Why DI?

“I saw in one of your videos that you like to record a DI of electric guitar and bass in addition to the miked signal, but do I really need to do that?”

If you have the gear to make it happen, the ability to record the extra track in your DAW, and the 2 minutes it takes to set it up, then I say “YES!”

A DI track (Direct Input) is a signal with no fx or processing, split from the guitar or bass before it goes through the amp or pedalboard… a clean signal you can use to re-amp or manipulate later.  Essentially, you are recording the plain boring signal, directly from the instrument.

I use a Radial DI box like this one to split the signal.  I use the DI track to aid in editing, and sometimes I will re-amp the signal with a different tone or amp sound to blend in with the original.  This can be done using amp modeling plugins or actual guitar amps… I use both, depending on what I have available or what I know I want.

With bass, I like duplicating the DI track and processing it with a SansAmp, or creating a sub-low bass track, to blend with the original bass track.  Sometimes I’ll have up to 4 bass tracks blended to taste, in the mix.  You’ll see a lot of these practices being used in my FREE Radio Ready Mixes video series.

Note: when recording a DI track simultaneously with the miked track, watch for latency, and make sure your DI track is lined up with the main track in your DAW.  

Leave me a comment below with any tips you may have to add to this, or any questions concerning DI tracks!

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