7413c7a3bf2c0b9d
    https://instaud.io/private/988956670b36f865fdfc2def8a14e30612e2d0d1

    Radial Pro48 : https://instaud.io/private/d556ec3cef26f8807f51af80c4cad96329141e71
    https://instaud.io/private/9974a645f1e8a80fa7fac3a52370a58b28753027
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2018
  6. TheUnknownOne

    TheUnknownOne SS.org Regular

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  7. DudeManBrother

    DudeManBrother Hey...how did everybody get in my room?

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    Guitar>J48 input>Presonus Firestudio/ J48 thru>either Kemper or tube amp/Fryette Power Load>Presonus Firestudio.

    This gives me a no latency distortion stem, and a clean J48 DI for reamping. I just got it last week, so I haven’t recorded any A/B DI’s, or kept a recording using high gain yet. I just messed around briefly with some open chugs to find out if I could hear a difference, which I can.

    I used it on a bass track and clean guitar for a song this week and it is noticeably better to my ears than previous recordings with a similar setup.
    https://instaud.io/2RXl
    Somewhere around the 2:20 mark is a good place to get a better idea as the first half is pretty sparse. It gets a little more guitar and the bass line starts moving here. I deliberately used just DI’s on this to get an idea of the J48. Over the weekend I’ll probably try reamping and see what that does as well.
     
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  8. DudeManBrother

    DudeManBrother Hey...how did everybody get in my room?

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  9. BearOnGuitar

    BearOnGuitar SS.org Regular

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    A DI box is changing the instrument output from a high impedance unbalanced signal to a low impedance balanced microphone level signal that is supposed to be used with a microphone pre-amplifier and not a line level input. Be sure to connect the DI box correctly using a balanced XLR cable and test again. If it doesn't change the problem you simply might not like the DI box and should try using another one. I owned a J48 several years back and thought it sounded great except in the low end, where I found it to be lacking. Can't comment on the Pro48.
     
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  10. TheUnknownOne

    TheUnknownOne SS.org Regular

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    Yep, seems like the Radial Pro48 just sounds warmer and thicker in the mids, "more analogue", whereas the samson, which is just a BSS AR copy, sounds more neutral and transparent

    Everything else is okay in my signal chain, I go from the low-z DI output with a balanced XLR cable into the Line input of my scarlett
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2018
  11. Stiman

    Stiman SS.org Regular

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    Did you try into the XLR input instead of line-in? Do you find it's quite different?
     
  12. TheUnknownOne

    TheUnknownOne SS.org Regular

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    Like going through the instrument input of the Scarlett ? Done that without any drastic change
     
  13. TheUnknownOne

    TheUnknownOne SS.org Regular

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    After searching a bit into the specs sheets of both DI Boxes, I found that the Samson has a 1Mohm input impedance, whereas the Pro48 is 220K. This might do a bit for the difference in feel I get.

    Ain't the highly praised countryman Type 85 10Mohm input impendance ?
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2018
  14. DudeManBrother

    DudeManBrother Hey...how did everybody get in my room?

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    From what I read while deciding which DI to get: the general input impedance on most DI boxes is 1meg, apparently because Fender used that in their tube amps. The Type 85 is 10meg and ideal for piezo pickups, but can be noisy.

    The input impedance is generally expected to meet or exceed the standard “factor of 10” rule. If your passive pickup is hotter than 22k you could experience treble roll off blah blah blah. Ultimately you have to trust your ears (and a spectrum analyzer doesn’t hurt) so if the PRO48 isn’t doing it for you, then there’s nothing wrong with selling it and grabbing something else that helps you sounds better.
     
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  15. TonyFlyingSquirrel

    TonyFlyingSquirrel Cherokee Warrior

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    If it's thin, you may want to check the phase. If you are able to invert the phase, and it all of a sudden opens up, this was likely the culprit.
     
  16. Elric

    Elric SS.org Regular

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    Man, 220K? That sounds quite low for an instrument input to me. I would want 1M or more; 1M is pretty much the standard for Hi-Z ins.
     
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  17. TheUnknownOne

    TheUnknownOne SS.org Regular

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    Yep and this is probably one of the reasons I was struggling to get a "realistic feel".
    By the way, I just bought an audient id14 and everything sounds much clearer and feels much better going through the 500kOhm HI-Z Jfet DI Input, so I guess i'll just keep it that way !

    Thread TL;DR : if you're mainly recording guitars (no bass) and you want to go DI, don't buy a Radiall Pro48
     
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