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What is used in the 80's/90's
Old 5th March 2014 | Show parent
Gear Head
๐ŸŽง 5 years
Originally Posted by Scooter Trash โžก๏ธ
Instrument level is a lower voltage than line level. If your interface doesn't have instrument-level inputs, a DI Box will use the correct load impedance on the instrument output and transform it down to balanced mic level which should work with the mic inputs of your interface. The dual XLR/1/4" inputs on some interfaces will accept instrument-level inputs. Some other 1/4" jacks are designed for +4 line level signals. What inteface are you using?
I get everything so far except the part you said a DI will take the instrument input level and transform it down to balanced mic level - you mean it boost the signal like how it does for a mic preamp signal? And what exactly is balanced mic level? What is this unbalanced and balance cable that people keep speaking of? My interface has 4 line out in the back and 2 XLR in the front. If I understood you correctly you're saying that the instrument input will go to a XLR in front of my interface?
Old 5th March 2014
Lives for gear
Scooter Trash's Avatar
2 Reviews written
๐ŸŽง 5 years
The DI box will convert your instrument outputs to the correct level and impedance to work with the microphone inputs of your interface. The topic of balanced vs unbalanced isn't really important, but if you would like to understand it, this is a good article: >>>click<<<

The DI box actually does the opposite of amplifying. It reduces the voltage of your instrument so that it's suitable for a microphone input. The two XLR connections on your interface are microphone inputs.
It's generally best to use active D.I. boxes. I recommend the Countryman Type 85. You will need two for stereo keyboard outputs.
If you're using multiple keyboards it might make sense to use a mixer with instrument-level inputs, and send the line-level output of the mixer into your line-level interface inputs. That would eliminate the need for D.I. boxes.
Old 5th March 2014
Gear Head
๐ŸŽง 5 years
Ok. I was thinking of the radial ProD2 passive stereo DI. It has transformer built in it. Do you think I will get a step up quality from my keyboard sound? I'll look at the 85 too and see. Thanks. Seeing that the price is little more than the ProD2 I'd expect it to sound more better.
Old 5th March 2014
Lives for gear
Scooter Trash's Avatar
2 Reviews written
๐ŸŽง 5 years
DI Boxes can slightly color the sound of your keyboards. That's not always a bad thing, but in this case it should be avoided. The Countryman Type 85 is very transparent. The passive DI boxes tend to be less transparent.
I don't have much experience with any passive D.I. boxes other than the ones made by Whirlwind. They work OK, but I wouldn't recommend using passive D.I. boxes for recording.
There is a stereo version of the Type 85 (The Type 85s)
If your interface has phantom power, you can power the Countryman 85s with phantom power. If not, they will run off a 9 volt battery.
I've used the Type 85s for years on a variety of instruments including keyboards. My experience with them has been very good.
Someone else here may have recommendations for other good D.I. boxes.
Old 5th March 2014
Gear Head
๐ŸŽง 5 years
Ok thanks. Will look into it.
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