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DI Box Yes or No
Old 18th March 2015
  #1
DI Box Yes or No

Hi all. I recently bought a Warm audio WA12 Mic pre, and a Warm Audio WA76 Compressor. Both are incredible by the way. My signal chain is as follows: WA12 to WA76 to Motu 896HD (motu pres are off) into my DAW. Anyway, my question is this. I've mic'd up my breedlove acoustic electric with my new AT 4021 into the warm audio pre and comp, thru the Motu, and the sound is excellent.
I'm looking for opinions on recording Bass, and electric guitar. I don't use amps. The WA12 has a Hi Z input, but am wondering if buying and using a Countryman DI in front of the WA12 would help or better the sound. I use amp sims in the DAW. Also a plus would be having the ability to say mic my Breedlove using the WA12, and the WA76, and then plugging my breedlove into the Motu 896HD via the Countryman DI. My breedlove has an active LR Baggs element VtC system in it. If I were to use the Countryman direct into the Motu 896HD, can I leave the mic pre off?
Do you think there would be any advantages as far as sound quality in any of these scenerios adding the Countryman 85?
Thanks guys..
Old 18th March 2015
  #2
Old 18th March 2015
  #3
Use the High Z input on the WA12

Adding a DI is just adding a transformer, no need to when you have a nice pre with a high Z input.
Old 18th March 2015
  #4
Old 18th March 2015
  #5
Lives for gear
If You did use a DI, It needs a pre amp as DI XLR output is usually mic level.

I notice also you said you route your Pre>Comp>896 with mic pre off. Make sure you use XLR to TRS or TRS-TRS into the 896 channel so if you accidently turn phantom power on it will not
send power to the comp output (phantom power is available on the XLR combo jack but should not be on the TRS input).
Also the 3 way switch should be in the center +4 fixed Line level position (defeats the Cue mix digital trim control/pre amp gain knob). The top line level position (allows trim control in cue mix of -16 to +15)
and was designed to give some trim if needed for line level sources like synths/keys that are lower than +4 line level. You could experiment and try it with it trimmed back to possibly
allow you to drive your outboard pre/comp harder, but the manual states the FIXED center position +4 has a greater amount of attenuation and can accept up to +18 input.

Only reason I mentioned all this is you said you had the pre amp off. The fixed center position line switch defeats the pre amp so it does not matter if the pre is off IF the switch is set to FIXED.
Old 18th March 2015
  #6
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DirkP's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cozmik Prod. View Post
Use the High Z input on the WA12

Adding a DI is just adding a transformer, no need to when you have a nice pre with a high Z input.
And both the WA76 and the WA12 have transformers and lots of them in their sound.
I use the TB12, the WA76 and the new EQP-WA for recording bass.

Dirk
Old 19th March 2015
  #7
Manfrensengensen. Thanks for the info. I have the 896HD switch set to fixed. You bring up a really valid point about the phantom power. I hadn't given that a thought. I did some googling, but didn't get a definitive answer. I read something to the affect that if the switch is in the fixed position, phantom power is off. But I don't feel completely confident about what I read.
Thanks for your input also Dirk.
Old 19th March 2015
  #8
Ok, now I'm all banged up LOL. The Warm audio WA76 has an XLR balanced output, and a 1/4" balanced output. If I use an unbalanced cable from the WA76 to the Motu 896HD is that going to pose a problem?
Old 19th March 2015
  #9
Lives for gear
easy way to find out. Plug in a condenser mic with the switch set for fixed line. The level will be low but you should be able to tell it the mic comes on, then you will know if the line switch defeats the phantom power.

I saw nothing in the manual about the line switch in either position defeating phantom pwr.

The way this is worded makes it sound like phantom pwr will work with an xlr or 1/4 when switched to MIC setting.

For a microphone or unamplified instrument
pickup, set the rear-panel 3-way switch to MIC,
plug in your mic (XLR or quarter-inch plug), flip
on 48V phantom power (if necessary) and use the
trim knob as needed to adjust the level

Last edited by Manfrensengensen; 19th March 2015 at 02:07 AM..
Old 19th March 2015
  #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cozmik Prod. View Post
Use the High Z input on the WA12

Adding a DI is just adding a transformer, no need to when you have a nice pre with a high Z input.
This has not been my experience. Quite the opposite.

I find the High Z inputs on most off the shelf preamps are less pleasing sounding than a nice DI (the Countryman will do fine) into the mic input.
Old 19th March 2015
  #11
Did you catch my other question? The Warm audio WA76 has an XLR balanced output, and a 1/4" balanced output. If I use an unbalanced cable from the WA76 to the Motu 896HD is that going to pose a problem?
Old 19th March 2015
  #12
Guess the Warm pre is not an off the shelf pre....

I agree with you on most high Z inputs, the one on my FF800 totaly sucks for instance.

I prefer a dedicated High Z pre myself.
Old 19th March 2015
  #13
No, not a problem, but why not use a ballanced TRS lead for that ?
Old 19th March 2015
  #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cozmik Prod. View Post
Guess the Warm pre is not an off the shelf pre....

I agree with you on most high Z inputs, the one on my FF800 totaly sucks for instance.

