03-21-2013 10:12 PM - edited 03-21-2013 10:21 PM
Hello, everyone in the forum. I hope you can provide some much needed guidance.
I just bought a pair of Alto Professional TS115A powered speakers for gigging live in small to medium sized venues, It's only a mic and a electric guitar (Fender Telecaster Deluxe with humbuckers). The thing is I tried plugging in my guitar directly into the Altos (each has a micro mixer with two combo inputs and volume knobs) but the sound seems like it was coming out from inside a submarine, utterly dead and has a terrible mount of noise, so it makes it useless even for rehearsing. Then I tried plugging the guitar into my main amp (fender frontman) and taking the pre out into the altos, this resulted in a huge improvement of sound quality coming out of the PA, more than enough to get inspired and play, although it still has a noticeable amount of hiss, which can be overlooked but still is kind of annoying, I must say that when I play music right from my audio interface there's an utterly negligible amount of noise so I know the speakers work fine.
My question is, what do I need to have a decent guitar sound quality coming out of the altos, I just wanted to lug them plus my guitar and mic to the venues, but it seems that won't work, so I was wondering If I should get a pedal board or maybe a small yamaha mixer, although I don't know if this will result in the superb clean guitar I want or not. Or maybe there's another option like a DI or something I can use to improve my guitar sound. Thank you all.
(By the way, the altos sound amazing for the price, hope they last)
03-21-2013 10:58 PM
The inputs on most PA systems are designed for Line Level sources, or for microphones. Your guitar is close to line level, but a little lower, which is why you have to really crank up the volume to hear it, and why you're getting a lot of noise. To get around this, you can use a Direct Box. These come in both passive and active (powered) versions, and what they do is convert the level and impedance to the values that your PA system expects to "see." Direct boxes vary in price like anything else - from simple passive models that may cost under $50, to much nicer ones that can cost hundreds. Like most things in the gear world, you get what you pay for in terms of quality and sound, but even an inexpensive passive DI (direct box) would be an improvement over running "straight in" to your PA.
The other option is a amp simulator of some kind. Lots of multieffects pedals have amp sims built in, as do several purpose-built pedals. If you're considering something like that (in order to get a more guitar amp-like sound), we can offer you a lot of suggestions.
03-22-2013 07:42 AM - edited 03-22-2013 07:53 AM
Oh, thanks a lot for the quick reply, I actually was thinking about getting a GT6 or something along it's lines although I really don't need a whole bunch of effects, I basically need a little reverb and maybe chorus for the time being, so I'm not quite in love with the idea of having to bring it everywhere I play, besides it looks like a piece of equipment taken out of a spaceship. But still, if this would solve the problem I might go this way.
Regarding the DI box, which one would you recommend?, after buying the Altos my moneybox is severely light hehe, but if you consider this would solve my predicament I'm willing to make a little investment, still something good on the not-so-pricey side of the road would be nice. And what would be the difference between passive and active boxes?
Thank you again, seriously.
03-22-2013 09:51 AM
My honest suggestion if you need the amp to be louder would be to plug a microphone into the PA and mic up the amp with something like an Audix i5 or SM57 depending on the sound you're aiming for. That would probably result in the best sound quality. Of course, that does mean you need to bring an amp and if you don't want to do that I'd say an active direct box would be a better option.
Active direct boxes are powered devices which lets them also include things like EQ controls, level boosting, and buffering depending on the device. I often use an MXR Bass DI+ on bass to record direct but I've also used it for guitar just as well if I need to get a line recorded in the middle of the night. Cool little box.
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