What Does A Cloudlifter Do? – An In-Depth Look

by | Equipment

What does a Cloudlifter do? This is a question that has been on the minds of audio engineers and podcasters for years. The answer, until now, has been mostly speculation. But thanks to the hard work and dedication of the team at Cloudlifter, we now have a much better understanding of what these devices do and how they can help you make your podcast sound its best.

In this article, we will explore what a Cloudlifter is, what it does for a podcaster, and how podcasters can use one to improve the quality of their recordings. So that you can make the most of this powerful audio tool, we’ll also provide some tips and tricks for using a Cloudlifter in your podcast.

What Is A Cloudlifter?

A Cloudlifter is a piece of audio hardware made for engineers, musicians, and content creators. It’s an ingenious device that you can use to boost your microphone’s signal to the desired pre-amp level. This means an increase in power and clarity that every creative professional seeks when recording audio.

The Cloudlifter also eliminates unwanted background noise with its built-in pad switch function, making it one of the most versatile devices available on the market today. It can be easily connected to any computer, mac, or PC, running a digital recording system using modern USB connection methods.

(In fact, the Cloudlifter CL-1 is included in our list of best gifts for podcasters.)

Cloud Microphones, the company behind Cloudlifter, are consistently innovating and developing its product to offer the best recording experience available. Built into a solid steel case with Neutrik XLR connectors, the Cloudlifter is a reliable and robust tool for any studio.

Types Of Cloudlifter

The Cloudlifter CL-2 provides two channels of active ultra-clean gain. Image Source.

There are primarily three main types of Cloudlifters that you can choose from: CL-1, CL-2, and CL-Z. While they all have their unique features, they all ultimately serve the same purpose – to boost your microphone’s signal.

1. Single Channel CL-1 Cloudlifter

The CL-1 Cloudlifter delivers noise-free amplification of up to 25dB to turn just about any preamplifier into a studio-quality ribbon preamp. With ultra-transparent Class A JFET circuitry built in to protect your tone, you can be sure that whatever you input will come out sounding better and stronger than before.

Its own power supply runs off of standard phantom power, making it incredibly easy to use in any setting. The external phantom power unit also allows you to control the gain of your recording with a simple twist of a knob.

An added bonus is that the Cloudlifter is manufactured responsibly in an Arizona factory in North America. Specifically in Cloud Microphones’ Tucson, complete with a free lifetime limited warranty. It’s the perfect device for anyone looking to get a professional boost in their recordings.

Related: SE Electronics Dynamite DM1 Vs. Cloudlifter

2. Dual Channel CL-2 Cloudlifter

Also made with ultra-transparent Class A JFET circuitry, the CL-2 Cloudlifter helps you get two microphones working at once with a single channel of amplification. With its offer a noise-free amplification of up to +25dB, this user-friendly device comes in a dual-mono version, two-channel that provides two stages of ultra-clean gain. It’s designed to boost your signal at the source point for longer cable runs so you can capture rich and vibrant detail in your audio recordings.

Plus, it turns any mic preamplifier into a ribbon pre! And with its self-contained design, free lifetime limited warranty, and ultra-transparent circuitry guaranteeing your tone won’t be compromised, you don’t need to look any further — the Dual Channel CL-2 Cloudlifter is sure to meet all your recording needs. The perfect companion for any studio.

3. CL-Z Cloudlifter

Finally, the CL-Z is the flagship model of Cloudlifters and offers up to +26dB of clean gain in a robust and user-friendly package of noise-free amplification, as well as variable impedance sweepable from 150 ohms to 15k ohms. There’s even a highpass filter frequency that can be set from under 20Hz to over 200Hz. All this comes in an easy-to-use package that requires specifically phantom power and is compatible with the tube, battery, and power supply-driven and dynamic and ribbon microphones.

The included discrete Class A JFET circuitry and patented Vari-Z user interface also offer protection to passive ribbon mics without transferring any phantom power. Plus, it’s super portable and roadworthy, perfect for studio settings, live performances, and broadcasting alike – plus a free lifetime limited warranty you get with product registration.

Also, Cloudlifter CL-Z is the world’s only microphone activator with variable impedance – so you can configure your mic to achieve its maximum potential. No more worrying about the minutiae; let the CL-Z make your life easier while maintaining the utmost quality when recording your signal. Ribbon mic users have never had it better.

