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DI box vs. Interface - testing DI quality

Discussion in 'F.O.H.' started by johnny ForTiorI, Mar 15, 2017.

  1. johnny ForTiorI

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    I finally got to do this. Quite the interesting results. Hope this answers the question if you should get a DI box or not. enjoy.

     
  2. Kaza

    Kaza Member

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    Wow, that scarlett di is ... yeah! i just bought a scarlet 2i2 (most recent generation) im curious if the di on that is as bad as that (sorry man, not trying to shit on your interface or anything!)

    im gonna try and record a clip on my 2i2 and post it here.

    the radial seems too bright for me. i kinda like the pod the best.
    theres things i like about the radial, and the pod.

    Thanks for sharing this!
     
  3. johnny ForTiorI

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    dude, you should have seen my face when i first heard the DI from the Scarlett. so bash it all you want, it deserves it ;)
    i read the 2nd gen has better pre amps. the clipping problem seems to be fixed and the high end seems to be better. but i don´t know how it compares to a DI box. i´d love to test it out myself, but no money.
     
  4. Kaza

    Kaza Member

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    Okay, please ignore my playing. just whipped this up quick lol.

    SCARLETT 2i2 DIRECT (no effect)


    SCARLETT 2i2 DI w/ AMP SIM


    SCARLETT 2i2 DI w/ same amp sim settings - no playing (noise test)


    I dont know if this helps anyone! Hope it does!
     
  5. johnny ForTiorI

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    i think your DI sounds really good. no nastiness, good hi end and low end and low noise. it´s way better than on my 1st Gen Scarlett. i don´t think you´d need a DI box tbh.
     
  6. Kaza

    Kaza Member

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    The newer generation stuff still clips if you ride the gain knob past "3" on the interface so you still have to ride it low but it seems as though they have improved the DI on their units.

    also, that popping on your recordings i believe is either your ASIO drive, the interface or your computer trying keep up with the workload.

    i recently upgraded from the same interface you have to the scarlett 2i2 (newest gen) and the popping went away and the xlr and di raw feed sounds much better. i ended up selling my DI box and my old POD and that money got me the scarlett 2i2

    Hope this helps brother!
     
  7. johnny ForTiorI

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    i think that popping sound actually came from the Pod´s USB port or something. today i tried out something else and disconnected the Pod from the computer and the popping was gone. so much weird stuff going on with DI recording.
     
  8. H-evolve

    H-evolve Member

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    Wow ok... what the fuck!? I mean, the Scarlett isn't that shitty. It's a "decent" interface, from wha tI know at least.

    I'm no expert in signal processing and what not, so I can't try and explaining why. But if anybody can explain to me how that is possible for the Scarlett to sound that different without DI box (in a negative way) and to suddenly sound good with one DI box...? I thought DI boxes were mostly useful for long runs of cable, solving perhaps noise issues, and obviously, to record a DI track as you record a mic'ed track. I never heard that it can completely change the tone?

    The Scarlett isn't a bad interface. I've always heard good things about it. I own a NI Komplete Audio 6, which is not much more expensive, and I did make the same test (using the Radial Pro DI) and I was not hearing any difference, with or without DI box.

    So, how did you get, with a similar price range interface, such a shitty tone and why did putting a DI box in front of the interface solved the problem... ?:S
     
  9. Kaza

    Kaza Member

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    I'm curious if theres something wrong with his interface? maybe he bought it used? or something? i dont know - i found it quite odd myself
     
    #9 Kaza, Mar 15, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2017
  10. johnny ForTiorI

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    i bought my interface new, not used, not b-stock, it´s fresh out of the factory. i think it´s because of mediocre pre amps and converters. one difference is, when you don´t use a DI box you plug into an instrument input. when you do use a DI box you plug into a mic input. it may look like you´re plugging into the same input, but actually the XLR and 1/4" inputs use different circuits. the DI box transforms an unbalanced hi-Z instrument level signal into a balanced low-Z mic level which lets the input on the interface work with it differently. or something like that. for more specific details someone else has to chime in.
     
  11. Kaza

    Kaza Member

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    honestly man, id say sell your interface and DI box and get a newer gen scarlett. the 2i2 is 200 CAD and man, they are really nice preamps and converters. in fact, they are the same exact preamps and converters as one of their highest end interfaces (correct me if im wrong.. but i looked at all the specs before i bought the 2i2)

    not telling you what to do or anything lol just a friendly suggestion. thats what i would do anyway. id probably sell the scarlet 6i6, DI, and podpro, buy a really interface with all that money, or a smaller nice interface and maybe a new mic!... but thats just what i would do!
     
  12. johnny ForTiorI

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    well, the 2i2 wouldn´t cut it for me, because for recording tutorials i need more I/O´s and stuff. i definitely want spdif, so it´s gotta be the 6i6. and i really like the DI i´m getting with the Pod and i don´t know how the 2nd Gen Scarletts hold up against that. i already returned the DI box, though. i could perhaps sell my interface and save up a bit on top of that to get a 2nd Gen. but with the setup i have right now that would probably only improve my voice recordings. not sure if that´s worth the hassle.
     
  13. Kaza

    Kaza Member

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    yeah i didnt know you did recording tutorials on a regular basis. sorry! yeah, maybe just save up for a new 6i6 2nd gen i guess if youre looking for better di and mic pre quality?
     
  14. H-evolve

    H-evolve Member

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    One detail, perhaps off-topic, but that I still want to address: I don't think a "signal" has an impedance. It's a well known expression used in music, I'm aware of that, but I'm pretty sure (from my electrical classes in college, if I remember them right) than the impedance is a caracteristic of a device, and not of the signal it produces. That's semantic I guess, but I always wanted to clarify that. My point is: using the expression "high impedance signal" is wrong (at least I think).

    Nevertheless, what you bring forward as a potential explanation could be right, however I'm not sure. It is true that the signal from your guitar is unbalanced, while the XLR is a balanced signal. But, considering what I said (a signal has an amplitude, a phase and a frequency, but it doesn't have an Impedance), I am not sure what going from unbalance to balanced does to the signal precisely. I just know it prevents unwanted noise contamination, plus that balancing is kinda duplicating the signal you send, onto 2 different internal cables, while inverting the phase.

    And, since I'm no expert, I tend to rely onto stuff I know. That is, Focusrite are known to use decent components (decent preamps and converters), so I'm realllllyyyy wondering what is wrong here.

    That makes your video even more interesting! I don't know what to think really. Because, again, I did the same test some months ago on my NI Komplete Audio 6 and I didn't see any difference in using a DI box or not. The Komplete Audio 6 is similar to the 2i2, just slightly more expensive, but not much
     
    #14 H-evolve, Mar 15, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2017
  15. johnny ForTiorI

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    yeah, you´re right. the signal itself doesn´t have an impedence. but the outputs of the DI box has a different impedence and level than the guitar. that´s what i meant.
     
  16. H-evolve

    H-evolve Member

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    Yeah I know you didn't necessarily mean that the signal had an impedance, and don't think that my intentions were to be a bitch about it. It's just that it reminded me that we hear that so often "high impedance signal", and just wanted to bring that up! :)
     
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  17. johnny ForTiorI

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    don´t worry. i wasn´t thinking you´re bitching. i welcome other peoples input. it´s all good :)
     
    H-evolve likes this.
  18. nezvers

    nezvers Beast

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