DI Required?

okcomputer

Member
Who here is running one of these pedals into a PA? Do you use a DI?

I just picked up a Lion and we have a Soundcraft Ui16. I was just going to run from the Lion to the Soundcraft with a 10 or 12' 1/4"cable. The Soundcraft has combo mic/line inputs.

Really excited to try this at the next rehearsal. We just picked up an in-ear monitoring system last week and the first jam was awesome. The only things amplified were the singer and I's Vox AC-15's with SM-57's. So this is the next phase of the experiment to see how little noise we can make and not have to wear earplugs or leave with ringing ears.
 

Ron76

Member
Me and my band mate use UAFX pedals currently for band practice with In-Ears (HD-25 headphones actually, which are quite good for sound insulation, I also love the ATH-M50X, they are more comfortable and not as muddy in the bass): Ruby, Dream and Lion, as well as a few other UAFX pedals for Rev/Dly. We have a Soundcraft Ui24 and use short (3-6 m) TRS cables. I think in a live situation it is much better to use a symmetrical connection, so I bought me a stereo Canvas DI for this. With my tests at home, my impression is that the sound gets better and has higher output, so yes, I would recommend a DI, but with short cables, it might not be a big difference.

We are very happy with the sound (I used a Matchless style amp first with e906 mics, later with the OX). The sound separation is awesome, especially running the amp simulation in stereo (however, modulation and delay are sometimes getting confusing in the mix, so consider running these in mono). I got totally used to the in-ear sound a while back when I got the OX, I never went back to putting a mic in front of my amp. Having used OX on several gigs, I can say it really improved my guitar sound drastically for live and recording usage.
But this is very similar with the pedals now - the amp can stay switched off and I enjoy a very clean, constant signal quality and no concessions when using my boosters, fuzz pedals and other equipment in front of the "amp". This is on par with a perfectly miked good tube amp in my opinion.

So yeah, I would totally use this on a gig, it will help to build a much better stage sound. One option would be to run this into a FRFR system, I have an active wedge and plan to try this, but consequently it makes more sense to switch to in-ears completely, which will especially help our singer against the noise floor and drumkit volume.
Let's keep in touch on this topic here, I'm happy to post my experience.
 

okcomputer

Member
Me and my band mate use UAFX pedals currently for band practice with In-Ears (HD-25 headphones actually, which are quite good for sound insulation, I also love the ATH-M50X, they are more comfortable and not as muddy in the bass): Ruby, Dream and Lion, as well as a few other UAFX pedals for Rev/Dly. We have a Soundcraft Ui24 and use short (3-6 m) TRS cables. I think in a live situation it is much better to use a symmetrical connection, so I bought me a stereo Canvas DI for this. With my tests at home, my impression is that the sound gets better and has higher output, so yes, I would recommend a DI, but with short cables, it might not be a big difference.

We are very happy with the sound (I used a Matchless style amp first with e906 mics, later with the OX). The sound separation is awesome, especially running the amp simulation in stereo (however, modulation and delay are sometimes getting confusing in the mix, so consider running these in mono). I got totally used to the in-ear sound a while back when I got the OX, I never went back to putting a mic in front of my amp. Having used OX on several gigs, I can say it really improved my guitar sound drastically for live and recording usage.
But this is very similar with the pedals now - the amp can stay switched off and I enjoy a very clean, constant signal quality and no concessions when using my boosters, fuzz pedals and other equipment in front of the "amp". This is on par with a perfectly miked good tube amp in my opinion.

So yeah, I would totally use this on a gig, it will help to build a much better stage sound. One option would be to run this into a FRFR system, I have an active wedge and plan to try this, but consequently it makes more sense to switch to in-ears completely, which will especially help our singer against the noise floor and drumkit volume.
Let's keep in touch on this topic here, I'm happy to post my experience.
Thank you for this!

I picked up Sennheiser IE 100's and they sound great and are super light and comfortable. I also ordered KZ DQS as a backup for $11CAD. Our bassist got some and he loves them, but they are bigger and heavier, but great for a backup pair.

If the sound is better with a higher output, then I'm in haha. I think I'm just going to grab our singer's cheap DI that he uses for his acoustic and do an A/B test as a start. I have the Canvas Mono in my cart though. My audio education brain is telling me it's so not worth the cost, but so many others are saying otherwise. Frig.
 

Ron76

Member
Thank you for this!

I picked up Sennheiser IE 100's and they sound great and are super light and comfortable. I also ordered KZ DQS as a backup for $11CAD. Our bassist got some and he loves them, but they are bigger and heavier, but great for a backup pair.

