Session bassist, songwriter, and member of Virgin Records much-buzzed-about modern rock act Ima Robot, Justin Meldal-Johnsen has graced recordings by artists such as Tori Amos, Courtney Love, Macy Gray, Garbage and Pete Yorn while simultaneously working with Beck as both his bassist and music director. Needless to say, he’s learned a thing or two about direct boxes, and often leans toward A Designs’ REDDI.
“Since the bass guitar is my exclusive instrument, I’m always plugged into a DI,” Meldal-Johnsen explains. “I’ve used so many. Generally the thing that I hate about DIs is that when you plug a bass into them, the sound seems to be useful to engineers, but it’s often distasteful to my own ears. Most DIs have a glassy, transparent, sort of weightless sound with a lot of top end—unnatural and clinical. If you’re lucky, one might have sub-harmonic content, but even then it will probably have a glassy-sounding fundamental tone. Too many engineers seem to be resigned to the fact that using these are good ways to get bass sounds—just blend it with an amp, and you’re golden. I just don’t think that’s enough. The DI alone should sound amazing.”
Meldal-Johnsen solely used the REDDI during recent sessions for the soundtrack of an upcoming feature thriller scored by Tyler Bates, composer for Dawn of the Dead. “I didn’t use an amp at all,” says Meldal-Johnsen. “I used only the REDDI and it sounded really, really nice.”
The fire-engine red REDDI tube DI is designed for use with basses, guitars, synthesizers and other electronic instruments. The REDDI features a 6N1P tube, Neutrik combination XLR/quarter-inch input, balanced XLR output, on/off toggle switch, LED power indicator, level control knob, ground lift, EIN power connector, a metal vented casing, custom output transformer and an enclosed power supply with Toroid power transformer. The REDDI can also be rack-mounted for use with two or more units.
Regarding his work with Ima Robot, Meldal-Johnsen says that his sound “generally needs a little grind to it, so I’m going to use the REDDI with an Ampeg B15 for a clean amp sound, a Marshall JTM-45 head and Fender ToneMaster 2X12 cabinet for a dirty amp sound, and the REDDI. That’s the signal chain.”
For more information, visit www.adesignsaudio.com.