Short answer is: You should use a Cloudlifter with your Shure SM7B microphone only if you are looking for the best quality or recording in a very noisy environment, but you can get away without using one for most applications.
In this post, we’ll talk about what a Cloudlifter is, what it does, and when you should consider using one for your SM7B.
Let’s get started!
What Is A Cloudlifter
The SM7B is a popular microphone that is often used for podcasting, voiceovers, and recording music. While the SM7B is a great microphone, it can sometimes benefit from using a Cloudlifter.
A Cloudlifter can help to make the signal from the SM7B louder and more precise, which can be useful if you’re trying to record in a noisy environment or if you’re trying to get a clean, clear sound while not using a condenser mic.
Related: What Does A Cloudlifter Do?
When Do You Need A Cloudlifter?
If you’re looking to get the best sound out of your SM7B, then a Cloudlifter can be invaluable. It can help to make your signal louder and clearer, particularly if you’re recording in a noisy environment or if you want to get a clean, clear sound.
A Cloudlifter can be used when:
Insufficient Audio Interface Power:
When recording microphones that require a lot of power, such as a dynamic microphone, the Cloudlifter can be used to boost the signal. This is because Cloudlifters require Phantom Power from the audio interfaces to provide the extra power needed by the microphone.
Related: Does Shure SM7B need phantom power?
Reducing Noise and Hum:
A Cloudlifter can also be used to reduce noise and hum that may be present in the signal. This is because it helps to isolate the microphone from other electronics in the room, which reduces interference.
Running Long Cable:
If you’re using long cable runs, a Cloudlifter can help reduce the amount of equivalent input noise picked up along the way. The Cloudlifter amplifies the signal before it reaches the audio interface to improve sound quality.
Recording to Digital:
If you’re recording directly to a digital medium, such as your computer or a DAW, then a Cloudlifter can help improve your recordings’ sound quality.
Recording in a Noisy Environment:
A Cloudlifter can help make your signal louder and clearer, particularly if you’re trying to record in a noisy environment.
You’re Using a Preamp:
If you’re using a preamp, then a Cloudlifter can help to boost the signal before it goes into the preamp, which can help to make your recordings sound better.
You’re Running Into Low-Level Issues:
If you’re having trouble getting a clear signal out of your SM7B, then a Cloudlifter can help. A Cloudlifter can provide an extra boost of power which can make the signal from your SM7B louder and clearer.
Overall, a Cloudlifter can be a useful tool for improving the sound of your SM7B. Whether or not you need one will depend on the type of recording environment you’re in and what kind of sound you’re looking to achieve.
Is the Cloudlifter Really Necessary For Shure SM7B?
The Shure SM7B is a versatile and popular microphone, often used for voiceover work, podcasts, and more. However, one common complaint about the SM7B is that it can be noisy, picking up unwanted background noise along with the desired audio.
The Cloudlifter is a device that helps to address this issue, providing a good enough gain of +25 dB and dramatically reducing background noise. But is the Cloudlifter really necessary?
Let’s take a closer look:
To explain why the Cloudlifter is really necessary to cut down on the noise gate with the Shure SM7B, it is essential to understand a few things about audio signal chains and signal-to-noise ratios. The strength of an audio signal is measured in decibels (dB). The higher the dB, the stronger the signal. The noise floor measures the background noise in a given environment. This can be ambient noise like room tone or hiss, or it can be electrical noise like hum or buzz. The signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) is the measurement of the strength of the signal compared to the noise floor. In order to have a clear recording, the signal must be strong enough to overcome the noise floor.
Shure SM7B With Cloudlifter
The Shure SM7B is a dynamic mic often used to record vocals. It has a very wide frequency response and a high output level. However, it also has a very high impedance.
This means it requires a preamplifier with a high input impedance to properly amplify the signal. The Cloudlifter is a mic activator, which means that it amplifies the signal from the microphone before it goes into the preamplifier.