If the sound is better with a higher output, then I'm in haha. I think I'm just going to grab our singer's cheap DI that he uses for his acoustic and do an A/B test as a start. I have the Canvas Mono in my cart though. My audio education brain is telling me it's so not worth the cost, but so many others are saying otherwise. Frig.
Thanks for the headphone recommendation! What kind of wireless system do you guys use? Or is it a wired connection? We use cables currently with a headphone amp in our rehearsal room, but this will not work on stage...

Go for a stereo DI, not mono! Or you could just use a VOLT interface as DI as well (VOLT 276 or VOLT 2) and get a headphone out and an interface with it! I just think that this makes more sense. The interfaces have symmetrical outputs and work with barrel connections without computer!
 

d0gmA

Active Member
I run direct to pa and do not use a direct box. We run a soundcraft ui16 and it’s only 6 feet away so no need for direct box for me. Works great. I do own one but never use it.
 

okcomputer

Member
Thanks for the headphone recommendation! What kind of wireless system do you guys use? Or is it a wired connection? We use cables currently with a headphone amp in our rehearsal room, but this will not work on stage...

Go for a stereo DI, not mono! Or you could just use a VOLT interface as DI as well (VOLT 276 or VOLT 2) and get a headphone out and an interface with it! I just think that this makes more sense. The interfaces have symmetrical outputs and work with barrel connections without computer!
We just have a cheap two-mix, 4 receiver wireless pack that our drummer has had in a box for years, but man it worked pretty darn good. It sounded great and the signal never dropped. It was really freeing to be able to walk around the room and hear everything perfectly. What was really funny was after the first song, the bassist said to me, "Have you always been playing all those cool parts?" Hahahaha. Goes to show how little you actually hear when you're not setup properly.

Our current one only has 2 inputs, so we are limited to two monitor mixes. It's is extra annoying because of the awesome Soundcraft UI and the simple "More Me" options haha. So a future step will be another pack. Or I might just get my own like the Xvive.

Check out this guy's channel. He has several reviews of IEM systems, and we will most likely upgrade to one of his recommendations in the future.

As for the VOLT: I have a Focusrite Scarlett Solo, so I could do that, but to me that doesn't really belong onstage. It would be fine in the rehearsal space, but I wouldn't want to use that gigging. It also has a permanent spot on my desk and I'm looking for a setup I can leave at our rehearsal spot and not always lug things back and forth.
 

okcomputer

Member
I run direct to pa and do not use a direct box. We run a soundcraft ui16 and it’s only 6 feet away so no need for direct box for me. Works great. I do own one but never use it.
Have you ever A/B'd with the Canvas and without? I'm being told the signal is hotter, and thus you would use less of the Soundcraft's pre-amp...

Thanks for the reply!
 

d0gmA

Active Member
Have you ever A/B'd with the Canvas and without? I'm being told the signal is hotter, and thus you would use less of the Soundcraft's pre-amp...

Thanks for the reply!
I really don’t use any of the soundcrafts preamp. I have absolutely no need for a canvas. I have several di boxes and a few high end isolators but I don’t need them
 

okcomputer

Member
I really don’t use any of the soundcrafts preamp. I have absolutely no need for a canvas. I have several di boxes and a few high end isolators but I don’t need them
So the signal direct out is hot enough that the gain is at 0?
 

rkocher

New Member
Perhaps not to compare....Just crosschecking with my signal path: Guitar -> UAFX lion/MonoIn :: UAFX lion/MonoOut -> Freyette PS-100/Line In : Freyette PS-100/Speaker Out -> 4x12
Observation: I need to push the Volume-Level of the Freyette to 25% to get a good hearable sound (Master volume in the Lion Pedal is set to max)
For my understanding, the line signal of uafx lion maybe to weak.
 

jaeger28

Active Member
There are a few aspects to this when connecting a UAFX unit to a PA.
1. XLR Connection
2. Output Impedance of UAFX vs cable length
3. Output level
4. Summary

UAFX have 500 Ohm output impedance, high output (up to +12db) unbalanced outputs.

1. Most Stageboxes at gigs offer XLR inputs. You could just use a TS 1/4“ to XLR adaptor and it will actually work. 2 major issues: your unbalanced signal is susceptible to pick up noise so it’s handy to have a ground lift as it’s offered by most DI boxes. Second, if the Mixer on the other end has phantom power on and you use just an adapter cable, those 48 volts will likely make your beloved pedal into a highly attractive door stopper. So you want transformer isolation from ground as offered by iso box or DI.

2. 500 ohms and 12db should be ok for long cable runs. It‘s not like the 15KOhm of a guitar pickup. Actually most DI boxes have output impedances of 100-800 Ohms. So no need for s DI to adjust impedance as it will work for most mixer inputs. Rule is input of receiving end should be minimum 5x more than output impedance of your board. If the ratio is higher than 5:1 that is no problem at all.

