Acoustic guitars are quite “demanding” when it comes to replicating their fragile, tender, beautiful tone. The sound engineers, along with the live performers spend years trying to find just the right way to preserve the magic of this instrument. So how do you record your acoustic guitar into the mixer? What is the best way to do that? By using a direct box, of course. Today we’ll talk about the LR Baggs Para Acoustic DI, one of the best offers in the segment. Usually, when it comes to direct boxes, you have very limited control over the sound and are forced to rely heavily on the preset settings. Thankfully, that’s not the case with this beast.
|1||LR Baggs Para DI||48V||XLR and 1/4″ outputs||1|| Check|
|LR Baggs Para DI|
|Outputs||XLR and 1/4″ outputs|
DI boxes are boring and frustrating, but, with this one, you’ll get more control over the tone than you could ever dream of; plus, it sounds great as it is. For 189 dollars, you’ll get yourself one hell of a piece of gear that will fuel your creative flow for years to come. Forget about a dedicated amp – the LR Baggs Para DI will take care of everything. With it, you’ll get access to a sweepable EQ, an amazing notch filter, and an effects loop. Again, while this might not seem like much, for a DI, this set is a God-sent. Alright, so, does that mean that LR Baggs managed to create a 100% ideal Direct Box, or maybe there are some downsides to it? Let’s figure that out together!
Getting To Know The DI Better
Without a doubt, the LR Baggs Para DI Acoustic Preamp is the king of the jungle and beats most, if not all rivals in terms of flexibility, versatility, onboard features, and more. I did mention the EQ earlier: it’s a five-band equalizer with controls for the lows (Bass), the mids (a 2-octave Midrange knob), the high mids (Treble), the highs (presence), and a Notch filter. See that “Handcrafted in the USA” written right below the EQ? That means you can expect this direct box to serve you for decades. If you want to get rid of any possible feedback in the 98-247 Herts range, use the Notch control to dial everything down. Midrange, in turn, allows you to cut/boost in the 400HZ-1.6kHz range.
It all depends on what you’re going for. Say, if there’s an audible rumble in the bass frequencies, don’t be afraid to “tame” it a bit. At the same time, if you’re not satisfied with what the mids are doing, go ahead and work on them with the Midrange control. What about the connections?
- You’ve got 1/4-inch input and output jacks along with an XLR output jack (it’s optional);
- The effects loop is great;
- With it, you can connect the LR Baggs Para Acoustic DI Preamp to any additional amplifiers or effect boards you want. Keep that in mind and make sure to take advantage of this awesome feature, because you won’t find it in many solid direct boxes out there.
Learning More About The Controls
Different pickups come with different levels; the length of the patch cord can also have an impact on the audio signal’s volume. For fine-tuning the output, you’ve got two controls: Gain and Volume. These two allow you to balance everything out and get a smooth, even signal out.
If you ever feel the need to change the polarity of the audio signal, use the red Invert switch. It sits between Output and FX Loop – you won’t miss it. Use it to reduce unwanted low-end feedback to a minimum. This bad-boy can be powered via the XLR cable mentioned earlier: just connect it to the board. Or, let the 9-volt battery keep the music alive.
The battery drawer is another great feature: forget about the slide-cover/screwdriver routine: simply put the new battery into that drawer, slide it in, and that’s it! The LED will keep you updated on the battery’s condition.
Alright, let’s proceed with our Baggs Para DI review and see how it behaves “in action.” As always, you need to get your hands dirty to become friends with this piece of gear. Fool around with the EQ, see what the effects loop is doing, and get a general sense of things. I can say right now that this DI is very friendly and easy to use. The lettering, the colors, and all the marking deserve a round of applause, as they are eye-grabbing and it’s super hard to miss them.
How Does The LR Baggs Para DI Sound In Real Life?
If you’ve been scrolling through various LR Baggs Para Acoustic DI user reviews, then you already know that it is one of the most praised direct boxes on the planet. I stated earlier that the amount of tonal control it provides is industry-leading. In the studio, where every single rumble and/or hiss counts, you’ll be amazed by how clean this DI sounds. The low-frequency control is impressively good. For a round, bass-heavy sound, it’s perfect. Or, if there’s too much bass, just dial it down a bit. By combining the Bass control and the Notch filter, you’ll be able to get rid of the low-end feedback and still keep the low-end nice and warm.
Acoustic guitars can benefit a lot from even a tiny boost in the high mids, and the Treble control of the LR Baggs Para Acoustic Guitar DI and preamp does a wonderful job of adding just the right amount of “air” to the sound. Don’t forget about the Presence control. With it, you can add or take away the highs, making the guitar sound warmer or brighter, depending on what you’re looking for. If you have any experience will less-than-perfect direct boxes, then I bet you’ll fall in love with this one. If not, well, you’ll still be impressed by the way it sounds and the effect that the various controls have over the final sound.
Summing up, let me just say that this is one of the best offers on the market right now.
- For just $189, you get an excellent-sounding direct box with an unprecedented level of control over the sound;
- Plus, it can work both with Phantom Power and a 9-V battery;
- Reliability is another key factor in making it a touring superstar.
I really hope that you’ll learn how to use the LR Baggs Para Acoustic DI and get the most out of it, as there’s a lot this beast can offer. As always, don’t be afraid to experiment, because that’s the fastest way to success.