This gives SM7B two advantages:
- It raises the overall level of the signal, which helps to overcome any noise that might be present in the recording environment.
- It provides impedance matching, which means that there is less loss of high frequencies when the signal is amplified. This results in a clearer, more natural sound.
So why is the Cloudlifter really necessary?
It’s simple – without it, you would likely have problems with noise in your recordings (if you are not using a condenser microphone). By using a Cloudlifter with your SM7B, you can be sure that you’re getting optimal performance from your microphone and getting great-sounding recordings as well.
The Cloudlifter is a simple device that can be plugged between your SM7B and preamp or audio interface. It uses a single 9-volt battery to provide up to +25 dB of gain, making it ideal for low-output dynamic mics such as the SM7B.
The increased gain helps to reduce noise floor, allowing you to capture more of your desired audio with less background noise.
In addition to reducing noise floor, the Cloudlifter can also boost the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), which is a measure of how much your desired signal stands out from the noisy background.
This means that you can capture clearer recordings with better overall sound quality.
Related: How to Position the Shure SM7B to Get the Best Sound
All in All Its Your Choice
Overall, the Cloudlifter is an essential accessory for any audio enthusiast who wants to get the best performance out of their Shure SM7B. Providing up to +25 dB of gain and reducing background noise can help you achieve high-quality recordings with less interruption from unwanted noise. However, the decision to use a Cloudlifter is ultimately up to you. Ultimately, it comes down to what kind of sound quality you are looking for and how much noise reduction you need.
Whether or not you decide to invest in a Cloudlifter will depend on your specific needs and preferences.
But if you want the best sound possible from your SM7B, then it is definitely worth considering.
With its small size and low cost, the Cloudlifter is an ideal solution for anyone who wants to get great-sounding recordings without having to invest in expensive audio equipment. So if you’re looking for a way to reduce noise and improve your audio recordings, the Cloudlifter is a great option.
Give it a try today and see how much of a difference it can make in your recordings!
Here are some common questions about using the Shure SM7B with a Cloudlifter:
Do I Need A Cloudlifter If I am Using The Shure SM7B?
No, you don’t need a Cloudlifter for the Shure SM7B. The microphone has its own built-in preamp gain, which provides plenty of clean gain for most applications.
However, if you’re recording in a very loud environment or you’re looking for the absolute best sound quality, you may want to consider using a Cloudlifter.
How Does A Cloudlifter Work?
A Cloudlifter is an external preamp, like most external preamps, that boosts the signal from your microphone.
This can be helpful in situations where you need more gain than your microphone’s built-in preamp can provide. It can also help improve your recordings’ sound quality by providing a cleaner signal.
Can I Use A Cloudlifter With Any Microphone?
No, not all microphones are compatible with Cloudlifters; for example, condenser mics do not support a Cloudlifter.
Currently, Cloudlifters are only available for select models from Audio-Technica, Rode, and Sennheiser. Check the manufacturer’s website to see if your microphone is compatible. For further reading, check out our guide on Does Rode Procaster Need a Cloudlifter?
Do I Need More Than One Cloudlifter?
No, one Cloudlifter is all you need per microphone. Using multiple microphones, you’ll need one Cloudlifter for each mic.
Do I Need An Audio Interface To Use A Cloudlifter?
No, you don’t need an audio interface. The Cloudlifter can be plugged directly into your mic preamp or mixer.
However, if you’re using multiple microphones with their Cloudlifters and want to record each mic separately, you will need an audio interface.
Need a Boost? Try the Cloudlifter Today!
The Cloudlifter is an essential tool for anyone looking to improve their audio recordings. It provides up to +25 dB of gain, which can help reduce noise and improve your overall sound quality. It’s also a great option for those who want to get the most out of their Shure SM7B microphone. So if you’re looking for a way to take your audio recordings to the next level, consider investing in a Cloudlifter!