These three Cloudlifters are incredibly versatile and can quickly become a permanent part of your recording arsenal. With their robust design, self-contained circuitry, and noise-free amplification, they truly offer the best available solutions for boosting your microphone’s signal before it reaches your preamp or audio interface.

What Does A Cloudlifter Do?

If you’re a musician, recording engineer, or podcaster who’s looking for a simple way to get the best sound out of your microphones, then the Cloudlifter is the perfect solution. This clever device works by boosting phantom power from a microphone preamp and offering up to +25dB of additional gain, allowing you to capture even the quietest vocal performances with clarity and detail.

In addition, if you’re dealing with low-output dynamic mics such as ribbons or active pickups on guitars and basses, then the Cloudlifter will help bring these signals up to more normal levels. Not only will this result in improved sound quality overall but it’ll also free up valuable headroom within an audio chain, meaning more power available to other components of your system.

So while a Cloudlifter doesn’t change the actual sound emanating from a mic, it certainly amplifies its performance – literally! It’s an incredibly useful tool for anyone looking to get the most out of their microphone.

How To Use A Cloudlifter To Increase The Quality Of A Recording?

Now that you know what a Cloudlifter is and what it does, you’re probably wondering how to get the most out of this device when recording. There are several steps you can take that will ensure you maximize the potential of your Cloudlifter.

Step One: Place The Cloudlifter Between Your Microphone And Audio Interface Or Mixer

This step is crucial to ensure the Cloudlifter is positioned correctly in order to boost gain and improve audio quality effectively. In most cases, this will be done by connecting the mic cable to the ‘Mic Input’ jack on the Cloudlifter, and then using a second cable to connect from the ‘XLR Output’ jack to your audio interface or mixer.

Step Two: Adjust The Gain Settings On The Cloudlifter

To ensure the signal is being amplified correctly, adjust the gain settings on your Cloudlifter by turning the ‘Gain’ knob to achieve a comfortable level of loudness in your headphones. If necessary, you can also use the variable ‘Pad’ knob to reduce any excessive input levels. It draw phantom power from the preamp and boosts it, providing up to +25dB of gain. Once you’ve adjusted the settings correctly, you’re ready to record!

Step Three: Monitor Your Recording With Headphones

As you record, it’s important to use headphones in order to monitor the audio and make sure everything is sounding as it should. This will help you make adjustments if necessary and ensure your acoustic recording quality is at its best.

Step Four: Final Adjustments

Once your recording is complete, you can make any final adjustments to the levels. This includes balancing the overall mix as well as adding compression or effects if desired.

Step Five: Enjoy Your Improved Recording Quality

By using a Cloudlifter, you can be sure that your audio recordings are captured at their maximum potential. The added gain and improved headroom will make mixing and mastering much easier, resulting in pristine-quality recordings every time.

By following these simple steps, you’ll be able to ensure that your recordings are of the highest quality by using a Cloudlifter. With this device, you’ll be able to capture the best acoustic recordings and get a great sound every time.

When To Use A Cloudlifter?

The Cloudlifter is most effective when used with low-output dynamic condenser mics, such as ribbons or active pickups on guitars and basses. It’s also great for capturing quiet vocals and other acoustic instruments that require additional gain to be heard clearly. Because the Cloudlifter provides up to +25 dB of clean maximum gain, it can be used to boost soft signals and ensure high-quality recordings with less background noise.

Plus, thanks to its low-noise circuitry and transformerless design, the Cloudlifter ensures that your signal remains clear and accurate even at higher gain settings. The one limitation of the Cloudlifter is its limited frequency response, so it’s not recommended for capturing instruments with a wide range of frequencies.

Why Do I Need A Cloudlifter?

After reading the above, you might be asking yourself why you need a Cloudlifter in your setup. The answer is simple – if you’re looking for pristine audio quality, a Cloudlifter can be an invaluable tool. There are several benefits to using this device, including:

1. Impedance Matching

The Cloudlifter amplifies sound between a dynamic microphone and a mixer. It is designed to match the impedance of microphones, especially the low-output mics which results in better sound clarity and reduced noise floor interference. The impedance matching ensures that the signal sent to your mixer is as true to the original sound as possible.

