DI boxes—also called direct injection, direct input or direct boxes—are an essential piece of equipment in any professional or serious musical setup. DI boxes process signals, acting like a translator between the audio source and the destination to ensure tonal purity by matching the impedance at the load’s source and providing electrical ground isolation between the input and output. In essence, a DI unit eliminates line noise, making your tone simpler to control. At LAWK STAR Guitars, you’ll find DI boxes by D’Angelico, Dean Markley and Tech 21.
Passive versus Active DI Boxes
DI boxes are similar to effects pedals in that different types produce different tones. Some, for example, modify sounds to give you a vintage tone, while others make you sound punchy.
The simplest DIs are passive with a box containing an audio transformer used a balun, which allows the connection of balanced and unbalanced signals. Some musicians prefer passive DI boxes because they’re simple to use and don’t need a power source. For the best reliability and the least amount of hum, look for passive DI boxes with high quality transformers and electrical components.
Active DI boxes have a preamplifier, allowing them to provide added gain and complex sounds. These units need a power source and have switches that make them more versatile than passive units. Some active DI boxes also have a phantom power options.
DI boxes are indispensable for any interface, as the small boxes solve big problems. For advice about choosing the best DI box for your setup, contact the staff at LAWK STAR.