DI question


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As some of you know, I’m yet to do my first gig on keys. I’m currently just using one keyboard but plan to add a second soon - both with stereo out.

I’d like to know what the best options are in terms of DI. From research I have done, I think a passive stereo DI box is best and in this case, you get what you pay for. My questions are:

Is there such thing as a 2 channel passive STEREO DI or will I need 2 seperate stereo DI boxes when using 2 keyboards?

In either scenario, what is recommended from your experiences? I want something usable in all live situations, including those where long cable length might be used etc.

Open to all options, I’m completely inexperienced here so I might be barking up the wrong tree completely?
 
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I would look at a radial DI. It's stereo and can handle two keyboards and can also act as a mixer. a little pricey but clearly the best quality on the market.

 
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Another option for you is a small mixer that has XLR outputs. Generally, most mixers have balanced outputs that are 1/4" and they should be fine for going to the FOH mixer, unless the snake only allows for XLR inputs. In that case, you would need a stereo DI box, so tha tyou are able to maintain your stereo sound from the keyboards.

There are LOTS of different models of DI boxes and many of them are stereo.

I have 4 of the Pyle Pro stereo DI boxes and they have worked very well for me over the years. I know that they are not high-end like the Radial stuff, but if they work, then why not save a few $$ in the process. I always take two with me to a gig, just in case.

Grace,
Harry
 
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If you're going to use two keyboards, I would get a small mixer and send all four outputs into that. From there you can take a stereo output into a DI box, then to front of house (FOH).

I do own a little device called a Key Largo (made by Radial, the company Dave mentioned above for quality DI equipment) which performs the function of a mixer AND DI in the one package. Highly recommend it - it works great and has saved me a lot of mucking around since I acquired it.

DI boxes are very useful in preventing sound degradation in long cable runs, preventing ground loop hum and protecting your keyboards from getting fried if the sound engineer accidentally sends phantom power from the desk in your direction. I will not and do not rehearse or gig without them.

This article might give you some extra insight. https://www.soundonsound.com/sound-advice/q-there-any-point-di-ing-keyboards
 
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If you're going to use two keyboards, I would get a small mixer and send all four outputs into that. From there you can take a stereo output into a DI box, then to front of house (FOH).

I do own a little device called a Key Largo (made by Radial, the company Dave mentioned above for quality DI equipment) which performs the function of a mixer AND DI in the one package. Highly recommend it - it works great and has saved me a lot of mucking around since I acquired it.

DI boxes are very useful in preventing sound degradation in long cable runs, preventing ground loop hum and protecting your keyboards from getting fried if the sound engineer accidentally sends phantom power from the desk in your direction. I will not and do not rehearse or gig without them.

This article might give you some extra insight. https://www.soundonsound.com/sound-advice/q-there-any-point-di-ing-keyboards
Thanks, I had seen the key largo but was a large expense (£300+ I think?). I’ve learnt from drums that it’s better not to buy on a budget in the long run in some cases but I do have a small mixer already.

I’d also seen that stereo DIs from radial are also pricey but had read DIs are one area to not skimp on? Not only do I want to protect my sound but also my equipment. Anyone else had experience with other brand such as Pyle Pro stereo DI boxes that MusicWithHarry mentioned?
 
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I have two Rapco DB-100's. I've owned them since the 90's. Still work flawlessly.


On really quick gigs when I have 5 minutes to setup I bring a Rolls MX28 and the Rapco DI Box, I pre-wire them in a gig bag so the hookup is quick. Still works flawlessly. I also use that setup for practice when I'm plugging straight into the mixer.
 
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Thanks, I had seen the key largo but was a large expense (£300+ I think?). I’ve learnt from drums that it’s better not to buy on a budget in the long run in some cases but I do have a small mixer already.

I’d also seen that stereo DIs from radial are also pricey but had read DIs are one area to not skimp on? Not only do I want to protect my sound but also my equipment. Anyone else had experience with other brand such as Pyle Pro stereo DI boxes that MusicWithHarry mentioned?
Keep in mind that most of these are passibr DI boxes as well. This means that you do not need any kind of pwoer supply for them to work.