3. Level. Problem with DI boxes can be that they have a 10:1 or even 20:1 ratio. Means your signal will not be 10db, but much less. Means the input stage of the mixer needs to amplify more which can cause noise and have a negative impact on dynamics. Iso Boxes like Canvas or Lehle P Split for example have 1:1 ratio, but they do offer isolation via transformer, they make your signal balanced and they have a possibility to lift the ground in case you have problems with a ground loop.

4. Summary
If you’re at rehearsal and plug your UAFX into a line input, cables of like 10m will be no issue. If you use Ts>XLR adapter cable then better make sure phantom power is off on that mixer channel. To avoid such issues and have a ground lift and proper balanced signal, as soon as you play out, I suggest use an ISO splitter (Canvas, Lehle, Palmer, DISO, …) because they let you use balanced xlr (maybe you still need a trs>xlr adapter depending on the box) you have isolation that protects from phantom power and you have a ground lift in case you need one. Also this will make sure you don’t get a 10$ DI from the PA guy to hook you up. You will deliver a strong, balanced signal on an xlr connection which will make any sound guy happy. You might have to turn the output down a bit, that depends on the pa mixer.
 

rkocher

New Member
There are a few aspects to this when connecting a UAFX unit to a PA.
1. XLR Connection
2. Output Impedance of UAFX vs cable length
3. Output level
4. Summary

UAFX have 500 Ohm output impedance, high output (up to +12db) unbalanced outputs.

1. Most Stageboxes at gigs offer XLR inputs. You could just use a TS 1/4“ to XLR adaptor and it will actually work. 2 major issues: your unbalanced signal is susceptible to pick up noise so it’s handy to have a ground lift as it’s offered by most DI boxes. Second, if the Mixer on the other end has phantom power on and you use just an adapter cable, those 48 volts will likely make your beloved pedal into a highly attractive door stopper. So you want transformer isolation from ground as offered by iso box or DI.

2. 500 ohms and 12db should be ok for long cable runs. It‘s not like the 15KOhm of a guitar pickup. Actually most DI boxes have output impedances of 100-800 Ohms. So no need for s DI to adjust impedance as it will work for most mixer inputs. Rule is input of receiving end should be minimum 5x more than output impedance of your board. If the ratio is higher than 5:1 that is no problem at all.

3. Level. Problem with DI boxes can be that they have a 10:1 or even 20:1 ratio. Means your signal will not be 10db, but much less. Means the input stage of the mixer needs to amplify more which can cause noise and have a negative impact on dynamics. Iso Boxes like Canvas or Lehle P Split for example have 1:1 ratio, but they do offer isolation via transformer, they make your signal balanced and they have a possibility to lift the ground in case you have problems with a ground loop.

4. Summary
If you’re at rehearsal and plug your UAFX into a line input, cables of like 10m will be no issue. If you use Ts>XLR adapter cable then better make sure phantom power is off on that mixer channel. To avoid such issues and have a ground lift and proper balanced signal, as soon as you play out, I suggest use an ISO splitter (Canvas, Lehle, Palmer, DISO, …) because they let you use balanced xlr (maybe you still need a trs>xlr adapter depending on the box) you have isolation that protects from phantom power and you have a ground lift in case you need one. Also this will make sure you don’t get a 10$ DI from the PA guy to hook you up. You will deliver a strong, balanced signal on an xlr connection which will make any sound guy happy. You might have to turn the output down a bit, that depends on the pa mixer.
Thanks for your elaborated reply. This explains a lot - and perhaps it's the TS-1/4-connection/3m cable length i use between UAFX Lion and Freyette line in which causes the problem. But if so, how to tackle it?
 

jaeger28

Active Member
Thanks for your elaborated reply. This explains a lot - and perhaps it's the TS-1/4-connection/3m cable length i use between UAFX Lion and Freyette line in which causes the problem. But if so, how to tackle it?
Standard of line level is 0 to +4db. So the Lion that puts out 12 db is definitely not the problem.
 

rkocher

New Member
Standard of line level is 0 to +4db. So the Lion that puts out 12 db is definitely not the problem.
Yes, you are right. Got the information that you have to route the connection from the UAFX Lion to "FX return" at the PS-100 instead of using the "Line in". This works very well - tried it instantly. So it was not a Problem of the Lion, it's the "weak" Line In of the Freyette PS-100. So far it's compensated by using the FX Return.

I have now the full power of the Freyette PS-100, preamped by the UAFX Lion - and it sounds AWESOME! Really great tones. It' s really hard to differentiate to e.g. a real 1987X. Can't hear the difference. UA made a really good job!
 
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