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DI Box vs Reamp Box – Differences? Which do I need?

Visually, DI boxes and reamp boxes are difficult to distinguish from one another and are frequently confused with one another. In this post, we’ll examine both the reamp box and the DI box in-depth to see how they differ from one another and which one is best for you.

What is a DI Box?

A DI box, sometimes known as a direct box, is a device that transforms unbalanced, high-impedance signals into balanced, mic-level signals with low impedance. For recording or live performances, DI boxes often take the imbalanced signal from instruments such an electric guitar, acoustic guitar, bass guitar, or keyboard and turn it into a balanced signal.

DI boxes are essential pieces of gear for recording and live performance; think of them as a conversion or connecting device between instruments and mixers. These DI boxes were first created in the 1960s in an effort to address the issue of instruments and mixing consoles having different impedances.

What is a Reamp Box?

A reamp box, which somewhat differs from a DI box in that it feeds a pre-recorded audio signal back through a guitar amp or a pedal chain, is frequently confused with a DI box. A reamp box will change a balanced line-level signal into an unbalanced instrument-level signal, as opposed to a DI box, which transforms an unbalanced instrument-level signal into a balanced mic-level signal for the mixing console or an audio interface. In essence, it’s a DI box that converts sounds in the other direction.

Many reamp boxes will include both DI and reamp boxes in one unit because they are both necessary for the best reamping procedure. There are numerous top-notch reamp boxes available, such the Radial ProRMP, which is a reamp box used by many engineers and recording facilities.

Reamp Box vs DI Box – What are the differences?

Direct boxes are far more prevalent and utilized with a variety of instruments, including guitars, keyboards, synthesizers, basses, and vocals. Reamp boxes are primarily used for electric guitars, though they potentially could also be used for keyboards and basses.

While reamp boxes are only required for the reamping approach, DI boxes are essential whether you are recording straight through or reamping. Although we advise using both a reamp box and a DI box for the reamping procedure, it is possible to reamp with only a DI box.

A passive DI box’s inputs and outputs can be switched around to be used for reamping. Only passive DI boxes, however, can be connected in reverse, so bear that in mind. Another crucial point to remember is that you will receive a significant signal boost if you use a passive DI box rather than a reamp box.

Reamp Box vs DI Box – Which one is better?

The ideal method for reamping is a 2-step technique that combines a reamp box and a DI box:

Step 1: Using a DI box, first record the guitar’s pure signal. The guitar must be plugged directly into the DI, the Thru must be connected to an amp, and the Out must be connected to your audio interface. This allows you to simultaneously record the amplified signal and the dry signal.

Step 2: Connect the clean guitar signal from your DAW to a reamp box using an interface or mixing console output. Then, after connecting your reamp box to a guitar amp, mic it, record the amp’s signal back into the DAW, and so forth.

Another choice is to get a reamp box that also has a DI feature; this will meet both requirements simultaneously. This might be a better choice for you if you constantly need to reamp.