You may ask questions such as what a DI box is, what it does, or how I can use it for recording.

If you are new to recording you may not know it and don’t understand how beneficial it can be for you. But here I am to explain everything you need to know.

In simple words, you can use a DI box to record the direct signal of your guitar or bass, allowing you to have more control over your sound. Also, direct boxes are great for reamping.

Now let’s dive deep and understand what it is and how it works.

What Is A DI Box?

A DI box is a device that converts an unbalanced signal into a balanced signal. So, it can convert electric guitar, bass, or keyboard signal to an optimal sound for recording or live performances.

This way you will have the direct sound of your instrument without any effects or amp sound. Just pure instrument sound is great for many reasons and one of them is reamping.

Many people make mistakes when they think that DI boxes and reamp boxes are the same. But the reamp box does the opposite – it converts a balanced signal to an unbalanced signal.

With these two devices, you can reamp your instrument sound which is a great way to record instruments. Also, direct sound recorded with a DI box is very handy for mixing, especially for mixing bass guitars.

Passive vs Active DI Box

passive and active di boxes

There are two types of DI boxes – active and passive. Although both work the same way and you can use whichever you want, there are slight differences.

The passive DI box comes with a built-in transformer and it doesn’t require additional power to work. So, it might be more convenient for the majority of recording engineers.

On the other hand, active DI boxes come with preamplifiers and they require some kind of additional power like phantom power or batteries. So, if you want to record a condenser microphone you will need an active direct box.

How Does A DI Boxe Work?

It’s very simple to understand how DI boxes work and in this section, I’m going to explain how to use it with a guitar. Although, this method will work with bass guitars and keyboards.

First of all, you will need a USB audio interface to record your signal, and one with multiple outputs is recommended. More I/O an audio interface has more options you get.

Now, you plug your guitar into the DI box, and then the balanced output goes into the audio interface of your choice. So, the signal chain is complete and you can record your direct sound straight into your digital audio workstation.

di box signal chain

When you record instruments with the DI box you will have the pure sound of the instrument and that can be beneficial for many reasons.

Direct Sound Benefits

As I have said direct sound recording has many benefits. You have more control over the sound and the freedom to do whatever you want with your instrument tone.

The first benefit is reamping which is a very common way to record guitars. You take your DI track, reamp with a reamp box and you can try different amps sounds.

Another benefit is the blending of the DI track with an amp track and it works great with bass guitars.

You can record bass with an amp and also bass DI at the same time. Then you can blend these two sounds together and use DI sound for low frequencies.

I love this method and use it all the time because it gives me more freedom and I get better results this way.

Also, direct recording is great for sound quality because if you use long cables, unbalanced sound may lose quality. But with balanced sound, you can use much longer cables and the quality won’t be lost.

DI boxes have more benefits and it’s a common way to use them in recording sessions.


DI box along with a reamp box is a great device for recording high-quality sounds. You can easily reamp your direct sound, try different tones, and it’s great for recording bass guitar. I recommend using DI boxes with all your recording because you will have more control over the sound.

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