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Author Topic: Is anyone using a direct box on electric guitar at gigs?  (Read 10079 times)

John Roberts {JR}

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Re: Is anyone using a direct box on electric guitar at gigs?
« Reply #10 on: April 25, 2015, 08:39:34 am »

If it sounds good it is good. Traditionally lead guitar gets a lot of it's sound character from the amp transfer function and guitar speaker/cabinet interactions.

Modern amp modeling technology has shifted some of that sound shaping into the electronics.

There can be some utility in a dry feed off the guitar as well as micing the amp, but do what works for you. 

JR
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Bill McIntosh

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Re: Is anyone using a direct box on electric guitar at gigs?
« Reply #11 on: April 25, 2015, 09:08:35 am »

If it sounds good it is good. Traditionally lead guitar gets a lot of it's sound character from the amp transfer function and guitar speaker/cabinet interactions.

Modern amp modeling technology has shifted some of that sound shaping into the electronics.

There can be some utility in a dry feed off the guitar as well as micing the amp, but do what works for you. 

JR

We tried a DI on our lead guitar for a few gigs -- placed inline between the head and cab using the passthrough jacks, -30 db pad to the board.  It just didn't sound 'right'.  Went to a Sennheiser e609 and have not had any feedback issues, the sound comes through fine.

He rarely turns up more than 4 on the amp though, some gigs I have to ask him to bump up a little.
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Bob Leonard

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Re: Is anyone using a direct box on electric guitar at gigs?
« Reply #12 on: April 25, 2015, 11:28:37 am »

At the risk of going against everyone else's opinion, my son-in-law does go direct out of his pedal board and straight to the mixer.  I couldn't tell you without getting a pic of his board what all he is using, but I do know that he has spent a great deal of time with a mixer/pedal board and guitar working on his tones for his group.  His band plays mainly late '80s pop/rock - late '90s pop/rock.  On the few times that I have been able to hear them it sounds fantastic.  I am sure that a great deal of it has to do with the amount of research and trying different settings that he has done over the years.  2 cents worth.

Bill

A great deal of the "guitar" sound and tone of the 80's and early 90's was derived through rack mount gear and effects pedals. There are always exceptions Bill, but one exception that can't be made is the hard work and experimentation it takes to achieve the sound/tone required for the genre of music being played. Some people never find that "sound", and other find it and want to improve upon it in the never ending quest for perfection. I fall into the latter group.

I've never been a fan of a DI for electric guitar. That key component, the amplifier and a good mic, are missing from the equation. That equates to a loss of stage presence, feel, and of course tone, IMO.

It sounds like your son in law has a good handle on his quest for tone using his pedal board effects, and that's no small achievement, especially when all the odds are stacked against you. Send a pic of the board if you would.

On the other hand, bass and acoustic guitar are an entirely different animal. Bass and a DI are no problem, specifically because of the frequency range being covered. Acoustic requires a DI just due to the problems associated with feed back and the inability in most cases to achieve a volume where the acoustic can be heard. I recently purchased a pair of Fishman Aura DI's for use with electric acoustic. These I run to the board, but also to an on stage Fender, which could be a Super Reverb, Twin Reverb, or Pro Reverb, depending on the venue. It's a complex world finding that elusive setup for guitar, but like JR said. If it sounds good, it is good.
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john sanders

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Re: Is anyone using a direct box on electric guitar at gigs?
« Reply #13 on: April 25, 2015, 11:43:52 am »

I run sound most weekends for a good-sounding band, but one of their guitar players uses a very small Fender amp, and even with an EV RE-20, it often sounds very thin.  I have asked him to use less overdrive (his 'clean' sound is fine), but with limited success.

He uses just a few stomp boxes, so I am thinking if I have the option to use a Hi-Z direct box right at the amp input, I should have more to work with.

Thanks for your input!
Have you experimented with mic placement and/or a different mic?

