Radial Engineering, Vancouver, BC, has introduced the StageDirect Muting Direct Box.
The StageDirect is a direct box that combines all of the standard features one would find in a DI with the ability to mute the signal using a footswitch for silent on-stage tuning or to quietly switch instruments without having to turn down the PA system or put the stage amp on standby.
"As a gigging bassist, I was immediately struck with the StageDirect and how I could see it solving a number of problems on stage," said eastern regional sales manager, Phil Coelho. "The obvious one is being able to quietly tune without having your signal feed into the PA system. As an audience member, hearing the band tune up can be really annoying. But for me, the real biggie is being able to switch from my four string passive bass to my five string active without having to put my amp on standby and frantically wave to the FOH engineer to let him know I am about to switch basses. All too often, he forgets to turn me down and then you get a huge pop in the PA. The StageDirect solves the problem as it gives me the freedom to decide when I want to change instruments."
The StageDirect is made from 14 gauge steel and finished in baked enamel for durability. Connections include a 174-inch input for the instrument, a 174-inch output for the stage amp, and a standard XLR male output to feed the PA system. A separately buffered 174-inch tuner output is always on.
When the footswitch is depressed all of the outputs other than the tuner are muted to enable quiet on-stage tuning. The mute feature also makes it easy to switch instruments on stage without having to turn down the PA channel or set the stage amp on standby to avoid loud popping in the audio system.
Top panel switches include a -15dB pad to handle extra high output instruments like an active bass, a high-pass filter to eliminate excessive bass and resonance, and a 180 degree polarity reverse to help tame acoustic hot spots on stage that can cause feedback.
These features combine to make the StageDirect a stage hand for busy musicians who want to be in control of their sound at all times.
The StageDirect begins shipping in June and will retail for $250 USD.