Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
BOD2

DI Boxes and Playing Through the PA

Recommended Posts

[quote name='rOB' post='997829' date='Oct 23 2010, 09:48 AM']I've never seen it done but had a go in our rehearsal room the other day using a floor pod for amp modeling and went straight to the mixer. Sounded good to my ears, would save hauling an amp to gigs [b]provided there was good stage monitoring[/b].

Any thoughts?[/quote]

I have played some awful gigs going only through the PA, stage monitoring is a lottery at the best of times.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote name='Alfie' post='997857' date='Oct 23 2010, 10:45 AM']I have played some awful gigs going only through the PA, stage monitoring is a lottery at the best of times.[/quote]

mm I guess that's the important bit isn't it. Just loved the idea of not have to deal with transporting an amp!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote name='rOB' post='997911' date='Oct 23 2010, 10:41 AM']mm I guess that's the important bit isn't it. Just loved the idea of not have to deal with transporting an amp![/quote]

As a muso who does, the session stuff as well as the original band circuit.. A small amp and cab or small combo is better for your own monitoring.. I only find very good venue (not many in london can ever give a good amount of monitoring for bass..

I use a my terror bass and a sp210 and that fits on a foldable trolley from B&Q.. with my bass on my back I can do any gig via public transport.. your other options for more portability is get a smaller harte amp then DI out of that.. (but I'd probably use a sansamp to send to the desk, as I'm not keen on the sound of the little hartke kickbacks).

I played festival where the hired SWR set up stopped working.. my trusty sansamp saved the day and infact 'sounded better' according to the sound guy..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've started relying more on the monitor mix, as it's sometimes inconvenient or inappropriate to bring my full stack (or even just some of it), one of the main reasons why I tend to use my SansAmp direct into the PA and use the headphone or IEM mix. I've also found a way of setting the PA desk to send my bass-only signal into one side of my 'cans and the mix-minus-bass into the other side. Works a treat, and is easy enough to balance the relative volumes either on the desk or at the IEM pack.

Don't think it will cause me to retire the amp+cab setup, but makes get-ins and get-outs an awful lot simpler and quicker. I can get everything I need into my gigbag, and only have to make one trip in from the car, which is a godsend.

I'll still use the stack for bigger gigs, where there's limited PA support or where we're outdoors

HTH, Ian

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote name='Bottle' post='1053857' date='Dec 10 2010, 11:09 AM']I've started relying more on the monitor mix, as it's sometimes inconvenient or inappropriate to bring my full stack (or even just some of it), one of the main reasons why I tend to use my SansAmp direct into the PA and use the headphone or IEM mix. I've also found a way of setting the PA desk to send my bass-only signal into one side of my 'cans and the mix-minus-bass into the other side. Works a treat, and is easy enough to balance the relative volumes either on the desk or at the IEM pack.

Don't think it will cause me to retire the amp+cab setup, but makes get-ins and get-outs an awful lot simpler and quicker. I can get everything I need into my gigbag, and only have to make one trip in from the car, which is a godsend.

I'll still use the stack for bigger gigs, where there's limited PA support or where we're outdoors

HTH, Ian[/quote]


what gear do you in this senario?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote name='algmusic' post='1054045' date='Dec 10 2010, 02:09 PM']what gear do you in this senario?[/quote]
Bass > TU-2 > SansAmp > straight into desk > direct out into left channel of IEM transmitter, then aux out of desk with mix-minus-bass into right channel of IEM tx. IEM beltpack has a balance knob so I can adjust the relative level of each channel in the 'cans.

That's basically it!
HTH
Ian

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote name='rOB' post='997829' date='Oct 23 2010, 08:48 AM']Sorry to revive this thread after so long but I'm wondering how many people actually play through the PA wirhout using an amp for backline?

I've never seen it done but had a go in our rehearsal room the other day using a floor pod for amp modeling and went straight to the mixer. Sounded good to my ears, would save hauling an amp to gigs provided there was good stage monitoring.

Any thoughts?[/quote]


I don't use any backline at all..
bass-j station-di-desk...p.a.
and rarely need any monitor fold back(in which case i would be wearing headphones and a drum heavy mix,with a small amount of high frequency bass), probably the reason being that the style of music i play doesn't require high frequencies all the time(Irish trad/slap) and as bass is omnidirectional(i.e. the bass is emitted by both pa speakers and can be heard all over the stage and has no focus point in the mix)

the only problems i've encountered would be in playing large halls, where the bass standing waves bounce off the back wall and you get a delay or a big 'humpy note' thats twice as loud as the rest the scale..

