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caitlin

No amp, no cab, no clue. DI confusion.

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I'm sorry. I'm sure this has been covered to death but my forum search skills are crap.

I have all these bits plugged together and I don't know if I'm damaging anything or what I'm missing:

I currently have an active bass plugged into a channel strip on a mixer with +4b of gain on the input and the channel strip at 0db, flat eq. The mixer bounces off to a samson servo 170 which is driving a pair of old surround sound system speakers which have two 4" drivers and a tweeter each, they're driven full range because I've just got one amp, although the tweeters can be disconnected.

I do have an active DI box which has a balanced output which I can power with phantom power from the desk and I know there's something about impedance? but honestly I can't *hear* any difference with the DI in between the bass and the channel strip and with it out and it's a load more wires and crap to plug in.

Would I be better off with one of those 'preamp' pedals to use as an amp sim, do they output the right kind of voltages and whatnot for the mixer?

I know 'stompboxes' would be the same impedances as the guitar because they would be built to go in the instrument doodle on an amp.

Halp?

 

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I'm no expert, but it sounds to me like you're all good.

*Although if the whole caboodle explodes in a fiery cloud of destruction (good name for a band :) ), I'd suggest my advice is worthless! :)  

There are people on here who will actually know the answer to this - I'm sure they'll be along shortly.

Good luck :)

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Long answer here: https://www.soundonsound.com/sound-advice/q-why-do-i-need-use-di-box

Short answer: if you're getting a decent sound (and no interference) don't worry.

Amp/cab sim pedals like the Tech21 range are worth trying but simply for tone experimentation, rather than fixing something that is broken.

 

 

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On 11/10/2019 at 16:14, Kevsy71 said:

Long answer here: https://www.soundonsound.com/sound-advice/q-why-do-i-need-use-di-box

Short answer: if you're getting a decent sound (and no interference) don't worry.

Amp/cab sim pedals like the Tech21 range are worth trying but simply for tone experimentation, rather than fixing something that is broken.

 

 

Was going to answer too but its all covered in the link.

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On 11/10/2019 at 15:34, caitlin said:

I currently have an active bass...

 

This might be the key here. Plugging straight into the desk is much more forgiving to active basses than it is to passive basses! An active bass produces a higher-impedance signal (so less vulnerable to effects like cable capacitance, interference, etc), and the onboard preamp may "warm up" the tone a little more. You'd probably hear more of a difference if you tried the DI with a passive bass.

After that, it's down to personal preference. If you're happy with the sound of the bass into the desk as it is, then carry on! Again, this probably comes down to the onboard preamp - I personally find actives sound alright played DI, whereas passive basses can sound a bit "sterile" without a bit of preamp coloration..but then some people prefer it like that.

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Cheers! I knew the magic bits in the bass were 'eq' but i hadn't really equated that to 'pre-amp' like making it louder.

I'd assumed there was *some* kind of contract between the derrière end of a bass and the in hole of the amps, collectively, in terms of impedance and volt level but that's naivety in the extreme :P

I think mostly I'm lacking space for a real speaker, so this is what I have to live with, at least for now. I'm wondering if I would *enjoy* a real amp head which I could DI for now but allow me to connect to a real cab if the need ever arose (deity forbid I actually try playing live ever :/ )

I shall distract myself from GAS and get on with learning where all the notes are.

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1 hour ago, caitlin said:

I think mostly I'm lacking space for a real speaker

Is this a live setup? Or practice at home? Rehearsals? I'm confused what the context is.

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39 minutes ago, paul_c2 said:

Is this a live setup? Or practice at home? Rehearsals? I'm confused what the context is.

 

Practise at home, but aiming high, like I might want to assuming one day I might like to make some *friends* and assault a pub.

My music room is a bit cramped, but I can stash a cab in a garage were I actually ever in a band.

I'm a music school failure level drummer and have been in a few bands. Narrowly missed out on playing at Glastonbury that one time, but the band were *horrible*, just odious people so no regrets. (The lies we tell ourselves?)

I'm about 3 weeks in to learning bass, but can surely get to amateur level in a year or two if I work?

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Aaaaah makes sense now. In my experience with the smaller end of bass practice amps (only secondhand knowledge - I've not owned one myself but have heard and used them) they're a bit tinny anyway, so (personally for me, IMHO etc etc) I'd always go with a little step up from the 10W or 15W home practice amps and look at something around 30W. But more importantly, try it before buying!

I know your question WASN'T "what's a good practice amp" but in the wider sense, what you're asking is similar/related. You're asking if your conventional-ampless setup is able to feed the right sounds to a speaker. Combo practice amps invariably DO feed the right stuff to the speaker....but the speaker itself might not "do it" properly (and it ends up tinny)!

