DI Box with sound card

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by learningtofry, May 23, 2011.

  1. learningtofry macrumors newbie

    May 23, 2011
    Hi there.

    Been trying some home recording. I have an Imac and a Duet through which I connect my electric guitar into garageband. Problem is the voulme is not all that high and the moment I crank it up or add some effects it tends to crack and go red. Have already tried playing with all the volumes and stuff with no luck.

    Someone suggested a DI Box, so...
    1) I was wondering whether it is safe to plug in a DI box between the guitar and the apogee. Could it damage the sound card? and
    2) Will adding this device help control the signal better and allow me to crank up the volume a bit. The DI Box I am referring to is http://www.behringer.com/EN/Products/DI20.aspx .

    Am still very basic when it comes to home recording and would appreciate any help. Thanks in advance.
  2. mroddjob macrumors member

    Jun 29, 2010
    Have you read the "I want to use my Mac to record but i'm confused :: a primer" at the top of the Digital Audio forum?

    Firstly to answer the first question, yes it's safe to plug a DI into the duet. The DI will turn your instrument signal into something more like a signal from a microphone so you will need to plug the DI into the microphone input of the duet rather than the hi-z instrument input of the duet.

    Secondly, adding a DI doesn't sound like it'll help with your problem, as the duet already has 1/4 inch instrument inputs which will have plenty enough gain (you said yourself that it's "cracking and going red", that means your gain is too high)
    A question for you; what is your audio output? What is your setup? Do you have some external speakers (are they plugged into the duet or computer) or are you listening through the built in speakers?
  3. learningtofry thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 23, 2011
    my set up

    Hi thanks for replying, will definitely read the post you mentioned.

    My set up includes a 9 month old Imac, so its got 4gb ram and is core 2 duo, my electric guitar (an Indonesian Fender and A South Korean made PRS) going in to the apogee in and then into garage band (as of now). For speakers I use a pair of Yamaha HS50M nearfield monitors coming out of the apogee, which are set at flat inasmuch I have touched none of its settings so far. They are usually at half-volume.

    The Imac and the speakers are placed on a computer type desk so I am about 2 feet away from the centre of the speaker, max 3 ft. at any point.

    For earphones I use a very basic pair of Seinheisers (for now) coming out of the apogee and have no real issue with them.

    The cable is a 3 mtre Planet waves (they had nothing shorter).

    When I play the guitar through garageband the volume is manageable if I crank up all the input volumes a bit (guitar and apogee), although it does sound a little distorted even when there is no effect.

    But the moment I add even a single garageband effect I am forced to reduce the input volumes so that it doesn't breaking. In the process the playback volume goes down big time.

    So I was wondering if adding a DI box would clean up what i believe is an analog signal from the guitar, making it easier for me to increase the volume a bit without it cracking.

    Or maybe you could please please suggest something else.

    I had tried the maudio fasttrackpro first and that was impossible as far as gain goes. This one is definitely better but I was expecting little more. Hence the post.
  4. mroddjob macrumors member

    Jun 29, 2010
    The DI box won't help with volume level.

    You shouldn't use the input gain to increase the volume level, as a basic rule of thumb, the input gain should be set as high as possible so that when you are playing your hardest/loudest the input meter (led bars) wont ever reach the red. This is your input gain and shouldn't be changed, I think you then need to set the garage band master output so that it won't go into the red.

    I haven't used garage band for a while but which effects are you using, I think some effects settings have an input and output volume? When you add your effect you need to alter the effect gain/output volume so that the garage band master output volume is similar to when there is no effect in.

    In order to make it all louder you can then just turn up the speakers or I think the apogee stuff comes with some software to control the input and output levels of the duet (Maestro i think), have you tried turning up the output level in the maestro software?
  5. learningtofry thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 23, 2011
    hi, sorry, was away for a while.
    i think i've tried the things you suggested, yet, will do that again in a more precise way... and post anything useful that comes up.

    in the meantime, if i may, i have another possibly basic question.
    is it possible/ safe to plug my amp (roland cube 1.5X) into the apogee duet's line in.
    i like the tone i get from my guitar amp... http://www.amazon.com/Roland-Cube-1...8&s=musical-instruments&qid=1308587278&sr=1-1... and processor (which is a digitech rp 70) and this combo like to record it directly once in a while instead of using any software plugins etc.

    any help would be appreciated.
  6. learningtofry thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 23, 2011
    sorry, should i have posted that question on some other thread?

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