Edited by THEACEOFBASS

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anyone ever played the Water Rats in Kings Cross? Single worse backline ever. Bass amp is a 'vintage' behringer, obviously by vintage i just mean old and knackered. I actually think its a practice amp that they provide to make sure the bass player cant turn up enough. Its a major killer.

However, the soundmen (not seen any ladies) know whay they're doing and whilst the amp on stage barely serves me as a monitor, putting myself in the foldbacks helps me out alot. As does my trusty Tech 21 VTbass.

Playing in london and only living just outside (end of the met line) means that I can jump on the tube to most gigs with a bass any my pedals, although playing through other peoples/house amps cant be helped I can still take a certain amount of responsibility for my tone.

My advise - get into the sansamp stuff, just for the speaker sim that is invaluable if you use fuzz or distortion and are being DI'd - nothing more horrific to my ears than a fuzz going through a) tweeters or B)a PA.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote name='BOD2' post='2278' date='May 19 2007, 02:36 PM']The following is some simple guides to the various methods of using a DI box and playing directly through a PA.

An [b][i]unbalanced jack lead[/b][/i] is a standard jack plug to jack plug instrument cable.

A [b][i]balanced XLR lead[/b][/i] is a standard XLR male to XLR female mic lead. "Balancing" allows for improved noise rejection in the cable which gives better signal strength and allows longer cable runs.

The [b][i]PA mixer[/i][/b] is the mixer used for the Front Of House (FOH) sound.


[b]1. Standard use of a DI splitter box. [/b]

[attachment=123:DI_1.jpg]


[b]2a. Using the DI out connector at the rear of the amp. [/b]

[attachment=124:DI_2.jpg]

If your amp doesn't have one but does have a Send/Return loop that you are not using then you can try connecting a jack lead to the Send connector then put that into a DI box to convert it to a balanced XLR signal. The signal from the DI box can then go to the PA.


[b]2b. Using the Send connector as a DI [/b]

[attachment=125:DI_2b.jpg]


[b]3. Using an amp/cab simulator. [/b]

Connect straight to the PA.

[attachment=126:DI_3.jpg]

Usually there will be another output that you can also connect to your amp or a stage monitor so that you can hear yourself. For best results from your amp you want to bypass the preamp, if possible. There are different ways to do this on different amps - if there's a "power amp in" connector then use that. Alternatively connect to the Return of a Send/Return loop. If you have to connect to the normal bass-in jack then turn the gain down low initially and set the tone controls flat so that they don't affect the sound too much (the amp simulator has already shaped the sound).

As always, when connecting any two pieces of equipment for the first time, keep all of the levels (volumes and gains) down low to start with and bring them up slowly to get the correct level. This avoids damage to equiopment and ears.


[b][i]Phantom Power[/i][/b] can potentially cause problems when using method 3 above. Phantom power is a voltage (usually 48V) sent down the XLR connectors of a mixer to power condenser mics attached to the XLR channels. It does not affect dynamic mics (e.g. bog-standard Shure types etc.). It should not damage pre-amps also attached to the XLR connectors of the PA but , in some instances, it can.

To avoid any possible damge to your amp/pre-amp when conencting it to the PA, you can insert a DI bix between the pre-amp and the mixer. This will stop the phantom voltage from ever reaching the amp/pre-amp thus avoiding the problem. Having a DI-box in your kit bag will also give you a backup should the pamp/pre-amp ever fail as you can use this to connect you bass to the PA directly.

[b]Types Of DI Boxes[/b]

Types of DI boxes vary enormously. The simplest ones will have only inputs and outputs. Others are available with attenuation "pads" (to reduce the signal level) and various linking options. The most versatile ones have tone shaping circuitry (and act as mini preamps in their own right).

[attachment=127:DI20_small.jpg] Dual channel with attenuation

[attachment=128:DI_Hartke.jpg] DI box with tone shaping



[b]Links for more information[/b]

[url="http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/jun02/articles/diboxes.asp"]soundonsound.com[/url]

[url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DI_unit"]wikpedia[/url]

[url="http://www.astralsound.com/di-boxes.htm"]astralsound.com[/url][/quote]

Hi, a situation has arisen where we now need to DI the Bass into a front of house set up,whilst retaining use of the amp and fx pedals-my amp has no DI out but has a return/send on the rearWhich type of DI would be best to use in scenario's1 thru to 2B ACTIVE or Passive-being a total newbie to DI boxes,I'm not sure.
Thanks,T

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi

I just wanted to ask a couple of silly questions if I can as a lot of the tech talk seems to fly over my head.

My band have recently changed from an originals to a covers band (sold out), so we are learning as we go with our new P.A as we never needed one before.

At the minute I use my amp as backline, and the P.A is just for vocals, as we look to play larger venue's I'll need to run my amp through the P.A.

