You seem to always be busy... what were you up to last year?

Last year I did a lot of traveling and recording.. I toured North America with meat loaf in the spring and summer. I also played some dates with Blue Oyster Cult as well. In the early part of 2011, I recorded the new Meat Loaf album called " Hell in a Hand Basket ". I did all the bass parts in my home studio in New York. I also played on the Jurgen Blackmore (Ritchie's son) solo album. I recorded that while on the road with Meat Loaf - in hotel rooms, dressing rooms, even on a moving tour bus!! Then in the fall, we went to Australia and New Zealand with Meat Loaf for a big tour there, and filmed a live DVD there as well. In my free time, I have been writing and recording music for my own release sometime in 2012.

You have been using Radial DI boxes for quite some time. Which ones do you have?

I have several. I have the Bassbone that I use primarily with Queen or for local gigs. It has an excellent DI in it. I also have the Radial JDI - we use a bunch of those with Meat Loaf!!! I also have the J48, which is the newest Radial DI in my arsenal. I am working that in right now and it seems to work really well with my electric upright bass. It has amazing headroom and a big, clear sound. I also use the Radial JDX on the speaker side of my amp. That, along with the Phazer, have really made a great improvement in my live sound !

Tell me about them and how you approach using each one?

The Bassbone is what I probably use the most locally. Because it's a sophisticated A/B switch as well, I can bring two basses and keep them in the same "family " - tone wise. I do a lot of local gigs where I use a Fender bass and an electric upright as well. Or sometimes a vintage P bass and a "hot" jazz bass with more output. The Bassbone can bring instruments with vast tonal differences closer together. Especially if both basses are going thru the same amp without the added help of going thru a PA. Even if it's only matching volume levels.. It's a fantastic piece of equipment!

The JDI and J48 are top of the line DI's! Either one will work for ANY situation. I feel it's just a matter of taste. Both have a pure, round, pleasant tone to them. Not a nasally, cold, thin tone, like many other DI's I have tried on bass. I feel that with these DI's, you don't have to "make a sound ". It's already there! The character of the bass is not compromised. Every time I record something, I'm either going thru a JDI or J48.

The JDX is my latest secret weapon! I recorded much of Meat Loaf's new record this way. It's also very useful for smaller live gigs... Mic'ing an amp is great, if you can play at a suitable volume where the amp and speakers are "cooking" and you have a good mic, properly placed without too much bleed from other instruments. Unfortunately, many times, these luxuries are not an option. Particularly when you are playing on a small stage and you're two feet away from the drums and guitar amps. This is the perfect situation for the JDX !

When do you use the Bassbone?

The Bassbone is in my live rig with both Meat Loaf and Queen. I play about 5 basses during the course of the night.. This keeps everything in the same ball park , so our FOH man doesn't have to make major adjustments every time I switch to a different bass. And for every local gig I play, I bring a Bassbone in case the house doesn't have a Radial DI.

Most recently, you got a JDX. This sounds like a game changer for you?

The JDX has been a revelation for me! I have always mic'd my amp and I am a fan of "the SansAmp". I'm not a big fan of the direct only sound of a bass on rock gigs. It was recommend that I try this on bass, and immediately, George Wherlin, Meat Loaf's FOH engineer, fell in love with it ! He said that he was now able to use more of my amp sound in the mix with the JDX. The icing on the cake was adding the Phazer, which enables George to mix all three of my signals together in phase and make it "speak".

What is your usual stage set up?

On the last tour with Meat Loaf, I had three inputs going to the house PA system:

  1. is a DI straight out of my wireless.
  2. is a " POST " DI, directly out from my pedalboard .. I have a tuner, octave, 2 overdrives, and a Bassbone.
  3. is the JDX in between my Fender Head and Cabinet.

Do you use in ears?

Since we are all on In-Ears, I don't always have my cab on stage. This is something I'm still getting used to, but the JDX has enabled me to hear my amp sound in my ears as if I was standing in front of it. The only thing I miss from having my cab on stage is the feeling of it rumbling the stage!

What about smaller gigs such as your tribute band?

I play in a great Springsteen tribute band that tours internationally. 90% of the time I see Radial DIs at the venues which makes me happy. But just in case, I take a J48 with me. This is a very simple set up. Usually just a DI. Sometimes I will also mic the amp. No effects at all.

You said that you are seeing more Radial in the clubs these days...

I play a lot of State theaters and Performing Art Centers and I find that more and more, the DIs that the local sound companies are providing are made by Radial. I often ask them their opinion about Radial DIs and the answer in always the same: "The are the best DI's! on ANY instrument!" And "Radial DIs are affordable enough to get a boat-load of them to arm a whole band!"

Whether it be passive or active, I feel that you can't go wrong with Radial. I get great results, whether I'm using my rig, a rental rig, mic'd amp or not... I can count on getting a great direct bass sound with Radial!

What would you tell a fellow bass player if they were thinking about getting a DI box?

I would say , based on what you can afford, get something , anything, by Radial. I would say my best all-round choice would be the Bassbone because it's a great DI and it has an A/B instrument selector switch. You also have the option of an effects loop, tuner out, so the tuner is not 'in-line', plus a boost switch. Amazing versatility!

Radial DIs are also very road worthy! What's the use of getting something that sounds good only for it to break shortly thereafter? All Radial stuff is built tough! I would say: try 'em all out and get what you think sounds the best for your situation.

Danny Miranda
Queen, Meat Loaf, Blue Oyster Cult,