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mirflee

The Cleanest Way To Get My Di's?

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What's the most cleanest way to record Guitar/Bass DI's without clipping through my current chain of a POD HD Pro and a Focusrite Scarlett?

I've read that the best would be through SPDIF as it's more 'direct' without any ADC going on. Is this true? I'm gonna be using mostly amp sims for my tones. So, would it be better to go :

a. Setting HD as my interface, bypassing any amp sim from it?

b. Using the HD's 'dry out' to my Scarlett's preamps set to Inst?

 

I'm clipping if I run it through my Scarlett. The DI levels would peak over 0db and after a little bit of reading, found out it wasn't gonna work. Most of the guitars I have usually are fitted in with an EMG or JB. The active pickups are too much for the Scarlett to handle. I've tried running on Line through it but I get this muddy, unrealistic tone.

I know for sure that a great DI Box would do but it would be a waste to not make good use of the HD Pro. I'm just looking to see what's most of the user opinions with SPDIF HD Pro hook-up/Bypassing HD's amp sim for the best clean 'DI' tone from my guitars (like plugging in through an amp) with close to minimal preamp color?.

Thanks for reading.

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i don't have the hd pro, but a bean, so i'm going to answer considering the basic stuff in all the hd series is similar...

 

if you're looking for a straight up DI tone to reamp with software sims, just record a mono dry signal from the hd pro via usb. it's clean, and there's almost no colour to it. i personally don't see the point in going through multiple AD/DA conversions to get something that straight forward. 

 

you could try the same going through the scarlett instead to see if your prefer it's preamp and AD converter over that of the pod. is there a pad function on the scarlett somewhere for the active pickups. or you could turn down the gain if it's clipping...

 

on another note, if you to go through the pod, i'd suggest trying out the "vintage pre" model on the clean guitar sound. it really does some wonders sometimes. though i use the pod hd mostly for amp tones, i use a clean DI tone with the "vintage pre" model on the pod going into the computer where i amp it with guitar rig or pod farm. the sound has a lot more character and better overtones than without it. or you could use a similar model in the software itself before the amp sim. 

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i don't have the hd pro, but a bean, so i'm going to answer considering the basic stuff in all the hd series is similar...

 

if you're looking for a straight up DI tone to reamp with software sims, just record a mono dry signal from the hd pro via usb. it's clean, and there's almost no colour to it. i personally don't see the point in going through multiple AD/DA conversions to get something that straight forward. 

 

you could try the same going through the scarlett instead to see if your prefer it's preamp and AD converter over that of the pod. is there a pad function on the scarlett somewhere for the active pickups. or you could turn down the gain if it's clipping...

 

on another note, if you to go through the pod, i'd suggest trying out the "vintage pre" model on the clean guitar sound. it really does some wonders sometimes. though i use the pod hd mostly for amp tones, i use a clean DI tone with the "vintage pre" model on the pod going into the computer where i amp it with guitar rig or pod farm. the sound has a lot more character and better overtones than without it. or you could use a similar model in the software itself before the amp sim. 

 

Very cool ideas! Thanks for that. Unfortunately, the Scarlett 8i6 doesn't have a PAD switch. The only option of turning down the gain would be having to use the LINE input than the INST but I'm not a big fan of that. The levels are fine but it just sounded muffled, dead and unrealistic.

 

I'll try your suggestion on having the 'vintage pre'.

 

Appreciate the swift response too,

Best regards.

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sure man! :))

 

thats very weird about the 8i6. thats a higher end interface in the scarlett line, and almost everyone plugs in their guitar/bass direct into the interface these day at some point in time. 

 

anyway, hope it works out well for you. i used to use a native instruments interface, then once i got the pod hd i used it for all the DI recording through guitar rig for a very long time, and it just worked like it should have. i use the mixer volume to adjust the gain setting for the clean signal. 

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The quality of the Preamps in the Scarlet would be much the same as the HD's.

If from the HD go via s/pdif and set to dry. Monitor wet thru the analogue outs into whatever.

 

If multitracking then use a pre on the scarlet as an extra DI 

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The quality of the Preamps in the Scarlet would be much the same as the HD's.

If from the HD go via s/pdif and set to dry. Monitor wet thru the analogue outs into whatever.

 

If multitracking then use a pre on the scarlet as an extra DI 

 

 Interesting! But how can you tell. I did some digging of both gear and found out :

 

Scarlett 8i6

INST

 

- Frequency Response: 20Hz - 20kHz +/- 0.1dB

- Gain Range: +13dB to +60dB

- THD+N: 0.004% (measured with 0dBu input and 20Hz/22kHz bandpass filter)

- Noise: -87dBu (20Hz/22kHz bandpass filter)

 

POD HD Pro

 

Couldn't find much

 

- 1/4" line-level inputs (mono/stereo, +4/-10)

- Mic input with gain knob, high-pass filter, -20dB pad, and phantom power

 

If from the HD go via s/pdif and set to dry. Monitor wet thru the analogue outs into whatever.

 

If multitracking then use a pre on the scarlet as an extra DI

 

I'm kinda confused with that. What do you mean by setting it to dry? Do you mean setting it on the HD's front or my DAW/Scarlett?

 

On that second point, I'm sure you meant running the HD through the Scarlett's inputs. So that means, having either the analogue outs or the dry outs of my HD into Scarlett's preamp input. Correct?

 

Thanks!

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Connect a s/pdif cable from HD to Scarlett. On the HD press the enter and scroll right to output page. Select dry, s/pdif resolution say 48k or whatever and select the same on the scarlett drivers on the PC in your DAW. Also select s/pdif as avaialable and arm a track with that input. The s/pdif out set to dry is clean no HD Amp or FX.

 

To answer the how do I know, the scarlett is a good value interface if you want higher quality preamps you need better. But to get better the cost can be high, Lynx Hilo, Aurura, RME HDSP, Prism Orpheus, Apogee, Metric Halo, Focusrite saffire etc.

 

I presume that the HD uses an available preamp design for guitar already and didn't design something new than what they had already developed.

Compare it to their UX series, I think the Scarlet might be a little better as it is newer, but they are both in a similar ballpark quality wise just by the cost factor alone. 

 

To produce an affordable interface, the preamps are simple opamp designs, the expensive ones are quieter and higher quality components and faster response designs or ideally dedicated preamps have input and or output transformer mojo.

 

You have to have good ears to really hear the difference and the difference is really only noticed when track after track is tracked with same pre the noise builds up.

Same goes for the converters your ADC & DAC quality. But this is whole other technology which we get into as it has a say in our results.

Even some of the expensive ones color sound but in a pleasing rather than accurate way

 

The thing is is that the cheaper stuff is still above what we had when digital first came out.

The Scarlett and any number of affordable interfaces are made as clean and as accurate, as possible, at the least amount of cost. and it costs much more to go up from there. 

 

We live in a great time for recording!

 

Last question, If you have a few friends over you have the scarlett to use as a DI, like plugging the bass in it or keyboardist.

I have my HD connected via s/pdif and have other preamps for Bass etc that I route to my Motu2408mkIII.

You can route in the same way. If you want to hear the HD via the monitor speakers you  just plug the analogue outs into the Scarlet on a stereo track in your DAW to record the tones from the HD or just to listen.

The Scarlet is the interface now.

Hope that helps

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