Should I just Mic up my amp, or look at running it through the P.A properly. My head does have an XLR DI output, so if I run this through to the P.A, would I set the EQ on my amp as usual, or set it flat (do I then fiddle with all those confusing knobs on the mixing desk?)

Also would standard P.A speakers handle the bass for now, or should I invest in a bass bin to sit under one of the P.A speakers straight away.

Thanks in advance guys n gals.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote name='Who's Who' post='1169866' date='Mar 20 2011, 07:38 PM']Hi

I just wanted to ask a couple of silly questions if I can as a lot of the tech talk seems to fly over my head.

My band have recently changed from an originals to a covers band (sold out), so we are learning as we go with our new P.A as we never needed one before.

At the minute I use my amp as backline, and the P.A is just for vocals, as we look to play larger venue's I'll need to run my amp through the P.A.

Should I just Mic up my amp, or look at running it through the P.A properly. My head does have an XLR DI output, so if I run this through to the P.A, would I set the EQ on my amp as usual, or set it flat (do I then fiddle with all those confusing knobs on the mixing desk?)

Also would standard P.A speakers handle the bass for now, or should I invest in a bass bin to sit under one of the P.A speakers straight away.

Thanks in advance guys n gals.[/quote]

I prefer to both mic the cab and take a di. These then blend in the foh mix and you get a nice sound with the benefits of both worlds.

EQing your amp is important as is usung the desk's eq for your channel(s). I usually set eq flat and then make small tweaks to suit the venue. As for the EQ on the mixer this should be adjusted by the person doing the band's sound and be used to help you sit well alongside the rest of the band. I think it's important to get someone who knows what they're doing to do this as you can't play and tweak and it's difficult for you to get far enough from the stage to hear the foh sound properly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh yeah bass bins if of a decent quality will help your bands overall sound very much especially kick drum and bass. Speakers (bass bins and main pa cabs) are the window to the bands sound and the best quality ones you can afford should be the ones you buy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote name='27 frets' post='749263' date='Feb 18 2010, 09:10 AM']Ground lift separates the PA's earth/ground from that of the amp/head - this often a switchable feature on DI boxes, and sometimes on DI sends on amps. It removes the possbility of problems with earth loops, where amps and PAs are plugged into separate mains sources, which tend to give rise to hum rather than hiss.

It's worth swithing the earth lift in and out, to see if it brings an improvement in background noise levels.

One linked comment though is that if you're using a DI box and [b]no amp[/b] (e.g. for an electro-acoustic guitar/bass or keyboard), the instrument does need to be earthed/grounded to the PA for the output signal to work properly.[/quote]

I apologise if I sound a bit dumb, but what does earthing/grounding entail?

I'm wondering if it's possible for me to DI straight to the PA, without using an amp at all (I live on the top floor, without a lift, and have back problems!)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote name='Evil Undead' post='1200363' date='Apr 15 2011, 11:12 AM']I apologise if I sound a bit dumb, but what does earthing/grounding entail?

I'm wondering if it's possible for me to DI straight to the PA, without using an amp at all (I live on the top floor, without a lift, and have back problems!)[/quote]

All you need to know for gigging is that it takes annoying hiss away. You can always google if you need more info. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use a DI Box solely when playing live; I work in a club band. I used to use a Laney RB4 amplifier, which I'd use to monitor my bass on stage and also take the DI out from the amp into the Desk, so that a cleaner signal would come out front (I'm a fiend for having as clean a bass tone as possible).

I recently bought the Radial JDI box and it's completely transformed my sound, I've gotten rid of my amp, and have no intentions of going back, the convenience of the box is just superb. Maybe some nights I can't hear myself, but I just put up with it, and keep playing as I would, completely locked with the drummer.

Haven't had a complaint yet!

[quote name='Evil Undead' post='1200363' date='Apr 15 2011, 10:12 AM']I apologise if I sound a bit dumb, but what does earthing/grounding entail?

I'm wondering if it's possible for me to DI straight to the PA, without using an amp at all (I live on the top floor, without a lift, and have back problems!)[/quote]

The elimination of Ground Hum allows for the signal to be clearer, though I've never found it a problem on my bass guitar, and may just be something that entails with active bass guitars. It is very common for digital devices to have a great deal of ground hum though, due to the amount of electronics involved, i.e Laptops and Keyboards. The rule is to always use your ears, just push the Ground Lift, does your bass sound better than it did before? Keep it there then!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote name='Pollinator95' timestamp='1303388235' post='1207032']


All you need to know for gigging is that it takes annoying [s]hiss [/s] hum away.
[/quote]

Fixed.

