Hi-z Lo-z

WallyY

Platinum Member
This may be an academic question for people who understand these electrical things, but I'm often confused as to when I should be pressing the switch on the interface for hi-z.

I have our band going completely through the interface and DAW for monitoring when we practice at my place.

The guitarist and bassist are fine with the sounds in the phones, but I'm a bit confused about when to use hi-z or low-z.

I got out guitarist a little Behringer guitar amp box that sits on the floor. It claims to act also as a direct box.
The interface has two hi-z inputs that can be switched from hi to low, but when I connect a mic cable to the Behringer box, I'm not sure if it should be hi, or low Z.

My understanding of the sound isn't making me better at figuring this out.

Does the direct out of the amp sim box on the floor that is connected to the mic cable make it low-z, or do I keep it Hi-z because it's a guitar?
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Hi Z cables are only good for about 20 feet where Low Z cables can do I think 250 feet or so. Use Low Z whenever possible, but you already know that.

I only use Hi Z if I have to, because I ran out of Low Z spaces lol

XLR mic cables are always Low Z, you know that too.

What I don't know for sure is when a cable has an XLR on one end and a TRS on the other end. I could swear I heard a noticeable difference when testing the 2 inputs/same channel on a Mackie 12 channel mixer. I used a cable with an XLR on both ends and a cable with an XLR/TRS on each end. But that was a long time ago and things may have changed? Not sure about that aspect.

The box converts the Hi Z guitar input signal to a Low Z output signal. Just like a direct box.
 

WallyY

Platinum Member
The box converts the Hi Z guitar input signal to a Low Z output signal. Just like a direct box.
Awesome. Thank you!
It gets confusing when using a direct box amp sim pedal into the interface, or the guitar straight into the interface with a VST amp sim.

So, a direct box is needed when you don't have a hi-Z button on the interface, but not needed if you do.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
This may be an academic question for people who understand these electrical things, but I'm often confused as to when I should be pressing the switch on the interface for hi-z.

I have our band going completely through the interface and DAW for monitoring when we practice at my place.

The guitarist and bassist are fine with the sounds in the phones, but I'm a bit confused about when to use hi-z or low-z.

I got out guitarist a little Behringer guitar amp box that sits on the floor. It claims to act also as a direct box.
The interface has two hi-z inputs that can be switched from hi to low, but when I connect a mic cable to the Behringer box, I'm not sure if it should be hi, or low Z.

My understanding of the sound isn't making me better at figuring this out.

Does the direct out of the amp sim box on the floor that is connected to the mic cable make it low-z, or do I keep it Hi-z because it's a guitar?
The job of the direct box is to convert hi z to low z. So if your output on the box is an XLR connector then it’s obvious you stay in Low Z.
 

Morrisman

Platinum Member
If you plug a bass or guitar directly into a low Z jack input, some of the signal feeds through the plug back into the pickups. Changing the preamp gain can change the tone, or make the volume controls work differently. You may or may not notice the difference.

A hi-Z input keeps the connectors isolated, so the guitar is unaffected.

But if the guitar has active electronics, or goes through effects boxes, then it makes no difference.
 

WallyY

Platinum Member
If you plug a bass or guitar directly into a low Z jack input, some of the signal feeds through the plug back into the pickups. Changing the preamp gain can change the tone, or make the volume controls work differently. You may or may not notice the difference.

A hi-Z input keeps the connectors isolated, so the guitar is unaffected.

But if the guitar has active electronics, or goes through effects boxes, then it makes no difference.
Great!
This helps a lot.
Guitarist has the direct box/amp sim and the bassist has active electronics.
I wan't hearing enough of a difference to discern where the setting should be.
 
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