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loydall

Do you need a DI box?

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Hi - my band have just invested in a PA system - fairly standard set up - mixer, 2 active tops and an active sub.

 

We're running guitars (through helix) direct into the mixer. Each channel on the mixer has a gain knob (I guess a sort of preamp). Our approach is to plug the guitars in, increase the gain knob until the clipping light activates and then roll it back slightly so we get no clipping... that's how we're setting our base/input levels.

 

I read about using a DI box but in the set-up i just described, would you need a DI box? Seems to be running just fine as it is.

 

Cheers.

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The only reason some people use DI boxes is to make sure phantom power doesn't affect their Helix unit.  The only reason you would need to turn on phantom power would be if you were to use condenser microphones and phantom power from the board would be necessary to power them.  Even then, depending on the mixer's capabilities, you might be able to selectively apply phantom power only to specific input channels and avoid sending it to the Helix.  On some cheaper/older mixers phantom power is turned on for all channels.  Then you would need a DI box to block the phantom power from reaching your Helix.

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Thanks - we're going into the 1/4inch input, not the XLR (I'm actually going into the L/R 1/4 inch inputs as I'm using stereo effects but the other guitarist is going into the 1/4inch input pictured below): 

Screen Shot 2020-02-11 at 11.11.40.png

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2 hours ago, DunedinDragon said:

Then you would need a DI box to block the phantom power from reaching your Helix.

 

He would have to use the TS outs in that case as well. 

 

And fwiw, loydall, why don't you use the XLR outs? The signal should be less prone to noise interferences.

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In that case, I'd get a DI box for those "just in case" monents. They can help you with all sorts of noise issues and at 10 bucks or so (for an easy passive one) you really can't go wrong.

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As I run my HX FX in stereo - so both 1/4inch L&R outs, wouldn't I need 2 di boxes and then take up 2 channels of the mixer? As it is I run 2 1/4inch cables out of HXFX direct into a stereo channel on the mixer (with L&R 1/4inch inputs)

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With the HX effect I probably would use a DI box, just so you are running XLR cables and not regular instrument cables.  

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But - in stereo? 2 instrument cabled going into 2 DI boxes which then connect to 2 channels of the mixer (panned left and right) by XLR?

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Yes. There's stereo DI boxes, too.

Still, you may not need any of that, especially in case your cable runs aren't too long.

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