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DI recommendations...


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I am a keyboard player. I have a portable rack of sound modules and mixers I run my rig through. The output gets boiled down to stereo line out via a RANE mixer.

 

Currently I have two "brick" battery powered active DI boxes that I use to either

 

1) Run my Mackie SRM450 v2 speakers via XLR.

 

2) Run to house audio direct via XLR.

 

3) Run the Mackie's plus run the Mackie "thru" to house audio.

 

I am looking for a reasonably priced DI rack module to replace the bricks.

 

Any thoughts?

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I know Radial offers a rackmount kit for their DI boxes/interface devices. I find that their stuff is reasonably priced for what it is, but not all agree.

 

Perhaps someone else knows if Audiopile/EWI offers something like this?

 

Maybe more ghetto than you're going after, but what about a rack shelf and some velcro to attach the DI boxes you have?

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Special J - I looked at the Radial stuff - nice in that you can "reverse" the unit as I want the XLR out on the front panel so I don't have to fish around in the back to hook things up. I would prefer a 1U solution though.

 

agedhorse - I had been using a passive DI but I wasn't happy with the results - it attenuated the signal too much - though it may have been because it was a cheap one (don't have the brand handy here).

 

Also - why not an active DI?

 

The FDB-404 looks reasonable - I'll have to give it some thought. Thanks!

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This has nothing to do with your question, but why do you use DI's from your mixer to your speakers? You say the mixer has a line level output, why not use the line level input on the speakers? :confused:

 

You don't need an active DI with your keyboard, it already has an active output, it just needs to be turned into a mic-level signal. A passive DI is the correct solution, and I second the suggestion of the EWI rackmount DI.

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Most DI's (active and passive) attenuate the signal so that it arrives at the mixer at approx. hot mic level. For a passive, it's how the transformer and impedance transformation works. For active boxex, it's so they are useable with most consoles.

 

Active DI's have very high inputs (their intended purpose is to buffer and transform very high output impdance pickups) so they will generally exhibit higher noise levels than a passive DI which is a better impedance match on the input. Your keyboard rig already has the active part of an active DI built into it's output so adding another stage will increase noise.

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I do a two-stage line mix for a couple of MIDI sound modules (piano, EWI horn) out to a volume pedal back into another mix stage where the hammond XK-3 comes in.

 

This gives me two independent foot pedals for mixing organ and horn/piano at the same time.

 

The Mackie's are XLR in only so I want to convert the 1/4" line out from the Rane to XLR. I have tried converting with cables and DI (active and inactive) - the best results (low noise even with crappy 120V power, no hum or buzz, etc.) has been with the active DI box.

 

But why passive?

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Thanks for the active DI explanation. My current Rane/active DI setup is actually plenty quiet; noise hasn't been an issue.

 

Basically I want quick setup for my rig while still having multiple output options for the local sound guy.

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