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DI-box or Direct box

Today we’re breaking down the mystery of a little box which people use on recording sessions, or on a live stage, and a lots of folks wonders what does it serves for. Maybe only to improve the look of a studio or stage?

Well, no..

DI- box is short from Direct Induction, and people commonly use it to connect their guitars or bass guitars with a mixer, without going through an amp first.

Direct box changes the impedance level of the guitar, which is by nature high impedance level, and mixers have low impedance level at their inputs. So, it changes the impedance level of the guitar, and matches it to the impedance level of the mixer, in order to get as the best sound as possible.

Further on, Di-box changes the form of the cabling connection. From guitar, to your Di-box, we use TS (unbalanced connection) cables, and at the output of the DI-box we have XLR connection, which means that now our signal is balanced.

And that gives us one advantage, and it’s the length of the cable. Because of the balanced signal, we are not limited by the lenght of cable because, at the end there won’t be any noise coming up to our mixer. With unbalanced cables it’s not recommended to go over 5 meters of cable.

Without a direct box which changes the impedance level, your guitar signal would probably sound thin and it would have to much noise.

The good news is that most of the todays audio interfaces already has integrated one or two Hi-Z inputs. Hi-Z can handle the high impedance level, so you don’t need to buy a separate direct box, if you have this input on your audio interface.

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Thanks for being part of sound investigation!
Mihael Vrbanic

3 thoughts on “DI-box or Direct box

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