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about DI for Tracking Synth, Samplers.. Dual-Channel Preamps
Old 2nd September 2007
  #1
Gear Head
 
genki's Avatar
 

about DI for Tracking Synth, Samplers..

hi there Slutz,

i already saw many thread about this here but
i want to know the truth about this:
example:

i project to buy a phoenix nice DI, REDDI or TAB V71 oriented for tracking my synth and samplers through a 2192 into my DAW.


does this way is right and THE ENOUGH way ?

synth or sampler ===> DI ===> 2192

or
synth or sampler ===> DI ===> ***PREAMP*** ===> 2192


(because some user suggest to add a preamp behind DI's..)

but i'm more into buying a few DI with different colors than only 1 "big" 2 channels preamp like a Great River or "1073 like" because i only track electronic synth / drum machine
an no vocal..

what do you think about this,
your way for tracking electronic only stuff ?
Old 2nd September 2007
  #2
Lives for gear
Well, if you get the Great River pre, you'll have a good DI built in. Some "stand alone" DIs have gain on them. Sometimes not enough gain, depending on what source you are using. Most don't ( phanton powered, passive) thus the need for the pre-amp behind them. Good Luck..... OK...I just re-read and saw you don't do vocals so....most of the DIs you mentioned should do well. I guess it will depend on the source, whether you have enough gain on the DI or not..
Old 2nd September 2007
  #3
Gear Nut
 
jambirn's Avatar
 

Hey -
The Vintech 273 has quarter-inch inputs on the front panel, and there's more than enough gain there for a synth going direct. My KorgMS2000 through it sounds insane!
jim
Old 2nd September 2007
  #4
The REDDI is great for synths. I would say if you like the tone REDDI adds then stick to it. If you were having problems with DI's that don't have enough gain then you need to add a preamp. IF you also want to get a combo of colors then use the REDDI with another preamp. I use the REDDI for the direct but then I split the keyboard signal to a nice clean keyboard amp and mic it up. Sometimes a miced keyboard amp fits in a mix a little easier to me then a direct signal

No rules
Old 2nd September 2007
  #5
Lives for gear
 
rawdigits's Avatar
 

Hi genki


I am in the same situation as you. Electronic music here, tracking synth / samplers.





Any informations and advices welcome!
Old 2nd September 2007
  #6
Lives for gear
 
Gregg Sartiano's Avatar
 

Think about getting a bass pre. The old GT (the predecessor to the SWR -- the front panel even LOOKS like an SM-400!) gets a fair bit of use around here -- and bass pres are cheap.

It's a really great way to get radical EQ (especially "musical" sounding mid-scoops and boosted lows) happening on DI sources.
Old 2nd September 2007
  #7
Here for the gear
 

JD1 !!!

Im using synth--> Radial JD1 (x2)-->mic in (2)api 512c.
Most mic pre DIs will bypass the input transformer for that extra goodness.
Old 2nd September 2007
  #8
Gear Head
 
genki's Avatar
 

Thank you all for infos

yes but for example with the Phoenix DRS-2 which have some DI inputs..
and about
the Phoenix Nice DI which have the same DI as the DRS-2..

it should sound same on both if you plug a synth on thoses DI's ?
i'm wrong ?


i was firstly very interested buying a great dual preamp with DI's..
like the MP-2NV, GTQ MK3, or DRS-Q4..
but $$$ difference is real and i could keep money difference for something like a 2nd distressor...

i don't track vocal.. gtr.. bass..
only synth, samplers, bar, analog stuff..
Old 3rd September 2007
  #9
Gear Head
 
genki's Avatar
 

and about a sampler or synth with balanced outputs
direct into A/D converter => DAW..

no need of a DI ?
Old 3rd September 2007
  #11
Gear Head
 
genki's Avatar
 

Hey nukmusic
thx for the link

so you use DI's on the mpc2500 balanced outputs ?
i use a 4000 balanced too..

DI's are not only for unbalanced outputs gears ?
Old 3rd September 2007
  #12
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by ehk928 View Post
Im using synth--> Radial JD1 (x2)-->mic in (2)api 512c.
Most mic pre DIs will bypass the input transformer for that extra goodness.
Yep...that's the reason I told him the Great River. The DI input passes thru the transformer!...
Old 3rd September 2007
  #13
Lives for gear
 
nukmusic's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by genki View Post
Hey nukmusic
thx for the link

so you use DI's on the mpc2500 balanced outputs ?
i use a 4000 balanced too..