Edited by paul_5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been playing bass at gigs without an amp for a while now, and I've been very happy with the results, as have most of the soundmen after they got over the initial fear of having no stage volume for the bass. I'm using an Axe Fx, with an Ampeg Model on it and a rat pedal for some gain in the mids. The monitoring situation has worked out good 90% of the time, with the occasional gig where the soundman does some awful things to my direct signal and sends it back to me. In terms of clarity out front though, it's worked out brilliantly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've found it's not so much your volume, but the rest of the people you are working with and the FOH engineer. Theoretically, a Sansamp/amp sim should be all you need, with decent sidefills..but if one of the geetar players decides he hates IEM's or the drummer needs to have simulated cannons going off ad nauseum, you'll get lost trying to monitor yourself. I still haven't found a really good IEM that compensates for this, and sidefills, outside of major well run festivals, are catch as catch can. We are in a strange transition place soundwise, 1/2 iems'sims etc and 1/2 loud amps and louder drums. It's also important to know that when you are starting out with sims, the sound you get in your bedroom studio through earbuds isn't the same thing that a FOH engineer is going to want to use, depending on the mix and room acoustics..and rightfully so too..if she is any good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ive had excellent results using a palmer DI with speaker sim (pdi-09)

sounds awesome and makes my distortion pedals sound sexy straight to the desk

and i can practice at home with headphones and it sounds like my cab!

Edited by Ant

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote name='DanFold' timestamp='1239481068' post='460137']
Not read what everyones put so sorry if I'm just echoing this...

But you know the DI boxes you can put in between the amp and cab? Any good?

I play through an Orange AD200B and it has no DI out... soooo, i heard about these DI boxes, so i can have my amp sound goin' through the desk if i cant have a mic on me cab.

Cheers,
Dan.
[/quote] Some DIs have this facility but I don't recall seeing an active one that does (most pro DIs are active, i.e. they're powered by 48v phantom power from the console). The EMO E520 is a passive (i.e. non-powered) DI, check it out here: http://www.emosystems.co.uk/Products/PDFs/DIBoxes.pdf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My main stage rig is in fact a small PA: a Bose L1 Model 2 With two subs. Depending on gig I may use my Boss GT-10B, the Avalon U5 or my EBS Drome as preamp/DI. For out of town gigs I may use the U5 or the GT-10B to f.o.h. but I try to get a monitor just for me an my bass. When I use my big amps I use their internal DI. I never have a problem going DI, I prefer that to miking cabs.. The only factor that can mess things up is an ignorant sound engineer who tries to [i]create a sound[/i]...


At home in the livingroom...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote name='solo4652' timestamp='1263118569' post='707418']
Apologies if this has already been covered, or the answer is flaming obvious:

I use a Roland combo and it's excellent. Thinking of a plan B in case the combo when phut, I bought an XLR cable to run from "balanced out" socket on the back of the combo straight to the powered desk. I've tried it and it works tolerably well. But, that's hardly a plan B, is it? What happens if the amp part of the combo gives up suddenly - what happens then?

Is there a simple way I can connect the bass (through a DI box??) straight to the powered mixer desk without having to use the combo at all?

Please excuse my ignorance - I'm not really an "engineer" type bass player.

Steve
[/quote]

You can connect your bass guitar directly to the PA desk trough a DI Box. To have a decent level at the input of the desk this will have to be an active DI box (this is or battery or phantom powered. Depending on the venue you will also need a decent monitor return from the desk.

I'm a professional sound engineer and a amateur bass player. Some general advice regardless the set-up:
- the combination of a clean feed directly from the bass guitar trough an active DI and a decent mic in front of the cab is almost always the best choice. If available on the mixer you can toggle with the phase reverse switch on the mic channel to hear out the best result. You can also experiment a bit with the positioning of the mic.
- a DI of lower quality can really mess up your bass sound, it can cut out the energy and cause the loss of low end definition. Always try to buy or ask the PA company the best quality DI for a bass guitar.
- the use of a direct out on the bass amp can be usefull as well because the sound engineer can benefit of, for instance, the compressor settings of the bass amp, levelling out your sound. You have to remember though that your bass sound is always a combination of the amp and the cab. So a, for instance, overdrive sound that sounds good to you on your rig can be a tru nightmare for the FOH engineer.

bassfull regards,
Martin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

HI guys, there's something I can't understand and maybe someone can explain it to me.

Got two xlr to jack cables form planet waves that don't work with di. CAbles brand new, checked them with mic - workin ok. Also cheap old cable i've found in my spare leads bag works ok, so there's no problem with amp DI output or input on cansole.
Any idea?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What are you using them to do? Mics would normaly go XLR/XLR. Guitars would use jack / Jack or XLR./ XLR.

Edited by Pbassred

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...