2. Low-Noise Gain

Unlike traditional preamps, the Cloudlifter does not add any additional noise when boosting a signal. The low-noise gain allows you to get a clean sound without having to worry about distortion or interference.

3. More Dynamics Range

The Cloudlifter helps to increase the dynamic range of your audio source by providing extra headroom and clarity. This means that you can get more out of your condenser microphone and capture sound in greater detail.

4. Cost-Effective

It’s much more cost-effective to use a Cloudlifter than it is to buy an external preamp. The device is relatively inexpensive and provides you with the excellent sound quality for the price. Sometimes, all you need to do is add a little extra push, and the Cloudlifter can provide that.

5. Versatility

The Cloudlifter is versatile enough to be used with a variety of different devices, including:

  • Mixers: They can boost the signal of a mixer, allowing you to get louder and clearer results when recording.
  • Microphones: It is designed to work with all types of microphones, giving you more control over your recordings.
  • Instruments: You can hook up your instrument (guitar, bass, etc.) directly to the Cloudlifter, giving you a louder and more powerful signal.
  • Speakers: You can use the Cloudlifter to boost the signal of your speakers, allowing for better sound quality and volume.

These devices make the Cloudlifter a great choice for any home recording setup. With its versatility and power, you can get professional results from your recordings.

There are also other reasons as well but these are the main reasons why you should consider a Cloudlifter for your studio. With its clean and accurate sound, low-noise circuitry, impedance-matching capabilities, and more, the Cloudlifter is an invaluable tool that can take your recordings to the next level. Give it a try and hear the difference for yourself!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can SM7B Work Without Cloudlifter?

Despite popular belief, using a Cloudlifter isn’t always necessary to get great sound out of an SM7B condenser mic. Sure, the Cloudlifter can provide an additional level of support in terms of volume, but if you have the right settings dialed in and techniques mastered, the SM7B will still be able to deliver fantastic results on its own. For further reading, you can check out our post on Do You Need A Cloudlifter For Shure SM7B? and Does Rode Procaster Need a Cloudlifter?

The key is to make sure your preamp gain is at the optimal level for maximum clarity and minimum noise – so don’t be afraid to tinker around and get creative to see what works best for your setup!

How Much Gain Does Cloudlifter Add?

Understanding how much gain Cloudlifter adds to a microphone can be an important part of the recording process. Without it, levels may end up too low and unprofessional sounding. Fortunately, Cloudlifter offers bonus features that allow sound professionals to get the perfect balance of volume and quality.

With this device, one can easily increase gain without adding distortion to their recordings for a more polished final result. The amount of gain your product can add varies depending on the model you own and how it is used but most users report being able to achieve substantially better gain than with any other preamp or directly into an audio interface. The three types of Cloudlifter products have different gain ranges, so be sure to research the specs of your device before use.

Does The Cloudlifter Make The Mic Louder?

Mostly, yes. The Cloudlifter is designed to make a microphone signal louder and clearer by boosting the preamp gain and eliminating background too much noise. It works by providing extra headroom and clarity, which allows you to capture sound in greater detail without having to worry about distortion or interference.

Depending on the type of mic used, this increase in volume can range from a few decibels to several more. With the right setup and techniques, you can expect substantial loudness gains from your Cloudlifter.

Is The Cloudlifter a preamp?

No, not exactly. The Cloudlifter is a specialized device that boosts the preamp gain of any microphone. While it does provide an extra layer of amplification, it’s not technically considered a traditional preamp since it doesn’t alter the sound of your recordings in any way. Instead, its primary purpose is to maximize signal strength and clarity without introducing any unwanted noise.

It’s an invaluable tool for anyone trying to achieve the highest quality recordings possible. A mic preamp, on the other hand, will process and shape the sound of your recording in addition to boosting its gain. Dedicated mic preamps are usually built into audio interfaces and can be used to alter the sound of your recordings in various ways, depending on the settings.


Now that you know what a Cloudlifter does and how it works, there’s no better time to invest in one for your studio. Not only can it make your mic louder and clearer but also the features and functions of the device are versatile enough to be used with multiple devices and can help to bring out the best in your recordings.

Whether you’re an audio engineer, musician, podcaster, or video producer, a Cloudlifter is sure to be an asset and will help you achieve great sound quality every time. Just remember to be sure to test out the different settings before committing to a purchase!

Related: 5 Best Cloudlifter Alternatives