DI's are not only for unbalanced outputs gears ?

na..to me things sound better going unbalanced into the micpre's front DI.(or inst input). and I get a hotter signal. (RMS)
Old 3rd September 2007
  #14
Lives for gear
 
travisbrown's Avatar
I always keep a half dozen Countryman DIs around and run everything with a 1/4" TS connector through them. Then I don't have to worry - minimizes unbalanced signal length and I know all impedances will be matched.

Never had a complaint about the Countryman DIs. Bass players look at me askance when I pull their SansAmp BassDriver DI out of the chain, like I just kicked them in the nuts. Not that I don't like the SansAmp Bass Driver, but it's not my DI of choice and I'd rather do the sonic flavour in the mixing. I like those DIs better for live. The SansAmp RBI is a nice unit.
Old 17th October 2007
  #15
Lives for gear
 
rawdigits's Avatar
 

bump for an interesting thread..
Old 17th October 2007
  #16
11413
Guest
"DI or DI>preamp"

it really depends on the DI and preamps in question... avalon U5 can be used as a DI and has enough gain but it ALSO has a mic level output for use with a preamp, if you'd like... but the U5 is pretty neutral sounding.. it doesnt really change the sound a heck of a lot.

chandler germanium pre also has a DI input and, i believe, is the most colored fun box out there right now... if i had to choose one here's where i'd start

how much color are you looking for? what kind? only you know for sure and you'll probably only know once you hear it over a long period of time... check out the chandler, i think this box is great..

another great tone shaper for electronic sounds is the thermionic culture vulture..
Old 17th October 2007
  #17
Lives for gear
 

Never had a problem running vintage synths direct in our RME 800s
most AD/DA should accept +4/-10/low gain and instrument impedance
The only synth we have that require extra gain (using the RME mic pre input) is an old Logan string machine...We have old Rolands, Korgs, sequential circuit, yamaha etc...
So do you use a DI just for the euphonic coloration imparted by a transformer?
Old 17th October 2007
  #18
Lives for gear
 
rawdigits's Avatar
 

Yeah I'd like to know that too...

I have plenty enough gain from my Synths...though when you use a DI the gain will be lowered and you might then need a preamp..

I hear good things about the coloration of those Jensen TRansformers..Radial JDI uses them I think...
Old 17th October 2007
  #19
11413
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by baikonour View Post
So do you use a DI just for the euphonic coloration imparted by a transformer?
yeah.

synths are very difficult to record, contrary to popular belief... most everything else happens in front of a microphone and you get room sound, amp sound, mic, pre, etc.. so, in a sense, you have to somehow put a frame around a synth... otherwise it's pretty boring.

mic preamps are where the most gain happens... 45-50dB.. so you can get a lot of color here...

its not just the transformer, it's everything...
Old 17th October 2007
  #20
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 11413 View Post
yeah.

synths are very difficult to record, contrary to popular belief... most everything else happens in front of a microphone and you get room sound, amp sound, mic, pre, etc.. so, in a sense, you have to somehow put a frame around a synth... otherwise it's pretty boring.

mic preamps are where the most gain happens... 45-50dB.. so you can get a lot of color here...

its not just the transformer, it's everything...

well it's mostly the synth innit?
I don't believe using a DI or a DI input on a pre will make or break the sound of the synth you are using but the transformer may tighten the sound a bit and add euphonic distortion.
if you're using a pre with added function like an EQ or the chandler feedback control then ok, it adds a lot more sonic possibilites.
A synth is not a mic or a passive instrument like a electric piano (wurl or rhodes) or a guitar/bass.
the output of a synth is much higher and there's no loading issue.
Old 17th October 2007
  #21
11413
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by baikonour View Post
well it's mostly the synth innit?
is it?

"To me the only success, the only greatness, is immortality." -- James Dean

its about making sounds that raise the hair on the back of my neck... and surprise me. synths by themselves rarely accomplish this.. almost never.

arp 2600 was a great synth for surprises...

i'm here to smash down barriers and transcend. "good enough" isnt.
Old 17th October 2007
  #22
Lives for gear
 

i don't think that adding a transformer will help a great deal to raise the hair in the back of your neck if the performance, the synth patch, the sonic treatment and the context are not there in this order. But I'm sure you're aware of that.
I found synths rather surprising myself, well the ones I like anyway. Fortunately I have a few.

"i'm here to smash down barriers and transcend. "good enough" isnt"

Sure...Let's hear it!


