DI Box Suggestions

Discussion in 'Gear & Equipment' started by Bronson, Apr 6, 2021.

  1. Bronson

    Bronson SS.org Regular

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    So I’ve been using the Neural DSP Gojira plugin since it came out. I’m still learning about the digital side of playing guitar. The signal chain I use is:
    Guitar-Scarlett 2i2 3rd gen-PC-Neural
    Guitar pickups used:
    BK Aftermath
    BK Ragnaroks
    Dimarzio D Activator
    Dimarzio Titan
    SD Nazgul

    I’ve noticed that I have to crank the gain on the interface way down to avoid clipping. I also have to do the same in the VST. It almost seems I have to drop everything down to the point where I lose a lot of punch and clarity. I’ve seen that a DI box would help alleviate this issue. I just want to make sure this is the right answer and not something else I’m doing wrong. If the DI box is the way to go then what is a good DI box?
     
  2. buriedoutback

    buriedoutback SS.org Regular

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    I just found out recently that on a bunch of interfaces, in order to get unity gain (in = out), you need to press the "instrument" button and have the gain at 0. I had issues for years getting a proper DI signal to make a VST sound good.

    I was using a Radial Pro DI (which is amazing BTW) but I can go direct now and it sounds awesome. If you need a DI for anything, I'd recommend this one.

    In my case, I have a Behringer UMC1820, so I can't speak for your interface. This may not be the issue at all.
     
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  3. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire only the dead have seen the end of GAS

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    If you're clipping that badly then you should use the -15 db pad on the scarlett to start with. Also make sure you're on the instrument switch.
    But yeah if you want a good solid di box, radial is the way to go.
     
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  4. Thrashman

    Thrashman Got Groove?

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    Scarlett interfaces are pretty outdated in general, if you can I'd look at an Audient or something similar.
     
  5. AwakenTheSkies

    AwakenTheSkies SS.org Regular

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    I own a 1st gen Scarlett 2i4 so I understand why that could be outdated. But why would a last-gen Scarlett be outdated??
     
  6. MrWulf

    MrWulf SS.org Regular

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    I have Warm Audio Active DI Box. It works well and i've used it to record my EP with no problem into an Axe I/O. That being said, i'd heavily suggest an Audient ID4 mk2. Better mic pres, better quality, better DI input for guitar, so on and so forth.

    Scarlett in general is kinda bad, mic pres and quality wise, even in the 3rd gen. Within the same price bracket of consumers level there are way better options like Audient ID series, or Axe I/O.
     
  7. Nicki

    Nicki Twit

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    Focusrite really mucked up their product SKUs when they forgot that their original scarlett interfaces existed... This is the original Scarlett 8i6 (the one that I have):
    [​IMG]

    The mic pres are different from current gen Scarletts and are miles and miles better than what they're putting into them these days. I think at the time, they were what were the same pres as the Saffire interfaces, which got turned into the Clarett line and in order to have some kind of distinction, they dropped the quality of the mic pres in the Scarlett line. Total speculation on my part, but I do think that's what happened. I've had no issues with mine, even when I go DI. This has been serving me for 10 years at this point. It's a solid interface. If you find one, buy it.

    I think it was what they labelled as 2nd gen that had instrument clipping problems which they said they solved in the 3rd gen. Don't know if they replaced the pres in them or not or if it was some other problem, but I generally agree that newer Scarlett pres are not the greatest. If I decide to replace my Scarlett, it'll be with a Clarett, not another Scarlett.
     
  8. ATRguitar91

    ATRguitar91 SS.org Regular

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    I use an ancient Focusrite Saffire and have to use the pad, instrument switch, and keep the gain at zero. It sounds fine this way to me.

    You may want to check your pickup heights. I figured out that some of mine were too high because I couldn't avoid the input clipping on some guitars.
     
  9. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire only the dead have seen the end of GAS

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    no, the 1st gen scarletts were the problem, they fixed the input clipping with the 2nd gen (which i have) and raised the thresholds even more with the 3rd gen.
     
  10. Nicki

    Nicki Twit

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    Ah. Makes sense. The odd thing is that my Scarlett came before the 1st gen and why they don't call those one 1st gen is just... weird.
     
  11. nickgray

    nickgray SS.org Regular

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    3rd gen have a pad option. And you don't need to crank the gain to oblivion, it's a common misconception. You shouldn't aim for the peaks to be as close to 0db as possible, leave some room, aim for -6db, and RMS should be around -18 to -12.

    Did you also set the input to instrument?

    I have a hardware Helix which I use as DI and a 3rd gen Scarlett. The Scarlett is fine, you won't get any real benefit from a DI box.
     
  12. TheWarAgainstTime

    TheWarAgainstTime "TWAT" for short

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    I have a Little Labs Red Eye 3D that's been fine so far. My interface is a 2nd gen Scarlett 18i20 and the DI box sounds a bit cleaner than the interface by itself, plus the 3D gives me the option to split my signal to an amplifier. That way, I can track a DI and an amp signal at the same time without having to route the second signal through my DAW and have to adjust it for the extra latency.
     
  13. Mike_R

    Mike_R SS.org Regular

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    Countryman 85 is another solid DI box. There are some shootouts between 85/Radial/Scarlett/Audient if you want to get a better idea:



    Results are in a separate video that was posted later and might surprise you. I'd listen to the first video on headphones and take notes on your impressions before the results.


    If you can't hear a difference, or don't have a preference, work with what you have. If you hear a difference that you like, you may want to invest in a DI. I got a Countryman 85 which provided a slight improvement to my signal over the MBox 3 integrated input, but I upgraded to a Presonus Quantum and the instrument inputs are surprisingly good (to me) to the point that I only really use the Countryman if I am taking a DI while recording a live amp and need the pass through.
     
  14. Ataraxia2320

    Ataraxia2320 SS.org Regular

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    If you don't mind a DI approach - the Bo Hansen DI is probably the best DI I have ever used.

    If you want something reasonably priced and good off the shelf - BSS AR133.

    If you want to splash some cash - Rupert Neve DI.

    Other honourable mentions which will colour your tone - Avalon U5, RED DI.
     
  15. c7spheres

    c7spheres GuitArtist

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    Radial JDI's a great for everything. They'll even do a speaker tap off your amp (with cab connected). They sound very neutral but improve everything too. Get two mono versions.
     
  16. Thrashman

    Thrashman Got Groove?

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    Their preamps just sound like ass if you ever try something more modern and "better".. and Every scarlett I've had and majority of my friends have had will develop USB issues at some point.
     
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  17. nickgray

    nickgray SS.org Regular

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    In what way exactly? They're clean pres with very flat frequency response and pretty decent SNR. You can easily find tests online that confirm this.
     
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  18. Thrashman

    Thrashman Got Groove?

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    Dull, lifeless, sterile. Chops too much high end off. saggy bass response.
     
  19. nickgray

    nickgray SS.org Regular

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    I can only speak for the 3rd gen, but my instrument inputs work completely fine.

    Are you sure you changed the inputs to instrument mode? You have to manually switch them, on gen 3 at least. If you don't you'll get impedance mismatch which will indeed chop off your high end, which is very likely what happened in your case.
     
  20. AwakenTheSkies

    AwakenTheSkies SS.org Regular

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    Huh that's weird. You know what, now I'm curious, later today I will record guitar DI with Helix and guitar DI with 1st gen Scarlett 2i4, see if there's a big difference.
     
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