When it comes to recording guitar or bass, there are several ways to get the job done. The standard for many decades has been placing a microphone in front of an amplifier, channeling your microphone signal into an audio interface, and then have that signal be recorded onto a tape machine or into a DAW. But for many reasons (maybe you don’t want to bother your neighbors with loud guitars, your amp is broken, or you’re just looking for a different set up) you may want to DI your guitar or bass instead.
DI stands for ‘Direct Input’. When you DI a guitar or bass, you’re sending the raw signal created by your instruments pickups directly into a DAW, bypassing the signal produced by your amplifier and microphone. A benefit to DIing your instrument is that your raw instrument signal is not subject to any interference by outside sources that can be picked up by a microphone or amplifier. This raw signal however will lack any sort of signal manipulation like boosting, distortion, reverb, or other effects created by guitar pedals and your amplifier. This lack of signal manipulation will make your guitar or bass sound thiner and drier, but there are ways to combat those unwanted effects.