To DI or Not To DI?

I normally run my own sound through a Yamaha EMX-5, but Friday night I am playing a show at a place with their own setup. They are using a Peavy PV-8 Mixer with powered speakers. It has 8 inputs (4 XLR/Line and 5/6 and 7/8). My Duo has:

  • 2x Vocals
  • 1x Guitar (No DI currently)
  • 1x Keyboard
  • 1x BeatBuddy

The PV-8 has a 20GDB Gain Boost that only applies to the XLR inputs on 1-4 (no gain boost for Line, which my Yamaha has).

So my question: Do I need to get Passive DI Boxes for my Guitar and BB? Will I be dealing with a super quiet mix due to having to max out the volume on the guitar and BB line input (with no gain boost in play)? I was thinking this:

1: Guitar->Board->Passive DI->XLR
2: BB->Passive DI->XLR
3: Vox-1
4: Vox-2
5/6: Keyboard (It’s active so it’s loud enough via line in with no DI or gain boost on my Yamaha)

Are the DI boxes needed? I’m worried about having to max out the volume for the guitar and BB while the vocals are barely turned up at all (due to the 20DB gain boost on the XLR). How would you guys run this setup? I’m not opposed to running to the music store and picking up a couple DI boxes if that’s the safest/easiest way to get clean sound.

I’m a bit of a novice at PA sound and don’t want to end up flat footed tomorrow night!

You’ll probably find a need for a DI box somewhere down the road, anyway. I’d look for one with a couple features, rather than just a totally passive one. I have a couple that have a preamp in them, which are great, and I have something like this one, too.

Just having this available for a potential needy in house system, or a long cable run, could save your day at some point.


I agree. I have the older version of that one. Bought it because it’s one of the few that has that large of a volume attentuation if needed since some XLRs have hot signals (For active monitors) for receiving a signal - A unique application I have

I ended up getting this one: Sidekick Passive DI Box - Instrument Interfaces | Hosa Cables

Testing it out on my board last night and it works great! I feel like it’s a hotter signal than just lining it in.
I actually got 2 of them, 1 for my guitar and one for the BB. For the show tonight on their board I’m going to run
1: Vocal 1 (Mic->XLR)
2: Vocal 2 (Mic->XLR)
3: Guitar (Board->DI->XLR)
4: BB (DI->XLR)
5/6 - Keyboards (Possibly in stereo? Unsure if it matters with their setup and since nothing else is stereo)

Looks good. Should do the job for you. I think your setup plan is fine. Given the board they have, you can’t really do much else.

Yeah, I had a weird situation where I played in church and wanted to use my Digitech GNX4. As I recall, the XLR signal out of the GNX4 was overdriving the church’s board. I had to get something else to attenuate it.