Quote:
Originally Posted by 11413 View Post
is it?

"To me the only success, the only greatness, is immortality." -- James Dean

its about making sounds that raise the hair on the back of my neck... and surprise me. synths by themselves rarely accomplish this.. almost never.

arp 2600 was a great synth for surprises...

i'm here to smash down barriers and transcend. "good enough" isnt.
Old 17th October 2007
  #23
11413
Guest
the only 2 things i've found which really turn marginal tracks into magic are analog tape and the chandler germanium box.. and (very rarely) some choice plug-ins.. the GRM-tools shuffler is capable of magic.. i once made a preset which sounds like the inside of a tornado, i imagine. i'm also pretty certain the thermionic culture vulture is one of these instant magic, just add water boxes.

the hair on the neck thing is usually caused by adding the right harmonic content.. tho occasionally eventide reverb has done it... its a moving target for sure... but the payoff is tremendous when it hits.

i'm a mix engineer... i love putting sounds in frames and time capsules.. that's almost entirely what i do... its all about creating some kind of movie soundtrack atmosphere with me... all my favorite records are like that and, for good or ill, its what i keep coming back to..
Old 17th October 2007
  #24
Lives for gear
 
dlmorley's Avatar
Occasionally I use DI. It depends on if I think it sounds better before or after
For years I never used DI's (doing mainly electronic stuff) and just went straight line in to my desk and got the sound I wanted and get complimented enough on my "sound" to not feel I was doing anything wrong.
However, some instruments DO sound much better.
I think some machines need it more than others...
Old 17th October 2007
  #25
Lives for gear
 
dlmorley's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ehk928 View Post
Im using synth--> Radial JD1 (x2)-->mic in (2)api 512c.
Most mic pre DIs will bypass the input transformer for that extra goodness.
Have you compared the JD1 to the JD48?
I am tempted by all the good reviews I get but am not sure which to go for.
Old 17th October 2007
  #26
Quote:
Originally Posted by 11413 View Post
is it?

"To me the only success, the only greatness, is immortality." -- James Dean

its about making sounds that raise the hair on the back of my neck... and surprise me. synths by themselves rarely accomplish this.. almost never.

arp 2600 was a great synth for surprises...

i'm here to smash down barriers and transcend. "good enough" isnt.
I think surprises come out of imagination. But it doesn't hurt to have a great analog like the arp. I think analog synths are infinite in their sound shaping possiblities, hence the ability to surprise us with their endless textures.
Old 17th October 2007
  #27
Gear Head
 

Appogee Trak2 is my goto DI everytime. Lots of gain, the quietest pre Ive heard, and it has the conversion right in the box.
Old 18th October 2007
  #28
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 11413 View Post
the only 2 things i've found which really turn marginal tracks into magic are analog tape and the chandler germanium box.. and (very rarely) some choice plug-ins.. the GRM-tools shuffler is capable of magic.. i once made a preset which sounds like the inside of a tornado, i imagine. i'm also pretty certain the thermionic culture vulture is one of these instant magic, just add water boxes.

the hair on the neck thing is usually caused by adding the right harmonic content.. tho occasionally eventide reverb has done it... its a moving target for sure... but the payoff is tremendous when it hits.

i'm a mix engineer... i love putting sounds in frames and time capsules.. that's almost entirely what i do... its all about creating some kind of movie soundtrack atmosphere with me... all my favorite records are like that and, for good or ill, its what i keep coming back to..
I like the GRM tools suite too, creative and surprising, the OhmForce plugs are worth checking too as well as some of the Audio Damage.
I don't think we disagree, I'm just curious about this DI for synth business...I understand that some people used them for altering the sound source even if they are not technically necessary.
Old 2nd December 2007
  #29
11413
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by baikonour View Post
I don't think we disagree, I'm just curious about this DI for synth business...I understand that some people used them for altering the sound source even if they are not technically necessary.
i think once you find a DI that fits your aesthetic that you'll change your mind on this... for me its the germanium stuff.. that's "my" sound, so to speak..

"clean" synths just dont do it for me anymore.. too easy.. not interesting enough. yeah, it's a detail thing.. yeah i'm being obsessive.. it's my job to be obsessive.



i would say that something like an avalon U5 wont make much of a difference.. but something with some tone shaping.. perhaps a tube.. a transformer.. etc.. will be more along my way of thinking.. plus i absolutely love to distress sounds, and i dont mean with an el8
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