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I use my laptop on stage while playing keys. I have always used my headphone output into a DI box, but have never really liked the idea, and have also started expanding my rig. On occasion, I use loops, which requires a click track, which means I can't go in stereo. (I use a lot of ambience-type effects that would be much more suited to stereo since the idea of ambience is about space.) I am also toying with the possibility of some electronic-type vocal effects running through my rig. Not a good idea to have all that going through one channel; the sound guy would have no control. I recently re-discovered that I still have an old Firepod (FP10) laying around, and tested it out, and it still worked. It would be the perfect thing to add more inputs & outputs.

I currently have a 4U Gator rack on wheels, and am adding a customized panel on the back (I have other stuff in the front) to both make the outputs on the back of the FP10 more accessible, and convert them to XLR. From what I understand, I should theoretically not need a DI since the outputs are already balanced line level, which was the basis for me converting the 1/4" outs to XLR. As long as I make sure the sound tech knows to pull down the gain to almost nothing, there shouldn't be a problem.

I still have a few uncertainties about my setup - possibly just due to my tendency to overthink. First is phantom power: If the sound tech accidentally flips it on, could it ruin my FP10, or are the outputs protected from this possibility? If not, how would I add my own protection? (I know capacitors, but don't know specifically the details.)

The second concern is lack of a ground lift if I should need it. Again, I'm fuzzy on the details of doing this, but I understand it involves a capacitor and resistor in parallel to each other connected to ground.

If anyone could shed some light on these problems, it would be appreciated.
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by matthewseymour on Thu Oct 12, 2017 1:43 am
I'd be prepared to use DI boxes for this. You're right that in theory it isn't necessary but not everywhere will be able to take line level inputs from the stage. In my experience it's rare to need a ground lift these days, but using DI boxes will allow this. For venues that can take line level XLR, you're right that it's just plug and go. Easy.

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