I prefer a dedicated High Z pre myself.
No, we just disagree. Having an opinion is part of the job. I'm talking about API, Chandler, and to a lesser degree the UA 610. I do like the high z on the Groove Tubes Brick actually, now that I think about it.
Old 19th March 2015
  #15
I did a test. I cannot disengage the phantom power. I did the next best thing, I put tape over the PP switch. lol.. I really like the sound I'm getting using an XLR form the WA12 to the WA76, and an XLR from the WA76 to the Motu 896HD. Still wondering if for electric guitar, bass and acoustic direct if the Countryman would add to the sound, or if I should just use the HI Z input on the WA12. Thanks for the help.
Old 19th March 2015
  #16
Well, it can't hurt to have a great DI in the studio.

I would get something like this; Rupert Neve Designs – RNDI: Active Transformer Direct Interface also check out Radial, Countryman...
@ Zilla , did you listen to the Warm pre High Z or do you just asume it will be not that good ?
Old 19th March 2015
  #17
Yes, I've listened to the Warm High Z with an electric guitar. It sounds great to my ears. Just wondering if it could sound even better. LOL I replaced my old Focusrite Twintrak Pro with the warm audio gear. I don't even know how I was able to mix our last album now that I've heard the Warm Audio Gear. LOL. And I'm not kidding.
Old 19th March 2015
  #18
Acually my remark was adressed to Zilla who suggested the warm pre High Z would not be that great...
I absolutely believe that you are really happy with the Warm gear, congratulations and have great fun with it !

But maybe yes, you would benefit from using a DI you will only know until you try one, but if you do, I suggest to pick a really nice one, borrow some and listen for yourself, also check out some really cheap ones to get an idea of how they perform against the expensive ones.

As I stated, I can't hurt to have at least one great DI in the studio, also for signal splitting and recording FX on a separate track in one go, it's nice to record a bit of Fuzzbox with a bass guitar and mix that in a bit on top of the bass.
Old 19th March 2015
  #19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cozmik Prod. View Post
Well, it can't hurt to have a great DI in the studio.

I would get something like this; Rupert Neve Designs – RNDI: Active Transformer Direct Interface also check out Radial, Countryman...
@ Zilla , did you listen to the Warm pre High Z or do you just asume it will be not that good ?
Hi there, sorry if you misunderstood.

I'm saying that, having used a shed load of the very finest discrete, transformer mic pres on the planet, as well as some more affordable ones, I generally prefer a purpose built DI to the hi z input.

Further to which, I am speaking mostly about getting "finished, ready to mix" sounding bass tones. Guitar is more of a mixed bag for me regarding DI in general.

I haven't used the Warm, and did not mean to imply that I had.

It's just a preference though, not the end of the world.

Last edited by zilla_studios; 21st March 2015 at 12:13 AM.. Reason: clarification
Old 19th March 2015
  #20
Registered User
Something to bear in mind is that with a great transformer preamp, when they throw in a hi-z input it usually bypasses that great transformer. Which can be a good thing if you don't want the transformer coloration. But if you want that transformer coloration, you can benefit from using an external DI to drop your signal down to mic level, at which point it goes through the transformer in the preamp. If you use a passive DI you get a double whammy of iron in your path. Which suits some things, and does not suit other things.
Old 19th March 2015
  #21
Quote:
Originally Posted by zilla_studios View Post
Hi there, sorry if you misunderstood.

I'm saying that, having used a shed load of the very finest discrete, transformer mic pres on the planet, as well as some more affordable ones, I generally prefer a purpose built DI to the hi z input.

Further to which, I am speaking mostly about getting "finished, ready to mix" sounding bass tones. Guitar is more if a mixed bag for me regarding DI in general.

I haven't used the Warm, and did not mean to imply that I had.

It's just a preference though, not the end of the world.
In that case we might just agree again...

Quality of high Z inputs differs a lot, and yes also it will bypass the fancy transformer on the mic input.
Opamps simply suck for this, J fets perform much better.

I am in the proces of designing / building a dedicated tube instrument amp wich will take a passive instrument to +4 balanced line level.
Old 20th March 2015
  #22
Thanks guys. I emailed Bryce at Warm Audio about the WA-12's Hi z input. His response was: The Hi Z goes through both the input and the output transformer, the entire mic pre really.. Thanks Bryce, and thanks again Slutz..
Old 20th March 2015
  #23
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DirkP's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiwi View Post
Something to bear in mind is that with a great transformer preamp, when they throw in a hi-z input it usually bypasses that great transformer. Which can be a good thing if you don't want the transformer coloration. But if you want that transformer coloration, you can benefit from using an external DI to drop your signal down to mic level, at which point it goes through the transformer in the preamp. If you use a passive DI you get a double whammy of iron in your path. Which suits some things, and does not suit other things.
On the Warm Audio preamps (both the TB12 and the smaller one) the High-Z input goes through the Transformer as liv4ree wrote.
On the GAP-Preamps like the 73-DLX one can change an internal jumper setting in case you want the High-Z to go through the input-transformer. The factory setting is to not let it go through the transformer.
Old 20th March 2015
  #24
Registered User
Gotta get me some of those Warm boxes ... they seem to be doing things right
Old 21st March 2015
  #25
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DirkP's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiwi View Post
Gotta get me some of those Warm boxes ... they seem to be doing things right
I just received their Pulteq-clone two weeks ago, the EQP-WA to go along with my WA76 and the TB12.
I'm mostly recording bass and have this channel-strip in my little home studio with a SPL Crimson.

Love that stuff to pieces.
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