Will DI reduce hiss in my rig? What DI?

Boosh

Member
Messages
63
I have been looking at a lot of information online about what DI box to get and it seems like there is quite a bit of variation in what people say making it hard to figure out what I need for my specific purpose, or if a DI is necessary/will help at all. So I figured I'd post here in relation to my setup and goals to see if any of you have some advice to offer.

I do a lot of recording and playing along with clips I've recorded in Ableton with the setup shown at the Ableton link in my signature. In short, I have a few guitars/basses, two guitar amps, a bass amp, lots of pedals, a computer/ableton, an audio interface, and a mixer. I play in a small room in an apartment, so there are a lot of electronics all near eachother, including a computer and a midi foot controller, and there is no way to prevent this at this point in time until I move into a bigger place. I think the close proximity of everything may be a contributor to the hiss I'm hearing, but I'm not sure. I am trying to reduce the hiss in my rig. I have two really cheap power sources that have very effectively gotten rid of the whining and other electronic noises due to incorrect mA going into pedals, but I still have hiss like I'm recording in 1930.

My guitar rig goes through about 12 pedals and right now directly into the mixing board. My bass rig goes through 4 pedals and directly into the mixing board. No DI incorporated at all. So here are my questions:

1. Do I definitely need the last output of my pedal board to go into a DI box and then into the Mixer?

2. Will putting a DI at the end of my pedal board before the mixer, the using balanced or mic cables from the DI to the mixer, reduce hiss?

3. If I need the DI, can I plug just regular instrument cables into the input, then balanced instrument cables or a mic cable from the out of the DI to the mixer? Or does there need to be balanced cables going into the DI from the pedal board and out of the DI into the mixer?

4. Is there a difference between balanced instrument cables and a mic cable?

5. Do I need an active DI for my passive guitars, but a passive DI for my active bass?

Thanks for your help!
 

loudboy

Member
Messages
27,335
12 pedals?

How much gain/distortion are you using?

What type of pickups - single coil or HB?

I don't think a DI is going to reduce noise, unless you're plugging the pedalboard signal into a line input on the mixer and are having to really crank the input gain on the mixer. Where do you have the input trim set at?

If it's really cranked, a DI could help by reducing the amount of gain you'll need there.
 

Boosh

Member
Messages
63
As far as distortion, I mostly just use a tube screamer, I also have a rat and boss metal core but I use them less, just for certain things.

Pickups for guitar are humbuckers on a prs se santana (seth lover and 36th anniv), ibanez custom 58s on an ibanez, and single coils (fender 59s) on a strat in the middle and neck, humbucker (Custom 5) on the strat at the bridge.

The gain on the mixer is not up that high, at around 10-11 o clock. I often have a compressor on which im sure adds some gain. I wouldn't say I'm using THAT much gain unless the tube screamer or other distortion is on, which some noise from that is obviously expected. And the instruments are pretty much all the way up all the time, even the active bass. The hiss is there even when no effects are turned on.

I do have the output from the pedal boards going into the line input on the mixer. I thought this is where I may be having a problem. If I'm understanding correctly, the mixer really should have a DI output going into either the mic input or the line input, correct? I just don't really know why, and haven't truly figured it out from what I've been reading. Also, passive DI better for active instruments, active DI better for passive instruments?
 




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