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D.I. for synths/fx
Old 2nd May 2003
  #1
D.I. for synths/fx

i've just read some old posts here about d.i.ing synths! sometimes i think about to balance the signals from my unbalanced synths and fx. i've always thought that this is only needed for longer distances and it would not make any sonical differences.

because i have a lot of synths and fx with unbalanced outputs and inputs i can't see how it will function with over 100 d.i.boxes flying around?

can you say me if it is necessary to balance ALL signals? and if how i could achieve this without filling up my space with d.i. boxes?

regards deft:::
Old 2nd May 2003
  #2
Moderator emeritus
 
🎧 15 years
It's not necessarily a requirement to balance all lines (depending on the set up of the rest of your studio), but it may not hurt. If you have a lot of synths and modules, youmay want to check out rhe DI Active, from The Desk Doctor.
http://www.deskdoctor.com/products.html
Old 2nd May 2003
  #3
but what about the sonic qualities. a lot of pro's here do discuss the differences between the d.i.'s!!!

is this only for guitar and basses or does this apply also to synths and fx?

btw: does a d.i. work in both direction?

regards deft:::
Old 3rd May 2003
  #4
Lives for gear
 
littledog's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I use DI's on synths all the time, but admittedly, I'm not running 100 at a time like you seem to be. With that many, you are probably doing a lot of sequencing, so you could still get away with just a pair of DI's and just track one synth at a time.

I've got a pair of Countryman active DI's, an Avalon U5 (mono), and then a whole ton of DI's built into my mic pres, of which I tend to like the ones in my API 3124+ if theyare available.

I do hear a difference, if only because sometimes just running directly out of the synth into the line input of my PT interfaces seems to often result in an impedance mismatch. Even with the synth output cranked, a lot of times I'm getting a low level signal for tracking. Using the DI I can usually get an appropriate level much easier with less extraneous noise and/or distortion.
Old 3rd May 2003
  #5
yes A LOT of sequencing. and there is one problem, i'm going to record much things live, thus recording all 32 channels at once from my mackie is necessary. and another problem (not really a problem because it was one of my best buy i did ) is that i have argosy furnitures. so you see it is not possible for me to reconnect all the time. it would be nice to have the d.i.'s right in the next as 16 or 24 in one 19" box like the one from the deskdoctor.

but then there is another question: because i have only cable lenghts about 4-5 meters, is it worth the balance all signals? at least they're balanced in the desk and then recorded thru the pt converters. it seems to me a little bit silly to balancing all outputs.

regards deft:::
Old 3rd May 2003
  #6
Moderator emeritus
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by deft_bonz

but then there is another question: because i have only cable lenghts about 4-5 meters, is it worth the balance all signals? at least they're balanced in the desk and then recorded thru the pt converters. it seems to me a little bit silly to balancing all outputs.
If you're not having problems with unbalanced lines, I wouldn't worry about it. I used to run 32 channels of DA88s with longer unbalanced cable lengths than that.

If you are indeed running a 100 channels of synth channels (and a 32 chanel board), I'd think that bringing them all out to a decent patchbay is the first step, and probably more immediately useful than something like the Desk Doctor DI Iactive. How are you doing it now?
Old 3rd May 2003
  #7
that's what i bought last year 4 neutrik bantam patchbays with spring terminals (i have to tell you this because i'm so proud of it ). the whole patchbay is wired balanced and if there is an unbalanced plug on the other side it's soldered without the cold signal.

it's not only synth signals, also dynamics, fx etc which let me have 200 signals (inputs and outputs) plus 200 signals from the desk, and i haven't even connected the direct outs.

and i have no problem at the moment. no hum, no noise... so it would be overkill to balance all the signals.

regards deft:::
Old 3rd May 2003
  #8
Lives for gear
 
Albert's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Anotehr option would be to get a few DI's and use them for the most prominent parts in your arrangements. Wherever you felt you needed the different quality the DI would bring.

I have a passive stereo Jensen DI, called the ISO-MAX. In addition, I also use a pair of Groove Tubes DITTO DI's with my keyboards. It is amazing how much a DI can sculpt the tone of a synth. Subtle, but not really so subtle either.

The ideal combination, if you are getting into this, is to have a few different DI's for a variety of tones, and at least two channels of a really outstanding and transparent preamp. I use the Grace 201 for that. If you use a combination like this, I think you'll become convonced fairly rapidly!
Old 3rd May 2003
  #9
Moderator emeritus
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by deft_bonz

and i have no problem at the moment. no hum, no noise... so it would be overkill to balance all the signals.
Congratulations of the Patch bay! But seriously, if you don't hear a problem, assume that you have no problem. If it ain't broke, don't break it.

The DI issue is something else, though - if you want to have the ability to change the tone of your synths with a DI, then there are options that can be explored. Albert suggested running the important pieces for a given track through a DI, and if your budget allows, you could kill two birds with one stone - look at some of the better two channel preamps with DI's on them - Universal, Great River NV, Phoenix DRS-2, and the Vintech X73 all come to mind (because they're sitting across the room from me as I type). Running a synth through these boxes should enhance the sound, and you'll also have nice mic preamps for your live tracks. the other synths can continue to run straight into the console.
Old 3rd May 2003
  #10
Lives for gear
 
e-cue's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
There's a new unit called the "Reddi" coming out pretty soon. I got to check out a prototype, and it's a monster tube DI. It has an extra octave more of the low end compared to the Demeter unit (which used to be my favorite). This thing makes the countryman di's laughable. I could actually see myself DI'ing guitar now, something I was never really into. My standard set up Di's (earthliftable) everything synth or drum machine based (usually takes about 30 DI's). When I see people plug keyboards directly into 888's (I never saw people do this with tape machines), a peice of me dies inside.
Old 4th May 2003
  #11
are you kidding ???

synths directly into an 888 ???

who does such crime ???

grudge

that's not my problem because i have a desk in between and short cables. i think for line signals with short cables it should be not a problem, but anyway, i borrow one day a d.i. box and try it out...
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