In days gone by, the advice was simple - get an amp - but these days, there's so many ways to skin a cat its not so simple. For example, most venues now have a PA of sorts; the rehearsal space might do too; and if not, then if you end up in a band with a singer, somewhere there will be a PA.

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Yeh, I think this is kind of the point, I don't think I have a desire or need for a 'practise amp' some 30W farty cardboard cone, 8" car stereo speaker isn't going to give me any warm fuzzies.

Do the REAL heads always require a load for the main outs, or can you run them with just the DI into a desk?

I mean in my tiny music hole I have a 'PA' in the samson amp and the hi-fi speakers with a wee desk plugged in, so I'm DIing into a model rig. Were I to have a 'real' amp, i could mess with the tone of it in my grotto, take it with me to a pub with a PA or drag my cab out of the garage if I feel a desire to go play in a field with a generator.

For the sake of the argument and please be kind, like I said I've been doing this 3 weeks: since my last post I did this out of one of the Hal Leonard books: http://cat.scot/111.mp3

MIND YOUR EARS, I think it came out a bit hot.

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For a start, wattage and speaker size are (almost) meaningless. My 30W amp with a 10" speaker can often do a better job than the 120W amp with 15" speaker. You'd hope within a manufacturer's same make/model range, that the apparently bigger one could go louder though.

It makes sense to only buy an amp once you have a fair amount of certainty in what you need it for, and if your current set up does the job for home use, no worries there, no need for an amp.

I'll give the clip a listening later, on a proper sound system (on laptop at the moment).

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Yeh, my guitar stuff is a 5W tube amp through a 10 inch speaker and it's stunning. Certainly shocked some people who've been round for a go on it.

I think you're right about waiting till I know more before buying an amp, I'm just not sure how I'm going to get exposure and learn this stuff. This I suppose is the nature of being a noob, I'll acquire what I need without noticing it happening, I imagine.

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1 hour ago, caitlin said:

Do the REAL heads always require a load for the main outs, or can you run them with just the DI into a desk?

 

Depends if you go valve or solid-state. Valve amps require a load; I *think* I'm right in saying that solid-states do not.

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3 minutes ago, EliasMooseblaster said:

Depends if you go valve or solid-state. Valve amps require a load; I *think* I'm right in saying that solid-states do not.

Yeh, if there's an output transformer than it'll drop all the heat into the coil and burn it out without a load.

I'm unsure what mosfets do, but I guess they saturate and the current stops flowing.

I thinky I should read some manuals probably since every amp is going to 'depend'

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My studio is packed away in boxes for a few more weeks, but nearly all my home playing is done into a desk and small nearfield monitors. Most of my basses are passive, so I usually play through a multi-effect, which gives me a buffer (to get it to the right impedance for the desk- active basses don't require this), a tuner, and any tone shaping I want. The one I use has amp sims, so I can have a 'straight in' tone, or something more akin to playing through an amp.

The bottom line is that if you can hear yourself and are happy with the sound, you're good to go. The desk is a great little hub to tweak your sound and to mix other sources such as songs or backing tracks, or other musicians without too much fuss. When the time comes to start playing out with others, you will have a much better sense of what you require. If you are looking to improve your sound right now, there are plenty of reasonably priced pre-amps which might be a better step, but if you don't actually have any issues, you are probably fine as you are!

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Regarding using a head without a load, there are an increasing amount which can be used alone- Markbass are one, even the Ampeg PF-50t and PF-20t valve amps can. Worth checking any you might be interested in.

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If it helps, I used a GK MB500 Fusion with no load but into headphones for a while with no adverse effects.

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I feel I should have posted this in the first instance since it would have saved a lot of words.

White/black fender cable in the DI goes basswards, cables at the back right wander off to the power amp.

the RCA pair closer to the master volume are the line in from laptop/whatever (tape input)

The stripey cable wanders off to my music stand taking the 'control out' signal to my tuner.

Bonus points: I can plug my vdrums into channel 3/4 and put them in the amp.48884859603_61eebecbf2_c.jpg

The mp3 file I linked to up there ^^ knows nothing of this, because that went into a saffire firewire doodle into logic and had a compressor and an amp sim added to it. You've all been very kind by ignoring it tactfully rather than telling me to go back to the drums where I can do less harm :)

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13 hours ago, caitlin said:

I feel I should have posted this in the first instance since it would have saved a lot of words.

48884859603_61eebecbf2_c.jpg

 

 

Funnily enough, I have a very similar setup for home practise myself! I use a combined preamp/DI pedal instead of a standalone DI (most of my basses are passive), and I take a headphone feed out of the mixer instead of any power stage/monitors (because I usually only get time to practise when Mooseblaster Jr is finally asleep!) Plus it's very convenient to be able to get backing tracks off Youtube or similar and run those into another channel from the computer.

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8 minutes ago, Twigman said:

WRONG THREAD

Get out, there's nothing wrong with this thread. :)

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