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Input gain for hot DI's?

Discussion in 'Backline' started by mirflee, Jun 15, 2014.

  1. mirflee

    mirflee SSL Studios

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    Hello, just a quick question. I'm tracking DI's through the Inst on my Focusrite with gain all set to none. It's relatively peaking at 0dbfs.

    Studio One has this option where you could control the gain coming from the inputs, would it work the same way as if I'm turning down the gain knob on my interface if it were on Line?

    Also, I've seen that people here swear by the average 18dbfs RMS rule. Will Putney for one loves to use his mic pre's to push his DI's. Is it a dangerous route to track hot?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Old Man Doom

    Old Man Doom Member

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    Might be the wrong section for this post, but I'll give it a shot:
    I know that the focusrite 2i2 does not have the greatest gain range on it's line input (-21 to 29db), especially if you have really hot pups; this is compounded by the fact that it doesn't have a pad. If this is your case, then a DI box might be the solution. I haven't had experience with other focusrite interfaces, so I'm not sure if all the scarlett series use the same preamps, but a DI box into the mic input will most likely do the trick. As for the Putney thing, he can afford to really drive his inputs because he's using some high quality preamps; however, I wouldn't suggest to push your focusrite preamps too hot. Just get the DI to a solid level so that it's not clipping when you strum or chug hard.
     
  3. TheWinterSnow

    TheWinterSnow Den Mørke Natt

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    I have mentioned this before that most interface instrument inputs are calibrated on the assumption that nominal signals will range from -20dBu to -12dBu which is incredibly low, very few vintage style guitar pickups put out anything that low, most pickups put anywhere from -2dBu to 12dBu which is simply too hot for poorly designed instrument inputs. Your best bet is to get a DI and go into the mic pre. As a beginner it would be ill advised to use the preamp to push the sound harder, the mic pre's for one aren't going to have the quality for that and you are to new to recording (based on my assumptions from your post) to try and do fancy stuff, just stick to the basics until your gain more experience to start noticing the effect of experimenting with less common practices, gotta train those ears to have a proper reference first.
     
  4. mstone564

    mstone564 Member

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    Is there not an instrument/pad button on your interface? My Pro 40 has both.

    Which model do you have?
     
  5. mirflee

    mirflee SSL Studios

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    I have the 18i6. It's interesting though, Misha has his gain turned up right before clipping. Maybe that's because he's running the Axe via line?

     
    #5 mirflee, Jun 15, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 20, 2015
  6. TheWinterSnow

    TheWinterSnow Den Mørke Natt

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    Yes he is using the Line Out of the Axe-Fx into the Line In of the interface, much different than a guitar into the instrument input.
     
  7. deLuther

    deLuther Member

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    Mic/instrument preamplifier into line input can be better than DI into average mic input of interface :)
    Many, even relatively expensive, DI boxes have also relatively low input levels (check specification of Countryman Type 85/10, BSS AR133 and Radials).
    But 2i2 have low input level, 2i4 is better solution due to PAD, not too much, BTW.
     

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