Here's an example - the solo starts about 2:30
http://www.woodlawnsound.com/FTP/20150417_UseMeUp.mp3
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Spenser Hamilton

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Re: Is anyone using a direct box on electric guitar at gigs?
« Reply #14 on: April 25, 2015, 03:34:18 pm »

Have you tried having him aim the speaker up towards his ears rather than at his knees? Knees like a loud harsh tone.

This.
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Rob Dellwood

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Re: Is anyone using a direct box on electric guitar at gigs?
« Reply #15 on: April 25, 2015, 04:17:59 pm »

I run sound most weekends for a good-sounding band, but one of their guitar players uses a very small Fender amp, and even with an EV RE-20, it often sounds very thin.  I have asked him to use less overdrive (his 'clean' sound is fine), but with limited success.

He uses just a few stomp boxes, so I am thinking if I have the option to use a Hi-Z direct box right at the amp input, I should have more to work with.

Thanks for your input!

Here's an example - the solo starts about 2:30
http://www.woodlawnsound.com/FTP/20150417_UseMeUp.mp3

As both a guitar player and sound tech, what I am hearing does not seem to me to rise to the level of needing any sort of sound guy 'intervention'. The other suggestion of using a 57 and micing the amp more off-center is worth trying to get a little more body to the tone, but that's about all I would try.

Guitar players have their own sounds and tone, and the other poster is correct in that a sound guy's main duty is to 'do no harm' and simply reinforce what is coming off the stage, unless there is something really bad that needs correcting. I don't think this rises to that level.
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Douglas R. Allen

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Re: Is anyone using a direct box on electric guitar at gigs?
« Reply #16 on: April 25, 2015, 05:04:46 pm »

Although I like the 57 and use it close to the edge of a speaker it does roll off after 200hz or so.

http://cdn.shure.com/specification_sheet/upload/81/us_pro_sm57_specsheet.pdf

When a source sounds thin compared to how the speaker box sounds on stage I lean on an E609. The closer to the speaker the more low end it has.

http://www.fullcompass.com/common/files/2044-e609%20Sennheiser.pdf

Douglas R. Allen
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Tom Burgess

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Re: Is anyone using a direct box on electric guitar at gigs?
« Reply #17 on: April 26, 2015, 11:32:00 am »

I was working a multi act festival stage this weekend when one of the acts had their acoustic gtr fail.  The only other available instrument was an Epiphone electric.  I ran it through a dbx DB12 active DI and it produced a nice clean tone. 

For gtr amps the Beta57 has become my first choice, aimed at the edge of a dust cap, parallel to the angle of the cone.  Rapco has a DI that's capable of both line and speaker levels and reasonably priced.  I think the number is db101sl, or used to be, it may have changed.  I definitely prefer putting a mic on a cab, though.
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Tim Padrick

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Re: Is anyone using a direct box on electric guitar at gigs?
« Reply #18 on: April 26, 2015, 12:27:11 pm »

Speaker or dummy load required: http://www.radialeng.com/jdx.php

Mic: E906 (not 609) or PR30.
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Stephen Kirby

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Re: Is anyone using a direct box on electric guitar at gigs?
« Reply #19 on: April 26, 2015, 04:47:51 pm »

This.
Please, never.  The near field sound of a guitar amp is nothing like the sound in a room which is what the guitarist is going for.  Most folks with any hearing left will end up with a really muddy rolled off tone if you point the amp right at them at close range.

The ideal is up on something that is around hip high.  In the nearfield, the balance is similar to what folks will hear out in front.

The art of micing a guitar amp is to approximate that farfield character with something right in front of the cabinet.

Bob, on the Wahs, have you ever tried a CryBaby 535Q?  There are some settings there that don't get all pinched and nasal.  I have an old Italian Vox that I started to get worried about so I bought a 535 for gigging.  There's a setting that is very similar to the Robben Ford "Cut Me To The Bone" track.  It's actually what he used but none of us are Robben.  It gets a nice sweep and you can get sort of the Shaft "whack" from it, but it's not overly sharp or pinched sounding.
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Re: Is anyone using a direct box on electric guitar at gigs?
« Reply #19 on: April 26, 2015, 04:47:51 pm »


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