Providence DMI-1M Dual Vitalized Routing Interface
By Team HC |
Clearer and tighter tones with this Dual Vitalized Routing Interface
By Brian Johnston
If you think your tone sounds better with buffers designed within some of your pedals, then you will be even happier with the crisper and clearer tones of the DVI-1M. Your guitar tone and the voicing of your pedals will improve and cut through the mix even better than before. Developed by Providence from Japan, you are guaranteed quality components and sound results with this independent buffering and routing system.
What You Need to Know
The Dual Vitalized Routing Interface (herein referred to as the DVI-1M) is a multi-connection interface designed to eliminate signal loss and noise by way of its custom buffering electronics. Although the DVI-1M has several features and can be integrated, from simple to advanced (depending on your needs and gear usage), its main feature are the Vitalizer™ buffers, designed to convert high impedance signals that are more likely to degrade the sound of your gear. Sound degradation occurs due to several signal contacts, such as jacks, plugs, switches and long cables – which become more obvious with big pedalboards and guitar cables over 10-feet in length. In essence, the DVI-1M picks up the noise, but also accounts for the loss of higher (and some lower) frequencies degraded through cables, wiring and electric circuits. Another way to look at this is that these Vitalizers™ are ‘active impedance converters’ that preserves the true tone character while reducing ‘active sound’ or noise that is inherent in gear and that can color your sound.
Although I can hear (as demonstrated in the demo) differences with nothing more than a guitar running into an amplifier and cab (IR), tone degradation is most apparent with volume and wah pedals, due to the high impedance signal received in those units. A quality buffering system, like the DVI-1M reduces those tonal changes. I did demonstrate a wah in the video, and what’s interesting is that the wah already has a built-in buffer and yet the DVI-1M still improved the clarity and growl of the wah. Other demonstrations in the video involve an overdrive, a modulation pedal (set on fixed wah) and a tremolo/vibrato pedal. In all instances the tone was clearer and the effect/voicing of the pedals more pronounced and lively.
Now that the DVI-1M’s function or purpose has been established, let’s consider its other features. First, there is a MUTE function (triggered by an external latch or footswitch). When the DVI-1M is powered, its LED is blue, whereas when the system is muted it flashed red. When engaged it will mute the signal at the end of the effect chain when using the Send-Return, thereby shutting off all sound/noise within the pedalboard system. This is ideal for tuning or whenever you need to cut out the signal (e.g., when changing guitars). Be aware, however, that having a delay or reverb running through the DVI-1M’s FX Loop will cut off any tails and trails if you suddenly mute the system. The Mute circuit also uses a relay contact that does not alter sound quality, and with its ‘pop noise reduction’ you won’t hear any noise when switching on or off.
The Tuner feature allows for a separate out, although a flip of a switch under the DVI-1M’s cover allows you to convert the tuner’s out to a parallel out. With two other OUTs (Out to amp and the Send can be used as an ‘out’) this provides upward of three parallel outs for a host of advanced hookups.
The Return/Send section of the DVI-1M operates like a usual FX Loop on the back of an amp. I was amazed at how expressive and full-bodied my effects sound going through the DVI-1M, as opposed to an amp’s FX Loop or running before (e.g., overdrive) or after (e.g., modulation) an amp.
There are two Thru inputs, structured as a stereo (TRS) signal line. Both are completely isolated and can be used for various hookups, in switching systems, amp channel selecting and to have two signal connections to external devices, e.g., a fuzz or delay pedal.
An improvement in sound is desirable if you can use such a device and if it can work with your gear, whether simple or complex. The DVI-1M was designed to accommodate a host of possibilities. In the Resources section below are some sample layouts that incorporate only a few pedals in some instances, to more advanced setups using multi-amp (with or without PA), MIDI, switching systems and effects controllers.
Even if you plug straight into an amp you will hear a difference in sound quality using a buffering circuit – particularly if your guitar cable is more than ten feet in length; the DVI-1M delivers in this regard, but also in its flexibility. It was designed to be implemented in a number of ways and with just about any conceivable setup imagined, and its layout permits its pedalboard placement to be vertical or horizontal (to accommodate preferred cabling from top/bottom or along the sides). And since the Muting option is controlled by an external latch/footswitch) it is possible to mount the DVI-1M under your pedalboard (along with the power supply) to save on board real-estate. Be aware that doing so would not permit you to see the blue or flashing red LED. With all this in mind there are no glaring limitations to the DVI-1M.
A clearer and truer tone is possible with a quality buffering system. The DVI-1M has two Vitalizer™ buffering circuits located at the In-Out and FX Loop (Send/Return), guaranteeing the elimination of noise and tone degradation in a host of possible hookups and even with switching boards and MIDI controllers. The DVI-1M’s design also allows for stereo amplification and PA (concurrently if desired), a separate Tuner out and a Mute function that is completely popless and that can double as a kill-switch effect. At the price of a typical pedal ($180 USD) it offers a lot in optimizing tone with fantastic flexibility. The DVI-1M can be operated on 9VDC or 18VDC, as well as a standard 9VDC battery (included). -HC-
Providence DMI-1M Dual Vitalized Routing Interface ($180 USD)
Providence’s web page
You can purchase the DMI-1M from:
Brian Johnston is a Fitness Clinician in Ontario, Canada. His hobby is music composition and playing various instruments, as well as working with and reviewing gear that he likes. His YouTube channel is CoolGuitarGear.