If you want something that is active (powered) I would check out the Behringer DI400/DI800 series. These are rack units, that are active, and have all kinds of options. The DI800v2 is pretty neat and offers 8 XLR outputs.


I believe that I paid $35 each for the Pyle Pro DI boxes. I have also had Rapco and DOD passive DI boxes and they all worked very well. I also owned the DI800 (first gen) and it too worked very well.

Grace,
Harry
 
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Anyone else had experience with other brand such as Pyle Pro stereo DI boxes that MusicWithHarry mentioned?
I would recommend reading some on-line reviews and making up your own mind considering your budget. Don't get caught up in needing to buy a "stereo DI box", I think it limits you unnecessarily. Two single-input DI's would achieve the same thing.

I use a cheap Behringer rack-mount DI unit for rehearsal (the DI4000 mentioned by Harry above) which does the job more than adequately considering what I paid for it. However for gigging I go with the Key Largo I mentioned earlier, alternatively depending on the gig/band I have the sound engineer provide his own, which I'll specify in the tech advance.
 
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I would recommend reading some on-line reviews and making up your own mind considering your budget. Don't get caught up in needing to buy a "stereo DI box", I think it limits you unnecessarily. Two single-input DI's would achieve the same thing.

I use a cheap Behringer rack-mount DI unit for rehearsal (the DI4000 mentioned by Harry above) which does the job more than adequately considering what I paid for it. However for gigging I go with the Key Largo I mentioned earlier, alternatively depending on the gig/band I have the sound engineer provide his own, which I'll specify in the tech advance.
The stereo DI box, unless specifically made to run in stereo, is simply a couple of DI connections put into a single chassis for simplicity. In fact, I bought the Pyle Pro DI boxes because I always run stereo. Mono is a 4-letter word for me and with all of the sonic landscapes and depth we create with our rigs, running mono is not good.

I know that there have been many conversations about playing live using stereo/mono, and that may be beyond the scope of this thread, but I have played through both Mono and Stereo PA systems and prefer stereo :) I think that we all prefer that.

Back when I was getting started, MANY years ago, I used two single DI boxes for my live rig. I got stereo that way. With my rig now, I fashioned a setup in the back of my 6-space rack to house one of those Pyle Pro Stereo DI boxes. It is mounted in the back of the rack and if I ever need to use it, I reroute the master outs from my submixer to go to that and then run the XLR cables from the DI box to go to snake.

Since I have a wireless headset mic AND an IEM, I now, with the band I am currently in, actually stack my 6-space rack on top of our rack snake and plug direct into it with 1/4" TRS cables. I cannot even remember the last time I used the DI box - but it is there if I need it.

There are many options for DI boxes, but the thing to remember is that if the user wants to run stereo to the FOH, the user will need two DI connections, whether they are in separate boxes OR in a single chassis.

These are the Pyle DI boxes I currently have:


I have a couple of these as well, but have not used them in a very long time:


It is important to note with these DOD DI boxes, they have dual inputs, but only have a single output. Plugging a stereo connection into this DOD DI box will yield a mono connection, NOT a stereo one. When I used a smaller keyboard rig of just two keyboards, I plugged the left outputs of those two keyboards into one of these and the right output from those two keyboards into the other DOD box - that is how I maintained a stereo signal using these boxes.

Here is another DI box, this time from Rapco:


These links are for reference only and certainly not for buying from the company direct or direct from eBay.

Grace,
Harry
 
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There are many options for DI boxes, but the thing to remember is that if the user wants to run stereo to the FOH, the user will need two DI connections, whether they are in separate boxes OR in a single chassis.
Yes that was my point. You don't need a "stereo DI box" necessarily. You can run stereo with two single-input DI's, which is how 90% of the sound engineers I work with do it. Sometimes we can be guilty of over-complicating the simple.

My fear was that as OP kept mentioning this term he may be limiting his options unnecessarily.
 
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Yes that was my point. You don't need a "stereo DI box" necessarily. You can run stereo with two single-input DI's, which is how 90% of the sound engineers I work with do it. Sometimes we can be guilty of over-complicating the simple.

My fear was that as OP kept mentioning this term he may be limiting his options unnecessarily.
I absolutely agree. Sometimes we can get caught up in the terminology :)

Grace,
Harry
 

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