Planning on buying a DI Box next to my Focusrite interface

Discussion in 'Soundgear' started by mallavolence, Jul 19, 2023.

  1. mallavolence

    mallavolence Newbie

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    I looked so much around for info or reviews, but I can't find something that makes me the decision.

    I'm playing only guitars with active EMG81 pickups. So I could go with a passive as well an Active DI.Some say this is better, some say that one.

    I was actually looking at 2 types in particular the
    Radial Engineering Pro 48
    or
    Radial J48 Active Direct Box

    There is quite some budget difference, would these do well, or should I really go for a passive?
    Someone has some recommandations?

    I'm really a beginner working with Reaper, a Focusrite 3th Gen and some VST.

    But I really do find the info about DI boxes very different where I find some on the internet.

    Hope someone can help me out a bit :D

    Cheers
    mallavolence

     
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  3. Ariel Gonzalez

    Ariel Gonzalez Platinum Record

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    if you are going radial, you might aswell look for an instrument dedicated DI or a tube DI (which i really liked when i could use it on my internship)
     
  4. Olymoon

    Olymoon Moderator

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    Are you sure that you need a DI box?
    Which Focusrite interface do you have?
    On most of them there are instruments inputs so you don't need a DI box.
    I have 18i20 and have directly plugged many different guitars and basses into it without any problem.
     
  5. bluerover

    bluerover Audiosexual

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    Get a RADIAL JDI. It's the higher-tier passive model with Jensen transformer. There is also a JDI Duplex that has dual DIs. Since you're using active pickups w/ preamp built in, a passive will be a good choice due to the high output. The JDV is the Radial's high-tier active DI version. I'm a gear junky, so I have both. The active DIs are regularly used for my passive basses & guitars. If I DI an active guitar, then I'll use a JDI or plug straight into an external preamp's DI like a Phoniex or Great River. The JDI does color the signal just a tad, but the Jensen xfmr is still very clean. The J48 is a notch down from the JDV, but it's still top-notch and built like a tank.

    You may want to check out the COUNTRYMAN 85 too.
     
  6. mk_96

    mk_96 Audiosexual

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    Some enty level Focusrite interfaces famous for having hot instrument inputs, so EMG's would clip if you connect the guitar directly to the interface. That's an old issue and i don't know if they solved it at some point, but basically if you can play without clipping the input, you don't need a DI.

    If you are clipping no matter what, you need a DI that has a pad (any of the two you mentioned will do fine). Other reasons for using a DI as a beginner are if you need to use the direct signal of the guitar and an external chain (like a hardware amp) at the same time, and if you are for some reason playing at a ridiculously long distance from your interface. Other than that, you're probably better off without one at least for now.
     
  7. AudioSox

    AudioSox Ultrasonic

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    I have a similar audio interface, and tried it both with an external active D.I. box, and with the built-in active D.I. circuit. Plugging the guitar directly into the instrument input actually sounded cleaner and nicer.

    Radial make great, transparent D.I.'s, but don't be surprised if you prefer the Hi-Z input of the Focusrite, in terms of sound character.
     
  8. ItsFine

    ItsFine Platinum Record

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    If your interface got a PAD, there is no point buying a DI.
     
  9. JMOUTTON

    JMOUTTON Audiosexual

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    Only reason to get a DI box for you with your pickups of choice would be if you want the color from the Jensen transformers. So if you want a clean signal with a low noise floor with a hint of distortion the J48 would be the one to get. If you want more dirt on the incoming signal the choices are endless.

    Focusright 3rd generation interface all have a low-z input even the 1x1 Scarlet, it is labelled <<INST>> I would play around with that for a while with a decent amp/fx simulator before thinking too much about DI boxes, learn the characteristics of your interface and your DAW and if you just can't get the direct sound you are looking for you can always go back and buy what you need with an idea of what you actually want from the input.
     
  10. Arabian_jesus

    Arabian_jesus Audiosexual

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    It should be solved with the gen 3 update, in my experience at least. It was particularly the 1st gen Scarlett interfaces that had terrible headroom in the instrument inputs (I guess very low impedance). The gen 2's were better, but still not great. The gen 3 should be able to handle an EMG 81 though.

    If OP actually is clipping the input even when he has gain set to 0, then the only solution would be to lower the volume on the guitar (which is very inconsistent) or get a DI box. I would try to avoid this if possible since it will introduce more noise into the signal, and add more points of failure in the chain, but if he feels like he has no other option - it's probably the least bad one.
     
  11. ilsache

    ilsache Newbie

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    The Focusrite wortks fine, no clipping at all. But what I understood was that a DI the pure guitar sound as input get, and in an audio interface there already happens a compression. So if you use some compression in the DAW you would actually use compression two times. I was told you have a bit more playroom with how the chug sounds etc with a DI compared to an audio interface. I'm just learning and want to get the best results, But sounds like most people here think it isn't really necessary. I wouldn't go for Hi-Z anyway because higher chance of clipping. But not sure IF I would get one, with an active you could always plug a guitar in with passive pickups ofcourse which might happen in the future.
     
  12. Olymoon

    Olymoon Moderator

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    Think logically: Where will you plug the DI??
    In the Focusrite right? So you wont avoid the necessary compression for digitalisation...
     
  13. theoctavist

    theoctavist Noisemaker

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    Radial JDI without question. One of the best purchases ive ever made. Built like a tank, does what it says on the tin. Perfect. I have the stereo version.
     
  14. DiRG3

    DiRG3 Kapellmeister

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    Yeah plugging it directly into the interface would be just fine, like you said if it has an INST input then you're golden. I'd be willing to bet the signal itself normalized between the DI and the interface would be totally indistinguishable if not identical.
     
  15. ilsache

    ilsache Newbie

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    Thanks all, getting a lot from this! Think I might just wait a while and keep playing with my Scarlet before getting over my head to soon!
     
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