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Thread: Direct line in verses Microphone to instrument speaker

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    Direct line in verses Microphone to instrument speaker

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    I was always told direct line in would be the cleanest way to optimize my sound. I also believed the "amp out" or microphone adds to an uneven balance between two electrical components now merged into one sound.
    I want to understand why either may have a better output. Are there any opinions or favorite ways to hook up instruments?

    Especially acoustics. They seem to bleed bass and hollow uncontrollably and must be dialed in. Good mics is a necessity, understand that but acoustics still have their sweet spots so to speak. They will need to be dampened to the point of completely removing the lower EQ's and sneaking back in in slowely.

    This is just for the mix no mastering yet.

    Thanks dudes,

    hey mikeyyy

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeyyy View Post
    I was always told direct line in would be the cleanest way to optimize my sound. I also believed the "amp out" or microphone adds to an uneven balance between two electrical components now merged into one sound.
    I want to understand why either may have a better output. Are there any opinions or favorite ways to hook up instruments?
    Not sure what you mean by "optimize my sound"...or who suggested that to you?

    DI is just one way of doing something. There are sources that benefit from going DI, but generally speaking, recording is mostly about using mics on sources...unless you're just doing a lot of synth/electronic music where there are no acoustic instruments to mic.

    Most instruments benefit from the "live" sound in the room being recorded. The resonances and the harmonics all mixing up in the air and being captured buy a mic. You lose all that when you just go DI...so there's really nothing "optimized" about that, IMO.
    I record all my bass DI...but I would not record my guitars DI.
    I'll record my synth DI, but I would not record my Hammond organ DI.
    Etc...etc....

    That said...I'm not really sure if I'm even understanding what you are actually asking...

    Also, this forum is more for posting How-To stuff and what have you. If you have more of a mixing question....just post it in the Mixing forum...you'll get more bites.

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    If you're not trolling, try rephrasing your question with a few more words so it's vaguely understandable.

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    It's actually a very easy decision. Does the speaker add or subtract anything from what's fed into it to make it better for the musician. For the recordist, DI does what you say, gives you a clean, spill free sound source. However, for many players that speaker is part of their sound, so cutting it from the chain is like playing with a different type of strings, or having to use a different pedal because you left it at home. It's just not the same. I'm old, and fixed in my ways and record people, but also play myself. I've always DI'd my bass. Totally fine with that. If somebody wants to use their favourite cab, I rarely object, unless it's for solid technical reasons, like you cannot change the placement or recording style, so spill will kill any chance of making it nice. Compromise usually occurs, but not always. So for me, DI bass and mic up guitar cabs for perhaps 95% of the time. This, is optimised (for me, maybe not the player?)

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    Why choose? Do both! It is beer into water to make a passive guitar splitter and feed AI (H Zin) and amp at the same time and record DI and via a mic.
    Thus you finish up with two tracks and cam decide/mix and match to taste.

    N.B. This reply is just a stock response. I did not really understand what the OP was babbling about either!

    Dave.

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    As you've probably guessed already, there's no single correct answer.

    For many/most electric guitarists, the amp is an integral part of the sound and the distortion, reverb etc. is desired. For some others, a totally clean sound is preferred. For that, a DI straight into your interface/DAW with any effects added later can be the way to go. Try both ways and decide what works for you.

    For miking an amp, you needed go super expensive. The SM57 is pretty ubiquitous. However, that's where the fun starts--even small changes in position can make a huge difference in the sound--play with the distance from the amp, where on the speaker you're aimed at and what angle you aim from. Once you find a position you like, remember it!

    Otherwise, record direct (ether with a DI box into a mic input or into an instrument socket on your interface) and add any effects and changes as you mix.
    That's what I do. I drink and I know things.
    -Tyrion Lannister (and Bobbsy)

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    Just to add to the workload.
    Record DI then investigate "re-amping"!

    Dave.

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    +1 for reamping

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