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Impedance conversion

If a high impedance signal output mainly from an electric guitar or electric bass is directly input to a mixer or interface, problems such as noise and attenuation of high frequencies will occur. Therefore, it is necessary to connect a DI in between and convert it to low impedance. By sending the signal of an electric guitar or electric bass to a mixer via a DI, it can be said that the original sound of the instrument can be output.

Conversion from unbalanced signal to balanced signal

By converting the unbalanced signal output from most electronic musical instruments such as guitars, basses, and keyboards into a balanced signal by DI, there is also the advantage that noise is less likely to occur even when a long cable is used.


DI types

There are two types of simple conventional direct boxes, passive and active. Derivatives include various types of products, such as recording mic preamps with built-in DI, and guitar & bass effect pedals with DI output.

Passive DI

A simple structure with a built-in transformer and does not require a power supply. It is easy to use and has a natural sound, but the input impedance cannot be as high as an active DI, so the performance may be insufficient with some electric guitars and electric basses with extremely high output impedances.

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Active DI

Requires a phantom power supply from a 9V battery or mixer, but a transistor such as FET is mounted on the input stage to obtain sufficient effect and stability. Currently, active Dis are becoming the mainstream.

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Mic preamplifier with built-in DI

Many mic preamps are now equipped with Hi-Z input compatible instrument input jacks, allowing you to directly connect high impedance instruments without the need for a separate DI. Some models are equipped with a DI-THRU jack and can be used as a single DI.

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Effects pedals for musical instruments with DI output

Some guitar & bass effects pedals are equipped with an XLR balanced output terminal and can be directly connected to a mixer or other device.

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DI connection example

  1. Electric bass → DI Input
  2. DI Thru out (Link out) → Bass amp
  3. DI Output → Mixer

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