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Direct Injection or No??

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(@matsuemon)
Estimable Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 69
Topic starter  

Hello axemen,

I've been having this discussion with the guy who runs the local music/guitar store. I told him I need a Direct Injection(DI) Box because I'm playing straight into my computer. He insists I don't need one since I have a line level input, but according to most of what I've read, that still is too much of a difference in impedence and could cause either the sound to be crappy and/or ruin the soundcard. Is this guy just full of it, or am I? haha


   
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(@slejhamer)
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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 3221
 

If it's from your amp's line-out to your computer's line-in, you're good to go without a DI box. If your amp has a volume control for the line-out, start low and work your way up to a usable level.

The DI box will output a mic-level signal, so you'd use a mic-in jack on your PC with one of those. The signal will likely be too weak to use with a line-in input.

And never connect an amp's "speaker out" jack to a line-level input. :!:

"Everybody got to elevate from the norm."


   
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(@matsuemon)
Estimable Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 69
Topic starter  

If it's from your amp's line-out to your computer's line-in, you're good to go without a DI box. If your amp has a volume control for the line-out, start low and work your way up to a usable level.

The DI box will output a mic-level signal, so you'd use a mic-in jack on your PC with one of those. The signal will likely be too weak to use with a line-in input.

And never connect an amp's "speaker out" jack to a line-level input. :!:

Sledj,
Sorry I forgot to mention, I'm specifically talking about going straight from a guitar into the computer. Nothing in between.


   
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(@slejhamer)
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Joined: 19 years ago
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I forgot to ask: acoustic or electric?

An acoustic with a built-in preamp should be able to connect to the computer's line-in with no trouble.

There's probably no way an electric guitar's weak signal will damage the soundcard when using the line-in input. The signal may be very weak though, unless you use a preamp or other interface of some sort. (Examples would be a mixer, a Line 6 Toneport, an M-Audio Fasttrack, etc.)

You can try to connect an electric guitar directly to a computer's mic input, because the computer will then amplify the signal. However, keep in mind that most pc soundcards are pretty bad, and the mic inputs are usually geared to speech through those junky pc microphones, not high quality audio. Yours may be better, of course. Give it a try.

By the way, most DI boxes output mic level, not line level, contrary to what many people write on web forums.

"Everybody got to elevate from the norm."


   
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(@matsuemon)
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Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 69
Topic starter  

Hey Sledj,
Thanks for the reply! Forgot to mention specifically electric guitar. Also, I assume if I put a stompbox between the guitar and computer, that would boost the signal, right? Yah I'm just not getting a good sound directly into the computer. It's either very weak and thin, or distorted and crappy. So I'm definately gonna look into an audio interface or Guitar Rig 3 soon.


   
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(@boxboy)
Noble Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 1221
 

Forgot to mention specifically electric guitar. Also, I assume if I put a stompbox between the guitar and computer, that would boost the signal, right?

Hi, Matsuemon,
I'm a little out of my element here, but did you read hue's reply in this thread:
http://forums.guitarnoise.com/viewtopic.php?f=26&t=36278
:)

Don


   
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(@slejhamer)
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Yeah, I'd be cautious, but some pedals do have a separate output for sending signal to a mixer, and that should work okay with a PC.

The Bad Monkey comes to mind.

"Everybody got to elevate from the norm."


   
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(@greybeard)
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Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 5840
 

If you're using a stomp box, you may not need a DI box. I run my guitar into a DI box, that then runs into a mixer. Why "belts and braces"? I have a couple of lamps and a computer screen that provide a noticeable level of interference. The DI box has a "ground lift" input, that effectively removes it.
A DI doesn't have to cost a fortune - mine is a passive unit that I got off Ebay for €10.

I started with nothing - and I've still got most of it left.
Did you know that the word "gullible" is not in any dictionary?
Greybeard's Pages
My Articles & Reviews on GN


   
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(@matsuemon)
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Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 69
Topic starter  

If you're using a stomp box, you may not need a DI box. I run my guitar into a DI box, that then runs into a mixer. Why "belts and braces"? I have a couple of lamps and a computer screen that provide a noticeable level of interference. The DI box has a "ground lift" input, that effectively removes it.
A DI doesn't have to cost a fortune - mine is a passive unit that I got off Ebay for €10.

Wow thanks for the great info Greybeard and the rest of the guys. That really clears things up for me, and yes I was having some interference and noise problems, too, and was wondering what caused it. I think part of it was my wireless network card, which I've now removed since I'm hooking right into the modem. Anyway, I'm going to pick up a DI box soon I think. You're right, they don't have to cost a fortune.


   
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